Industries for Executive Level Jobs


You work hard, usually more than 40 hours a week. You are willing to travel and you bring all the requisite credentials and certifications to the table in the fast growing field you’ve chosen. You’re ready to move into the top floor and land one of the esteemed C level executive positions.

You can bet that you’re not alone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, even though hiring is going strong at least through 2022, you face mounting competition for a spot in the top industries for executive level jobs. The prestige and pay that goes with those positions are mighty attractive to the very motivated, educated crowd of applicants you’ll be competing against.

Your Rivals for the Top

Internal competition for executive level jobs.

One of the first challenges you’ll face when entering an executive level job is competition from internal candidates. The best companies often try to hire from within. In fact, the companies that rank high in “Best of” lists usually advertise “internal promotions” as a measure of its value. Executive associations such as the National Association for Female Executives and Chief Executive Magazine place a premium on those companies with “effective talent development” strategies.

Other growing industries among executive level jobs are the masses of recent MBA grads pounding the pavement these days, fresh-faced and full of energy and new ideas. The MBA has taken a front-row slot in the advanced degree department, with hundreds of thousands of new grads hitting the job market every year.

The 10 Fastest Growing Fields for C Level Executives to Consider

Top 10 industries for executive level jobs.

While the numbers may seem daunting, that’s no reason not to begin or continue your search for a high-paying, high-ranking slot that puts to use your finely honed leadership skills. There are plenty of opportunities out there. Employment for executives is driven both by expansions of existing companies and the formation of new companies.

C level executives will find opportunities to grow within existing industries, so build your network to include these industries. You’ll be ready to take advantage of openings even before they know what they need. At the same time, study the landscape to find the fastest growing fields that offer the most opportunities. Industries showing signs of sustained growth over the next decade or so include:

1. Healthcare

This one comes as no surprise. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the increasing numbers of baby boomers seeking additional services, healthcare is the fastest growing industry in the nation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that about 5 million new jobs will be added through 2022. And many of those jobs will require advanced degrees, ones that C level executives likely already hold.

2. Construction

While the numbers are not as startling as in the figures in the healthcare sector, construction jobs rank as the second-fastest growing industry with 1.6 million jobs expected to come online through 2022. As far as executive level jobs go, this rapidly growing field is wide open for those with experience in both commercial and residential construction.

3. Medicinal and Recreational Marijuana

Because of the growing acceptance and legalization of marijuana, this is an industry undergoing massive growth. With nearly $4 billion in sales expected in 2015, according to IBIS World, this fast growing field is expected to produce closer to $8.4 billion by 2019. And with that growth comes jobs for everyone from growers to C level executives running the organizations that dominate the market and the more than 8,000 new outlets expected to open to serve consumer demands.

4. Waste Collection

Everything from solid waste collection to hazardous waste collection is seeing explosive growth, and the field is expected to grow by an additional 39 percent by 2022. It’s a stable industry that is highly regulated, making entry into the field slow for competition. As far as executive level jobs go, however, the growth within existing providers is enormous.

5. Transportation

Growing consumer demands and improved technology make transportation one of the best industries for executive level jobs and entry-level positions alike. Supply chain managers, logistics experts and fleet managers, to name a few, are needed in air and express delivery services, maritime, freight rail and trucking sectors. The U.S. transportation industry accounted for $1.33 trillion in 2012, representing 8.5 percent of the annual gross domestic product (GDP). And it’s only growing.

6. Technology

The high tech industry is showing no signs of slowing down, making it always a slam-dunk for executives looking to get ahead, or even become the next C level executive. With everything from 3D printers to advanced robotics and the digitization of practically everything, the industry remains one of the hottest sectors to explore exceptional opportunities for innovative, forward-thinking leadership.

7. Financial Investments

After a particularly slow rebound from the recession of 2008, the financial industry is finally waking up and finding that it lacks the executive talent it needs to build and sustain rapid growth. Banks, insurance companies, investment houses and security firms are facing massive employment holes and are ripe for potential C level executives who can manage the expected growth.

8. Private Education

Social entrepreneurs are breaking into what many believe are broken public education systems with innovative and cost-effective strategies, making them poised for extensive growth and a need for executive leadership. With K–12 education alone generating a whopping $782 billion, the industry is ripe for start-ups and smart executive leaders.

9. Elder Care

While it could come under the auspices of healthcare, elder services, technology and research deserve a line item of their own because of the incredible needs of this growing industry sector. Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, assistive technology, preventive care, wellness programs, and lifestyle amenities all are facing dramatic employment and management shortages as baby boomers flood the markets.

10. Travel, Hospitality and Leisure

It’s this same growing band of retiring baby boomers, coupled with an overall pent-up demand that’s driving this industry to prepare for rapid growth. Whether you look at lodging, cruise lines, entertainment complexes or food service as industries for executive jobs, you will be welcomed.

Executive Level Jobs for Executives on the Move

If you are a new business grad or a seasoned high-level manager, you’ve entered a great time to find a fast growing field in which to work. If you can show the value you bring to your work, if you can work within a team to achieve specific company objectives, and if you are completely focused on customer service and how it affects the bottom line, you will fit nicely into the 21st century executive paradigm.

The Author

Straight from the desk of

Kimmel & Associates

Kimmel & Associates

Marketing & Communcations

Kimmel is an executive search firm located in Asheville, North Carolina. Our professional recruiters are committed to exceeding client expectations. They work with the same dedication, honesty, and attitude of service that has been the Kimmel standard for over 34 years.

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