California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

General and Operations Managers in California

May also be called: Operations Managers; General Managers; Directors of Operations; Store Managers; Chief Operating Officers (COO); and Chief Operations Officers.

What Would I Do?

General and Operations Managers plan, direct, or coordinate the day-to-day operations of companies or organizations that make products or provide services. They work in many different settings, such as corporate headquarters for large businesses, government agencies, manufacturing plants, and schools. A large number work for consulting or management firms and provide expertise in areas such as strategic planning, policy making, and material uses and needs.

The work is so diverse and general in nature it cannot be classified in any one area of management or administration. For instance, in large organizations, General and Operations Managers directly oversee major department heads in areas such as procurement or purchasing, sales, and facilities. However, in small firms they may be required to take on many, and sometimes all, of these management functions.

General and Operations Managers usually gain their experience within one industry. They constantly keep in mind the mission or goals of the company, whether it be to provide quality health care, produce a flawless item for consumption, or meet a sales goal.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Establish and implement departmental policies, goals, objectives, and procedures, conferring with board members, organization officials, and staff members as necessary.Active Listening
Review financial statements, sales and activity reports, and other performance data to measure productivity and goal achievement and to determine areas needing cost reduction and program improvement.Administration and Management
Determine staffing requirements, and interview, hire and train new employees, or oversee those personnel processes.Management of Personnel Resources
Monitor businesses and agencies to ensure that they efficiently and effectively provide needed services while staying within budgetary limits.Monitoring
Direct and coordinate activities of businesses or departments concerned with the production, pricing, sales, or distribution of products.Management of Financial Resources
Determine goods and services to be sold, and set prices and credit terms, based on forecasts of customer demand.Judgment and Decision Making
Develop and implement product marketing strategies including advertising campaigns and sales promotions.Sales and Marketing
Oversee the remodeling of current facilities.Oral Expression
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

General and Operations Managers normally work in well-lit, comfortable offices. Those who work for large organizations may work long hours and need to be available after hours if problems arise. Generally, these long hours are not paid for in the form of overtime.

The fast-paced decision making needed to run a facility’s daily operation can prove stressful in this occupation. Depending on the organization, Managers who do not meet their company’s goals may find their jobs in jeopardy.

In large firms, mandatory staff meetings often takes up a considerable portion of the work day, requiring Managers to take work home. This can put a strain on personal life as well.

Typically, General and Operations Managers are not represented by unions.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of General and Operations Managers will appeal to people who are good communicators, organized, detail-oriented, and who like to solve problems. This occupation is good for those who are enterprising in nature because the work involves starting up and carrying out projects, leading people, and making many decisions. People who are realistic in nature might also like this type of work because it entails hands-on problems and solutions.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Wages

The median wage in 2016 for General and Operations Managers in California is $107,073 annually, or $51.47 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$71,307$107,073>$145,600
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits

In addition to medical, dental, and vacation benefits, compensation for General and Operations Managers in large corporations often includes stock options, dividends, and other performance bonuses.

What is the Job Outlook?

Most job openings for General and Operations Managers will come from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation for other types of work.

Because these Managers are essential to the success of any organization, their jobs are unlikely to be automated or eliminated through corporate restructuring – trends that may adversely affect employment of lower-level managers.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of General and Operations Managers is expected to grow faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for General and Operations Managers are expected to increase by 16.5 percent, or 41,900 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
General and Operations Managers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Estimated
Employment
Projected
Employment
Numeric
Change
Percent
Change
Additional Openings
Due to Net
Replacements
California
(2012-2022)
253,800295,70041,90016.547,500
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

Annual Job Openings

In California, an average of 4,200 new job openings per year is expected for General and Operations Managers, plus an additional 4,750 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 8,940 job openings.

Estimated Average Annual Job Openings
General and Operations Managers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-
Projected Year)
Jobs From GrowthJobs Due to
Net Replacements
Total Annual
Job Openings
California
(2012-2022)
4,2004,7508,940
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Data for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

The education and experience of General and Operations Managers vary as widely as the nature of their responsibilities.

  • In large firms, employers almost always require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, either in business or a field related to the industry where they are applying, along with several years managerial experience.
  • In industries such as retail trade or transportation, it is possible for individuals without a college degree to promote to this position from lower-level management positions after several years of experience.

Nationally, about half of all General and Operations Managers have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Experience

Larger firms prefer applicants have at least 5-10 years work experience in supervisory or managerial jobs. They also often desire applicants to have knowledge of the industry where they wish to work.

Early Career Planning

The high school courses recomended for this field include general business classes, English, speech communication classes, business club membership such as Junior Achievement, math, and history.

Continuing Education

There are no continuing education requirements; however, Managers often participate in conferences and seminars to expand their knowledge of issues that influence the organization. This also serves to develop a network of useful contacts.

Licensing and Certification

Typically, General and Operations Managers do not require a license in California. The few exceptions are nursing home and cemetery industries in California. Contact the agency that issues the license for additional information. Click on the license title below for details.

Several certificates in areas of specialty are available to Operations Managers who want to acquire new skills and advance in their profession. The following represent just a few of the more commonly known:

  • Certified in Integrated Resource Management (CIRM)
  • Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
  • Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management (CFPIM)
  • APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (ACSCP)


The above certificate programs are administered by the Association for Operations Management.
For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.

Where Can I Find Training?

There are two ways to search for training information:

Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.

Where Would I Work?

General and Operations Managers work in nearly all industries. Today’s offices, schools, hospitals, and other business establishments all rely on these Managers to meet their work needs. The largest industries employing General and Operations Managers are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Management of Companies and Enterprises 3.3%
Management & Technical Consulting Svc 2.9%
Local Government 2.8%
Computer Systems Design and Rel Services 2.4%
Services to Buildings and Dwellings 2.4%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains the most effective form of job search methods for General and Operations Managers. Applicants look for jobs in the industry where they have knowledge or interest, such as health care, manufacturing, or the education community. Some find work through industry organizations or with professional organizations, such as the Association for Operations Management. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of General and Operations Managers.

  • Government (State, County, City)
  • Grocers
  • Hospitals
  • Management Consultants
  • Schools

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

General and Operations Managers generally promote to larger and more successful firms after gaining extensive work experience and updating their skills and knowledge. This often translates to higher salaries and other benefits such as higher bonuses.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to General and Operations Managers with links to more information.

OccupationOccupational
Guide
Industry
Report
Occupational
Profile
Financial ManagersGuide
Human Resources ManagersProfile
Industrial Production ManagersGuide
LogisticiansGuide
Marketing ManagersGuide
Purchasing ManagersProfile
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution ManagersProfile

Other Sources

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SystemCode
SOC - Standard Occupational Classification11-1021
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   General and Operations Managers11-1021.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ECS
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Public Administration 440401
   Business/Commerce, General 520101
   Business Administration and Management, General 520201
   Retail Management 520212
   International Business/Trade/Commerce 521101
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Business and Commerce, General050100
   Business Administration050500
   Business Management050600
   Retail Store Operations and Management050650
   International Business and Trade050800
   Public Administration210200