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Chief of Staff Salary

Chief of Staffs enjoy a hefty income, with average pay passing six figures ($102K) annually in the United States. Total cash earnings of Chief of Staffs range from $50K on the low end to $192K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $34K and $24K, respectively. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Female Chief of Staffs are more common than men among those who completed the survey; more than half (60 percent) are women. Job satisfaction for Chief of Staffs is high. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
$50,754 - $168,475
MEDIAN: $99,286

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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.
$50,754 - $168,475  
$0.00 - $34,171  
Profit Sharing
$302.01 - $24,468  
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).
$49,543 - $192,348  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 445
United States (change)

Job Description for Chief of Staff

A chief of staff is an executive manager who works under the immediate supervision of the highest management at a company — typically under a chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO), or senior vice president. The chief of staff acts as the eyes and ears of these high-level executives, attending meetings with department managers, coordinating among different areas of the business, and generally helping to implement the visions of senior executives within the rest of the company. The chief of staff essentially is a manager of managers for a board of executives, acting as a communications and organization conduit between the board and middle management.


Chief of Staff Tasks

  • Provide leadership and effective management in all areas of staffing and personnel, administration, project completion.
  • Responsible for strategic project management at the highest level.
  • Provide executive-level support to top decision-makers and project managers.
  • May have a wide range of duties related to the health of the entire organization.

Chief of Staff Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Chief of Staff

Chief of Staffs generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Most notably, skills in Operations Management, Strategic Planning, Project Management, and People Management are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Policy Analysis as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Corporate Communications and Media / Public Relations also typically command lower compensation. Those familiar with Project Management also tend to know Operations Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Chief of Staff

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

Chief of Staffs who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $72K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $91K on average. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $123K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $143K.

Pay Difference by Location

Home to some of the best pay for Chief of Staffs, Seattle offers exceptional salaries, 56 percent above the national average. Chief of Staffs will also find cushy salaries in Atlanta (+35 percent), New York (+17 percent), Boston (+16 percent), and San Francisco (+15 percent). Chicago is the lowest-paying area, 2 percent south of the national average.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Chief of Staff Salaries

National Average

Skills That Affect Chief of Staff Salaries

Project Management
up arrow 3%

People Management

National Average

Strategic Project Management
up arrow 2%

Media / Public Relations
up arrow 4%

Corporate Communications
up arrow 19%

Policy Analysis
up arrow 23%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 110 votes.


60 %
40 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 81%
vision benefits Vision: 69% employee benefits None: 8%