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Become A Chief Executive Officer

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Working As A Chief Executive Officer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $170,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Chief Executive Officer Do

Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.

Duties

Top executives typically do the following:

  • Establish and carry out departmental or organizational goals, policies, and procedures
  • Direct and oversee an organization’s financial and budgetary activities
  • Manage general activities related to making products and providing services
  • Consult with other executives, staff, and board members about general operations
  • Negotiate or approve contracts and agreements
  • Appoint department heads and managers
  • Analyze financial statements, sales reports, and other performance indicators
  • Identify places to cut costs and to improve performance, policies, and programs

The responsibilities of top executives largely depend on an organization’s size. For example, an owner or manager of a small organization, such as an independent retail store, often is responsible for purchasing, hiring, training, quality control, and day-to-day supervisory duties. In large organizations, however, top executives typically focus more on formulating policies and strategic planning, while general and operations managers direct day-to-day operations.

The following are examples of types of top executives working in the private sector:

Chief executive officers (CEOs), who are also known by titles such as executive director, managing director, or president, provide overall direction for companies and organizations. CEOs manage company operations, formulate and implement policies, and ensure goals are met. They collaborate with and direct the work of other top executives and typically report to a board of directors.

Chief operating officers (COOs) oversee other executives who direct the activities of various departments, such as human resources and sales. They also carry out the organization’s guidelines on a day-to-day basis.

General and operations managers oversee operations that are too diverse and general to be classified into one area of management or administration. Responsibilities may include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources. They make staff schedules, assign work, and ensure that projects are completed. In some organizations, the tasks of chief executive officers may overlap with those of general and operations managers.

The following are examples of types of top executives working in the public sector:

Mayors, along with governors, city managers, and county administrators, are chief executive officers of governments. They typically oversee budgets, programs, and the use of resources. Mayors and governors must be elected to office, whereas managers and administrators are typically appointed. 

Most educational systems, regardless of whether they are public or private school systems, also employ executive officers. The following are examples of top executives working in the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary educational school systems:

School superintendents and college or university presidents are chief executive officers of school districts and postsecondary schools. They manage issues such as student achievement, budgets and resources, general operations, and relations with government agencies and other stakeholders.

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How To Become A Chief Executive Officer

Although education and training requirements vary widely by position and industry, many top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree and a considerable amount of work experience. 

Education

Many top executives have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or in an area related to their field of work. Top executives in the public sector often have a degree in business administration, public administration, law, or the liberal arts. Top executives of large corporations often have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

College presidents and school superintendents are typically required to have a master’s degree, although a doctorate is often preferred.

Although many mayors, governors, or other public sector executives have at least a bachelor’s degree, these positions typically do not have any specific education requirements.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many top executives advance within their own firm, moving up from lower level managerial or supervisory positions. However, other companies may prefer to hire qualified candidates from outside their organization. Top executives who are promoted from lower level positions may be able to substitute experience for education to move up in the company. For example, in industries such as retail trade or transportation, workers without a college degree may work their way up to higher levels within the company to become executives or general managers.

Chief executives typically need extensive managerial experience. Executives are also expected to have experience in the organization’s area of specialty. Most general and operations managers hired from outside an organization need lower level supervisory or management experience in a related field.

Some general managers advance to higher level managerial or executive positions. Company training programs, executive development programs, and certification can often benefit managers or executives hoping to advance.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Top executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively. They must effectively discuss issues and negotiate with others, direct subordinates, and explain their policies and decisions to those within and outside the organization.

Decisionmaking skills. Top executives need decisionmaking skills when setting policies and managing an organization. They must assess different options and choose the best course of action, often daily.

Leadership skills. Top executives must be able to lead an organization successfully by coordinating policies, people, and resources.

Management skills. Top executives must shape and direct the operations of an organization. For example, they must manage business plans, employees, and budgets.

Problem-solving skills. Top executives need to identify and resolve issues within an organization. They must be able to recognize shortcomings and effectively carry out solutions.

