The compensation for Operations roles varies widely as there is no such thing as a standard 'role'. However if we dig a bit there are some good figures you can use as a guideline, and perhaps more importantly share with your boss to make sure you are compensated fairly.
The first thing to recognize is that it is difficult to give a "one size fits all answer", as many elements influence the operators salary including:
Scope / seniority of role: Clearly a COO role is more senior than Heads of Ops, and so defining the title and more importantly role scope is the first place to start.
Years of experience: Seasoned operators can likely command a higher salary than people who are stepping into the role for the first time.
Size of business: Operators in larger more complex / mature / successful businesses are compenstate more (and differently)
Location: Operator roles (like all roles) are higher paid in the US than the UK, and higher paid in the UK than most other European countries. As a second-order effect the city the role is based does come into play, especially in the US and UK.
Funding: Late-stage startups have more cash to spend than early-stage startups, which means they pay more -- especially in base salary, and annual/signing bonus.
Equity: This also varies widely and should factor into your consideration, especially if you are joining an earlier stage firm.
In the linked spreadsheet I have shared with you all the publically available information on COO and Chief of Staff roles that is useful to apply to the UK jobs market. Unfortunately for all other Ops roles (e.g. BizOps, RevOps, SalesOps, Product Ops, Head of Ops, Ops VP) there are no really strong guidelines, but it is fair to say for all these roles the COO acts as the top-end benchmarks, and the CoS figures help with a mid-manager steer.
In summary the general guide is:
COO @ Traditional Biz: £200k base (£150k to £270k quartiles range), with ~25% bonus, but smaller equity (assumes non-Founder, but not at big tech FANG or Financial Services firm)
COO @ Startup: £110k base (£100k to £140k quartiles range), 5% bonus but 1-5% equity (assumes non-Founder, and around Series A stage). Note as the stage increases the startup becomes a scaleup and becomes closer to a Traditional Biz.
CoS @ Startup: £82k base (£55k to £104k quartiles range), small bonus & equity
Now of course all these numbers tend to bleed into one another and there is lots of context. For example a CoS that also performs a wider role and is more like a Head of Ops, will have a compensation that looks more like an entry level Startup COO. So as always context is critical here!
As a final comment you should be aware that these figures relate to the main market, however if you have one of these roles in a senior position at a FANG or equivalent Fortune 500 company (or public financial services firm), you compensation is likely to be significantly higher.
Check out the full consolidation of all public benchmarks linked in the spreadsheet below. And don't be shy on using this to negogiate the compensation you deserve!
I hope that helps!
PS -- Beware... sometimes Founders want and need a COO or at least a Head of Ops, and will hire using a job spec for that but call the role CoS to get a lower comp and retain more political power.
UK COO & CoS Salary Benchmarks Database >>> ( link here ) <<<
If you have other great ops compensation benchmarks that you think should be added to this free resource document please just drop me a line.