What is a CEO?

A CEO is the highest-ranking executive of a firm. They act as the company’s public face and make major corporate decisions. They have the overall responsibility for creating, planning, implementing, and integrating the strategic direction of an organization.

How to become a CEO?

You’ll often need a degree, postgraduate or professional qualification related to the organisation’s work. For example, in areas like business management, finance or law.

For apprenticeship, you can get into this job through a senior leader master’s degree apprenticeship. This will usually take 2 to 3 years to complete. You’ll do on-the-job training and spend time with a training provider.

You could move into this role if you’ve got several years’ experience of working at senior management level, along with commercial expertise.

CEO duties

CEO duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Oversee all operations and business activities to ensure they produce the desired results and are consistent with the overall strategy and mission
  • Make high-quality investing decisions to advance the business and increase profits
  • Enforce adherence to legal guidelines and in-house policies to maintain the company’s legality and business ethics
  • Communicate effectively and establish credibility throughout the organization and with the Board of Directors as an effective developer of solutions to business challenges
  • Provide expert financial guidance and advice to others within executive leadership
  • Improve the planning and budgeting process on a continual basis by educating departments and key members of corporate leadership
  • Representing the organization for civic and professional association responsibilities and activities in the local community, the state, and at the national level

CEO skills

To be an effective CEO, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Ability to understand new issues quickly and make wise decisions
  • Ability to inspire confidence and create trust
  • Ability to work under pressure, plan personal workload effectively, and delegate
  • Business management skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Financial management skills
  • Ambition and a desire to succeed
  • Ability to use your initiative

How to find a CEO job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the CEO jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for CEO jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

CEO Job Titles

When you search for CEO jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for CEO jobs include;

  • Managing director
  • Chief executive
  • Businessman / Businesswoman

What does a CEO do?

The job of a CEO varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of CEO job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a CEO include;

  • set out the organisation’s aims and priorities and how to meet them
  • work closely with a senior management team to put policies in place
  • manage relationships with business partners
  • make sure the organisation meets its legal obligations
  • report to the organisation’s chairperson or owner
  • promote the organisation at conferences, events and in the media
  • control budgets