Job description

Chief executives provide overall direction to companies and organisations. They devise and implement policies, procedures and strategies to ensure the company's goals are met.

Chief executives oversee financial activities, product development, sales, services, human resources and expansion plans. They coordinate with and supervise other top executives and typically report progress to a board of directors.


    • Direct or coordinate a company's financial activities, including budgeting and investments
    • Appoint department heads, create hierarchical arrangements and assign responsibilities
    • Manage activities related to developing and creating products and providing services
    • Evaluate organisational structure and activities, assess problems, and implement improvements
    • Consult with board members, executives and staff about budgets and operations
    • Devise and implement policies and procedures to ensure continued operations, productivity and efficiency
    • Analyse financial reports, sales numbers and other documents to evaluate profits and areas for improvement
    • Negotiate or approve contracts and agreements
    • Supervise acquisitions of equipment and supplies
    • Oversee selection of sites, construction of buildings for expansion and compliance with regulations
    • Serve as liaison between organisation and shareholders or other related businesses,/li>
    • Represent organisation or assign delegates to do so for council meetings and other important functions
    • Review reports by staff members and offer suggestions or approval
    • Preside over or serve on board of directors and management committees
    • Attend industry conferences to network, present speeches to exchange ideas or promote services

Skills and qualities

Accounting software
Workflow software
Management software
Industry regulations and laws
Social perception
Active listening
Critical thinking
Time management
Social orientation

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2018 to 2028, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 5%.


New jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2018 and 2028, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.


Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.


Career progression

Experience may be substituted for education, particularly if you ascend through the managerial ranks of a single company. Success in growing a company's reputation and profits can lead to job offers for chief executive positions at larger and more lucrative organisations.

Earning an MBA and relevant certifications can help you achieve challenging and profitable executive roles with more stringent requirements.

Working conditions

Average hours

50h/ week

Typical schedule

Full Time

Nights, weekends, holidays occasionally

Chief executives work in small and large organisations, and in nearly every industry. They juggle several responsibilities and typically work long hours, including nights and weekends.

You will likely travel frequently for meetings and conferences as well as to local, regional, national and international offices.

Prepare for extensive interaction with other high-level executives, both inside and outside the company. This can also include government officials.

Being responsible for the entire success of a business can be stressful, and failure could result in job loss.


Bottom 10%




Top 10%


Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level


Master’s degree in business administration

Study time

6 years

Education requirements can vary depending on the industry and size of the company. Most chief executives have at least a bachelor's degree in business administration, public administration, law or a degree related to their industry. Those at the top of large organisations frequently have a master's in business administration (MBA).

Chief executives typically need extensive experience before achieving their position. You may move up the ladder from managerial roles in your own company.

Some positions may require the executive acquire a certification, such as a certified public accountant (CPA) designation.

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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