Time-management skills. Top executives do many tasks at the same time, typically under their own direction, to ensure that their work gets done and that they meet their goals.

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Chief Executive Officer Jobs

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Chief Executive Officer Career Paths

Chief Executive Officer
President & Chief Operating Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Founder And Chief Executive Officer
Board Of Directors Member
8 Yearsyrs
President/Chief Executive Officer
Advisory Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Business Director
Sales And Marketing Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Business Director
10 Yearsyrs
Advisory Board Member
Chairperson, Board Of Directors
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Strategy
Marketing Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Strategy
11 Yearsyrs
Deputy Director Of Operations
Chief Of Operations
7 Yearsyrs
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Director Of Business Development
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Board Member, President
Executive Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Founder, Co-Owner
5 Yearsyrs
Director, Global Business Development
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Manager/Marketing Director
Operations Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Director Of Talent Acquisition
Human Resources Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Director Of Talent Acquisition
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Continuous Improvement
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Technology And Services
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer
Sales Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
President & Chief Operating Officer
Global Director
14 Yearsyrs
Founder, Co-Owner
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Project Management
Director Of Business Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Project Management
12 Yearsyrs
Director, Strategic Marketing
Chief Marketing Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Food And Beverage
Food Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Food And Beverage
9 Yearsyrs
Food Service Director
Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Director
Supply Chain Vice President
17 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Managing Director 4.6 years
Executive Director 4.5 years
President 4.0 years
Top Careers Before Chief Executive Officer
President 8.1%
Director 6.1%
Manager 5.3%
Consultant 4.6%
Internship 4.2%
Owner 3.9%
Top Careers After Chief Executive Officer
President 9.3%
Consultant 8.0%
Owner 5.4%
Director 5.0%
Manager 4.4%
Principal 3.3%

Do you work as a Chief Executive Officer?

Chief Executive Officer Demographics

Gender

Male

60.3%

Female

29.0%

Unknown

10.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

8.8%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0%

French

12.3%

German

7.5%

Chinese

4.7%

Italian

4.6%

Portuguese

4.6%

Russian

4.2%

Arabic

3.8%

Korean

3.6%

Japanese

3.6%

Mandarin

3.3%

Hindi

1.4%

Greek

1.0%

Swedish

0.9%

Cantonese

0.9%

Hebrew

0.8%

Persian

0.8%

Turkish

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Armenian

0.6%
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Chief Executive Officer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.5%

New York University

7.0%

Harvard University

5.9%

Arizona State University

4.6%

University of Texas at Austin

4.5%

University of Southern California

4.5%

Michigan State University

4.3%

Walden University

4.2%

Ohio State University

4.2%

Capella University

4.0%

George Washington University

3.8%

Liberty University

3.8%

Georgia State University

3.7%

University of Florida

3.7%

Webster University

3.5%

Florida State University

3.4%

Brigham Young University

3.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.4%

University of Houston

3.4%

Temple University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

35.5%

Finance

6.3%

Management

6.2%

Marketing

5.3%

Accounting

5.1%

Psychology

4.2%

Law

3.7%

Communication

3.7%

Computer Science

3.6%

Health Care Administration

3.4%

Education

3.3%

Nursing

3.2%

Political Science

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Economics

2.4%

Electrical Engineering

2.3%

English

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.7%

Mechanical Engineering

1.4%

Human Resources Management

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.9%

Masters

28.1%

Other

20.3%

Doctorate

6.2%

Associate

5.7%

Certificate

3.3%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$170,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$98,000
Min 10%
$170,000
Median 50%
$170,000
Median 50%
$170,000
Median 50%
$170,000
Median 50%
$170,000
Median 50%
$170,000
Median 50%
$170,000
Median 50%
$295,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Chicago, IL
Highest Paying State
South Dakota
Avg Experience Level
5.2 years
How much does a Chief Executive Officer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Chief Executive Officer in the United States is $170,386 per year or $82 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $98,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $295,000.

