Chief Operating Officer: Top 5 Skills You Should Have

Chief Operating Officer: Top 5 Skills You Should Have | Business Management | Emeritus

A chief operating officer, sometimes referred to as the CEO’s right-hand man, is in charge of overseeing and enhancing an organization’s day-to-day operations. Their responsibilities include designing complicated systems, optimizing business processes, and ensuring that the company’s strategic goals are realized successfully. This blog is your ticket to this exciting role. We decode everything COO related—the COO job description, COO skills, COO career path, COO qualifications, and COO role. Not only that, we also show you what you need to learn to achieve this position. Think of it as a thrilling journey in the world of business leadership. So, join us to discover what makes COOs one of the most important pillars of an organization. 

COO job description

In this blog, we will analyze: 

  • What Does a Chief Operating Officer do?
  • COO Job Description: Required Skills and Qualifications
  • How Does a COO Contribute to the Success of an Organization?
  • What is the Career Path for Aspiring COOs?
  • Chief Operating Officer Salary
  • How Emeritus Business Management Courses Can Elevate Your COO Career

What Does a Chief Operating Officer do?COO job description

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) plays a pivotal role in an organization, overseeing various key functions to ensure seamless operations. The COO job description encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, including strategic planning, process optimization, and resource allocation. Furthermore, COOs collaborate closely with other C-suite executives, such as the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and CFO (Chief Financial Officer), to align operational strategies with the company’s goals. Moreover, key responsibilities include managing daily operations, streamlining workflows, and enhancing efficiency.

Furthermore, COOs should possess unique qualifications and skills, including strong leadership, decision-making abilities, and a deep understanding of the industry. Typically, individuals aspiring to this role follow a career path that involves progressively responsible positions in operations or general management, often with an MBA or relevant advanced degree. In essence, the COO role is integral to an organization’s success, ensuring it functions effectively and achieves its strategic objectives.

ALSO READ: 5 Key Features of the Best Online Business Courses for 2023

COO Job Description: Required Skills and Qualifications

COO Skills:

1. Operational Efficiency

COOs need to have a deep understanding of how to streamline and optimize operations within the organization. Additionally, they should be skilled at identifying areas where processes can benefit from improvement for greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

2. Cross-Functional Collaboration

COOs often work closely with other C-suite executives, such as the CEO, CFO, and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). As a result, they need strong collaboration skills to align different functions within the company to achieve common goals.

3. Resource Allocation

COOs allocate resources, including budget, workforce, and technology, to various departments and projects. Effective resource allocation is crucial for achieving organizational objectives.

4. Supply Chain Management

In manufacturing or distribution industries, expertise in supply chain management is particularly important. COOs must ensure a seamless flow of goods and services from suppliers to customers.

5. Quality Assurance

Ensuring the quality of products or services is a key responsibility of a COO. Therefore, they should have skills related to quality control, process improvement, and maintaining high standards.

COO Qualifications:


  1. Many COOs hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Management, Finance, Engineering, or a related discipline. In essence, this undergraduate education provides a foundational understanding of business principles.
  1. While not always mandatory, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a common qualification among COOs. Moreover, an MBA equips professionals with advanced leadership, strategic planning, and management skills. In fact, some COOs may pursue specialized Master’s degrees in fields such as Operations Management or Supply Chain Management.


Depending on the industry, COOs may benefit from relevant certifications. 

  • Six Sigma Certification demonstrates expertise in process improvement and efficiency
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) indicates proficiency in project management methodologies
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is relevant for COOs in supply chain-intensive industries

ALSO READ: A 2023 Guide to a Career in International Business Management

How Does a COO Contribute to the Success of an Organization?COO job description

As of 2022, 40% of leading companies had a COO, with the financial and energy sectors leading the way at 48%. As demonstrated, a COO plays a pivotal role in an organization’s success through the following responsibilities:

Strategic Planning

COOs collaborate closely with the CEO and CFO to align operational strategies with company goals.

Process Optimization

Furthermore, they streamline workflows and enhance efficiency.

Resource Allocation

COOs also judiciously allocate resources to achieve organizational objectives.

Leadership and Decision-Making

Their leadership abilities, honed through progressive roles in operations or general management, are complemented by relevant qualifications.

Effective Communication

COOs bring crucial communication skills to foster collaboration.


They excel in identifying and resolving operational challenges.

In summary, COOs optimize daily operations, playing a transformative role in propelling organizations toward success.

ALSO READ: What is International Business Management? A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

What is the Career Path for Aspiring COOs?

1. Educational Foundation

To embark on the COO career path, starting with a relevant bachelor’s degree as the foundation is essential. Additionally, this educational base provides aspiring COOs with the fundamental knowledge needed to understand COO job descriptions and the intricacies of COO responsibilities.

2. Professional Experience

Aspiring COOs must gain experience through entry-level roles in operations or management. Moreover, this practical experience not only helps them become familiar with the COO job description but also allows them to understand the nuances of COO responsibilities. What’s equally important is that they develop the practical skills that will be invaluable in their future role.

3. Advanced Education

Pursuing an MBA or a similar advanced qualification is a strategic move in the COO career path. Beyond enhancing their credentials, it equips aspiring COOs with the strategic thinking and decision-making abilities required for the COO role.

4. Progressive Roles

Along the COO career path, ascending through positions of increasing responsibility, such as departmental leadership, is a critical step. Moreover, these roles provide exposure to broader aspects of an organization and help individuals develop leadership skills, which are vital for fulfilling COO responsibilities.

5. Landing the COO Role

Attaining the COO role is the culmination of the COO career path. With substantial experience, qualifications, and skills acquired through the journey, individuals are well prepared to take on the multifaceted responsibilities of a chief operating officer, contributing significantly to the organization’s success.

Chief Operating Officer Salary

Undeniably, the chief operating officer holds a crucial role within an organization. Consequently, their compensation reflects their responsibilities. The COO job description encompasses strategic planning, process optimization, and resource allocation. Therefore, COOs earn a substantial pay commensurate with their expertise. Salaries can vary based on factors like industry and location, but on average, COOs typically earn a competitive six-figure salary, $376,101 annually. This compensation package acknowledges the pivotal role COOs play in driving organizational success.

How Emeritus Business Management Courses Can Elevate Your COO Career

A chief operating officer is central to an organization’s success. Their multifaceted COO job description underscores their significance, and the accompanying competitive salary reflects the value they bring. To kick-start your journey toward a COO position, therefore, explore Emeritus business management courses today and take that vital step to make your mark as an indispensable leader in the corporate world.

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COO job description

About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Mitaksh has an extensive background in journalism, focusing on various beats, including technology, education, and the environment, spanning over six years. He has previously actively monitored telecom, crypto, and online streaming developments for a notable news website. In his leisure time, you can often find Mitaksh at his local theatre, indulging in a multitude of movies.
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