California Occupational Guides

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Summary 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.

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 on call if problems arise.

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.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2020 for General and Operations Managers in California is $115,303 annually, or $55.44 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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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.

How Do I Qualify?

The education and experience requirements for General and Operations Managers vary as widely as the nature of their responsibilities. Large firms almost always require a bachelors degree in business or a field related to the industry, as well as several years of managerial experience. In small companies it is possible to promote to this position after many years experience. This is more common in the retail or transportation industries.

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 and CalJOBSSM at

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