A chief operating officer, also known as a COO, is a high-ranking official who oversees a company or organization's daily administrative and overall operations. They are typically the second in the chain of command, reporting directly to the company's chief executive officer, also known as a CEO. Among their duties include developing strategies and guidelines, reviewing reports, performing assessments, and implementing the company's policies, standards, and regulations. Additionally, they lead and empower staff to reach goals, helping solve issues and concerns when any arise.

Chief Operating Officer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real chief operating officer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage the RFP process and present investment packages to local and regional lenders to procure acquisition and long term debt financing.
  • Manage Citi's capital planning and funding process and develop recommendations for capital utilization.
  • Manage vendor relationships, including manufacturing, internet marketing associations, and supply chain management.
  • Manage the successful transition of a large-cap telecommunications company from NYSE to NASDAQ including all relate communications and events.
  • Implement initial e-billing and matter management system, including setting up clear billing guidelines to efficiently manage outside counsel spend.
  • Implement proper accounting procedures to report pledges, endowment, capital projects and relate debt with adherence to GAAP.
  • Customize clients' portfolios in fix income securities, equities, mutual funds, and FX markets obtaining ROI above peers.
  • Develop global third-party risk assessment and testing program for real estate venture partnerships highlighting significant control improvements in non-US locations.
  • Develop and maintain effective controls and ensure compliance with GAAP and all applicable regulatory laws.
  • Work closely with CPA firm to improve operational and financial controls with no significant deficiencies note after year one.
Chief Operating Officer Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.
Math skills include being able to perform basic addition and subtraction, as well as solving for the unknown and visualizing data that will be helpful in the workplace.

Chief Operating Officer Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, chief operating officer jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a chief operating officer?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of chief operating officer opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 150,600.

Chief operating officers average about $75.75 an hour, which makes the chief operating officer annual salary $157,563. Additionally, chief operating officers are known to earn anywhere from $91,000 to $270,000 a year. This means that the top-earning chief operating officers make $179,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a chief operating officer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a division director, vice president, division vice president, and senior vice president.

Chief Operating Officer Jobs You Might Like

Chief Operating Officer Resume Examples

Chief Operating Officer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 13% of Chief Operating Officers are proficient in Procedures, Healthcare, and Facility. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Detail oriented, and Math skills.

We break down the percentage of Chief Operating Officers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Procedures, 13%

    Established and implemented policies and procedures and key performance indicators to improve the effectiveness of inventory management and asset recovery efforts.

  • Healthcare, 8%

    Develop and implement operational strategies which support the overall strategy and mission of Johns Hopkins HealthCare and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

  • Facility, 7%

    Service Line Directors replaced the department directors in each facility thereby ensuring that similar services were offered throughout the corporation.

  • Customer Service, 6%

    Deliver operational leadership, management and supervision to all operational, technology, administration, customer service and account management functions.

  • Oversight, 5%

    Served on executive administrative support team to facilitate regulatory compliance and oversight for Director and Chief Operating Officer at national headquarters.

  • Financial Management, 5%

    Developed, implemented, and managed majority of operations and business systems including processes for portfolio accounting, and financial management.

"procedures," "healthcare," and "facility" aren't the only skills we found chief operating officers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of chief operating officer responsibilities that we found, including:

  • As part of the chief operating officer description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "communication skills." A chief operating officer resume included this snippet: "top executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively" This skill could be useful in this scenario: "spearheaded due diligence and acquisition of diverse companies, including car dealerships, restaurants, and telecommunications firms. "
  • Another skill commonly found on chief operating officer resumes is "leadership skills." This description of the skill was found on several chief operating officer resumes: "top executives must be able to lead an organization successfully by coordinating policies, people, and resources." Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day chief operating officer responsibilities: "provide organizational leadership and vision to all business units within the organization. "
  • See the full list of chief operating officer skills.

    Before becoming a chief operating officer, 65.4% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 20.9% chief operating officers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most chief operating officers have a college degree. But about one out of every nine chief operating officers didn't attend college at all.

    Those chief operating officers who do attend college, typically earn either a business degree or a finance degree. Less commonly earned degrees for chief operating officers include a accounting degree or a management degree.

    Once you're ready to become a chief operating officer, you should explore the companies that typically hire chief operating officers. According to chief operating officer resumes that we searched through, chief operating officers are hired the most by Wells Fargo, Deloitte, and Universal Health Services. Currently, Wells Fargo has 65 chief operating officer job openings, while there are 18 at Deloitte and 7 at Universal Health Services.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, chief operating officers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Elad National Properties, Taco Bell, and Boston Medical Center. Take Elad National Properties for example. The median chief operating officer salary is $269,580. At Taco Bell, chief operating officers earn an average of $262,026, while the average at Boston Medical Center is $258,457. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on chief operating officer salaries across the United States.

