An S corporation owner can receive wages via a W-2, however, an S corporation is a pass-through entity.
That means that all income or loss of the S corporation flows through to the owners. This is reported via the schedule K-1.
The income or loss passes through to the owners regardless of whether any distributions are made to the owners.
So in conclusion, an S corporation shareholder MUST receive a schedule K-1 even if it is blank; ie: the entity operated at a breakeven position for the year.
While the S corporation could "pay out" all the income through wages, that would mean closing out the company, determining the wages that need to be paid out including payroll taxes by the end of the entity tax year. Unlikely to net to zero. Additionally, this runs contrary to what most S corporation shareholder's do; and that is find a fine line between reasonable wages and then distributions. This provides a savings on FICA.