CEO Salary Guide & Career Outlook

The annual salary for CEOs in the United States is $165,593 dollars, while in the United Kingdom it stands at £91,617 ($102,588). New Zealand has a similar exchange to the United Kingdom at NZ$146,008 ($105,899). In India, the CEO salary stands at Rs 2,934,823 ($45,525) and in South Africa the salary is R1,008,920.

This CEO career guide looks at global salary comparisons. Included in these comparisons are the base salary, bonuses and commission, and the job benefits outside of salary. A description of experience and industry variations, as well as working schedule and job outlook, are also covered.

How Much Does a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Make per Year by Country?

CEO SalaryUSCanadaUKAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa
Hourly Pay$38.57C$37.50 ($28.38)£24.30 ($27.21)AU$48.70 ($37.11)NZ$70.19* ($50.19)Rs 1,410 ($21.87)R625.00 ($48.82)
Annual Pay$165,593C$146,627 ($110,975)£91,617 ($102,588AU$180,113 ($137,264)NZ$146,008 ($105,899)Rs 2,934,823 ($45,525)R1,008,920 ($78,805)

Pay information denoted with a (*) indicates the hourly pay was correlated from the annual salary.

CEO salary

CEO Salary Influencing Factors

Most CEOs are high-level executives. The exception to this can be in the form of a startup or small business where the owner is also the CEO. The information reported on below comes from Payscale.

1. Location

How Much Does a CEO Make in the US?

CEO Salary USPer YearPer Hour

Profit Share


$1,490 to $147,314


$6,020 to $100,535

No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional Pay$117.45
Total Pay$74,444 to $412,884

How Much Does a CEO Make in Canada?

CEO Salary CanadaPer YearPer Hour

Profit Share


C$2,000 to C$100,238

C$93.92 to C$102,492


No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional payC$34.80
Total PayC$77,005 to C$332,687

How Much Does a CEO Make in the UK?

CEO Salary UKPer YearPer Hour

Profit Share





No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional pay£48.54
Total Pay£41,617 to £210,765

How Much Does a CEO Make in Australia?

C.E.O. Salary AustraliaPer YearPer Hour

Profit Share


AU$29.36 to AU$100,414



No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional payAU$37.50
Total PayAU$97,598 to AU$369,279

How Much Does a CEO make in New Zealand?

C.E.O. Salary New ZealandPer YearPer Hour

Profit Share



No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayNZ$84,737 to NZ$252,919

How Much Does a CEO make in India?

CEO Salary IndiaPer YearPer Hour
MinimumRs 410,418Rs 197.36
MaximumRs 9,742,280Rs 4,683

Profit Share


Rs 9,696 to Rs 3,051,289

is Rs 2,508,346

Rs 350,000

No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional payRs 99.67 to Rs 1,454
Total PayRs 451,469 to Rs 11,658,778

How Much Does a CEO Make in South Africa?

C.E.O. Salary South AfricaPer YearPer Hour

Profit Share


R9,773 to R618,228



No additional pay
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayR330,121 to R2,670,099

2. Experience

In the United States, CEOs see linear salary growth from about $120,000 for entry-level to $220,000 for experienced professionals. A similar line of increase is observed in the United Kingdom from £80,000 to £120,000. A steeper increase is seen in South Africa from R800,000 to R1,600,000 as the salary essentially doubles. Contrast this with New Zealand and Australia where there are moderate pay increases of NZ$40,000 and AU$80,000 over the span of their career. In India, there is slow salary growth until 5 years of experience is reached. After this time the salary increases exponentially from Rs 1,500,000 to Rs 5,500,000.

Unlike many other careers on Payscale, the highest average experience level for CEOs in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, India, Canada, and Australia are those with more than 20 years. In South Africa, the most common experience level is 10 to 19 years.

3. Industry

CEOs are trained in the business field. However, the actual industry they work in is going to be multifaceted and varied. There are businesses in virtually every industry and these all need a CEO. Larger companies will have a higher salary for CEOs than smaller companies.

In particular, those who work in investments or computers and technology see a higher salary than those who do not. Skills that are especially valued regardless of the industry include strategy, implementation management, and leadership. You can also read more about the executive assistant salary.

  • Mean Salary of CEOs working in Management of Companies and Enterprises: $230,090 per year
  • Median Salary of CEOs working in Local Government (OES Designation): $112,550 per year
  • Mean Salary of CEOs working in Elementary and Secondary Schools: $149,950 per year

Schedule & Working Hours

CEOs work long and varied schedules. Full-time work is essentially guaranteed. They can expect to start work early, work late into the evening, and work on the weekends when necessary. In fact, the work-life balance looks different for a CEO. The global nature of the job also requires odd hours in order to communicate with people in different time zones. Whenever there is a company crisis, the CEO can expect to work long and unusual hours.

Bonuses & Benefits

CEOs experience a lot of bonuses and benefits. This includes very nice bonuses and profit shares when the business is doing well. In addition, they have the autonomy of setting their own schedule. CEOs who work for large companies will frequently get to travel and visit new places. Any company benefits that are offered to employees are, at the very least, offered at the same level to the CEO.

The following table lists health care coverage by country. There are some clear trends in this data. The United States and Canada have the highest levels of medical coverage while Australia and New Zealand have the lowest.

CountryUnited StatesCanadaUnited KingdomAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa

Career Outlook

The job growth for CEOs is expected to be 6 percent through the year 2024 in the United States. This is about the same growth that will be seen nationwide in all jobs. Some industries will have higher rates of job growth than others. For example, the healthcare field is growing rapidly and new businesses will need a CEO.

This is a male dominated profession. The highest number of female CEOs work in New Zealand and Australia at 24 percent. The lowest number is in India at only 8 percent. The United States, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are all at about 20 percent female.


Achieving a goal of having a CEO career is quite an accomplishment for most business professionals. With the title comes a lot of responsibility and expectations. The CEO can expect to work from early in the morning to late at night. They do earn a high salary but also have high stress and a skewed work/life balance.

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