VP of Operations Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A VP of Operations, or Vice President of Operations, is responsible for upholding the profitability and values of an organization by leading business operations. Their duties include consulting with senior leadership personnel to determine business goals or initiatives, visiting with Directors or Department Managers to relay information about company needs and reviewing operational data to make inferences about their organization’s success.

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VP of Operations Duties and Responsibilities

As one of the top members of an organization, a VP of Operations is tasked with managing multiple departments, staff and projects within the company and industry. This means having extensive knowledge of the industry, finances and employee output while understanding and striving to meet the company’s strategic goals, mission, values and beliefs.

Examples of tasks a VP of Operations may need to perform include: 

  • Leading departments and operations of the company
  • Budgeting for multiple projects, including monitoring and controlling costs
  • Work closely with Human Resources to implement and refine company policies and procedures
  • Guiding, directing and evaluating the work of management and executive team members
  • Creating and implementing a strategic plan
  • Leveraging company output to improve ranking in the competitive field
  • Tackling unforeseen issues and troubleshooting
  • Representing the company for external and internal events
  • Monitoring the competitive landscape and attending industry events to stay abreast of new initiatives and ways to stay ahead
  • Identifying, training and developing leaders within the company and setting them on a path for management

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What Does a VP of Operations Do?

VPs of Operations typically work for corporations across industries or educational institutions. They work closely with company Executives and lower-level management to ensure that the employees have a clear understanding of the organization’s values and goals. Their job is to oversee department budgets, communicate with media personnel when necessary and perform tasks on behalf of upper management. They may also be responsible for leading HR initiatives like improving employee benefits, hiring procedures and recruiting programs.

VP of Operations Skills and Qualifications

A successful VP of Operations should have a degree in the company’s industry and/or in business administration. As a senior leadership role, a VP of Operations should have a minimum of 10 years of experience as a manager. Good public speaking and communication skills along with a professional appearance and demeanor are critical for the position. Here are several skills and qualifications a VP of Operations should have:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration and/or company’s industry
  • Excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills
  • 10 to 15 years of managerial experience
  • Proven strategic planning and budgeting experience
  • Demonstrated experience setting, monitoring and meeting quarterly and annual goals
  • Experience building and scaling teams and systems
  • Problem-solving skills
  • An entrepreneurial spirit 

VP of Operations Salary Expectations

The average salary for a VP of Operations is $144,581 per year. Related position salaries include a Director of Operations, which averages $94,692 per year; a Vice President, which averages $151,740 per year; and a Chief Operating Officer, which averages $120,930 per year. Additionally, all types of VP of Operations salaries vary depending on where the employee lives and how much experience they have and can increase as they gain skills and experience.

VP of Operations Education and Training Requirements

A college degree is critical in the role of a VP of Operations. A bachelor’s degree in the company’s industry coupled with on-the-job experience and growth may be enough to bring a candidate to the position of VP of Operations. However, a bachelor’s degree in the company’s industry and a master’s in business administration provides leverage for a candidate. Public speaking and media training are additional assets.

VP of Operations Experience Requirements

A VP of Operations must have years of experience managing teams, budgets and strategic plans. It is helpful to also have experience with public speaking.

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Frequently asked questions about VP of Operations


What is the difference between a VP of Operations and a Director of Business Development?

The difference between the VP of Operations and the Director of Business Development is seniority, scope of job responsibilities and areas of job focus. For example, the VP of Operations holds a more senior role than a Director of Business Development due to the length of their professional experiences. Further, the VP of Operations is responsible for overseeing all Department Leaders within an organization, including the Director of Business Development. They are responsible for overseeing HR, sales, finance and marketing initiatives.

In contrast, the Director of Business Development is obligated to oversee the business development department and, in some cases, the sales department. Their primary objective is to maintain relationships with business clients and look for ways to maximize their company’s profitability. These roles may work closely together to identify new business opportunities and sales initiatives.


What are the daily duties of a VP of Operations?

On a typical day, the VP of Operations starts by reviewing upcoming deadlines for business projects and checking their email and voicemail to respond to missed messages. They meet with the President and Executives to make presentations on business initiatives and participate in strategic planning. Once back in their office, the VP of Operations reviews data from each department to determine whether departments meet goals or quotas. They use their downtime to interact with company employees and talk with Department Managers about changes to current business operations.


What qualities make a good VP of Operations?

A good VP of Operations is dedicated to their organization and strives to support the CEO’s vision through their daily tasks. They understand how to be both Leaders and supporters, which allows them to fulfill their respective roles to Senior Executives and lower-level personnel. Further, a good VP of Operations has an innovative mindset, which motivates them to come up with unique solutions to operational deficiencies, budgeting limitations or employee complaints.


Who does a VP of Operations report to?

The VP of Operations usually reports directly to the President of their organization. They can also report to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other Chief Executive officials. The VP of Operations refers to these individuals to relay the progress of organizational strategies or address concerns about current procedures. They also receive tasks that Senior Executives don’t have time to focus on.

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