Small Business Owner / Operator Salary (United States)

Small Business Owners in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with more than half bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $73,225 annually, on average, but can range from $29,315 to $182,372 per year. Individual bonuses, profit sharing and commission for Small Business Owners—as high as $21K, $69K and $120K, respectively—each contribute to the degree of variability within cash compensation, ranging from $29,642 to $183,701. Geography and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Around one third enjoy medical and dental coverage in this occupation, and 12 percent get vision benefits. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Small Business Owner / Operator Salary (?
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.
)
$29,642 - $183,701
(Median)
30K
47K
74K
120K
180K
MEDIAN: $74,138
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Small Business Owner / Operator Salary (?
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.
)
$10.03 - $56.14
(Median)
10
15
24
35
56
MEDIAN: $24.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$29,642 - $183,701  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,749  
Profit Sharing
$1,521 - $69,043  
Commission
$0.00 - $120,000  
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).
)
$29,315 - $182,372  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,260
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$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$10.03 - $56.14  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.15 - $7.89  
Overtime
$14.79 - $89.40  
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$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,749  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $120,000  
Profit Sharing
$1,521 - $69,043  
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).
)
$29,315 - $182,372  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 201
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Job Description for Small Business Owner / Operator

Small business owners and operators work in a variety of industries such as retail goods, auto repair, home inspection, and many others. Their primary duties (outside of their respective skill or trade) include managing employees, providing customer service, promoting their business, filing and documenting appropriate business accounts, and ensuring their business meets any local, state, and federal requirements. Small business owners may work from a storefront, office space, or even from their home. Depending on the type of business, trade, or service they practice, their hours can vary; however, many organizations operate during daytime hours.
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Common Career Paths for Small Business Owner / Operator

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Small Business Owners do not experience a change in pay as they move up the career ladder. An upper-level role like Construction Manager will not bring in more or less money than some lower-level roles. Small Business Owners most often move into positions as Construction Project Managers or Operations Managers, where they typically take pay cuts of $3,387 or $13,658 per year.

Small Business Owner / Operator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Small Business Owner / Operator

Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Those listing Sales as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Customer Service and Leadership also typically command lower compensation. The majority of those who know Operations Management also know Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Strategic Planning. Those proficient in Leadership are, more often than not, also skilled in Strategic Planning and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Pay by Experience Level for Small Business Owner / Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Beginning workers can expect to earn $63K starting out, which grows to $77K after five to 10 years. After 10 to 20 years, compensation comes in at $77K. Wages do not stop growing after 20 years on the job, and Small Business Owners tend to earn $80K at this point in time. Small Business Owners with one to 10 years of experience are most common in the field, followed by those with 10 to 20 years and more than 20 years. Workers who have been working for more than 20 years are hardest to find.

Pay Difference By Location

Los Angeles
up arrow 52%
Chicago
up arrow 28%
Seattle
up arrow 22%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 4%
Atlanta
up arrow 2%
National Average
$73,000
Dallas
up arrow 2%
Tampa
up arrow 5%
Raleigh
up arrow 14%
Charlotte
up arrow 17%
San Antonio
up arrow 18%
Houston
up arrow 21%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
With a pay rate for Small Business Owners that is 52 percent greater than the national average, Los Angeles offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Also paying near the top of the field are Chicago, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta, where Small Business Owners annually earn 28 percent, 22 percent, 4 percent, and 2 percent more than the national average. Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Small Business Owners in Houston earning a whopping 21 percent below the national average. Workers in San Antonio and Charlotte earn less than others in this profession; their -18 percent and -17 percent-salaries fall short of the national average.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Small Business Owner / Operator Salaries

National Average
$73,000

Skills That Affect Small Business Owner / Operator Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 185 votes.

Gender

Female
33%
female alumni
 
Male
67%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
22%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
29%
20 years or more
26%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 30% dental benefits Dental: 17%
vision benefits Vision: 12% employee benefits None: 70%
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