Chief operating officers act as the second in command to the chief executive officer in large companies and make sure that operations run smoothly. This is no easy task, so they must be experienced and have an education that prepares them for the job. COOs are highly valued for their skills and paid much more than typical workers.
Duties and Responsibilities
As the title implies, chief operating officers are in charge of a firm's day-to-day operations. According to Deloitte, chief operating officers are responsible for keeping a company "lean and mean." That is to say they must work to continually improve a firm's efficiency. They must know what's going on in every area of the organization, from marketing and sales to manufacturing and finance. The chief operating officer reports directly to the CEO and oversees various department heads and mid-level executives.
Qualifications and Pay
Chief operating officers typically have a business degree and years of experience. They may also have an MBA degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for top executives, like chief executive officers, was $101,650 as of 2012. This is less than chief executive officers, who earned $168,140, but considerably more than the median wage for all jobs, which was just $34,750.