(Last Updated On: 05/04/2017)

Chief Executive Jobs

Chief Executive Quick Facts

Median Salary: $109,300 – $166,400+
Number of Jobs: 369,900
Hourly Rate: $52.56 – $80+
Employment Outlook: Good

Chief Executive Job Description

Chief executives (CEOs) are responsible for creating and executing strategies that help an organization meet its goals.

Additional responsibilities for CEOs vary greatly depending on the type and size of the company that they work for. In a smaller company, a CEO may spend a lot of their time hiring employees, managing inventory, or performing supervisory tasks. In larger companies, they are normally more removed from the day to day tasks of the company, and instead focus on the overall strategic direction.

Working as a CEO can be incredibly stressful. The health of the entire organization and the jobs of its employees ultimately rests on the CEO’s shoulders. The pressure to succeed can be huge, and there is often a large amount of scrutiny on the CEO’s performance and decisions.

Many CEOs work extremely long hours. In fact, this occupation is more of a lifestyle choice than it is a job — it’s not a position where you can clock out at 5:00 and forget about work until the next morning. At night, the work goes home with you, and emergencies have to be addressed regardless of the day or time.

Frequent and extended travel is very common in this occupation, particularly for CEOs who work in large companies. Some organizations have offices scattered across the country, and the CEO needs to visit each location on occasion to meet with the leaders at each office and ensure that operations are running smoothly. Traveling to meet with current or potential partners, vendors, is also common.

Some people find this type of work very fulfilling, but it’s definitely not an occupation for everyone. If you think that it might be great to be a CEO one day, you should carefully consider the impact that it could have on your personal life. Working nights, weekends, and holidays is common for many CEOs, and it can be difficult to manage a home life while working in this occupation.

How to Become a CEO

Unlike most occupations, there is not a clear cut path that a person can take to become a CEO. Some CEOs have only a high school degree, some have a bachelor’s degree, and some have a graduate degree. This might be a frustrating answer for you, but it’s true: CEOs come from all sorts of academic backgrounds.

The requirements for becoming a CEO normally depend on the size of the company they’re working for. Some CEOs start their own companies, and for these positions, there are no formal education requirements — afterall, they’re the ones hiring themselves! In larger companies, the education and experience requirements are normally much more formal.

If you have dreams of becoming a CEO one day but don’t want to start your own company, the best degree to get would be a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA). Many of the top executives in publicly traded companies have MBAs, and these degrees do a good job of preparing students for a career in management.

Even though CEOs come from many different backgrounds, they all still have some things in common. People in this occupation tend to be highly motivated, passionate, willing to devote their lives to the company they work for, and skilled at corporate politics.

CEOs need to have significant management experience before they are ever even considered for the job. Many start out in entry level positions, and slowly work their way up the ranks over time. CEOs always need to have extensive experience in the industry that they’re working for. For example, CEOs at banks need to have a great deal of financial experience in order to lead the company effectively.

Employment Outlook

There are currently 369,900 chief executives in the United States, with 11,150 new chief executive job openings created each year.

Chief Executive jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Chief Executive Salaries

Overall Salaries

Chief Executive salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most chief executives make between $109,300 – $166,400+ per year, or $52.56 – $80+ per hour.