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Career Profile: Chief Executives

Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 292,500 people employed as chief executives in the United States. The median annual salary is $186,000. Entry level employees earn approximately $62,780 per year and senior employees earn approximately $208,000 (or more) per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Prepare bylaws approved by elected officials, and ensure that bylaws are enforced.
  • Serve as liaisons between organizations, shareholders, and outside organizations.
  • Attend and participate in meetings of municipal councils or council committees.
  • Represent organizations or promote their objectives at official functions, or delegate representatives to do so.
  • Organize or approve promotional campaigns.
  • Nominate citizens to boards or commissions.
  • Direct or coordinate an organization's financial or budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, or increase efficiency.
  • Appoint department heads or managers and assign or delegate responsibilities to them.
  • Analyze operations to evaluate performance of a company or its staff in meeting objectives or to determine areas of potential cost reduction, program improvement, or policy change.
  • Direct, plan, or implement policies, objectives, or activities of organizations or businesses to ensure continuing operations, to maximize returns on investments, or to increase productivity.
  • Prepare budgets for approval, including those for funding or implementation of programs.
  • Confer with board members, organization officials, or staff members to discuss issues, coordinate activities, or resolve problems.
  • Implement corrective action plans to solve organizational or departmental problems.
  • Direct human resources activities, including the approval of human resource plans or activities, the selection of directors or other high-level staff, or establishment or organization of major departments.
  • Establish departmental responsibilities and coordinate functions among departments and sites.
  • Preside over, or serve on, boards of directors, management committees, or other governing boards.
  • Negotiate or approve contracts or agreements with suppliers, distributors, federal or state agencies, or other organizational entities.
  • Review and analyze legislation, laws, or public policy and recommend changes to promote or support interests of the general population or special groups.
  • Administer programs for selection of sites, construction of buildings, or provision of equipment or supplies.
  • Direct or conduct studies or research on issues affecting areas of responsibility.
  • Coordinate the development or implementation of budgetary control systems, recordkeeping systems, or other administrative control processes.
  • Direct or coordinate activities of businesses or departments concerned with production, pricing, sales, or distribution of products.
  • Make presentations to legislative or other government committees regarding policies, programs, or budgets.
  • Refer major policy matters to elected representatives for final decisions.
  • Direct or coordinate activities of businesses involved with buying or selling investment products or financial services.
  • Conduct or direct investigations or hearings to resolve complaints or violations of laws, or testify at such hearings.
  • Direct non-merchandising departments, such as advertising, purchasing, credit, or accounting.
  • Review reports submitted by staff members to recommend approval or to suggest changes.
  • Deliver speeches, write articles, or present information at meetings or conventions to promote services, exchange ideas, or accomplish objectives.
  • Interpret and explain policies, rules, regulations, or laws to organizations, government or corporate officials, or individuals.
  • Prepare or present reports concerning activities, expenses, budgets, government statutes or rulings, or other items affecting businesses or program services.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
292,500
Annual Openings:
17,500
Increase in Openings by 2030:
-6%
Annual Salary Range:
$62,780 - $208,000
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree