Best Executive Jobs


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Executive jobs in the corporate world are the highest jobs in a company. Executives are commonly referred to as the members of the chief suite or C-suite. They are accountable to one another, the board of directors, and shareholders. Executives usually have ten years of experience or more in business. Typically, as a job candidate, their previous experience makes a significant impact on their previous companies from a leadership standpoint. Additionally, excellent communication, interpersonal, and technical skills are necessary.  


Those holding these positions hold a bachelor’s degree, but some have advanced credentials. Some of those certifications and degrees include Master of Business Administration and Certified Public Accountant certificate (CPA). The MBA geared toward high-level career professionals is the Online Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree. EMBA programs are designed for professionals aspiring to these C-suite positions. The admissions exam for an executive MBA is the Executive Assessment. The exam is described as being easier than the GRE and GMAT and requires less preparation. It assesses graduate program readiness. Even if a candidate thinks they may be at a disadvantage for returning to school after several years, they can rest assured that both the EA and the EMBA were formulated with them in mind. Read more about the Executive Assessment.  

EMBA’s are comprised of 36-72 hours, completed in two to four years. They further develop business and leadership skills. An EMBA can be more tailored to the career a candidate wants to pursue through a concentration. Some of the concentrations are accounting, business analytics, finance, marketing, and operations management. The programs also offer professional certifications, including project management or financial risk management. Online EMBA degrees range in cost from $36,000 to $223,000. But, the benefit of the degree will outweigh the cost. Not only will the degree pay for itself in future salary, but some corporations also give educational benefits like sponsorships to offset costs. Read more about executive masters of business administration degrees here.  

Upgrade to the C-suite! The most common executive roles are chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and chief technology officer. But there are several C-Suite jobs available in organizations. This list ranked 10 of the top roles based upon job satisfaction and salary. The overall satisfaction of these jobs ranges from 4.2 to 4.6 out of 5. In general, employees in these executive roles are pleased with their position and compensation. Below are the best executive jobs.

Chief Executive Officer of a Corporation (CEO) 

business meeting

The Chief Executive Officer of a company is the president of the company. Some of the skills needed for CEOs to succeed in the position are stellar social skills, decision-making skills, business strategy, and effective leadership skills. CEOs commit long hours to ensure that the company stays in alignment with the vision of the company and reach organizational goals. They make the final executive business decisions; they are responsible for the failure or success of the company. Some of the responsibilities of a CEO position are to oversee job performance, create strategic plans, and make sure the plans are followed. Men had traditionally held this position in our country, and even today, less than 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs in our country are women. The average annual salary reported is just under $156,000, but the salary can range from $102k to $189K. CEOs can also expect bonuses as well, upward of $5K.  

Chief Executive Officer of a Non-Profit (CEO)  

Chief Executive Officers of non-profit organizations are similar to CEOs of for-profit organizations. The lowest level of education necessary for this position is a high school diploma; each company varies in what they require. Key skills for this position are strategic planning, operations management, and fundraising. They oversee the company, including both employees and volunteers. Sometimes they may be responsible for tracking and managing company finances. Additional roles that may be a part of their role are hiring and firing staff and planning and scheduling mission-focused events. This position is more female-dominated. The average annual salary is $103,963 with bonuses of $2K or more. It can be as low as $67K and as high as $134K. 

Chief Strategy Officer 

A Chief Strategy Officer would work strategically with the CEO but work more as a consultant. The position is broad; it covers resource allocation and, of course, strategy development and execution. They manage middle and lower-level employees, analyze sales, guide operations, and marketing, analyze product life-cycle, and manage profitability management. Some of the necessary skills for the position are analysis, communication, speaking skills, and managing and mobilizing people to put a strategy in place. The minimum credential is a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, marketing, or sales. The annual salary for a Chief Strategy Officer ranges between $146K and $220K, with the mean landing around $185,000. 

Executive Director 

Executive directors are senior managers and leaders of businesses and organizations. While the job description can vary, directors generally create strategies and put them in place based on the company needs. Boards of Directors give suggestions, but executive directors have the final say on implementations. Directors report directly to the chairman of the board. They work on the ground, conduct day-to-day operations, empower employees, and uphold company philosophy. Skills for this position include adaptability and working well with diverse groups of people. Executive directors should have a degree in accounting, finance, information technology, or marketing. The annual salary is $80,512, but it ranges from $55k to $102k. 

Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) 


The Chief Human Resource Officers have an important administrative role. They are over hiring, compliance, and talent management. CHROs report to the CEO and the senior advising staff. They create the best practices, present proposals for changes to upper management, and implement regulations. Other responsibilities of the Chief Human Resource Officer are managing employee retention, overseeing staff training, development, and performance. They also test the efficacy of initiatives. CHROs are solution-focused. Their key skill is in management. They must have communication, time management, and interpersonal skills. A Chief HRO is also proficient in computer programs, holds a bachelor’s degree, and has over eight years of experience in the field. The average annual salary is $150,725. Chief Human Resource Officers generally can make between $104K and $170K. 

Chief Operating Officer (COO) 

The Chief Operating Officer title is synonymous with the vice president, second to the CEO. COOs work with directors and middle managers, as well as analysts and administrative staff. They are responsible for the overall business operations: administration, company strategy, and staffing. This includes daily operations like training and quality assurance of the company’s output. Data reports on efficiency and revenue determine how to enhance company production and maintain alignment with the CEO’s vision and mission. Before becoming a COO, people usually hold the role of director or manager in the current company, as experience is essential. Additionally, individual characteristics for this position are organization and dedication. They also have strong backgrounds in management and business. The annual salary is between $93K and $173K, and the average rests around $145,000. 

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 

The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for all things financial: planning, services, and reports. They oversee and advise the accounting and finance departments. CFOs are in charge of purchasing, pricing, tax, and debt departments as well. CFOs must keep departments operating efficiently and are compliant with company policies and other laws in place. This keeps the image of the company in a good light and ensures well management of the money. They are also responsible for risk management, record keeping, and data analysis. They are responsible for maintaining cash flow and healthy spending. Some of the skills for this position are strong public speaking ability, presentation skills, computer aptness, and advanced budgeting. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is a minimum requirement. CFOs must have human resource skills like hiring and employee management. The average annual salary for a Chief Financial Officer is $137,452. Depending on experience, they can make anywhere from $94K to $151K. CFOs can also expect bonuses and commissions on top of their salary. 

Chief Operations Officer (COO) 

The Chief Operations Officer is most concerned with consumers’ loyalty to the company brand. They work with the Chief Financial Officer to transparently communicate its financial reports, and they report to the CEO and board of directors. It is also a COOs job to ensure companywide productivity by implementing training and policies and assessing their effectiveness. Another job of the Chief Operations Officer is to put marketing initiatives into play. COOs must have at least a bachelor’s degree. The area of focus can be management, finance, business administration, or a similar field. Management experience and other certifications add value to those interested in applying for this position. Key skills are interpersonal skills, communication skills, organization skills, and analytical skills. Chief Operations Officers tend to work over 40 hours a week. Their average annual salary is $117,935, but it can increase to over $149K after 20 years.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) 

The Chief Marketing Officer is tasked with leading the marketing team in developing brand campaigns. Their highest priorities are sales and marketing. CMOs are forward-thinking and innovative leaders. They are visionaries and can cast vision well. They give goals and direction to their team as well as to measure progress toward them. A part of their responsibility is to create and monitor marketing and sales through quantitative analysis. When they make the brand known, they increase revenue for the company. For this position, it is necessary to have a solid foundation in sales and marketing. Eight years of experience is standard. Skills for this position are communication, management, and leadership. Lastly, the CMO position requires a master’s degree in marketing or another related field. This job can require frequent traveling. The average annual salary of a Chief Marketing Officer is $176,043. They can make as much as $200K and earn bonuses and commission. 

Chief Information Officer (CIO) 

information technology manager

The Chief Information Officer is the leader in information technology (IT), processes, and strategy related to technology. They upgrade the framework for a company’s information technology. The CIO usually oversees technology teams, keep up-to-date on IT and data trends, and make final IT decisions based on organization goals of the company. A Chief Information Officer how and when to install, upgrade, improve, or replace systems and integrate them into the company’s existing operations. On top of IT skills, a CIO must have stellar decision-making skills and management skills to ensure that everything is in sync, from the team members to operating systems. Other good skills are strategic planning and IT security and infrastructure. A degree is not generally required for this position, though college-level coursework is a plus. It provides a CIO job candidate with knowledge in computer science and IT and business management. This role is currently male-dominated. The mean annual salary for Chief Information Officers is $167,942. On the low end, they make $108K. On the high end, they make about $255K. They also earn more in bonuses. 

Action Plan

A person that wants to pursue a career in the C-Suite should go for it. These are the highest positions in profit and non-profit companies. In this article, we have only covered the top positions based on job satisfaction. There are other executive jobs like Chief Information Security Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, Chief of Staff, and Chief Engineer. We advise those looking to advance their career to do further research on the best fit for them.

One thing to note is that these C-Suite positions require many of the same skills. What is needed is a bachelor’s degree, sometimes a master’s degree or certificate, and a decade of experience in management. In the meantime, those that want can be sure to refine their communication and presentation skills.

Finally, earning an Executive MBA degree can also make candidates more desirable to a company. It may even be the factor that gets them a higher salary. Now is the time to pursue a degree. Get ready, get set; it is time to prepare for your dream career.

Related Resources:

Guide to an Economics Online MBA
Top Soft Skills for Managers
Best Marketing MBA Jobs
Highest Paying MBA Concentrations
Top MBA Admissions Consultants

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