    The industries that chief operating officers fulfill the most roles in are the health care and technology industries. But the highest chief operating officer annual salary is in the health care industry, averaging $189,146. In the retail industry they make $177,503 and average about $174,032 in the manufacturing industry. In conclusion, chief operating officers who work in the health care industry earn a 21.7% higher salary than chief operating officers in the finance industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious chief operating officers are:

      What Division Directors Do

      A division director is a professional who is responsible for managing team members and business operations that are assigned in his/her or her division to achieve the goals of a company. Division directors are required to evaluate division performance and ensure that the team's work complies with the company policies and procedures. They must lead new business development efforts with customers or brokers and should work closely with legal to ensure the protection of the company's interest. Division directors also assist in employee recruitment and provide training to the team if there are skill gaps.

      We looked at the average chief operating officer annual salary and compared it with the average of a division director. Generally speaking, division directors receive $17,915 lower pay than chief operating officers per year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both chief operating officers and division directors positions are skilled in procedures, healthcare, and customer service.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a chief operating officer responsibility requires skills such as "facility," "business strategy," "risk management," and "payroll." Whereas a division director is skilled in "internal staff," "performance goals," "project management," and "special projects." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Division directors tend to make the most money in the manufacturing industry by averaging a salary of $126,401. In contrast, chief operating officers make the biggest average salary of $189,146 in the health care industry.

      Division directors tend to reach similar levels of education than chief operating officers. In fact, division directors are 1.2% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.7% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Vice President?

      Vice presidents are usually considered the second-in-command in the organization, depending on the organization structure. They take over when the president is unavailable to fulfill duties. They may also represent the organization in external events and other official functions. They are important members of the boardroom, and their opinions are usually sought after as well. Vice presidents are usually poised to follow the president's footsteps in the organization, especially if the president is nearing retirement. They also make urgent and crucial decisions when the president is not available to do so. Vice presidents must have strong business acumen, decision-making skills, and professionalism.

      Now we're going to look at the vice president profession. On average, vice presidents earn a $11,391 higher salary than chief operating officers a year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Chief operating officers and vice presidents both include similar skills like "healthcare," "customer service," and "oversight" on their resumes.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, chief operating officer responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "procedures," "facility," "financial management," and "business strategy." Meanwhile, a vice president might be skilled in areas such as "project management," "private equity," "income," and "loan portfolio." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      It's been discovered that vice presidents earn higher salaries compared to chief operating officers, but we wanted to find out where vice presidents earned the most pay. The answer? The manufacturing industry. The average salary in the industry is $183,018. Additionally, chief operating officers earn the highest paychecks in the health care with an average salary of $189,146.

      On the topic of education, vice presidents earn lower levels of education than chief operating officers. In general, they're 14.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.7% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Division Vice President Compares

      Division Vice Presidents are company executives that oversee a particular department or division. They are often employed in companies with a varied product line or wide geographical reach, thus needing divisions to streamline processes. Division Vice Presidents should have a solid background in the particular division that they are handling. They ensure that their division's performance is at par or would even exceed company targets and expectations.

      Let's now take a look at the division vice president profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than chief operating officers with a $3,381 difference per year.

      While looking through the resumes of several chief operating officers and division vice presidents we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "healthcare," "oversight," and "business development," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a chief operating officer is likely to be skilled in "procedures," "facility," "customer service," and "financial management," while a typical division vice president is skilled in "new customers," "sales goals," "project management," and "private equity."

      Division vice presidents make a very good living in the health care industry with an average annual salary of $157,865. Whereas chief operating officers are paid the highest salary in the health care industry with the average being $189,146.

      Division vice presidents are known to earn lower educational levels when compared to chief operating officers. Additionally, they're 7.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Senior Vice President

      A Senior Vice President's responsibilities vary according to the company or organization. Still, it mostly revolves around overseeing and leading a particular department's activities and operations, reporting to the president and the board, evaluating the progress and performances of teams and employees, and maintaining constant communication with staff and management. Furthermore, A Senior Vice President is also involved in forming strategies that would benefit the sales of the company, seek innovative options, review documents, and ensure that the operations are up to the standards of the company's policies and regulations.

      Now, we'll look at senior vice presidents, who generally average a higher pay when compared to chief operating officers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $47,109 per year.

      While their salaries may vary, chief operating officers and senior vice presidents both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "healthcare," "customer service," and "oversight. "

      Each job requires different skills like "procedures," "facility," "financial management," and "business strategy," which might show up on a chief operating officer resume. Whereas senior vice president might include skills like "financial services," "svp," "project management," and "asset management."

      In general, senior vice presidents make a higher salary in the media industry with an average of $189,830. The highest chief operating officer annual salary stems from the health care industry.

      Senior vice presidents reach similar levels of education when compared to chief operating officers. The difference is that they're 1.6% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 1.6% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.