WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A vote on confirming Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve is likely on Thursday, shortly before the U.S. Senate recesses for the year, a senior Senate aide said on Monday.

Yellen, currently the Fed's vice chair, would be the first woman to lead the U.S. central bank and is expected to win Senate confirmation. She would replace Ben Bernanke, whose term ends on January 31.

"The Senate also must confirm Janet Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as he outlined the Senate's remaining work before breaking for the year.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)