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Director of Operations Vs Vice President Comparison

Most companies can trace their success to upper management. Two key players might be the director of operations and the vice president. This article compares these two careers and offers some vital financial information as well.

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Comparing Director of Operations to Vice President

Directors of operations often work with the vice president of a company. The director handles the day to day business of the organization while the vice president implements the strategies and policies throughout the company at the behest of the president and board of directors. Compared below are these two professions with some vital financial information included on both.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
Director of Operations Master's degree preferred $88,079 7% (for all general and operations managers)
Vice President Master's degree preferred $123,159 6% (for all top executives)

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Director of Operations vs. Vice President

The director of operations and the vice president are both part of upper management for a company; however, their duties are quite distinct. The director normally handles all employee issues, purchases, and contracts with vendors, along with any research and development. Vice presidents, on the other hand, work hand in hand with the president and board to develop profitability strategies. They are vital to filling leadership positions in departments and regional roles. Vice presidents help create new revenue streams while directors of operations supervise workers' implementation in reaching those profit goals.

Director of Operations

In a large company, the director of operations will manage the majority of the staff. The director of operations works next to the chief financial officer and head of accounting to help design budgets and oversee the various departments' expenditures. They will be expected to mentor, motivate and coach team members to be efficient and effective. They also are expected to make sure all teams are strategically aligned with the company's goals to meet the desired outcomes.

Job responsibilities of a director of operations include:

  • Evaluating operating processes
  • Ensuring operations meet timelines and budgets
  • Increasing office efficiency of the different departments
  • Making sure best practices are at the forefront of all projects

Vice President

The vice president takes orders from the president and board and is tasked with implementing the company's goals and strategies. They are required to be very knowledgeable of the organization's internal policies. Vice presidents review and process operations and are prepared to implement changes if called upon. Key to a VP's success is the hiring of the best leadership team they can find and having them placed in the proper departments, divisions and regions.

Job responsibilities of a vice president include:

  • Discussing success driven strategies with various managers and directors
  • Contributing to effective training programs for team members, directors and managers
  • Maintaining profit margins that meet the organization's goals
  • Developing strong relationships with local vendors, community sources and other key stakeholders

Related Careers

Service support managers, like directors of operations, are management leaders who work to maintain the facilities and oversee the bookkeeping and general office upkeep, so that career might be another good option for this group of individuals. Vice presidents often monitor a company's strategic goals, and many who are interested in managing administrative functions might consider becoming human resources managers, who recruit and hire new staff.

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