Chief Administrative Officer

Public Sector
Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

Are you interested in a challenging job that requires strong organizational and leadership skills? If you're looking for a rewarding career in the public sector industry, consider applying for a Chief Administrative Officer job! 

As the Chief Administrative Officer, you will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a government agency or public organization. Your duties will include ensuring efficient use of resources, managing budgets, and coordinating and implementing policies and programs. You will also be responsible for leading and managing staff, ensuring that everyone works together to achieve set objectives.

The ideal candidate for this role will possess excellent communication skills, have a strong ability to multitask and prioritize, and be able to effectively manage competing priorities. Additionally, candidates with a background in public administration or a related field will be preferred.

If you're ready to take on this challenging role, we invite you to apply for the Chief Administrative Officer job today!

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage and oversee the daily operations and administration of a department or agency.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures in compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
  • Create budgets and financial reports, and ensure efficient use of resources.
  • Hire, train, manage, and evaluate staff and maintain a productive work environment.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders, such as elected officials, community leaders, and other government agencies.
  • Serve as a liaison between the organization and external entities, including the media and public.
  • Research and analyze data, and make recommendations to improve operations and services.
  • Monitor and assess the effectiveness of programs, services, and policies, and adjust them as necessary.
  • Ensure transparency and accountability in all organizational activities.
  • Represent the organization at meetings, conferences, and other events.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in the Public Sector, you need a combination of education and experience. Generally, you need a bachelor's or master's degree in public administration or business administration. These degrees teach you how to manage organizations, budgets, and people. You also need experience working in the public sector. This can include working for local, state, or federal government agencies, or for nonprofit organizations. As a CAO, you'll be responsible for managing the daily operations of a public sector organization, including overseeing budgets, staffing, and programs. Good communication and leadership skills are also important, as you'll be working with many different people and departments.

Salary Range

The  Chief Administrative Officer salary range in the public sector industry varies widely based on location, position level, and years of experience. 

In the United States, according to Payscale, the average salary for a Chief Administrative Officer is around $100,000 per year with a range of $59,000 to $172,000 per year. However, some cities or states may offer higher average salaries due to higher cost of living or increased responsibilities. For example, in New York City, the average salary for a Chief Administrative Officer is $144,814 per year.

Other countries may offer slightly different salary ranges for this position. In Canada, the average salary for a Chief Administrative Officer is around CAD 97,000 ($74,000 USD) per year, while in the United Kingdom, the average salary for a similar position is around £71,000 ($96,000 USD) per year.


  • Payscale:
  • SalaryExpert (NYC):
  • Neuvoo (Canada):

Career Outlook

If you're considering a career in the public sector as a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the outlook is favorable. The demand for CAOs is growing, with an estimated 6% increase in job opportunities over the next five years. This is due to a rising demand for efficient public services and management of government resources. As government agencies continue to undergo restructuring, CAOs play an increasingly crucial role in ensuring effective operations. This requires a strong ability to create and implement policies, as well as excellent interpersonal and communication skills. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a CAO is $88,580. Overall, the outlook for CAOs in the public sector is positive and the demand will continue to increase.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Chief Administrative Officer do?

A: A Chief Administrative Officer oversees and manages the administrative functions of a government entity or agency, including budgeting, financial reporting, human resources, and project management.

Q: What qualifications do I need to become a Chief Administrative Officer?

A: Typically, a Chief Administrative Officer will have a bachelor's or master's degree in public administration, business administration, or a related field. Additionally, they will have several years of experience in a leadership role within the public sector.

Q: What are some of the challenges Chief Administrative Officers face?

A: Chief Administrative Officers face a range of challenges, such as dealing with shrinking budgets, managing complex projects, navigating the political landscape, and keeping up with changing regulations.

Q: What skills does a Chief Administrative Officer need?

A: A Chief Administrative Officer needs to be a strong communicator, an effective leader, and able to think strategically. They also need to have excellent interpersonal skills, financial management skills, and project management skills.

Q: What is the career outlook for Chief Administrative Officers?

A: The demand for Chief Administrative Officers is expected to grow as the public sector continues to expand. However, competition for these positions is expected to be strong, so gaining the right qualifications and experience is important for aspiring Chief Administrative Officers.

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