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What Top Executives Do
Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and public or private-sector organizations.
Top executives typically do the following:
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.
Top executives of large organizations typically have large offices and numerous support staff. However, the work of top executives is often stressful, because these workers are under intense pressure to succeed. Executives in charge of poorly performing organizations or departments may find their jobs in jeopardy.
Top executives may travel a lot to attend meetings and conferences or to visit their company’s local, regional, national, and international offices. In large organizations, executives may occasionally transfer jobs, moving between local offices or subsidiaries.
How to Become a Top Executive
Although education and training vary widely by position and industry, many top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree and a considerable amount of work experience.
In May 2010, the median annual wage of chief executives was $165,080, and the median annual wage of general and operations managers was $94,400.
Employment of top executives is expected to grow 5 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Applicants should face very strong competition for jobs.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
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