Your paycheck may be large, but your list of responsibilities will be just as large if you land a top executive job. Top executives, who typically have the word ?chief? somewhere in their title, are the final authority on where an organization will go and how it's going to get there.
Executive work includes:
Setting goals for departments.
Hiring and supervising the executives who run the organization's divisions.
Creating budgets and supervising the organization's financial operations.
Negotiating the highest-level deals, including mergers and acquisitions.
At the top of the executive career ladder is the chief executive officer, executive director, president or vice president. In a publicly held company, nonprofit or institution, these executives typically report to a board of directors.
Other executive careers include:
Chief financial officers, who run the finance, accounting and budget departments and decide how the organization will collect, spend, save and borrow money.
Chief information officers or chief technology officers, who plan and execute the organization's technology programs and supervise IT employees and projects.
Chief operating officers, who ensure the company runs smoothly and manage business and product development, human resources, marketing and sales.
Chief sustainability officers, who direct the organization's efforts to reduce energy use, comply with environmental regulations and act ethically.
Executive Job Market
Jobs for executives will grow 5 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), slower than the rest of the job market. Executive jobs will grow fastest in industries that are growing and where many new companies are created. Mergers and acquisitions decrease executive job opportunities -- a company needs only one CEO.
Chief executives are at the top of the corporate pay scale, but how much they make often depends on the size of the organization they run and its success in meeting its goals. The median chief executive salary was $166,910 in 2011, according to the BLS. The perks given to executives can easily outweigh their salaries. The most in-demand executives get stock options, bonuses, expense accounts, club memberships, company cars and executive jets.