Career Definition of a Chief Quality Officer
A chief quality officer provides the leadership and direction needed in order to ensure that regulations are followed and that safety protocols are in place. Their goal is to ensure that the company they work for provides the highest quality service possible while adhering to regulations. Their work can include preparing budgets, supervising staff and developing action plans to assess and improve the quality of the services or products customers receive.
Their duties can involve communicating with both customers and staff. They also supervise staff as part of their job. Many chief quality officers work for hospitals and medical facilities where their focus is on improving patient care.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree; graduate degree required for some positions|
|Job Skills||Leadership skills and management experience, communication skills, problem-solving skills, mathematical skills, customer service skills, interpersonal skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$122,539|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)**||6% (for all top executives), 17% (for all healthcare executives/administrators)|
Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
There may be opportunities to enter this career field with a bachelor's degree. Areas of study that can help prepare individuals for a career as a chief quality officer include business administration or, in the case of those working in medical facilities, health management. Chief quality officer careers in the medical field may require applicants to have a nursing or medical degree and licensing as medical professionals.
Chief quality officers must be capable of keeping sensitive information confidential. They need to have good interpersonal skills because they may interact with clients and staff on a regular basis. As part of their duties, they may be responsible for preparing budgets related to initiatives to improve quality, so they need to have mathematical skills. Since their work involves developing plans to improve services or products, they need to have problem-solving abilities. Ultimately, chief quality officers provide the goals and direction for staff to improve quality standards, so it is important that they have strong leadership skills.
Career and Salary Outlook
Chief quality officers are executives with years of experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth of 6% is predicted from 2014 to 2024 for top executives. Those who work in medical fields may have more opportunities, since the BLS expects healthcare executives and administrators to see a 17% rate of job growth during the same ten-year period. PayScale.com reported in 2017 that chief quality officers earned a median annual income of $122,539.
The role of a chief quality officer can be comparable to the work that hospital managers, nurse risk managers and quality assurance microbiologists do. Use the links here to learn more about these similar career options.