Real Chief Executive Officer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
KFC Global CEO Yum! Restaurants International, Inc. Plano, TX Jan 12, 2016 $800,000
Chief Executive Officer Fila U.S.A., Inc. New York, NY Sep 30, 2015 $720,620
Chief Executive Officer Fila U.S.A., Inc. MD Sep 30, 2015 $720,620
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) LNG Management Services LLC Houston, TX Jun 22, 2015 $691,508 -
$741,508
Chief Executive Officer Stillwater Mining Company Billings, MT Sep 05, 2015 $660,000
Chief Executive Officer Act, Inc. Iowa City, IA Sep 19, 2015 $620,000
Chief Executive Officer Act, Inc. Iowa City, IA Sep 09, 2015 $620,000
CEO Excel Trust, Inc. San Diego, CA Apr 18, 2016 $600,000
Chief Executive Officer Exclusive Resorts, LLC Denver, CO Sep 05, 2015 $600,000
Chief Executive Officer Parnell Corporate Services Us Inc. Overland Park, KS Dec 01, 2016 $586,457
Chief Executive Officer Aviagen, Inc. Huntsville, AL Sep 29, 2016 $550,000
Chief Executive Officer Parallels Inc. Renton, WA Jul 27, 2015 $500,000
Chief Executive Officer Oakridge Global Energy Solutions, Inc. Palm Bay, FL Mar 15, 2016 $500,000
Chief Executive Officer Sforzando, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 11, 2015 $230,000
Chief Executive Officer Rocky Mountain Institute Boulder, CO Feb 09, 2015 $230,000 -
$350,000
Chief Executive Officer Nurobot, Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 10, 2016 $229,570 -
$250,440
Chief Executive Officer Hydrx Solutions LLC Houston, TX Feb 15, 2016 $228,946 -
$240,000
Chief Executive Officer Applied Biomimetic Inc. Cincinnati, OH Jan 15, 2015 $226,824
CEO Produced Water Absorbents, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 09, 2015 $226,283
Chief Executive Officer Lifeskins Inc. Sausalito, CA Feb 18, 2016 $225,000
Chief Executive American Patriot Oil and Gas, Inc. Denver, CO Jun 15, 2016 $225,000
Chief Executive Officer Neal Analytics, LLC Bellevue, WA May 12, 2015 $160,000
Chief Executive Officer American Petroleum Partners Holdings, LLC Canonsburg, PA Sep 15, 2015 $160,000
Chief Executive Officer System Logistics Corporation Grand Rapids, MI Sep 28, 2016 $160,000
Chief Executive Siparadigm, LLC Oradell, NJ Oct 01, 2015 $160,000
Chief Executive Siparadigm, LLC Oradell, NJ Aug 01, 2015 $160,000
Chief Executive Officer Linekong Us, Inc. Los Altos, CA Jul 09, 2015 $159,182
CEO Abs Trading, Inc. D/B/A Angies Beauty Atlanta, GA Sep 11, 2015 $157,019

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Top Skills for A Chief Executive Officer

  1. Business Development
  2. Financial Management
  3. Strategic Plan
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed the sales and marketing initiatives and coordinated business development efforts across multiple unique business segments in geographically distinct markets
  • Provided leadership to improve operations in areas of provision of quality services, financial management, and patient satisfaction.
  • Coordinated implementation of Behavioral Health Strategic Plan - program administrator and nurse manager hired, staffing and program adjusted.
  • Refined customer service automation to reduce staffing needs and increase customer satisfaction without completely isolating the consumer from live representatives.
  • Developed monitoring procedures and monitored programs to ensure compliance with all governing regulations and service contracts.

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Top 10 Best States for Chief Executive Officers

  1. Nevada
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Texas
  5. Illinois
  6. South Dakota
  7. Minnesota
  8. New York
  9. New Jersey
  10. Connecticut
  • (183 jobs)
  • (323 jobs)
  • (88 jobs)
  • (1,564 jobs)
  • (1,143 jobs)
  • (48 jobs)
  • (384 jobs)
  • (1,810 jobs)
  • (631 jobs)
  • (286 jobs)

Top Chief Executive Officer Employers

Jobs From Top Chief Executive Officer Employers

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