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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 2017 and published in April 2018 [1].

Table 1. Top Executive Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
25th Percentile Wage
50th Percentile Wage
75th Percentile Wage
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 $163,740. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $103,120. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $43,140. Notice that in the United States, the annual salary of the 75th percentile (the top 25 percent of the highest paid) is almost 279% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2017)

The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of top executives from 2012 to 2017.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth5-Year Growth
0.78% 3.46%
1.35% -
0.03% -
0.59% -
0.76% -
- -

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 $151,840. The lowest paying sector is the accommodation and food services sector (annual salary $61,710).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Management of Companies and Enterprises
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Finance and Insurance
Wholesale Trade
Educational Services
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
Transportation and Warehousing
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
Health Care and Social Assistance
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
Federal, State, and Local Government
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Retail Trade
Accommodation and Food Services

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
General and Operations Managers


💰 Highest paying industries for top executives.