Wages for Chief Executive Officers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($169K) per year. Cash earnings of Chief Executive Officers — including $149K in bonuses, $122K in profit sharing proceeds, and $99K in commissions near the top of the pay scale — stretch from approximately $75K to approximately $427K depending on individual performance. Career length is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and geography are driving factors as well. Something to celebrate is that most people in this position are highly satisfied with their jobs. The vast majority (83 percent) of Chief Executive Officers who answered the questionnaire are male. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and the larger part earn dental coverage. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$73,981 - $334,165
$74K
$170K
$330K
MEDIAN: $168,510
10%
50%
90%

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$15.37 - $125.92
$15
$38
$130
MEDIAN: $38.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$150K$300K$450K
Salary
$73,981 - $334,165  
   
Bonus
$2,058 - $148,580  
Profit Sharing
$2.00 - $121,977  
Commission
$6,153 - $98,811  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$75,394 - $427,455  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 4,736
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$80$160$240
Hourly Rate
$15.37 - $125.92  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.00  
Overtime
$1.91 - $118.36  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$160K$320K$480K
Bonus
$2,058 - $148,580  
   
Commission
$6,153 - $98,811  
Profit Sharing
$2.00 - $121,977  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$75,394 - $427,455  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 107

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Job Description for Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

A chief executive officer (CEO) is someone who is in charge of an organization and normally makes the vast majority of all business related executive decisions. In order to succeed at the position, a CEO must have great social skills, possess the ability to be an effective leader and not shy away from making big decisions. The specific job duties that are required from a CEO will vary depending on what type of organization they happen to be the leader of, as there could be a wide range of job responsibilities that may differ from one another. A CEO shoulders the large burden of having the majority of accountability when it comes to the success or failure of an organization, as one major decision can often take a large toll on a company whether it is good or bad. A few of the many job responsibilities that a CEO may have include several commanding responsibilities such as leading, guiding, overseeing the job performance of other highly ranking company employees such as the president and vice presidents. Furthermore, the CEO will also be responsible for putting together and formulating a strategic set of plans on how to address the direction of their company, as this is one of the more important parts of carrying the job title. It is their job to make sure that all employees carefully follow these plans when it comes to all business decisions and matters that go on within the company itself. A CEO makes a great living and can afford a very nice lifestyle away from the company, but the position comes with some large responsibilities and long hours that can be very stressful.


Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tasks

  • Drive strategic planning, business development, and fiscal operations.
  • Establish positive relationships with stakeholders and other business leaders.
  • Determine overarching goals and initiatives.

Common Career Paths for Chief Executive Officer (CEO)


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As Chief Executive Officers transition into upper-level roles like Chief Marketing Officers, it's possible that they won't see a change in salary. Chief Marketing Officers earn the same amount as Chief Executive Officers on average. Many Chief Executive Officers choose to become Non-Profit Chief Executive Officers and Executive Directors as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $87K less and $113K less, respectively.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chief Executive Officer (CEO)


Popular Skills for Chief Executive Officer (CEO)


Chief Executive Officers report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Strategy, Strategy Development, and Leadership are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 38 percent, 20 percent, and 16 percent, respectively. Those listing Project Management as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Budget Management and Financial Analysis also typically command lower compensation. The majority of those who know Operations Management also know Leadership and Strategic Planning.

Pay by Experience Level for Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Chief Executive Officers, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $122K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $155K. Chief Executive Officers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $195K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $227K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $187,584

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Boston offers some of the highest pay in the country for Chief Executive Officers, 35 percent above the national average. Chief Executive Officers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+34 percent), Houston (+33 percent), New York (+33 percent), and San Francisco (+27 percent).

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)?

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in Pueblo:
"The management."
Pros: Managing people, making my schedule, creating new policies/procedures, setting and meeting goals, new industry, helping consumers.
Cons: Stress level, work 12 hour shifts, never a set schedule, last minute decisions from president, don't have a personal life.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Gender

Female
17 %
Male
83 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 611 votes.
044
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
12%
5-9 years
12%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
44%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Salaries



National Average
$188,000



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 611 votes.

Gender

Female
17 %
Male
83 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
12%
5-9 years
12%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
44%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 82%
dental benefits
Dental: 64%
vision benefits
Vision: 51%
dental benefits
None: 16%
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