Career Development

What Does an Operations Supervisor Do?

Find out what an operations supervisor does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an operations supervisor.

Operations supervisors are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of their company or organization. They commonly manage a team of employees who work on production lines, in warehouses, or other areas where physical labor is required.

Operations supervisors are tasked with ensuring that all aspects of their operation run smoothly and efficiently. This includes making sure that equipment is working properly, monitoring employee performance to ensure they’re meeting standards, resolving any issues that arise, and planning for future growth or changes in demand.

Operations Supervisor Job Duties

Operations supervisors typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Preparing work schedules, assigning workers to shifts, and designating overtime if necessary
  • Ensuring that safety guidelines are followed at all times by workers
  • Managing a team of workers who perform tasks such as picking up supplies, loading and unloading trucks, or performing maintenance on machinery
  • Supervising subordinates to ensure that they are performing their jobs correctly
  • Training new employees on the duties of their positions
  • Communicating with customers to answer questions or resolve problems they may have with products or services
  • Coordinating with other departments within the company to ensure that orders are filled in a timely fashion
  • Scheduling meetings with clients to discuss business needs or goals
  • Conducting performance evaluations for subordinates to determine if they should be promoted

Operations Supervisor Salary & Outlook

Operations supervisors’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and industry. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses and commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $108,000 ($51.92/hour)

The employment of operations supervisors is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for these workers will stem from the need to improve productivity and efficiency in manufacturing plants. Operations supervisors will be needed to oversee the implementation of new technologies, such as computer numerical control (CNC) machines and robots, that can increase productivity.

Related: Operations Supervisor Interview Questions and Answers

Operations Supervisor Job Requirements

Operations supervisors typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field is often a requirement to become an operations supervisor. Some employers may prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). An MBA can provide you with the skills and knowledge to become an effective supervisor.

Training & Experience: Operations supervisors typically receive on-the-job training. This training may include learning the company’s policies and procedures, safety practices and how to use the company’s computer systems. It may also include shadowing an experienced operations supervisor for a period of time.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement to become an operations supervisor, but they can help you become a more competitive candidate when applying for jobs.

Operations Supervisor Skills

Operations supervisors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Operations supervisors must be able to communicate effectively with their team and with other departments. They must be able to give instructions and feedback to their team and explain any changes in the production process. They must also be able to communicate with other departments, such as human resources, to answer questions and address any issues.

Leadership: Operations supervisors often have strong leadership skills, which they use to motivate their teams and ensure they complete their tasks on time. Strong leadership skills can also help you develop a positive workplace culture, which can help you retain your employees and improve your company’s productivity.

Problem-solving: Operations supervisors are responsible for overseeing the daily operations of a company and ensuring that all processes run smoothly. This means that you need to be able to identify and solve problems that may arise. Your ability to solve problems quickly and effectively can help you to maintain productivity and keep your team members safe.

Critical thinking: Operations supervisors use critical thinking skills to make decisions and solve problems. They may use critical thinking to determine the best course of action to resolve an issue, such as a production delay or a safety concern. They may also use critical thinking to develop solutions to challenges that arise during the production process.

Teamwork: Operations supervisors often work with a team of other supervisors and managers to ensure the company’s production goals are met. Effective operations supervisors know how to work with others and encourage teamwork among their team members. They also know how to delegate tasks and motivate their team members to complete their work.

Operations Supervisor Work Environment

The operations supervisor is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a business or organization. He or she oversees the work of other employees, makes sure that work is completed on time and within budget, and ensures that quality standards are met. The operations supervisor may work in a variety of settings, including manufacturing plants, warehouses, office buildings, and retail stores. The work environment is usually fast-paced and deadline-oriented, and the supervisor must be able to handle stress and multitask. The supervisor typically works a regular full-time schedule, but may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays to meet production deadlines or deal with customer service issues.

Operations Supervisor Trends

Here are three trends influencing how operations supervisors work. Operations supervisors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for a More Flexible Workforce

The need for a more flexible workforce is becoming increasingly important as businesses strive to stay competitive in a rapidly changing economy. This trend is leading to an increased demand for operations supervisors who can manage teams across multiple locations and time zones.

As businesses look for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency, they are turning to operations supervisors who can help them achieve these goals by managing teams across multiple locations. By understanding the needs of their team members and creating a work environment that is both productive and supportive, operations supervisors can help their company achieve its goals.

More Automation in Manufacturing

As manufacturing becomes more automated, operations supervisors will need to learn how to manage this new technology.

Automated systems can be difficult to manage, especially if they are not working properly. Operations supervisors will need to be able to troubleshoot problems and understand how to use the data generated by these systems to make better decisions about production. They will also need to be able to train employees on how to use the systems effectively.

Greater Focus on Quality Control

As businesses focus more on quality control, operations supervisors will need to develop skills in this area.

Quality control is essential for any business that wants to ensure that their products meet the highest standards. Operations supervisors can play a key role in this process by ensuring that all steps in the production process are followed correctly. In addition, they can also provide feedback to workers on how to improve their work.

How to Become an Operations Supervisor

A career as an operations supervisor can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the business world. As an operations supervisor, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a variety of departments and learn about how different parts of a company work together. You’ll also gain experience managing people and projects, which is essential for any successful career.

To become an operations supervisor, it’s important to have a strong understanding of business processes and systems. You should also be able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and stay organized under pressure.

If you want to become an operations supervisor, start by gaining experience in different areas of business. Volunteer or intern for a company that interests you, or take on freelance assignments that will help you develop your skills. Network with other professionals in your field, and attend industry events to keep up-to-date on the latest trends.

Advancement Prospects

Operations supervisors typically advance to higher-level management positions, such as operations manager or plant manager. Some may eventually become general managers, business owners, or consultants. Many operations supervisors have a bachelor’s degree in business, engineering, or a related field. Some jobs may require a master’s degree.

Operations Supervisor Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for an experienced operations supervisor to oversee the daily activities of our production department. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in production management, with a proven ability to increase efficiency and productivity. They will be skilled in human resources, finance, and IT management, and will display a commitment to developing and maintaining a positive work environment. The operations supervisor will be responsible for ensuring that our production department runs smoothly and efficiently, in order to meet our high standards of quality and customer service.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain a high level of communication with management, staff, and vendors to ensure proper operations of the organization
  • Develop, implement, and maintain quality assurance protocols
  • Grow the efficiency of existing processes and procedures to enhance and sustain the organization’s internal capacity
  • Actively pursue strategic and operational objectives
  • Ensure operational activities remain on time and within a defined budget
  • Track staffing requirements, hiring new employees as needed
  • Oversee accounts payable and accounts receivable departments
  • Lead, motivate, and support a large team within a time-sensitive and demanding environment, including career development plans for all direct reports and problem resolution
  • Manage data collection for updating operations metrics to achieve productivity targets, reduce cost per unit, eliminate errors, and deliver excellent customer service
  • Partner with cross-functional teams to improve proprietary tools and systems
  • Work closely with legal and safety departments to ensure that activities remain compliant
  • Conduct budget reviews and report cost plans to upper management

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, operations management, or related field
  • 3-5 years experience in an operations management role
  • Proven track record of successful team leadership and development
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and presentation skills
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities
  • Highly organized with excellent time-management skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • MBA or other advanced degree
  • Working knowledge of Six Sigma or other process improvement methodology
  • Experience with project management software, such as Microsoft Project
  • Familiarity with lean manufacturing principles
  • Ability to speak more than one language


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