Chief Operating OfficerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
The Chief Operating Officer looks over the daily operations of a company. A chief operating officer is a senior executive that oversees the day-to-day administration and operations of a business. This role requires strong decision-making and problem-solving skills.
A chief operating officer is a second-in-command to the CEO. They are responsible for creating and implementing business operation plans, establishing policies to support the company vision, and overseeing the work of other executives. Chief operating officers should identify areas of improvement for the company to run more smoothly
This job opportunity allows an executive to analyze situations, recognize problems, and find good solutions that will keep the company moving in the right direction. This role as chief operating officer also offers room for improvement. Successful chief operating officers are usually promoted to CEO after years of hard work.
Sample job description
[Your Company Name] is looking for a strong and responsible person to join our team as COO. As the operating director of our company, you will be responsible for financial strategies, business plans, creating and executing company goals, directing managers, and more. The individual we’re looking for should have a knack for directing, organization, and being a leader. You will be tasked with overseeing all daily aspects of the company and should be committed to creating a safe employee environment that is successful and hardworking.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Design, plan and implement business strategies, plans, and procedures
Set broad goals for business growth and success
Create policies and procedures that promote company culture and vision
Maintain and direct daily operations of the business
Lead employees by example
Support and motivate senior executives and employees
Analyze and interpret data and metrics
Generate management and operations reports for the CEO
Take the lead in expansion activities
Maintain healthy relationships with partners and vendors
Education and experience
Bachelor’s degree at minimum; master’s degree preferred
Fifteen years of related business experience
Extensive experience in management and leadership roles
Required skills and qualifications
Strong leadership skills
Excellent people management skills
Strong project management skills
Understanding of critical business functions
Outstanding organizational skills
Ability to multi-task
Prior experience in a chief operating officer role of a relevant position
Experience in management
Master’s degree in business or related field
Strong interpersonal and communication skills
Average salary and compensation
The average base salary for a chief operating officer is $195,150 per year in the United States. While only base salaries are reflected here, commissions and bonuses may greatly increase total compensation. Additionally, salaries will vary based on experience, company size, industry, and geographic market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
The job and working environment of a COO can vary greatly from one company to another, but they typically work in large, comfortable offices. They spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer and spend part of their day in conference rooms attending meetings. They work closely with the chief executive officer and key staff members, and the work can be stressful as the success of the business depends on them.
The normal workday for a COO is from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. However, COOs typically work well beyond a 40 hour week, and many can work 60 hours or more, which includes nights and weekends.
Here are some of the best certifications for COOs:
Project Management Professional (PMP). APMP demonstrates a solid foundation in project management, demonstrating that you have the specific skills, dedication to excellence, and the ability to perform at the highest levels. To qualify for a PMP credential, you need a four-year degree, 36 months of experience leading projects, and 35 hours of project management. If you don’t have a 4-year degree, you’ll need 60 months of leading projects. You must also agree to adhere to a code of professional conduct. The rigorous multiple-choice examination assesses and measures your ability to apply project management knowledge in areas such as initiating the project, planning the project, and executing the project.
Program Management Professional (PgMP). ThePgMPis the next step after thePMP certification. The PgMP acknowledges your ability to lead and coordinate multiple projects at the same time and to ensure the success of the programs. This certification shows that you have the knowledge and experience to make important decisions, to manage complex activities that might involve multiple functions and organizations across different cultures and locations, and to employ strategic objectives to enhance business results. To apply, you’ll need at least a high school diploma or associate’s degree, 48 months of project management experience, and 84 months of program management experience in the last 15 years. If you have a 4-year degree, you can apply with 48 months of project management experience and 48 months of program management experience within the last 15 years.
COO-C Chief Operating Officer – Certified. The COO-C is for chief operating officers, executives, and senior managers who want to broaden their skills in operations management. Admission to the course is very selective and is based on your professional level, your achievements, and your organizational responsibility. Although there are no educational requirements, most applicants have a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD.
A bachelor’s degree in business or a related field is highly recommended. A master’s or doctoral degree will give you an extra boost above your competition. A major key to becoming a COO is gaining years of experience in management, operations, and leadership. Roles such as general manager or chief financial officer are typical stepping stones to becoming a COO.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 11-1011
Projected Employment in 2021
Projected 2019-2029 Percentage Shift
Projected 2019-2029 Numeric Shift
Technology is vitally important to the COO, and as technology quickly advances, the COO has to stay on top of the changes for the company to be competitive in the market moving forward. A COO must know how to use technology correctly. Organizational structure is also becoming more important. As the remote working force expands, organizational structures will have to be redesigned. Change is occurring all around us at a rapid pace, and the COO’s of the future will have to quickly evaluate and leverage those changes to keep their companies working at their maximum potential. Tomorrow’s COOs will need skills like foresight, change management, mentoring, technical aptitude, and business acumen.
Sample interview questions
Can you explain what our company does in your own words?
What are your communication and decision-making styles?
What do you consider to be the most effective way of giving and receiving feedback?
How would you fit into our company culture?
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced as a COO?
What new policy would you like to implement at our company?
What analysis metrics do you use to keep track of a company’s progress?
How do you prepare forecasting reports?
How do you handle a difficult person? Can you give a real-world example?
How do you organize, plan, and prioritize your work?
Can you tell me of a time you thought outside of the box? How did it help your employer?
How do you set expectations and monitor the performance of your employees? Can you give an example?
What are the top things to look for in a great company culture?
How do you recognize your top performers?
How can you contribute to fundraising ventures?
Have you ever changed a system to improve company procedures?
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