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Job Description of a Vice President of Operations
Part strategist and part troubleshooter, a vice president of operations works hard to keep clients and stockholders happy. They’re responsible for addressing and preventing issues with production or the supply chain, meeting target goals and controlling operational costs. Having good interpersonal and communications skills, as well as the ability to multi-task, are a must, if you’re considering a job as vice president of operations.
Vice President Job Description
As a vice president of operations, you’ll probably never be bored, as every day will bring new challenges and triumphs. If you thrive at creating solutions for thorny problems, you’ll find the job particularly stimulating. The typical day of a vice president of operations may include:
Operations Monitoring: Problems with your computer systems, trucks or the machinery used to manufacture products can bring operations to a sudden halt. During the day, you’ll review operations reports and meet with your staff to identify and correct problems and potential issues.
Strategic Planning: Strategic planning is part of every vice president job description. As an operations executive, you’ll develop operational strategies in concert with the chief executive officer and your operations management team that will help your company grow and thrive.
Budgeting: The vice president of operations creates the operations budget and monitors costs, employer productivity and purchasing. Part of the job may include negotiating with vendors to obtain services and equipment at a reasonable cost.
Human Resources Tasks: As head of operations, you’ll be ultimately responsible for everyone below you on the organizational chart. Working with the human resources department, you may recruit, interview and hire new talent, develop strategies to retain top talent, and create personnel policies and training programs.
Safety Reviews: Vice presidents of operations and their management teams are often responsible for monitoring employee safety, ensuring that machinery is properly maintained and for creating new safety protocols, as needed. You may also be responsible for maintaining licensing and regulations compliance.
Site and Plant Tours: Although reports provide important information about operations, visiting your plant or the various departments in the company can provide valuable information and insights. If your company is considering expanding, you may identify and visit potential sites for your new endeavor.
Executive Team Meetings: As a member of the executive team, you’ll work closely with other top managers to ensure that operations receives the necessary support and services.
Successful vice presidents of operations are comfortable working with people at all levels in the company, and they understand how to motivate and encourage staff. The job is a good choice if you possess strong leadership abilities, are self-motivated and you can focus on the minutiae without losing sight of the overall scope of a project.
Education and Experience
Having a bachelor’s degree in business or in a related field is usually the minimum requirement to obtain a job as a vice president for operations. Depending on the company, a master’s degree may be preferred.
Having previous experience in the industry or in operations is a must. Some vice presidents of operations work their way up the corporate ladders in their current companies, while others seek new opportunities after working in logistics, supply chain management or after working in a junior-level operations role.
Salary and Job Outlook
PayScale.com notes that $124,318 is the average salary for a vice president of operations, although your final salary may be much higher if you receive bonuses, commissions or profit sharing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of top executives is expected to grow by 8 percent by 2026.
Holly McGurgan has a degree in journalism and previously worked as a non-profit public relations and communications manager. She often writes about career and lifestyle topics. Her work has appeared online on Healthline, Working for Candy and other sites.
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