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Top Executives

Top Executives
Quick Facts : Top Executives*
2010 Median Pay$101,250
Entry Level Education              

Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20122,136,900
Job Outlook5% (Slower than average)
Employment Change97,000

Top executives are at the top of management in a firm. They devise strategies and policies to make sure that the company meets its objectives. They handle the operational activities of companies in both the private and public sectors.

What Top Executives Do

  • Establish and carry out departmental or organizational goals, policies, and procedures
  • Direct and oversee an organization's financial and budgetary activities
  • Consult with other executives, staff, and board members about general operations
  • Analyze financial statements, sales reports, and other performance indicators
  • Identify places to cut costs and to improve performance, policies, and programs

Work Environment

Top executives work in nearly every industry. They work for both large and small organizations, ranging from one-person businesses to firms with thousands of employees. The job can be very stressful, and top executives often work long hours.
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Job Outlook

Employment of top executives is expected to grow 5 percent from 2010 to 2020, however, growth will vary widely by industry and is largely dependent on the rate of industry growth. Top executives are among the highest paid workers in the United States. However, salary levels vary substantially, depending on executives? responsibilities and lengths of service and the types, sizes, and locations of the firms, organizations, or government agencies for which they work.
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The average salary for chief executives in May 2010 was $165,080.
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Top Executives*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Top Executives


Business Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Top Executives*
Percent Change in Employment

Top Executives


Business Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Top Executives

Education and training vary widely by position and industry, but many top executives have at least a bachelor's degree and a considerable amount of work experience. They must also have related work experience, and companies promote within their organization. And yet, other companies may prefer to hire from outside the organization.
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