Top Executive (or Chief Executive) Careers

ceo-500A chief executive officer is typically the head of an organization or company. Depending on the size and structure of the organization, the CEO may have to report to a board of directors, but many CEOs are the founders of an organization and have total control of the company. Becoming a CEO can be a professional dream and goal for many people.

The environment that the CEO works in will vary considerably for many CEOs. In general, a CEO will work in an office environment at the corporate headquarters of an organization. They will also spend a lot of time meeting with key clients, investors, and the board of directors, which could require a lot of time traveling.

Top Executive (or Chief Executive) Career Snapshot

Further details on a career as a chief executive are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual salary for chief executives.


decrease in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Master’s degree while 22% have a Bachelor’s degree.

Chief Executive Education

The educational requirements of a CEO will vary as well. If the CEO started the company, they could have very little formal education. For those that have worked their way up the corporate ladder into the CEO position, a bachelor’s or master’s degree is often a full requirement. It is estimated that over 25% of CEOs have at least a master’s degree.

Chief Executive Job Duties

In general, the job duties of the CEO are to be the overseer of the entire organization. For larger organizations, a CEO will not be involved in the daily operations of the organization, but will instead oversee the entire corporate strategy. In smaller companies, the CEO will be far more involved in the daily operations of the firm.

Chief Executive Salaries

CEOs are by far the most well-compensated employees in the business world. The median income for a CEO is around $180,000, with the to 10 percent earning well over $200,000 as reported by statistics. However, there are also many CEOs that earn well over $1 million per year with the potential to earn a lot more money in the form of stock options and bonuses.

Chief Executive Job Outlook

Overall, the job outlook for CEOs is slightly negative. Since most companies only need one CEO, there is not necessarily the opportunity for growth in the position headcount. Further, as larger organizations continue to consolidated and merge, the amount of CEOs will only decline. Because of this, the 10-year outlook for the number of CEOs is expected to decline by 1%.

Top Executive (or Chief Executive) Skills & Traits

Chief Executive Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Chief Executives:Typical Work Activities:
• Judgment and Decision Making
• Complex Problem Solving
• Critical Thinking
• Speaking
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Written Comprehension
• Deductive Reasoning
• High capacity removable media drives
• Smartphones
• Laptop computers
• Personal digital assistant PDAs
• Making Decisions and Solving Problems
• Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
• Getting Information
• Communicating with Persons Outside Organization

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