Vice president positions often a step toward highest company echelon

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s Mike McDermott oversees one of the world’s most intricate and consequential supply chains as its Chief Global Supply Officer and executive vice president. Afterall, he personally accounts for 38 billion doses of vaccines and medicines each year involving more than 300 vendors, 35 manufacturing sites and more than 30,000 employees at 20 different countries across the globe. Yes, he has a C-Level title but he also holds one of the most heralded vice president jobs anywhere.

McDermott is the model lieutenant which makes a great vice president. He firmly controls his vast network within the $76 billion company, influences other senior leaders, anticipates supply chain challenges, procures new sources, and advises company CEO Dr. Albert Bourla.

Especially if you are in the medical or biosciences field, vice president opportunities abound. Healthcare and hospitals also need vice presidents for varying departments. If you enjoying managing both up and down the enterprise, a vice president job is for you. Consult with a recruiter to explore new vice president jobs in your field of expertise.

What is a company vice president and what does a VP position involve?

Vice presidents are found in every industry, in every discipline – from customer service and accounting to engineering and manufacturing – and beyond. Vice president positions, including assistant, associate, senior and executive vice president jobs, are available in all areas of expertise and sectors, including banking and financial services, science and technology, the arts, among many others.

Vice presidents are the senior-most leaders below the C-level executive ranks, who manage division directors and department managers. They are responsible for monitoring and reporting daily and periodic operational KPIs, yet are also well versed in the competitive analysis of other companies and provide advisement to counter changes in the marketplace or opportunities for acquisition. VPs execute company plans within their purview, but also work with company leaders to set goals and plans going forward. Many vice president jobs are stepping stones to senior or executive vice president and C-level opportunities.

How do you become a company vice president? What are the educational requirements and vice president job pathways? 

Pfizer’s McDermott was the Vice President of Site Operations at Wyeth before the company was acquired in 2009. He stayed on after the acquisition assuming increasing responsibilities, including Vice President of the Consumer Healthcare Operating Unit, before his current role.

Many vice presidents, depending upon the size of the company and industry, will possess between five and 10 years of experience with ever-growing responsibilities across two or more companies in the same discipline; be it accounting, human resources, IT, sales and marketing, operations, or other company functions. Nearly all will have a four-year university degree with many holding advanced degrees or specialized certifications.

Are vice president jobs in demand? What do VP positions pay?

Vice president jobs can be quite lucrative based on the amount of time and attention to detail required, plus most VP positions are eligible for profit sharing and bonus incentives. Employment research company Glassdoor recently reported that the average base pay for vice president positions in the United States topped $202,500 with an estimated bonus of $155,200, making the total average haul about $357,700.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook created by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a modest 3 percent increase (about the national average across many sectors) for leadership positions with five or more years of experience during the course of the next decade. Those conditions will likely further improve and demand increase as more Americans age out of the workforce.

Perhaps you are a budding company vice president with a solid track record and the required moxie for upcoming VP opportunities. Explore the possibilities and consult with a Forbes.job career coach or recruiter. Your personal vice president job, among a sea of VP positions,  awaits.

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