What is the Career Path for an Engineer to Become a CEO?

What is the Career Path for an Engineer to Become a CEO?

Well, engineers can become CEO, and surprisingly, engineering is the most common undergraduate degree among CEOs. More than 45% of Fortune 500 CEOs majored in engineering! In order to become a CEO as an engineering student, your career path could be junior engineer, site engineer, assistant manager, manager, general manager, senior general manager, assistant vice president, vice president, president, board of directors, or CEO. You can skip some steps with your skill, or educational qualification, or by changing the job.

Key Takeaways

  • You will need proper educational qualifications, skills, experience, dedication, etc. to become a CEO
  • The higher your educational qualification, the better it will be for you to become a CEO
  • You have to do all types of tasks to develop new abilities and discover new strengths to make yourself a strong candidate for the CEO position
  • If you are an engineer then you should try to broaden your knowledge in business management by working in a business environment

How to Become a CEO?

Becoming a CEO is not an easy task but that being said, it is also not that very difficult. You will need proper educational qualifications, skills, experience, dedication, etc. to become a CEO. You should keep in mind that you can’t become a CEO overnight. You have to go through lots of processes to become a CEO. Let’s check them out below!

Step – 1: Educational Qualification

Proper educational qualification is the first step that you have to go through if you want to become a CEO. You must have a bachelor’s degree to become a CEO. Sometimes, a bachelor’s degree is not sufficient enough. You might need a master’s degree in engineering or business to become a CEO. The higher your educational qualification, the better it will be for you. You should keep in mind that being a CEO may require an attitude of continuous learning throughout your career.

 Educational Qualification

Industry Sector of Engineers in Management

  • Automobile & Components
  • Banks
  • Capital Goods
  • Commercial Services & Supplies
  • Consumer Durables & Apparel
  • Consumer Services
  • Diversified Financials
  • Energy
  • Food Beverage & Tobacco
  • Health Care Equipment &Services
  • Materials
  • Media Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences
  • Real Estate
  • Retailing Semiconductors & Semiconductor
  • Equipment
  • Software & Services
  • Technology Hardware & Equipment
  • Telecommunication Services

Step – 2: Get Experience

The next step of becoming a CEO is to get real-life experience. Without proper experience, there is no way you can become a CEO. You have to do all types of tasks to develop new abilities and discover new strengths. So, while working in a lower position, make sure you take advantage of every opportunity to learn and advance toward your goal. Try to broaden your knowledge in business management by working in a business environment. It will really help you to become a CEO in the future.

Step – 3: Develop Skills

A CEO has lots of responsibilities. Therefore, you have to be skillful if you want to be a successful CEO. You must develop some skills that will help you become a CEO. They are –

  1. Integrity
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication Ability
  4. Handle complexity
  5. Interpersonal Skills
  6. Drive / Ambition
  7. Initiative
  8. Business Acumen
  9. Decisiveness
  10. Energy / Passion
  11. Analytical / reasoning skills
  12. Achievement orientation
  13. Self-Awareness
  14. Strategic Planning
  15. Emotional Intelligence
  16. Team player
  17. Conceptual skills
  18. Financial management
  19. Planning ability
  20. Entrepreneurial ability
  21. HR Management
  22. Project Management
  23. Technical competence
  24. Sales / Marketing ability
  25. Mentor
  26. Administrative Ability
  27. International Experience
  28. Multi-company experience
  29. Disciplinary knowledge

Step – 4: Get Certification

Sometimes bachelor’s and master’s degrees are not enough to become a CEO. Big companies and large organizations look for CEOs who also have various certifications. So, you should try to get various certifications throughout your career. Some important certifications that will boost your career to become a CEO are –

Get Certification
Certified Manager Certification (CM)
Certified Sales Professional (CSP)
Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Professional Certified Marketer (PCM)
Basic Life Support for Healthcare and Public Safety (BLS)
Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)
Program Management Professional (PgMP)
Certified Professional, Life and Health Insurance Program (CPLHI)
IT Information Library Foundations Certification (ITIL)
Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP)
International Accredited Business Accountant (IABA)
Accreditation in Public Relations (PR)
Certified Management Executive (CME)
Certified Energy Manager (CEM)
Microsoft Office Specialist Master Certification (MOS)
EPA Amusement Operators Safety Certification (EPA)
Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE)
Certified Health Service Administrator (CHSA)
Food Safety Manager Certification
American Red Cross

The Career Path for an Engineer to Become a CEO

Junior EngineerAs a junior engineer, you have to provide basic and entry-level support to the engineering team. Other job responsibility includes maintaining the quality control database, verifying various tests, etc.  
Site EngineerThe site engineer plays a very important role in managing various parts of construction projects. They have to supervise the workers and make coordination between the engineers and the workers. Basically, a site engineer works as a technical advisor for the project.
Assistant ManagerThe main duty of an assistant manager is to do various managerial tasks to ensure every project is running smoothly. Their job responsibility includes scheduling, maintaining inventory, evaluating employee performance, etc.
ManagerThe duties of a manager are far more than an assistant manager. A manager must maintain a department and achieve its departmental goal. Usually, a manager maintains coordination between all the assistant managers.
General ManagerUsually, a general manager remains in charge of a company or the operations of a company. A general manager takes all the necessary steps to ensure the business makes the targeted profit and continues its growth.
Senior General ManagerThe job responsibility of a senior general manager is quite similar to a manager with some extra executive power. A senior general manager has to manage important aspects of a company including budgeting, hiring staff and officers, and monitoring day-to-day business operations.    
Assistant Vice PresidentUsually, an assistant vice president acts as the team leader of a department and monitors all the work related to different projects of the department. Moreover, he/she might work directly with the clients on various projects.  
Vice PresidentThe main responsibility of a vice president is to monitor other executive officers like the assistant vice president, general manager, etc. Moreover, they form and implement various strategic plans to ensure the organization is on the right track.
PresidentThe president of an organization usually set the short and long-term goals of the company as well as monitors the progress of all the existing projects.
DirectorDirector manages all the executive officers and monitors the activities of the organization. Moreover, they help the general managers to successfully manage a team.
CEOThe Chief Executive Officer conducts the day-to-day operations of a company. He is the most powerful employee of a company. A CEO develops strategic objectives and provides direction to help the organization achieve its goals.





Last Updated on November 5, 2022 by Magalie D.

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