Assistant Vice President Definition

The title is a badge of respect and accomplishment

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If you've worked your way up the corporate ladder to the position of assistant vice president—congratulations! You're getting near the top. You're likely screening new management hires, overseeing departmental promotions, and providing extra analysis for the performance indicators that your superiors rely on.

Assistant vice president is typically one rung below vice president in much of the financial services industry, and it's a relatively common role within brokerage, securities, and investment banking firms.

Skills, Qualifications, and Education

Most large firms expect an assistant vice president to have earned an MBA in finance and have five years or more of hands-on work experience. A bachelor's degree in any field may be acceptable for getting in on the ground floor, so long as you're prepared to work your way up for approximately the next seven years. Keep in mind that experience is generally more important than the exact nature of your education, especially within smaller organizations.

In addition to the keen understanding of various areas of finance that your education and experience offer, you should be able to meet deadlines and perform well under pressure. You'll also need people skills. Even if you don't deal directly with clients, you'll be expected to interact effectively with staff and other members of the management team. Superior communication skills are essential, including both oral and written skills.

Potential Duties and Responsibilities

The assistant vice president role in most organizations is a senior management position. Assistant vice presidents may or may not supervise other employees, although they are generally responsible for mentoring and guiding new hires. An assistant vice president may serve as a team leader in project management or may work directly with clients. They might also be expected to manage analysis and oversight of investments on behalf of the firm and will typically report to the vice president and other senior members of the company.

Salary Range

The average salary of an assistant vice president is $95,000 nationally, as of 2018. The pay scale ranges from about $50,000 to $130,000. Location plays a big part in salary, as firms in major metropolitan areas and financial services hubs tend to pay more than those in outlying regions. The size and revenues of the financial firm invariably affect employee compensation. For example, a large bank may have numerous vice presidents and assistant vice presidents throughout the organization, so the pay scale can vary depending on their role and responsibilities. The assistant vice president will almost always carry more weight within small companies.

Raises can be generous, which, of course, is commensurate with performance, location, and the firm's revenues. Profit-sharing, bonuses, and commissions may also be paid depending on the nature of the firm.

Job Availability and Advancement 

The next rung upward on the corporate ladder for an assistant vice president, in terms of compensation and responsibility, is a traditional vice president role. It's common for the assistant vice president to move up to this position when a job opens up or if the firm grows and expands.