How Much Do They Make? Breaking Down Salaries of the C-Suite

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All Hail the Chief(s)!

This article has been brought to you by the letter “C.” If you see a “C” next to somebody’s title on a business card, you’ve most likely met a person of some importance. But, have you ever wondered about how much C-Suite executives make? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of seven average annual “chief” salaries to give you an idea of how much these big wigs make annually, on average.

1) Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Median Annual Salary: $754,713

CEOs are responsible for the short- and long-term profitability and growth of their company. They organize leadership and staff to meet strategic goals, ensure appropriate governance and controls, define the corporate vision and strategy, and identify and deliver value to stakeholders. This job may require an advanced degree or its equivalent and typically requires 15+ years of related experience.

2) Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Median Annual Salary: $457,468

COOs are responsible for the development of functional or business unit strategies for the entire organization. This role plans and directs all aspects of an organization's operational policies, objectives, and initiatives. COOs also develop strategies to attain short- and long-term financial and operational goals.

3) Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Median Annual Salary: $363,559

Like the name suggests, CFOs are typically responsible for developing an organization's overall financial policies – providing strategic direction of all financial functions including accounting, budget, credit, insurance, tax, and treasury. CFOs ensure that proper financial controls are in place and that financial transactions support the overall business strategy while complying with applicable laws and regulations.

4) Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO)

Median Annual Salary: $266,171

An IT Leader, like a CITO, is the most senior executive in an organization responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support organizational goals. The CITO summons together technology and moves the company’s IT forward. The CITO is a key contributor in formulating strategic goals and implementing immediate business plans. A CITO gives technical guidance on high priority projects and orients the company to trends in the IT industry.

5) Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Median Annual Salary: $234,700

Slightly different than the CITO, a CTO is primarily customer-facing. This top technie frequently heads product research and development initiatives as they relate to the company’s current and future product offerings. CTOs typically hold advanced degrees in Computer Science or Engineering and often reports to the CIO or the CEO. A CTO is responsible for the long-range trajectory or an organization’s technology function, directing the strategic design, acquisition, management, and implementation of an enterprise-wide technology infrastructure.

6) Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

Median Annual Salary: $230,735

The CMO manages and directs marketing policies, objectives, and programs for all products and services. He/she directs and works with the marketing management team to form business plans and strategies and execute multiple high impact initiatives to accomplish corporate objectives. They are responsible for the development of functional or business unit strategy for the entire organization.

7) Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

Median Annual Salary: $217,144

The CISO is in charge of IT risk evaluations, audits, and security incident investigations. They oversee the development, implementation, and enforcement of information security standards and procedures at a business, ensuring that all information systems are functioningcorrectly regarding securepolicy. This role typically requires 8+ years of managerial experience as well as comprehensive knowledge of the overall departmental function.

No Matter Your Passion, We’re Here to Help

Aspiring to secure a C-level job, like the ones on this list?  It’s important to properly negotiate your compensation. can help.

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