Home / Career Guides / Vice President of Administration

Vice President of Administration Career Guide

What is a vice president of administration?

A vice president (VP) of administration is a senior-level executive overseeing various company departments, such as human resources, finance, facilities management, and operations. This executive role is central to ensuring the smooth functioning of an organization, providing strategic leadership, and efficient management of administrative functions.

The VP of administration is instrumental in setting the company’s strategic direction, fostering a productive work environment, and ensuring the organization’s administrative processes align with its goals. 

The value of this role lies in its ability to synchronize various departments toward common objectives, effectively manage resources, and optimize operational efficiency, thereby contributing to an organization’s success and growth.

Duties and responsibilities

The responsibilities of a VP of administration vary depending on the organization’s size and industry but generally encompass strategic planning and management of administrative functions. Professionals in this role often oversee departments like HR, finance, and facilities management, ensuring they function efficiently and align with the organization’s strategic goals.

Their tasks may include:

  • Developing and implementing policies and procedures
  • Managing budgets
  • Overseeing recruitment and staff development
  • Ensuring compliance with regulations

Additionally, these executives often play a crucial role in decision-making processes at the executive level, contributing to strategy development, risk management, and organizational planning.

Work environment

The VP of administration typically works in an office environment, whether in a corporate office setting or, increasingly, in a remote or home office. Their role is highly collaborative, as they interact with various departments within the organization, external partners, and stakeholders.

These professionals must often navigate high-pressure situations, balancing numerous responsibilities while making crucial decisions that impact the entire organization. This requires strong leadership, excellent communication skills, and managing resources effectively.

Typical work hours

As with most executive roles, the work hours for a VP of administration often exceed the standard 40-hour workweek. They may need to be available outside of traditional business hours for meetings, especially in organizations with international operations. 

Additionally, they might have to deal with unexpected urgent issues, further extending their work hours. Despite the demanding nature of the role, serving as a VP of administration provides a unique opportunity to shape an organization’s direction and contribute significantly to its success.

How to become a vice president of administration

To become a VP of administration, one must follow a series of steps that involve acquiring the necessary education, skills, and experience in administration and management. This role requires strategic thinking, leadership abilities, and a deep understanding of administrative processes and organizational management. 

Step 1: Obtain a bachelor’s degree

Begin by earning a bachelor’s degree, preferably in business administration, public administration, or a related field. This foundation will give you a solid understanding of business principles, management techniques, and organizational structures. 

Many universities offer specialized courses in administration, human resources, and operations management, which can further prepare you for a career in this field.

Step 2: Gain administrative and management experience

Start your career in an administrative or management role, such as an office manager, administrative coordinator, or operations manager. This hands-on experience will help you develop a deep understanding of the administrative processes, organizational management, and leadership skills required to excel in higher-level positions.

Step 3: Develop leadership skills

Seek opportunities to take on leadership roles within your organization, such as department head or director of administration. These positions will help you gain experience managing and leading diverse teams, setting goals and objectives, and designing and implementing administrative strategies. 

Additionally, consider participating in leadership development programs or workshops to enhance your leadership capabilities. Many people have found this online course helpful: Developing Your Executive Leadership Skills.

Step 4: Pursue higher education or certifications (optional)

While not always required, pursuing a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), public administration (MPA), or a related field can provide you with advanced knowledge in organizational management, finance, and strategic planning. This can give you a competitive edge when seeking higher-level positions. 

Alternatively, obtaining certifications or taking courses in administration or management can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field. Consider looking into these popular online courses:

Step 5: Network and build connections

Establish relationships with industry professionals, attend conferences and seminars, and join professional organizations related to administration and management. Networking helps you stay informed about industry trends, learn from other professionals, and discover job opportunities for higher-level positions.

Step 6: Apply for jobs

With a solid educational background, extensive administrative and management experience, and a well-established professional network, you will be well-prepared to apply for vice president of administration positions. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your accomplishments, leadership skills, and administrative expertise, and be prepared to discuss your strategic vision for organizational growth during interviews.

