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Top Executive Salary Information

The salary statistics of top executives are shown in Table 1. The average hourly salary of top executives in the United States is shown in Table 2. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of top executives within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The top executives annual salary statistics are from the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014 and published in May 2015 [1].

Table 1. Top Executive Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
90th Percentile Wage
No Data
75th Percentile Wage
$158,980
50th Percentile Wage
$100,910
25th Percentile Wage
$66,270
10th Percentile Wage
$43,570

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for top executives. The average annual salary for the 75th percentile (the top 25 percent of the highest paid) is $158,980. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $100,910. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $43,570. We note that in the United States, the annual salary of the 75th percentile (the top 25 percent of the highest paid) is almost 264% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Table 2. Average Salary of Top Executives vs. Related Jobs

OccupationAverage Wage
Chief Executives
$173,320
General and Operations Managers
$97,270
Legislators
$20,180

Table 3. Top Executive Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of top executives in 20 major industry sectors are shown in Table 3. We note that the salaries vary considerably within different industry sectors. The highest paying industry sector for top executives occupations is the management of companies and enterprises sector with an annual salary $146,070. The lowest paying sector is the accommodation and food services sector (annual salary $62,530).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$146,070
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$144,400
Finance and Insurance
$135,820
Information
$128,800
Mining
$118,900
Utilities
$118,090
Manufacturing
$115,240
Wholesale Trade
$112,250
Educational Services
$103,330
Construction
$103,010
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
$95,650
Transportation and Warehousing
$93,930
Health Care and Social Assistance
$91,320
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$91,080
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
$88,140
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$87,260
Federal, State, and Local Government
$85,640
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$76,580
Retail Trade
$75,140
Accommodation and Food Services
$62,530

Table 4. Salaries of Top Executive Related Occupations

The average annual salary of top executive related occupations at the national level is given in Table 4. For more salary information about a specific occupation, use the links below.

Occupation Median Annual Salary
Chief Executives
$173,320
General and Operations Managers
$97,270
Legislators
$20,180


Related:

Highest paying industries for top executives.