The Most Unique, Hottest and Highest-Paid Careers in Organizational Leadership

Many companies and organizations are learning their ultimate success lies within the capable hands of a strong, passionate organizational leader. With your organizational leadership degree in hand, you might be wondering about a few of the hottest, highest-paying and most unique career paths available to you after graduation. From climbing the corporate ladder to become a company’s CEO to working in labor relations, there are many ways to put your hard earned education to work. Here are just a few of the most lucrative, exciting and fulfilling positions available in organizational leadership.

School Administrator

Depending on the institution, you might be surprised at what falls under the job description of a school administrator with a degree in organizational leadership. In many states, an organizational leadership degree is all that’s required to seek employment as a K-12 principal. In colleges and universities, school administrators are involved in a variety of tasks, from training staff to recruiting faculty and devising new academic protocols. Whatever the case, the median salary for a school administrator was almost $74,000 in 2009.


Otherwise known as a corporate recruiter, being a headhunter has less to do with cannibalism and spears and more to do with finding the ideal candidates for a position. Unlike many other careers that fall under the umbrella of human resources, a corporate recruiter allows individuals to specialize within the field. Depending on the industry and education, a corporate recruiter can expect to make anywhere from $53,000 to upwards of $80,000 per year. The highest-paying employers are, believe it or not, the U.S. Postal Service and the coal mining industry. Corporate recruiters working in either field pulled in an average salary of nearly $90,000 per year back in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Corporate Coach

You may hear the terms “executive” or “life” coach, but in general, a corporate coach is charged with helping executive-level individuals meet or exceed their personal and professional goals. In the past, executives with a proven track record and years of experience in the corporate world made the transition into the role. Employers are now beginning to realize that individuals with a degree in organizational leadership are better-equipped to handle the rigors of this position. The Bureau of Labor Statistics hasn’t released any figures or descriptions relating to corporate coaching, although the average median salary for a similar occupation – vocational counselors – was around $51,000 in 2009.

Labor Relations Specialist

A profession that requires endless creativity, a labor relation specialist’s main duty while working for a unionized company is to bridge the gap between employers and employees. You’ll handle contract negotiations, labor disputes and generally find the most cost-effective and clever ways to keep all parties involved content. Governmental agencies are another major employer of labor relations specialists. You could also work for a national union, teach at the university level or act as a freelance consultant. The overall job outlook is favorable and the median starting salary for individuals with a bachelor’s degree alone is around $36,697. A master’s degree allows individuals to command a higher salary and is a prerequisite to work on an executive level or for many governmental agencies.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

The main objective of an industrial and organizational psychologist is to understand the relationship between an employee and the workplace. You’ll basically research and study an organization to understand and identify how an employee’s productivity and overall behavior can be improved. As an I/O psychologist, you might meet one-on-one with a group of employees to help determine their overall satisfaction with their employer or peers, or conduct group evaluations and training sessions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook in this field is highly favorable, and expected to grow rapidly in the next 10 years. The average median salary for an I/O psychologist was nearly $83,300.

Human resources management is another popular career options for individuals with a degree in organizational leadership. If you’re currently employed in this field, and want to make your way up the corporate ladder, the most effective way to realize this goal is to earn a masters degree in human resources from an accredited online university.

About the Author: Elaine Freeman is a guest blogger and currently earning her masters degree in organizational leadership. She’s working in the healthcare industry and hopes to use her education and work experience to secure an executive position after graduation.

1 comment

  1. I think it’d be interesting to be a headhunter. I’m not sure how many jobs there are in that position, though.

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