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Board Member

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: Generally not compensated directly
Job Outlook: Poor

Becoming a board member can be a positive professional move for anyone already at a director level. It may sometimes be easier than you think to achieve this, depending on the organization, as it is a lot easier if you want to become a board member on the Board of Directors for a non-profit organization. Becoming a board member can give you valuable insight into the running of the company, while they get to benefit from your knowledge and experience, and most board members find their time served on the board of directors to be a positive experience.

The primary purpose of the Board of Directors is to protect the shareholders assets, ensuring they receive a decent return on their investment. However some companies take a different view, and feel that the Board of Directors is there primarily to protect the employees rather than the shareholders. The Board of Directors is the highest level within the management structure, and is made up of individuals who are elected by shareholders for several years, with most companies operating a system that ensures that not all board members are up for re-election in one particular year. The majority of board members have some sort of vested interest in the company and are likely to be upper management, although some are completely independent to the company but are on the board due to their business abilities and experience.

Education and Training Requirements

Education and training requirements can vary tremendously according to the establishment, as anyone wishing to serve on the board of a non-profit organization may need less experience and fewer qualifications than someone hoping to serve on the board of a large corporate organization.

In general the majority of people will have at least a bachelors or Master’s degree in business administration or some other specialized subject, as most will be directors of firms. However people on the board of schools or colleges may frequently have a doctoral degree, either in the subject in which they taught or in education administration.

Getting the Job

Getting onto the board of directors is seen by many as the pinnacle of their career, as it is the highest level of management in an organization or company. As it is an elected position, getting this job may depend on good networking skills, and becoming known for being extremely good at your job.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

This is one of the top jobs available, and a person achieving this position is already likely to be a CEO or director or vice president of their firm.

Working Conditions and Environment

Working conditions and environment for a board member are likely to be extremely comfortable in well-equipped offices. It may be necessary to travel, and a board member may be expected to attend meetings outside office hours. Some of the decisions which need to be made could sometimes be tough, and at times this position may be quite stressful.

Salary and Benefits

It’s very difficult to estimate the salary of a board member, as the majority will not receive any salary other than expenses, although they may already be on a good salary as an executive or CEO. Those serving on the Board of Directors will enjoy all the benefits which go with these top management positions. In general board members are not provided with direct compensation beyond expenses as this would interfere with their responsibilities.

Where to Go for More Information

American Management Association
1601 Broadway, 6th Fl.
New York, NY 10019
(877) 566-9441

National Management Association
2210 Arbor Blvd.
Dayton, Ohio 45439
(937) 294-0421

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness