Chief Executive Officer Career and Salary Profile
The success of any business depends on the leadership and direction it receives from the top. That’s why chief executive officers (CEOs) are vital to driving strategic business development and expanding growth for companies worldwide. Planning a career that includes this top-ranking executive position takes discipline, drive and the right education. Enrolling in a Master of Business Administration degree program can be the perfect beginning to this rewarding career path.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth for top executives, including chief executive officers, will remain steady in coming years. An expanding business environment will contribute to the demand for skilled CEOs, but job prospects will reflect the growth or decline of each industry. Fast-growing fields like healthcare should offer more opportunities. Because these positions are highly sought-after, competition will be keen. The best job prospects should go to those with advanced education, broad experience and specialized knowledge.
Chief Executive Officer Job Duties
The chief executive officer position is usually very challenging—but it can be very rewarding, too. An organization’s reputation is often a reflection of the CEO’s reputation. And its success – or failure – is usually a result of the CEO’s efforts. Providing the vision, leadership and direction that an organization needs to achieve its goals is the main function of the chief executive officer.
As the face of an organization, the CEO is typically required to represent the company in the public. This could include such activities as participating in meetings with the board of directors and stockholders, attending community functions, advocating for the organization in the business and political arenas, and developing relationships with strategic partners and clients.
Reporting to the board of directors, the CEO serves as both an advisor and policy administrator. These high-level executives are responsible for a firm’s productivity and profitability. They are typically expected to ensure management and staff are supported with sufficient resources to stay ahead of industry and economic changes.
CEOs also supervise the general operations of an organization, including human resources, finances, sales, production and physical resources. Ultimately, they are responsible for all legal and regulatory requirements, product and service delivery, upholding quality standards and ensuring the organization’s financial health.
To succeed, a CEO must be supported by a strong management team; therefore, recruiting, hiring and mentoring staff is another important duty of the CEO. They may also be responsible for expanding company and product awareness, establishing and implementing organizational goals and mission statements, and maintaining a positive public reputation.
In most firms, the chief executive officer enjoys a comfortable office with support staff. A 40-hour week is standard. Depending on the industry and employer, travel – sometimes extensive – may be required.
Chief Executive Officer Potential Salary
According to national salary data on PayScale.com, as of January 2011, chief executive officers’ median total annual pay, including salary, bonus, profit sharing and commission, was about $183,930. Those in the 25th to 75th percentile earned between $100,375 and $267,484 in total pay.
The data shows that the top salaries generally go to those with solid experience and the advanced education businesses need to remain competitive in a changing global business environment.
Education and Training Requirements
Most chief executive officer positions require at least a bachelor’s degree and extensive business and industry experience. Competition is keen for these high-level positions, and preference is often given to candidates with an MBA.
Management professionals who wish to advance into a chief executive officer position can improve their career prospects by enrolling in a Master of Business Administration degree program. Coursework typically includes global information technology management, strategic project management, financial management policy and strategic cost management.
Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned an MBA are able to:
- Use critical thinking to effectively solve problems.
- Apply modern theories of leadership, management and negotiation to real-world business challenges.
- Manage risk through analysis of statistics and economic data.
- Lead financial, personnel and operations initiatives that maximize growth and profitability.
- Advance organizational stability through proper risk management.
- Leverage advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as a chief executive officer.
Becoming a Chief Executive Officer
Successful chief executive officers are capable, dynamic and highly-personable leaders. They are also strong communicators, team-oriented, creative and energetic. If you possess these attributes and a desire to succeed in the competitive world of business, you could be CEO material. Enrolling in Master of Business Administration degree program offers many advantages, including top-notch skills and knowledge, and the respected credentials you’ll need to confidently pursue the title of CEO.