How much do vice presidents of administration make?

The salary of a VP of administration can vary widely, influenced by several factors. One of the most significant factors is the level of experience. Those with extensive experience managing business operations and a proven track record of success generally earn more than those with less experience.

The specific industry in which these executives work also greatly affects their compensation. Some industries, such as finance, technology, and healthcare, typically offer higher salaries due to these sectors’ complexity and scale of administrative responsibilities.

Geographic location plays a crucial role as well. VPs in cities with a higher cost of living and a high concentration of corporate headquarters, such as New York or San Francisco, often earn more than those in other regions.

Education can also impact salary. While practical experience is highly valued, those with advanced degrees in business administration or a related field, particularly an MBA, may have higher earning potential.

Lastly, the size of the company significantly influences compensation. Larger companies with more complex administrative needs usually pay their executives more than smaller companies.

Highest paying industries

  • Consulting Services – $195,510
  • Software Publishers – $186,110
  • Computer Systems Design – $179,100
  • Aerospace Product and Parts manufacturing – $183,100
  • Chemical Manufacturing – $181,140

Highest paying states

  • California – $193,860
  • New York – $189,050
  • Massachusetts – $185,380
  • New Jersey – $184,460
  • Texas – $181,200

Browse VP of administration salary data by market

Types of vice presidents of administration

In this career guide section, we explore the various types and specializations associated with the role of a VP of administration. The specific focus areas can vary depending on the organization’s size, industry, and operational needs.

Vice president of administrative services

VPs of administrative services oversee essential administrative services within an organization. This could include facilities management, procurement, contract administration, and other operational support services. They ensure these services are delivered efficiently and effectively to support the organization’s objectives.

Vice president of human resources administration

Those in human resources administration specialize in overseeing the administrative aspects of an organization’s human resources function. They might handle HR policy development, payroll administration, benefits administration, and HR information systems management.

Vice president of financial administration

VPs in financial administration manage the administrative aspects of an organization’s financial operations. These professionals oversee financial planning, budgeting, reporting, and compliance. They may also manage relationships with external partners like auditors and financial institutions.

Vice president of academic administration

In an academic setting, such as a university, the VP of academic administration handles administrative functions related to academic affairs. This could include curriculum planning, faculty affairs, accreditation processes, and student services.

Vice president of healthcare administration

In a healthcare setting, the VP of healthcare administration oversees the administrative functions related to patient care, medical services, regulatory compliance, and hospital operations. Professionals in this role are crucial in ensuring the efficient delivery of healthcare services while meeting regulatory standards.

Vice president of business administration

VPs of business administration manage the administrative functions that support a company’s business operations. This could include areas like project management, strategic planning, business process optimization, and vendor management.

Top skills for vice presidents of administration

Strategic planning is a fundamental skill for vice presidents of administration. They are responsible for setting the direction of the administrative functions within the organization, aligning them with the company’s overall strategic objectives. This involves identifying operational efficiencies, streamlining processes, and effectively allocating resources to support business goals.

Financial acumen is also crucial, as these professionals oversee the organization’s budgeting, financial reporting, and cost management activities. Understanding financial principles and interpreting financial data enables them to make informed decisions that enhance profitability and financial stability.

They typically manage a team of administrators, human resources professionals, and sometimes IT personnel. The ability to inspire, motivate, and guide these teams toward achieving organizational goals is critical to the role. Effective leaders can foster a positive work environment, encouraging productivity and employee satisfaction.

It’s vital that these executives clearly articulate strategies, expectations, and feedback to their team and present reports and proposals to senior executives and other stakeholders. Additionally, strong interpersonal skills enable them to build productive relationships across the organization.

Finally, proficiency in project management is vital for professionals in this role. They often oversee multiple projects simultaneously, each with its own deadlines, objectives, and resources. Strong project management skills ensure that these projects are executed efficiently, on time, and within budget, contributing to the organization’s overall success.

