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General Manager Vs Director of Operations

General managers and directors of operations complete some of the same tasks, however their roles are very different in an organization. Learn about the duties of these professionals, along with how they relate and differ.

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Comparing General Managers to Directors of Operations

General managers oversee employees in a business or organization, while directors of operations typically supervise managers and day-to-day operations. Here you can learn about how these important leaders work in their fields, along with how they compare to one another.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary Job Growth (2014-2024)*
General Manager Bachelor's Degree $60,002 (2017)** 7% (All General and Operation Managers)
Director of Operations Bachelor's Degree $87,668 (2017)** -1% (Decline for All Chief Executives)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

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Responsibilities of a General Manager vs. Director of Operations

General managers and directors of operations work together to ensure an organization meets its planned goals. General managers supervise employees and operations of a company, whereas directors of operations supervise general managers and work with production and day-to-day activities. Both professionals typically take care of financial needs and find ways to improve the performance of an organization.

General Manager

General managers take on a supervisory role in their company. They have many responsibilities within the organization including facility maintenance, keeping inventory, and training. They must have exceptional communication and leadership skills to motivate employees to create a successful business. General managers must also communicate effectively as they work frequently with top executives and the employees they supervise. They need good decision-making skills in their management procedures. General managers with strong experience can advance in a company to executive positions.

Job responsibilities of a General Manager include:

  • Supervising daily operations in their assigned area
  • Creating staff schedules
  • Ensuring staff is following company policies
  • Checking that projects are completed on time
  • Providing customer service
  • Creating a safe working environment

Director of Operations

Directors of operations are in charge of other managers to ensure that daily operations of an organization run efficiently. They help to develop different strategies to better a business, and they need great leadership skills to supervise the managers of different areas of an organization. Their management skills need to be excellent as well, as they manage employees and business plans. They ensure that all departments are meeting deadlines, so they must have good time-management skills. Directors may have to travel frequently as they are usually part of meetings with other top executives.

Job responsibilities of a Director of Operations include:

  • Hiring managers
  • Business planning for the organization
  • Leading various departments
  • Implementing procedures and policies
  • Making production purchases

Related Careers

Those interested in a career as a general manager might also be interested in sales management, where the focus is on the management of sales for an organization. Directors of operations might be interested in a career as a financial manager, working with budgets and the financial records of an organization.

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