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 and you've achieved the position of assistant vice president or you're about to, you're getting near the top. Assistant vice president is typically one rung below vice president in much of the financial services industry. It's a relatively common role within a firm, particularly for those in brokerage, securities, and investment banking.

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 to get in on the ground floor so you can work your way up and achieve some at least seven years' experience. Experience can be even more important than the exact nature of your education and your degree, particularly with smaller companies. 

In addition to the strong understanding of various areas of finance that your education and experience offer, you should be able to handle deadlines 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 important, both oral and written. 

Duties and Responsibilities

This is a senior management position and the title is a badge of respect. An assistant vice president may or may not supervise other employees, although he may be responsible for mentoring and guiding new hires. He may serve as a team leader in project management or, depending on the nature of the firm, may work directly with clients. He might be expected to manage analysis and oversight of investments on behalf of the firm. The assistant vice president typically reports to the vice president and supports her administratively, as well as other high-level executives within the firm.

Salary Ranges 

The average salary of an assistant vice president is about $101,000 nationally as of 2017. The pay scale ranges from about $70,000 to close to $130,000. Just as in other sectors and other areas of business, location plays a big part—firms in major metropolitan areas and situated in financial hubs tend to pay more than those in outlying regions. The size and revenues of the financial firm invariably affect employee compensation. 

Raises can be generous, in the area of 20 percent or so. Of course, this is commensurate with performance and also depends on 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 

Many financial firms fill top slots from within as they become available due to senior partners or staff retiring or moving on to other pursuits. The next rung on the corporate ladder from assistant vice president is typically vice president, and it's common for the assistant vice president to move up to this role when a job opens up or if the firm grows and expands. Of course, the move up results in more responsibility but corresponds with an increased salary. 

Alternate terms: AVP, Assistant VP