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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 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

Table 1. Top Executive Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$42,810
25th Percentile Wage
$65,420
50th Percentile Wage
$102,320
75th Percentile Wage
$162,970
90th Percentile Wage
No Data

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 $162,970. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $102,320. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $42,810. Note that in the United States, the annual salary of the 75th percentile (the top 25 percent of the highest paid) is almost 280% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of top executives from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
2016102,3201.35%2.71%
2015100,9400.03%-
2014100,9100.59%-
2013100,3100.76%-
201299,550--

Table 2. Top Executive Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of top executives in 20 major industry sectors are shown in Table 2. 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 $150,420. The lowest paying sector is the accommodation and food services sector (annual salary $61,020).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$150,420
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$145,310
Finance and Insurance
$136,960
Information
$128,980
Mining
$127,660
Utilities
$124,390
Manufacturing
$117,130
Wholesale Trade
$114,190
Educational Services
$106,170
Construction
$104,860
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
$99,330
Transportation and Warehousing
$95,460
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$93,510
Health Care and Social Assistance
$92,950
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$89,150
Federal, State, and Local Government
$87,180
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
$82,930
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$78,430
Retail Trade
$73,510
Accommodation and Food Services
$61,020

Table 3. Salaries of Top Executive Related Occupations

The average annual salary of top executive related occupations at the national level is given in Table 3. For more salary information about a specific occupation, use the links below.

Occupation Median Annual Salary
Chief Executives
$181,210
General and Operations Managers
$99,310
Legislators
$23,470


Related:

Highest paying industries for top executives.