What Is an Assistant Vice President?

Definition & Examples of an Assistant Vice President

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An assistant vice president is an executive-level position within organizations. It's a relatively common role in the financial services industry and at colleges and universities. They typically report to and support a vice president.

Learn more about assistant vice presidents and the work they do.

What Is an Assistant Vice President?

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

The responsibilities of assistant vice presidents vary depending on the firm they're working with. Typical duties might include screening new management hires, overseeing departmental promotions, and analyzing the performance indicators that their superiors rely on.

  • Acronym: AVP

How an Assistant Vice President Works

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 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.

The exact work that an assistant vice president does varies by firm. At a small firm, an assistant vice president may have a broad range of responsibilities. At a larger firm, an assistant vice president's role may be more specialized.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, top executives have a median annual salary of $104,690 per year. Location plays a big part in salary, as firms and universities in major metropolitan areas tend to pay more than those in outlying regions. The size and annual revenue of a firm invariably affects employee compensation. For example, a large bank may have numerous vice presidents and assistant vice presidents throughout the organization, so the pay varies depending on their role and responsibilities.

Raises can be generous and are typically 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.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects top executive positions to grow at an average pace through 2028.

Requirements for an Assistant Vice President

In finance, 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 the next several years. Keep in mind that experience is generally more important than the exact nature of your education, especially within smaller organizations.

In educational settings, assistant vice presidents may be expected to have an Ed.D. or Ph.D. depending on the scope of responsibilities. Like their counterparts in finance, they're expected to have five or more years of experience.

In addition to education and experience, AVPs should be able to meet deadlines and perform well under pressure. They'll also need people skills. Even if they don't deal directly with clients, they'll be expected to interact effectively with staff and other members of the executive team. Superior oral and written communication skills are essential.

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.

Key Takeaways

  • An assistant vice president is an executive-level position within larger organizations. They typically report to and support a vice president.
  • Duties vary widely depending on the size and type of firm, but leadership and management responsibilities are typical. 
  • In finance, an assistant vice president typically has an MBA. In educational settings, they may have an Ed.D. or Ph.D. A bachelor's degree may suffice with enough experience. 
  • The next rung on the corporate ladder for an assistant vice president is a role as vice president. 

Article Sources

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Top Executives." Accessed July 12, 2020.