The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is in charge of managing the daily activities of a company, including human resources, budget tracking, and regulatory compliance. He/She oversees various departments, such as finance, HR, marketing, and sales. He/She compiles performance reports and reports directly to the chief executive officer and board of directors. The CAO is otherwise known as the Chief Operating Officer (COO). He/She works with other executives to develop strategies and policies to attain company goals.

To work as a CAO, you need either a bachelor's or a master's degree in business administration with proven work experience in a managerial role. You must be familiar with government regulations for businesses. The skillset for this role includes leadership, decision-making, teamwork, interpersonal, communication, and computer skills. You must be able to cope with stress. The average base pay for a chief administrative officer is $131,128. This ranges between $66,000 and $262,000.

What Does a Chief Administrative Officer Do

There are certain skills that many chief administrative officers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, detail oriented and leadership skills.

Learn more about what a Chief Administrative Officer does

How To Become a Chief Administrative Officer

If you're interested in becoming a chief administrative officer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 64.6% of chief administrative officers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 20.5% of chief administrative officers have master's degrees. Even though most chief administrative officers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

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Chief Administrative Officer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Chief Administrative Officer

Chief Administrative Officers in America make an average salary of $174,185 per year or $84 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $277,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $109,000 per year.
Average Chief Administrative Officer Salary
$174,185 Yearly
$83.74 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Chief Administrative Officer

The role of a chief administrative officer includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general chief administrative officer responsibilities:

  • The chief administrative officer (cao) is the lead in financial, human resource,
  • Oversees assigned functional services to align with corporate objectives. Develops infrastructure, analyzes current processes in order to recommend
  • Lead the annual strategic planning process

There are several types of chief administrative officer, including:

Operations Director


As an Operations Director, your responsibility is no less than making sure a business adopts the best possible work-flow and working environment. You make sure that operations run smoothly and at the highest efficiency while making sure that the interests of the employees are met as well.

You come up and implement an operational schedule, oversee daily operations, and make sure tasks are carried out to the fullest. You create reports evaluating the efficiency of your enterprise and make changes in areas that are slacking.

You create guidelines for your organization and make sure processes are up to speed with them, and you coordinate the work of different departments and supervise the development and implementation of staff evaluation by human resources.

  • Average Salary: $104,050
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Chief Finance Officer


Taking it all the way to the top. As a chief finance office, you may not be the CEO, but you're pretty far up there. In fact, you're so far up the chain of command that you're in charge of all of the company's financial actions. That's a job with a lot of responsibility.

As the CFO, you get to follow the company's cash flow and spend some time doing financial planning to ensure everyone is staying on budget. You may even get to allocate some funds to an under-budgeted department. But the biggest part of your job is identifying any weaknesses or strengths that the company has when it comes to the green stuff.

As the CFO, you can't be someone who just says "yes" all of the time. You have to have a keen mind when it comes to budgeting because you don't want to be the cause of the company going bankrupt. So you'll have to say "no" from time to time. But you'll survive.

  • Average Salary: $143,947
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Chief Operating Officer


When we look at big companies like Apple, we almost always wonder how is it possible that a chief executive officer (CEO) can manage so many decisions within a day? By using the concept of delegation, a chief executive officer (CEO) can prioritize and shift project responsibilities to different sub-leaders for efficient completion. The role of a chief operating officer (COO) is a sub-leader that is analogous to a queen in a chess game.

A chief operating officer is involved in managing day-to-day operations in line with the business strategies set by the chief executive officer. Their tasks, daily, entail managing vendor relationships, implementing business processes, developing internal financial controls, and facilitating market expansion.

The requirements of becoming a chief operating officer by an employer can be quite vague, given the high-level cross-functional skillsets involved. However, you can land this position if you can demonstrate a few years of experience in managing operations of a medium scale project successfully. To get this role, you can study for a business degree or even a science-related degree. They earn on average $86 per hour and usually work more than 40 hours per week.

  • Average Salary: $136,604
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Chief Administrative Officer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active chief administrative officer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where chief administrative officers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Chief Administrative Officer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
4New York3,046$188,629
11North Carolina1,427$144,426
13New Jersey1,362$188,175
24South Carolina722$139,563
36New Mexico318$141,861
39New Hampshire248$169,579
40Rhode Island225$181,857
41West Virginia221$168,103
42North Dakota165$195,502
44South Dakota138$152,101

Chief Administrative Officer Education

Chief Administrative Officer Majors

28.9 %
8.4 %

Chief Administrative Officer Degrees


64.6 %


20.5 %


6.2 %

Top Colleges for Chief Administrative Officers

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME • Private

In-State Tuition




5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




6. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




8. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Chief Administrative Officer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.1% of chief administrative officers listed human resources on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and detail oriented are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Chief Administrative Officer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Chief Administrative Officer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Chief Administrative Officer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Chief Administrative Officer diversity

Chief Administrative Officer Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among chief administrative officers, 45.1% of them are women, while 54.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among chief administrative officers is White, which makes up 66.8% of all chief administrative officers.

  • The most common foreign language among chief administrative officers is Spanish at 37.6%.

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Best States For a Chief Administrative Officer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a chief administrative officer. The best states for people in this position are Vermont, North Dakota, Maine, and Wisconsin. Chief administrative officers make the most in Vermont with an average salary of $195,896. Whereas in North Dakota and Maine, they would average $195,502 and $192,477, respectively. While chief administrative officers would only make an average of $189,219 in Wisconsin, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Chief Administrative Officer Jobs: 165
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Maine

Total Chief Administrative Officer Jobs: 252
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Vermont

Total Chief Administrative Officer Jobs: 136
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Chief Administrative Officers

How Do Chief Administrative Officers Rate Their Jobs?


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Chief Administrative Officer Reviews

May 2019

I love to lead, in my everyday duties I have to deal with different type of situation which requires my deep knowledge to think before I decide.


It is stressful Job, I have to act fast in giving different decisions simultaneously, sometimes is not easy, I have to think quickly , while I don't have immediate answers.

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Top Chief Administrative Officer Employers

Most Common Employers For Chief Administrative Officer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Aurora Health Care$254,504$122.363
5United States Marine Corps$184,075$88.5012
6BNY Mellon$163,886$78.7914
7Cushman & Wakefield$152,311$73.234
8Deutsche Bank$148,108$71.214
9State Street$146,263$70.323
10Morgan Stanley$138,644$66.664

Becoming a Chief Administrative Officer FAQs

Chief Administrative Officer Vs. Coo

A chief administrative officer is an executive who oversees an organization's day-to-day operations, while a COO manages manufacturing, production sales, and personnel within the organization.

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