How Much Do CEOs Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

Chief Executives

Chief Executives determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.

Becoming One
Very Hard
Master's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$197840 per year
Hourly wage
$95 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$62,780 to $114,530 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$30 to $55 per hour

Entry-level Chief Executives with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $62,780 to $114,530 per year or $30 to $55 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Chief Executives to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $100+ $208,000+
Senior (Top 25%) $100+ $208,000+
Middle (Mid 50%) $89 $185,950
Junior (Bottom 25%) $55 $114,530
No experience (Bottom 10%) $30 $62,780

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
SD $125 $259,430
NJ $124 $258,450
DC $122 $253,820
CT $119 $247,310
WA $117 $243,150
RI $116 $241,280
TX $115 $239,060
VA $114 $236,820
MI $113 $234,160
MA $111 $231,260

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Chief Executive is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like SD doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at SD might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid CEOs are in the states of SD, NJ, DC, CT and WA.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing $274380 $131.91
Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation $267510 $128.61
Natural Gas Distribution $264920 $127.36
Alumina and Aluminum Production and Processing $263780 $126.82
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities $258010 $124.04
Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing $256540 $123.34
Sound Recording Industries $256450 $123.29
Other Pipeline Transportation $256220 $123.18
Inland Water Transportation $253660 $121.95
Cable and Other Subscription Programming $253210 $121.73
Scientific Research and Development Services $251820 $121.07
Insurance Carriers $249560 $119.98
Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance $249380 $119.89
Steel Product Manufacturing from Purchased Steel $249280 $119.85
Management of Companies and Enterprises $248610 $119.52
Facilities Support Services $246440 $118.48
Other Support Activities for Transportation $246130 $118.33
Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing $246120 $118.33
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing $245300 $117.93
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing $244900 $117.74
Telecommunications $244170 $117.39
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing $242060 $116.38
Electric Lighting Equipment Manufacturing $239830 $115.30
Other Information Services $239820 $115.30
Tobacco Manufacturing $239720 $115.25
Machinery Manufacturing $238950 $114.88
Nondepository Credit Intermediation $238450 $114.64
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $238160 $114.50
Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing $237920 $114.39
Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers $237890 $114.37

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