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Become A Corporate Executive

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Working As A Corporate Executive

  • 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

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $105,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Corporate Executive 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 Corporate Executive

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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Corporate Executive Career Paths

Corporate Executive
Manager Owner Marketing Director
Marketing Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Manager General Manager
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Manager Vice President Sales Vice President
Senior Vice President, Sales
14 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Project Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Owner Vice President
President & Chief Operating Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Project Manager General Manager
Regional Director Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Vice President Marketing Vice President
Senior Vice President Of Marketing
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Business Manager Controller
Director Of Operations And Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Business Development Director Managing Director Executive Director
Executive Director Of Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Business Development Director Operations Vice President Sales Vice President
Executive Vice President Of Sales
13 Yearsyrs
Business Development Director Executive Director
Chief Development Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Branch Manager
Business Development Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Branch Manager General Manager Regional Director
National Director
10 Yearsyrs
Branch Manager Owner Director Of Sales
Vice President Of Sales & Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Director Senior Vice President Chief Finance Officer
Chief Administrative Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Director Account Director Client Services Director
Client Services Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Director Managing Director
Vice President, Corporate Development
12 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Program Manager Product Manager
Vice President, Product Management
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Corporate Executive?

Average Yearly Salary
$105,000
Show Salaries
$72,000
Min 10%
$105,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Median 50%
$154,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
FTI Consulting
Highest Paying City
Mountain View, CA
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Corporate Executive make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Corporate Executive in the United States is $105,719 per year or $51 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $72,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $154,000.

Real Corporate Executive Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Corporate Development Executive Upguard Inc. Mountain View, CA Jul 03, 2016 $130,166
Principal Recruiting Partner, Corporate Executive Search Biogen, Inc. Cambridge, MA Jan 18, 2016 $128,260
Corporate Executive Search Specialist-CTL Team Biogen IDEC, Inc. Cambridge, MA Dec 25, 2014 $113,558
Associate-Corporate Executive The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York, NY Jun 02, 2011 $112,000 -
$122,000
Corporate Access/Corp. Relations Exec.(Economy SPE Redburn Partners (USA) LP New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $110,000
Corporate Executive Search Biogen IDEC, Inc. Weston, MA Feb 20, 2013 $105,000
Recruiter, Corporate, Executive & International Recruiting Quantcast Corporation San Francisco, CA Sep 01, 2015 $105,000
Corporate Executive Search Specialist-Competitive Talent Landscape Team (CTL) Biogen IDEC Weston, MA Jul 14, 2015 $96,000 -
$106,000
Corporate Communications Executive Razorback Productions, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $65,000
Executive, Corporate Banking Malayan Banking Berhad New York, NY Aug 09, 2016 $45,906

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Top Skills for A Corporate Executive

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Customer Service
  3. Strategic Plan
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed wide variety of customer service and administrative tasks to resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Participated in departmental meetings to discuss strategic plans and operational commitments.
  • Gained understanding of CEB research around leading-edge business and management practices in order to align current executive concerns with completed research.
  • Monitored daily call volume and coordinated agent and supervisor schedules to ensure compliance with departmental standards for call statistics.
  • Managed and prioritized a Fortune 500 territory, managing a Business Development Associate to achieve high-performing strategies and outcomes.

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Top 10 Best States for Corporate Executives

  1. Rhode Island
  2. New Jersey
  3. New York
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Michigan
  6. Connecticut
  7. Washington
  8. Texas
  9. Idaho
  10. District of Columbia
  • (13 jobs)
  • (56 jobs)
  • (118 jobs)
  • (97 jobs)
  • (47 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)
  • (51 jobs)
  • (184 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)

Corporate Executive Demographics

Gender

Female

44.8%

Male

43.9%

Unknown

11.4%
Ethnicity

White

52.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.8%

Asian

14.2%

Black or African American

12.1%

Unknown

5.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.2%

French

12.8%

German

7.0%

Portuguese

4.7%

Mandarin

4.7%

Japanese

4.7%

Chinese

3.5%

Hindi

3.5%

Arabic

3.5%

Italian

3.5%

Tagalog

2.3%

Russian

2.3%

Urdu

2.3%

Khmer

1.2%

Czech

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Chickasaw

1.2%

Carrier

1.2%

Hawaiian

1.2%
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Corporate Executive Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.3%

George Washington University

8.4%

Northwestern University

6.6%

University of Virginia

6.6%

Georgetown University

6.0%

George Mason University

6.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.8%

James Madison University

4.8%

San Jose State University

4.8%

American University

4.8%

Cornell University

4.2%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.2%

Columbia University

4.2%

University of Chicago

3.6%

Michigan State University

3.0%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.0%

West Virginia University

3.0%

Harvard University

3.0%

University of Houston

3.0%

Ithaca College

2.4%
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Majors

Business

29.8%

Finance

8.4%

Marketing

8.4%

Communication

6.3%

Management

5.1%

Political Science

4.0%

Accounting

3.8%

English

3.7%

Public Relations

3.5%

Psychology

3.1%

Health Care Administration

3.1%

Economics

2.6%

Human Resources Management

2.6%

Computer Science

2.4%

International Relations

2.4%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Law

2.3%

Education

2.1%

Legal Support Services

2.1%

Graphic Design

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.2%

Masters

32.0%

Other

15.3%

Associate

5.2%

Certificate

3.8%

Doctorate

2.5%

Diploma

1.7%

License

0.3%
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