What Are C-Level Positions and Why Should You Care?


What Are C-Level Positions and Why Should You Care?The letter C stands for a lot of things. Cream of the crop, the cat’s meow, and — in this case — chief-level positions within an organization.

C-level jobs represent the highest-ranking titles one can have at a company. And, as the best C level executive recruiters will tell you, they also happen to be some of the highest-paying positions.

Do you have your eyes on the C-level prize? Let’s take a deep dive into these positions to learn more about how you might get there.

What Does C-Level Mean?

C-level, or c-suite as it’s also known, denotes a company’s top team of executives and managers. Think of a business’ CEO, CTO, and CFO — or Chief Executive Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and Chief Financial Officer respectively.

C-Suite is a quick shorthand describing these top-tier positions usually starting with “chief”.

Some additional jobs that fall under this umbrella may include:

  • Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Chief Compliance Officer (CCO)
  • Chief Data Officer (CDO)
  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

What Do They Do?

Judging by the list above, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a singular role for C-suite executives. Their roles may vary depending on their department.

While a CCO may have a completely different set of daily tasks than a CMO, one thing they do have in common is their seniority.

Generally, professionals with C-level positions make the tough decisions. They’re high-ranking individuals who manage teams, campaigns, or entire departments.

How Much Do They Make?

Their salaries tend to reflect their workload and authority within corporate organizations.

Here’s a quick list of the median annual salaries for some C-suite positions:

  • CEO: $754,713
  • CFO: $363,559
  • CTO: $234,700
  • CMO: $230,735

How to Get on the C-Suite Path

If earning as much money as possible is your ultimate goal, a C-level job may be your best bet.

But how do you get to the top of the corporate food chain?

Work Experience

A long and varied CV will help you reach an executive-level position. Make sure you take on roles that show you have strong soft skills, such as leadership, communication, and team building.


Generally, those with a C-suite title tend to have a bachelor’s degree at the very least, while many go on to earn Masters of Business Administration (MBA) or similar certificates within their area of expertise.


While many corporations will hire in-house to fulfill their C-level positions, others will look outside for fresh faces.

Here’s where an executive recruiter may help you find a position. Executive recruiting firms have connections with a wide network of organizations looking for talent, and they’ll help put your name forward.

If work experience and education form the foundation of what you need to climb the corporate ladder, an executive recruiter acts as your spotter holding the ladder steady. They help give a sense of security to your otherwise uncertain job search.

Remember this if you decide to take your career to the next level. With the right help, you be able to become a top-ranking team member in your next position.