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How Do I Become an Area Operations Manager?

K. Kinsella
K. Kinsella

An area operations manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a company within a particular region. Typically, someone wishing to become an area operations manager must have completed a college degree program. Additionally, many firms prefer to promote managers from within in which case anyone planning to become an area operations manager may have to spend several years working in junior positions before transitioning into the role.

Many operations managers have undergraduate degrees in business administration or management and some firms even prefer to hire individuals who have completed an advanced degree program in one of these topics. Managers employed in various different industries must oversee departmental budgets, create staffing models and provide guidance to office supervisors. Additionally, these individuals also have to perform duties that are specific to certain industries and employers usually require managers to have the appropriate academic credentials to handle these tasks. Therefore, someone wishing to become an area operations manager for an insurance firm must possess a valid insurance license while a medical firm manager may need to have completed a medical related degree program.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

An area manager is normally responsible for managing operations at several locations and each of these offices or plants is usually run by a departmental boss. In many instances, someone wishing to become an area operations manager must first gain some company specific management experience working as a departmental manager. Many college graduates start in administrative roles before applying to become supervisors or assistant managers and after several years working in such roles these individuals may become eligible to apply for departmental leadership roles. Some firms only consider applications for area manager positions from individuals who have a decade of industry related management experience.

Managers must have good interpersonal and administrative skills. Some companies require applicants for management positions to undergo testing during which these individuals are presented with fictional scenarios that are similar to the kinds of situations that these individuals must face on a regular basis. Test candidates must decide how to handle the situations by selecting one of the available options and the individuals who make the most appropriate decisions receive the highest scores and are invited to interview. Therefore, someone who wishes to become an area operations manager must be familiar with business processes and company policies in order to past such tests.

Some managers are responsible for managing operations in wide geographic areas that often encompass several nations. To effectively communicate with employees and clients, someone applying for such a role must have second language skills. Some companies prefer to hire people who have completed language degrees while other firms accept applications from people who have completed informal language training sessions.

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