Operations Assistant: Job Description & Requirements

Operations assistants perform administrative duties and other functions that help streamline the daily business operations of an organization. They often report to an operations manager or supervisor and work in industries ranging from retail to banking.

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Job Description for Operations Assistants

Operations assistants work with operations managers and other personnel to help keep businesses running smoothly. Because these professionals work in such a wide range of industries, specific job duties vary substantially. For example, airport operations assistants may focus on traffic control and airport security, while property operations assistants may be responsible for interacting with tenants and ensuring that maintenance projects are completed. Other operations assistants may have duties including resolving customer issues, filling orders, and inspecting merchandise.

Operations assistants in many industries may also help with office and employee management. They may be assigned tasks, such as ordering supplies and preparing sales reports. Operations assistants may also help train employees and perform some bookkeeping duties. Throughout their work, they may be able to provide upper management with insights to further increase productivity.

Requirements for Operations Assistants

Employers generally require at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. High school classes like business, typing, and statistics may help prepare students for entry-level clerical positions.

Some employers may prefer applicants who have completed a certificate or associate's degree program. Students may consider completing an industry-specific program. For example, those considering a career as a medical office operations assistant may enroll in courses that emphasize medical office procedures like maintaining patient charts or medical records. Similarly, those considering a career as a business operations assistant may opt for a tailored program that covers accounting and finance.

Because aspiring operations assistants must interact with a wide variety of professionals that may include clients, patients, and landlords, they must be able to communicate well. Interpersonal skills may be improved through taking classes like professional speaking and business writing.

Job Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of business operations specialists, such as operations assistants, was projected to increase by about 18% between 2010 and 2020. The median annual salary earned by such specialists was reported as $65,120 in May 2012 by the same source. Workers employed by petroleum and coal manufacturers, agriculture and mining machine makers, and pharmaceutical companies earned the most money, averaging $90,790 or more a year.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics