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Chief Executive

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Bachelor's degree or higher +

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What They Do

Chief Executives Career Video

About This Career

Determines and formulates policies and provides overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plans, directs, or coordinates operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster General Management pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Directs or coordinates an organization's financial or budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, or increase efficiency.
  • Appoints department heads or managers and assigns or delegates responsibilities to them.
  • Analyzes 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.
  • Directs, plans, or implements policies, objectives, or activities of organizations or businesses to ensure continuing operations, to maximize returns on investments, or to increase productivity.
  • Prepares budgets for approval, including those for funding or implementation of programs.
  • Confers with board members, organization officials, or staff members to discuss issues, coordinate activities, or resolve problems.
  • Implements corrective action plans to solve organizational or departmental problems.
  • Directs 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.
  • Presides over, or serves on, boards of directors, management committees, or other governing boards.
  • Establishes departmental responsibilities and coordinates functions among departments and sites.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) — Supervises the finance unit and is the chief financial spokesperson for an organization and assists on all strategic and tactical matters as they relate to budget management, cost benefit analysis, forecasting needs and the securing of new funding.
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO) — Helps a company produce better services or products while reducing costs and increasing profits.
  • Executive Director
  • Executive Vice President (EVP) — Responsible for maximizing an organization's operating performance and achieving its financial goals, typically attending board meetings, ensuring sound financial practices of the organization, managing the strategic plan, ensuring a healthy working environment.
  • Operations Vice President (Operations VP)


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OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.