The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.
Sample of reported job titles:
Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Executive Director, Executive Vice President (EVP), Operations Vice President, President, Vice President
Also see: Chief Sustainability Officers
- Direct or coordinate an organization’s financial or budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, or increase efficiency.
- Appoint department heads or managers and assign or delegate responsibilities to them.
- Analyze 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.
- Direct, plan, or implement policies, objectives, or activities of organizations or businesses to ensure continuing operations, to maximize returns on investments, or to increase productivity.
- Prepare budgets for approval, including those for funding or implementation of programs.
- Confer with board members, organization officials, or staff members to discuss issues, coordinate activities, or resolve problems.
- Implement corrective action plans to solve organizational or departmental problems.
- Direct 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.
- Establish departmental responsibilities and coordinate functions among departments and sites.
- Preside over or serve on boards of directors, management committees, or other governing boards.
- Negotiate or approve contracts or agreements with suppliers, distributors, federal or state agencies, or other organizational entities.
- Coordinate the development or implementation of budgetary control systems, recordkeeping systems, or other administrative control processes.
- Review reports submitted by staff members to recommend approval or to suggest changes.
- Deliver speeches, write articles, or present information at meetings or conventions to promote services, exchange ideas, or accomplish objectives.
- Interpret and explain policies, rules, regulations, or laws to organizations, government or corporate officials, or individuals.
- Prepare or present reports concerning activities, expenses, budgets, government statutes or rulings, or other items affecting businesses or program services.
- Review and analyze legislation, laws, or public policy and recommend changes to promote or support interests of the general population or special groups.
- Administer programs for selection of sites, construction of buildings, or provision of equipment or supplies.
- Direct or conduct studies or research on issues affecting areas of responsibility.
- Direct or coordinate activities of businesses or departments concerned with production, pricing, sales, or distribution of products.
- Make presentations to legislative or other government committees regarding policies, programs, or budgets.
- Refer major policy matters to elected representatives for final decisions.
- Direct or coordinate activities of businesses involved with buying or selling investment products or financial services.
- Conduct or direct investigations or hearings to resolve complaints or violations of laws or testify at such hearings.
- Direct non-merchandising departments, such as advertising, purchasing, credit, or accounting.
- Prepare bylaws approved by elected officials and ensure that bylaws are enforced.
- Serve as liaisons between organizations, shareholders, and outside organizations.
- Attend and participate in meetings of municipal councils or council committees.
- Represent organizations or promote their objectives at official functions or delegate representatives to do so.
- Organize or approve promotional campaigns.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Management of Material Resources — Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Direct financial operations.
- Direct organizational operations, projects, or services.
- Prepare staff schedules or work assignments.
- Analyze data to assess operational or project effectiveness.
- Develop organizational policies or programs.
- Implement organizational process or policy changes.
- Direct sales, marketing, or customer service activities.
- Confer with organizational members to accomplish work activities.
- Prepare operational budgets.
- Resolve employee or contractor problems.
- Manage human resources activities.
- Negotiate contracts for transportation, distribution, or logistics services.
- Coordinate with external parties to exchange information.
- Analyze data to inform operational decisions or activities.
- Direct administrative or support services.
- Present information to the public.
- Communicate organizational policies and procedures.
- Advise others on legal or regulatory compliance matters.
- Analyze impact of legal or regulatory changes.
- Manage construction activities.
- Prepare financial documents, reports, or budgets.
- Prepare operational progress or status reports.
- Draft legislation or regulations.
- Liaise between departments or other groups to improve function or communication.
- Represent the organization in external relations.
- Promote products, services, or programs.
- Coordinate special events or programs.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 98% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 92% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 94% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 87% responded “Very important results.”
- Contact With Others — 82% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 94% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 74% responded “Extremely important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 76% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 63% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Deal With External Customers — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
- Letters and Memos — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 54% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Time Pressure — 47% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 59% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 40% responded “More than half the time.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 46% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Consequence of Error — 38% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Public Speaking — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 37% responded “Very important.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 24% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Interest code: EC
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- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2018)||$91.15 hourly, $189,600 annual|
|Employment (2018)||263,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2018-2028)|
Decline (-2% or lower)
|Projected job openings (2018-2028)||16,800|
|Top industries (2018)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 wage data
and 2018-2028 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018-2028). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
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