Often seen as the rung on the ladder just below Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officers are responsible for overseeing both the daily and long-term operations and business plan for a firm.
A Chief Operating Officer (COO) knows as much about a firm’s business than just about anyone working there. Their responsibilities cover almost every aspect of the firm in some way.
This key position entails that Chief Operating Officers work not only with other high-level executives but also in the training of employees to ensure their duties are defined properly and performed well. Chief Operating Officers need to have strong business acumen and deep understanding and experience with the daily inner workings of the firm, including financial and budgeting concerns.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Oversee the firm’s day-to-day operations and performance
- Support and execute growth and business development strategies
- A key advisor to the President and CEO
- Manage and oversee the firm’s operations and processes
- Analyze, develop, and implement business performance projects and initiatives
- Train employees to help assure their duties are defined properly and performed well
Education and Background
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field; an MBA is a plus. Candidates must have multiple years of experience in business management in a strategic leadership role. Previous law firm experience is highly desirable.
Skills and Competencies
- Strong organizational and project management skills
- Experience leading and managing people
- Highly organized, and able to multitask
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Financial management and budgeting skills
- Excellent time management
- Keen attention to detail
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Chief Operating Officer with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $91,000
- Tampa, Florida: $110,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $79,000
- Miami, Florida: $94,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $105,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $108,000
- Houston, Texas: $103,000
- Los Angeles, California: $115,000
- New York City, New York: $130,000
- Seattle, Washington: $90,000
- Overall: $105,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $98,000
- Tampa, Florida: $122,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $90,000
- Miami, Florida: $104,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $118,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $127,000
- Houston, Texas: $116,000
- Los Angeles, California: $120,000
- New York City, New York: $145,000
- Seattle, Washington: $128,000
- Overall: $119,000
Similar Job Titles
- Chief Information Officer
- Chief Financial Officer
- Firm Administrator
Starting down the career path to becoming a Chief Operating Officer entails obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. Beyond that, also earning an MBA in one of those fields can help further one’s career possibilities, as can earning certification as a Certified Chief Operating Officer. To become a COO, a candidate must have multiple years of experience in management, preferably at a law firm.
According to Quartz, with the CEO role now often shifting to become the visible, public face of a company or firm, the COO role is becoming more prominent in running their companies in-house and behind the scenes. Increasingly, COOs are seen as problem-solvers who pair with more public-facing CEOs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of top executives (which includes Chief Operating Officers) is projected to grow six percent through 2028, which is about on average for all occupations through that time.
The work hours for a Chief Operating Officer are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, Chief Operating Officers often work longer hours, depending on the needs of an individual firm.
Where You Can Find Jobs
Are You Interested in Becoming a Chief Operating Officer?
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