Chief Administration Officers (CAO) are the executive-level operations officers in any organization. Each organization’s CAO will perform different tasks and have different responsibilities, but each CAO will provide valuable oversight and management.
Ultimately, a CAO is responsible for the day-to-day operations—ensuring that both business and personnel aspects of business run efficiently. They are the top administration executive and answer only to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other top-level executives.
Duties and responsibilities of CAOs include managing employees—hiring and firing, performing evaluations, assigning tasks, negotiating contracts, and consulting department heads. Further, CAOs are typically responsible for developing policy and strategic planning initiatives.
Because they are responsible for the oversight of several, if not all, departments, they may also be directly involved in preparing financial reports, implementing marketing plans, and organizing budgetary priorities.
CAOs must be highly competent individuals, with the ability to multi-task and take on a variety of job roles. In addition, CAOs should encompass the following traits:
Knowledgeable about industry
Chief Administration Officer Work Environment
CAOs, along with other top executives, work in various industries ranging in size and function. The majority of large corporations, with many departments, require the use of a CAO, but it is not uncommon for smaller businesses to utilize this position.
Individuals in this occupation will most likely work in an office environment, one that is highly stressful. Since they are the chief administrator, their actions directly affect an organization’s functionality. This position requires fulltime availability, and most CAOs will work more hours than the typical 40-hour work week.
Chief Administration Officer Salary
All top executive positions can expect to make an annual salary of $175,110, as of May 2015. Because industry and organization size can change a company’s profit and ability to provide compensation, the range of pay varies widely: $68,000 to over $187,000.
Chief Administration Officer Career Outlook
The job growth for CAOs and other top executives is mediocre, at about 6 percent. The recent financial recession has caused financial investment to slow, and without growth, executive jobs are scarce. For organizations to increase the number of executive and administrative roles, existing entities need to expand operations or new ones need to be developed.
This is a time of slow growth, therefore, employment in this field is not guaranteed. Because of this prospect, current positions are highly competitive; therefore, individuals who seek CAO employment should gain as much educational and work experience as possible.
Chief Administration Officer Degree
CAOs, like other executives, should have at least a bachelor’s degree to perform at this level of employment. However, a graduate degree is most likely the preferred level of education, both by employers and as a means to prepare an individual for this type of job.
Step 1: Obtain a bachelor’s degree. Individuals who seek employment as managers, administrators, and executives of an organization should enroll in business-like undergraduate programs. A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) is a popular choice; however, specializing in a particular field may help with employment prospects.
It is important for aspiring CAOs to take courses that will train them in business but also in their particular fields of interest. Students should make sure to take courses that will help them delegate and respond to employees, such as human relations, as well as courses in operations management, project management, organizational theory, and entrepreneurship.
Step 2: Obtain a master’s degree (recommended). A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is the most popular type of administrative degree; however, individuals will find that the following options will also provide the training and credentials necessary for a CAO position: management, business management, or specialized program that fits industry.