Chief Operations Officer (COO)
LAST UPDATED 31 May 2022
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The role of chief operations officers today


Chief operations officers (COOs) are passionate individuals knowledgeable about all things business and what’s trending in the jobs market. They are leaders in their own right, ensuring internal business functions runs smoothly and improve over time. As this job in Malta or elsewhere identifies potential challenges within business operations, the role of a COO can be complex as it is dynamic. At the same time, if you’re looking to evolve your career into a senior role in the area of operations, the COO profession can be the right one to explore.

In many companies, the COO works hand-in-hand with the CEO, therefore representing one of the most senior job titles across organisations. Their role is directorial as they oversee diverse internal teams and analyse their processes, always on the lookout for novel ways to improve these. Aside from general analytics into internal functions, COOs are also responsible for ensuring these teams are working toward short- and long-term business objectives.


Summary of steps to become a chief operations officer


The demand for successful COOs are high, as these individuals can work on diverse duties to ensure the positive growth of organisations. The backgrounds of COOs are varied, where some individuals attain this career over time worked in relevant organisations, and others after upskilling during their career development. The following highlights some ways you can achieve the role of a COO:

  • Specialise in an industry: COOs are able to work in various industries, and companies are looking for passionate individuals who are experts in a dedicated field. You can spend some time researching industry trends and jargon in order to later strategise effectively in your area of choice.
  • Earn a degree: due to the competitive nature of jobs in Malta and worldwide, it’s difficult to become an executive or senior manager in any field without a bachelor’s degree. Looking for relevant courses such as business administration or a similar discipline can do wonders to helping you stand out among other job applicants. Then, consider a master’s degree to specialise your role.
  • Get certified: to successfully progress into your career, look for ways you can upskill in diverse relevant areas that can help you become an effective leader. This means looking for certifications that focus on leadership skills, for example, or technical skills to keep up with an increasingly digital world.

Once you’ve gone through the above, it’s time to begin gathering work experience in business operations. As COOs deal with diverse organisational duties, practical experience is important to showcasing employer’s moments in your career where you tackled some serious circumstances. As you collect years of work experience, continue to upskill so that you can refresh your skill set and professionally develop over time.


Duties and responsibilities of chief operations officers


COOs make a dutiful effort to learn business goals and ensure business operations work toward meeting these over time. This means they observe and guide operations to provide fulfilling services and understand whether certain projects require additional support or funding. With this information, COOs are able to effectively develop strategies and monitor progress over time. Other common duties and responsibilities of COOs include:

  • Oversee budget plans and financial reports,
  • Monitor company revenues,
  • Supervise internal teams across various processes,
  • Ensure teams have a vision and goal strategy in mind,
  • Coach and train employees,
  • Remain up to date with industry trends,
  • Revise company operations and determine how these can be regularly improved,
  • Manage and monitor internal and external operations,
  • Ensure talent retention and oversee recruitment process for the company,
  • Closely collaborate with the CEO,
  • Be a proactive role-model in fostering a positive company culture,
  • Work alongside other senior management and stakeholders, and
  • Monitor business performance over time.

As illustrated above, COOs are integral in ensuring on-site or remote jobs operate effectively alongside business objectives. Their role is truly communicative as they work with internal and external members of an organisation to address diverse business needs. 


Salary expectations 


The demand for COOs is rapidly increasing, leading the career with fast-paced growth capabilities alongside impressive salary raises. The Castille Salary Survey is based on the average gross basic salary ranges we have seen offered in the local market over the last 12 months. This survey is updated quarterly, remaining representative of current market trends.  

For example, COOs can expect a salary that ranges from €80,000 to €120,000 euros. It is worth consulting with our salary survey for further insights into executive jobs in Malta. 

For a global perspective, it is worth keeping in mind that sources vary and are subject to change with time. Considering these variances, salaries for COO jobs consistently reflect an average salary ranging from $75,000 to $145,000 a year. These numbers vary according to level of experience, specialisation, and other associated living costs. 


Education and qualifications of chief operations officers


As mentioned beforehand, many COOs attain a bachelor’s and usually a master’s degree in business administration. This helps them gain the necessary knowledge in understanding diverse business procedures, with an indication on how to keep up with industry trends over time. Interested job applicants should also look into coursework related to management skills and economics. Depending on your preferred vocation, tailor your education accordingly to gain relevant work experience.


Trending technologies and skill sets 


As a collaborative job, it’s no wonder that COOs gain their skills in ones such as communication and project management. In working with various office functions, other trending technologies and skill sets include:

  • Leadership: a great part of the COO role is to lead and supervise teams, especially across internal functions.
  • Communication: COOs communicate and collaborate with internal and external parties of a business. Communication skills are vital to ensure teams understand developing business goals and other responsibilities. 
  • Project management: in this on-site or remote job, COOs are prepared to undertake various projects in a company to ensure operations consistently improve over time.
  • Problem-solving skills: in working closely alongside internal teams, COOs encounter diverse organisational challenges. It’s important that COOs work to mitigate any risks associated with a business and help teams develop successful solutions.

The above illustrates the general skills of such a job that is focused around supporting business professionals whilst ensuring internal structures operate well. They understand current business objectives and help amend these during shifting workplace trends. 


Career prospects as a chief operations officer


COOs typically work in various office environments, including a work from home job. They collaborate with diverse personnel frequently and facilitate internal and external communications. The consistent use of valuable hard and soft skills employed by the COO is transferable across organisations, meaning these individuals are able to work in diverse workplace settings.

For jobseekers interested in pursuing a career path as a COO, individuals should work to gain valuable work experience in any preferred industry. Applicants must consider their area of specialisation thoughtfully and apply for jobs that are relevant. COOs can continue to improve their technical and soft skills through independent learning and keeping up with workplace affairs.


Begin your chief operations officer career today with Castille 


Now that you’ve critically assessed what working as a COO is about and whether it is right for you, you are able to kickstart your career in this ever-growing field. As technology and the workforce continues to rapidly advance, the role of a COO remains a career suitable for the long-haul.

Chief Operations Officer (COO)