Chief Operating Officer (COO) Salary
Job Description for Chief Operating Officer (COO)
A chief operating officer (COO) is usually the second-highest ranking executive in a corporation. The chief operating officer is in charge of executing daily operations for the company, and is second in responsibility only to the chief executive officer (CEO). The COO's job is to help set standards for the company and work with directors and middle managers to ensure that processes, training, and quality of output of goods and services reflect these standards. They may receive constant data-based reports and overviews which include snapshots of revenues, efficiency, and even waste that can be acted upon to improve the company's performance.Read More...
As the second-in-command, the COO is also responsible for executing the company's overall vision, typically by upholding the CEO's mission statement and working with directors and operations managers to make that visualization a reality. The COO may focus on data related to productivity and revenue generation and make performance assessments based on this data, and these assessments may then be compared to prior weeks, months, or years.
Chief operating officers work with operations managers to ensure that optimal staffing levels are set throughout the company and all departments have sufficient resources and procedures for proper employee training. The COO may also work with analysts within the company to assess physical assets and how they can be maintained, repaired, or upgraded.
Most chief operating officers have strong educational backgrounds in business and management, typically with graduate degrees in the field. A COO will also need extensive practical experience, and many have previously served as a director or manager within a company. Those in this position work primarily in an office with a dedicated administrative staff. With so many potential direct reports throughout the corporation, they must be organized, dedicated, and willing to work long hours to achieve success.
Chief Operating Officer (COO) Tasks
- Direct the day to day operations of the organization.
- Improve operating procedures to increase profits and/or make the organization more efficient.
- Implement the strategies set by the Board of Directors and the CEO.
Common Career Paths for Chief Operating Officer (COO)
There are some Chief Operating Officers — though it's uncommon — that transition into Presidents and COOs, where earnings are an average $178K annually. Chief Operating Officers most often move into positions as Chief Executive Officers or Presidents; those groups report median salaries that are $22K higher and $5K higher, respectively.
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Popular Skills for Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Survey results imply that Chief Operating Officers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Business Strategy, Team Leadership, Leadership, and Financial Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 13 percent and 17 percent. Those listing Accounting as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Human Resources and Budget Management also typically command lower compensation. Most people skilled in Operations Management are similarly competent in Strategic Planning, Leadership, and Budget Management.
Pay by Experience Level for Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Whereas the median salary for inexperienced employees is approximately $100K, incomes in the five-to-10 year group are significantly higher, averaging to the comfortable six-figure sum of $124K. For Chief Operating Officers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $153K. Chief Operating Officers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $185K.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for Chief Operating Officers, New York offers exceptional salaries, 30 percent above the national average. Chief Operating Officers will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+24 percent), Seattle (+23 percent), Houston (+22 percent), and Washington (+20 percent). In Miami, salaries are 4 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market.
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