Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Salary

Salaries for Chief Executive Officers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($155K) per year. In the world of Chief Executive Officers, total cash compensation ranges from $72K on the lower end to $410K on the higher end; this includes bonuses that reach $131K and profit sharing that approaches $104K in rare cases, with some high rollers snagging commissions as high as $174K. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and the larger part earn dental coverage. Male Chief Executive Officers far outnumber their female contemporaries among those who completed the questionnaire. Most people is this field find their work highly enjoyable. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$70,366 - $308,476
(Median)
$70K
$150K
$310K
MEDIAN: $154,704
10%
50%
90%

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$11.74 - $167.16
(Median)
$12
$30
$170
MEDIAN: $30
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$140K$280K$420K
Salary
$70,366 - $308,476  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $130,799  
Profit Sharing
$3,016 - $103,729  
Commission
$0.00 - $174,123  
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).
)
$71,807 - $409,995  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 6,199
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$70$140$210
Hourly Rate
$11.74 - $167.16  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $61.12  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$140K$280K$420K
Bonus
$0.00 - $130,799  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $174,123  
Profit Sharing
$3,016 - $103,729  
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).
)
$71,807 - $409,995  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 114

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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

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

Common Career Paths for Chief Executive Officer (CEO)


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Chief Executive Officers who move into a Chief Technology Officer role might bring in a slightly lower salary; Chief Technology Officers earn $145K a year on average. Many Chief Executive Officers advance into roles as Non-Profit CEOs or Non-Profit Executive Directors, but the median salaries are $82K lower and $121K lower, respectively.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Chief Executive Officer (CEO)


Survey results imply that Chief Executive Officers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Team Leadership, Business Strategy, and Marketing Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 24 percent, 16 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. Those listing Project Management as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Budget Management and Operations Management also typically command lower compensation. Most people experienced in 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.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $112K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $152K. For Chief Executive Officers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $185K. Chief Executive Officers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $211K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Chief Executive Officers, location is an influential factor in determining pay. American cities to the east — New York, Washington, and Boston — all offer salaries upward of the national average; in fact, these names represent the highest-paid cities for Chief Executive Officers in the country. In Austin, salaries are 7 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Salaries



National Average
$180,000



Skills That Affect Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Salaries







Sales Management
up arrow 1%

Sales
up arrow 1%

National Average
$180,000

Financial Analysis
up arrow 1%

Senior Financial Management
up arrow 2%

People Management
up arrow 4%





Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1363 votes.

Gender

Female
18 %
Male
82 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
10%
5-9 years
12%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
45%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 84% dental benefits Dental: 62%
vision benefits Vision: 47% employee benefits None: 15%