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 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. 

Duties and Responsibilities

The AVP role in some organizations is a senior management position. Assistant vice presidents may or may not supervise other employees, although they may be responsible for mentoring and guiding new hires. AVPs may serve as a team leader in project management or, depending on the nature of the firm, may work directly with clients. An AVP 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 other senior members of the company.

Salary Ranges 

The average salary of an assistant vice president is about $95,000 nationally as of 2018. The pay scale ranges from about $50,000 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. For example, a large bank may have numerous AVPs and VPs throughout the organization so that the pay scale can vary depending on their role and responsibilities.

However, in a small firm, an AVP title may carry more weight.

Raises can be generous, which of course, 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