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.

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

What Is an Assistant Vice President's Job Description?

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.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects top executive positions to grow at an average pace from 2020 through 2030.

Assistant Vice President Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, top executives had a median annual salary of $98,980 in 2021. 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 also affect 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.


Executives may enjoy special perks such as access to company-owned cars and membership to exclusive clubs.

How To Become an Assistant Vice President

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.

How To Become an Assistant Vice President in Finance

In finance, most large firms expect an AVP to have earned an MBA in finance and extensive hands-on experience within the organization (or a substantially similar one). 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.

How To Become an Assistant Vice President in Education

In educational settings, AVPs 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.

Key Takeaways

  • An assistant vice president is an executive-level position within larger organizations that typically reports to and supports 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.
  • The next rung on the corporate ladder for an assistant vice president is a role as vice president. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does an assistant vice president (AVP) rank higher than a director?

Positions may not rank equally across companies. It all comes down to the way the company structures its workflow. In general, an AVP may rank higher since they may take on general obligations across the entire organization, whereas a director may focus on one project or department.

Is an associate vice president the same as an assistant vice president?

An associate typically implies a lower rank than an assistant. An AVP may work directly under the vice president, whereas there may be many associates that do similar jobs under the general guidance of the vice president. The ranking ultimately depends on how the company chooses to organize its hierarchy.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Top Executives: What Top Executives Do."

  2. Kemper. "Assistant Vice President, Finance Chief of Staff."

  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Top Executives: Pay."

  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Top Executives: How To Become One."

  5. State University of New York. "Assistant Vice President for Administration (MP)."

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