VP of administration career path

Becoming a vice president of administration typically starts in an administrative or operational role within a company. This could be an administrative assistant, office manager, or operations coordinator role where you learn the ins and outs of company operations and administrative functions.

As you gain experience and demonstrate leadership skills, you could advance to roles with more responsibility, such as operations manager or administration manager. In these positions, you’ll oversee a team, manage budgets, and coordinate various administrative functions.

The next step could be a director of administration or operations role. At this level, you’re expected to handle strategic planning for administrative functions, oversee large teams, manage relationships with vendors and partners, and ensure the smooth running of the company’s operations.

After demonstrating success in a director-level role, you may be considered for the position of VP of administration. In this role, you’ll work closely with the executive team to develop and implement strategies to streamline operations, manage budgets, oversee administrative staff, and ensure the organization’s goals are met.

Beyond that, you might aim for a position as a chief administrative officer (CAO) or chief operating officer (COO), overseeing all administrative and operational aspects of a company. Or, if you’re interested in a broader leadership role, you could aim to become a chief executive officer (CEO).

The role of the VP of administration is evolving in response to shifts in the business environment. As organizations navigate the complexities of the digital era, the importance of strategic administrative leadership becomes increasingly apparent.

One significant trend is the integration of technology in administrative operations. These executives are expected to leverage technology to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and foster collaboration across the organization. This includes implementing and managing digital tools for project management, communication, and data analysis.

Another trend is the growing emphasis on sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). They are often at the forefront of initiatives related to environmental sustainability, ethical business practices, and community engagement, making these areas increasingly essential aspects of the role.

In addition, the ongoing globalization of business has implications for administrative leadership. Professionals in this role need to navigate the complexities of operating in multiple jurisdictions, including managing diverse teams, complying with international regulations, and adapting to different cultural contexts.

Employment projections for vice president of administrations

Vice presidents of administration fall under the broader category of “Top Executives,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment in this category is projected to grow 6 percent through 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. 

The growth is driven by the need for organizations to maintain operational efficiency and to plan for strategic growth in a complex business environment. Top executives with a strong understanding of organizational operations, experience in strategic planning and execution, and the ability to adapt to rapid technological changes will have the best job prospects.

Vice president of administration career tips

Develop strategic thinking skills

In this role, you’ll need to contribute to your organization’s strategic planning and decision-making processes. This involves thinking strategically about how administrative policies and procedures can best support the organization’s goals and objectives.

Understand financial management

An understanding of financial management is crucial for overseeing an organization’s administrative functions. This may entail budgeting, financial planning, and cost management. By understanding the financial implications of administrative decisions, you can better contribute to your organization’s financial health.

Foster a culture of excellence

Creating a positive, high-performing culture within the administrative department can enhance productivity and job satisfaction. Recognizing and rewarding good performance, encouraging continuous improvement, and addressing issues promptly and effectively are essential.

Build a professional network

Networking can provide valuable insights, learning opportunities, and potential collaborations. Consider joining professional associations and communities such as:

  • American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP)
  • Association for Executive and Administrative Professionals (AEAP)
  • International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)

Improve operational efficiency

Identifying opportunities to improve operational efficiency can lead to cost savings and improved productivity. Streamlining processes, leveraging technology, or restructuring roles and responsibilities are potential ways to accomplish this.

Implement continuous learning

Continual learning and development are crucial for staying updated with best practices in administrative management and leadership. Some areas to focus on could include:

  • Leadership and management techniques
  • Emerging technology for administrative tasks
  • Best practices in operational efficiency
  • Legal and ethical considerations in administration

Promote team development

As a leader, one of your key roles is to support the development of your team. This can involve providing opportunities for professional development, mentoring team members, and fostering a supportive and inclusive team environment.

Hone your communication skills

Effective communication is crucial for these executives. You must communicate clearly and effectively with various stakeholders, from team members to senior executives and external partners. Essential tasks of the job are to explain complex issues, persuade others, and provide clear and effective feedback.

