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Chief Operating Officer

Oversee the day-to-day operations of a business and report directly to the CEO.

What's it like to be a Chief Operating Officer?

A Chief Operating Officer (COO) is usually the second highest-ranking executive in a company, and reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Although the role of the COO will differ from organisation to organisation, their main responsibility is to oversee the end to end operations of a business.

Chief Operating Officer

Tasks and duties

  • Planning and managing a company’s day-to-day operations.
  • Reviewing and updating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • Maintaining operational quality controls and managing risks.
  • Assessing business strategies and their operational impact.
  • Devising methods for meeting company benchmarks and goals.
  • Reporting on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as turnaround times and accuracy.
  • Reducing company operating costs and improving processes.
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The role of Chief Operating Officer is multi-dimensional. They need to have a solid understanding of business and finance, as well as strong people leadership and risk management skills.

What can I earn as a Chief Operating Officer?

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NSW
VIC
WA
QLD
TAS
SA
NT
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The most common annual salary in AUS for a Chief Operating Officer is greater than $200k
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Source: SEEK job ads. Salaries include superannuation.

How to become a Chief Operating Officer


SEEK Learning
There is no single pathway to becoming a Chief Operating Officer. COOs typically have a solid educational background with wide and varied leadership experience in business and a proven track record of successful team building.

  1. Complete a bachelor degree in business or economics or in the industry you plan to enter.
  2. Pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or similar post-graduate qualification.
  3. Gain extensive work experience in a leadership capacity across a range of businesses or work your way up through a company. In small and medium companies, you may become a COO with 10 years of experience, where as in larger companies it can take a lot longer.
  4. Demonstrate your success at a senior management and executive level of leading and managing a business or a business unit within a large organisation.

Explore related qualifications

SEEK users who have worked as a Chief Operating Officer have studied these qualifications.

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Master of Business Administration

This master degree will give you the crucial skills and knowledge needed to be a business leader.
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Bachelor of Business Administration

This degree will develop your knowledge of how organisations work and will prepare you for management positions.

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

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How do Chief Operating Officers rate their role?

Latest reviews from 15 Chief Operating Officers surveyed on SEEK

Work-life balance
3.4
Job satisfaction
4.4
Career progression opportunities
3.5
Job security
3.4
Pay / Salary
3.5
Variety of work
4.3

Latest reviews

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Positive
Negative
Oct 2018
Chief Operating Officers are a Tough Breed
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Financial responsibilities
The good things
The good things about being the COO are the day to day challenges simply because the COO’s focus is executing the company’s business plans according to its business model, while a CEO is concerned wit...
The challenges
One of the more subjective challenges that face a COO is when management is required by the board to make drastic changes to the business model and staffing levels and of course the outcome of that wi...
Read more
Nov 2018
C-suite roles: To Delegate or Not to Delegate... that is the difference
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of Business Administration (Technology Management)
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
CEO
The good things
Firstly I'm now in a CEO role and will answer as such as as the answer is similar... firstly the COO role is a stepping stone to CEO so the question is somewhat redundant; however in the interest of h...
The challenges
The challenges are balancing the family sport and work as the demand on you will be marked especially in a large organisation operating in multiple time zones and one just has to set boundaries.... I ...
Read more
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Source: SEEK Role Reviews

Working hours for Chief Operating Officers

Overtime
Weekends
Shift work
Late nights
Often
Sometimes
Never
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Source: SEEK Role Reviews from 15 Chief Operating Officers

What are the job opportunities for Chief Operating Officers?

Find out how the job market is trending

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Job opportunities

Chief Operating Officer jobs on SEEK
101
Jobs on SEEK right now
Source: SEEK

Projected job growthAlert

National increase over next 5 years *
0.6%
2019
2024
Source: LMIP. Chief Executives, General Managers and Legislators

Latest Chief Operating Officer jobs on SEEK

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Source: SEEK job ads

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data