Where the VP of administration jobs are

Top companies

  • Goldman Sachs
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Bank of America
  • Citigroup
  • Wells Fargo

Top states

  • New York
  • California
  • Illinois
  • Texas
  • Massachusetts

Top job sites

  • zengig
  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Monster
  • SimplyHired


What skills are necessary for a vice president of administration?

These executives need strong leadership and management skills, typically overseeing various administrative departments and teams. They should be strategic thinkers, able to develop and implement policies and procedures that support the organization’s goals. 

Financial acumen is also essential, as these professionals often oversee budgeting and resource allocation. Additionally, they need excellent communication and interpersonal skills for managing their teams and representing the administration to other stakeholders.

What are the typical duties of a vice president of administration?

The specific duties can vary depending on the organization. Still, they typically include overseeing administrative functions such as human resources, finance, facilities management, and IT. 

Professionals in this role may be responsible for developing and implementing administrative policies and procedures, managing budgets and resources, and ensuring that administrative services are effective and efficient. They also often play a role in strategic planning and decision-making at the executive level.

How does a vice president of administration support an organization’s overall goals?

Executives in this role support an organization’s overall goals by ensuring that the administrative functions are running smoothly and efficiently. They help create an environment where employees can work best by providing the necessary resources and infrastructure. These professionals also contribute to strategic planning and decision-making, helping to align administrative policies and procedures with the organization’s mission and goals.

What is the role of a vice president of administration in a nonprofit organization compared to a for-profit organization?

In both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, they oversee administrative functions and support the organization’s overall goals. However, there may be some differences in their responsibilities due to the different missions and structures of these types of organizations.

In a nonprofit organization, these executives may focus more on compliance with regulations specific to nonprofits, fundraising support, and resource allocation that aligns with the organization’s mission. In a for-profit organization, they may focus more on profitability, efficiency, and supporting business growth.

How does a vice president of administration handle crisis management?

In a crisis, VPs play a crucial role in coordinating the organization’s response. They may be involved in developing and implementing a crisis management plan, coordinating internal and external communication, and ensuring that necessary resources are available. Professionals in this position also play a role in risk management, helping to identify potential crises and taking steps to prevent them.

How does a vice president of administration contribute to employee engagement and culture?

A vice president of administration can contribute to employee engagement and culture in several ways. They oversee human resources, which plays a crucial role in employee engagement through policies related to recruitment, retention, performance management, and employee development.

These professionals may also be involved in initiatives related to workplace culture, such as diversity and inclusion, employee recognition, and work-life balance. By fostering a positive and supportive work environment, they can help enhance employee engagement and productivity.

What is the role of a vice president of administration in budgeting and resource allocation?

They often oversee the budgeting and resource allocation process for the organization’s administrative functions. This involves developing and managing budgets, ensuring that resources are used efficiently, and deciding how to best allocate resources to support the organization’s goals. They may also play a role in financial planning and analysis at the executive level.

What challenges might a vice president of administration face?

Challenges that they might face include:

  • Managing a wide variety of administrative functions and teams
  • Aligning administrative policies and procedures with the organization’s goals
  • Managing budgets and resources in a way that supports the organization’s needs
  • Navigating regulatory compliance

They may also need to manage change and deal with crises or unforeseen events. Additionally, they face the challenge of maintaining open and effective communication across all levels of the organization and ensuring that administrative services are meeting the needs of employees and supporting the organization’s work.

How does a vice president of administration collaborate with other executives?

A vice president of administration collaborates with other executives in several ways. They participate in executive-level decision-making and strategic planning, providing input from an administrative perspective. 

These professionals may also collaborate with other executives on cross-departmental initiatives, such as organizational change efforts or major projects. Additionally, they communicate regularly with other executives to keep them informed about administrative matters and to understand their needs and concerns.

What are the primary performance metrics for a vice president of administration?

Key performance metrics include operational efficiency, cost savings, employee satisfaction, and compliance with laws and regulations. Monitoring these metrics can help identify areas for improvement and ensure the organization runs smoothly and efficiently.