What is The Average Executive Salary?

The average executive salary can be broad; this is mainly down to a number of factors including the sector, the location and the type of executive role.  The salary can vary anywhere from £100k to over  £1 million. And we have any included share options and the benefits package to go with it. If you’re keen to improve your ability to secure a high-level position I would highly recommend you look into receiving some executive interview coaching.

Below is a list of the average executive salary in the UK and US.

Sector Sub-Category GBP USD
Finance Investment Banking £750k – £2m $1.05m – $2.8m
Private Equity £500k – £2m $700k – $2.8m
Hedge Funds £500k – £2m $700k – $2.8m
Asset Management £250k – £1.2m $350k – $1.68m
Technology Big Tech £500k – £1.5m $700k – $2.1m
Startup Tech £100k – £500k $140k – $700k
E-commerce £150k – £800k $210k – $1.12m
Healthcare Pharmaceuticals £200k – £1m $280k – $1.4m
Biotech £150k – £500k $210k – $700k
Retail Luxury Retail £250k – £800k $350k – $1.12m
Fast Fashion £100k – £300k $140k – $420k
Energy Oil and Gas £250k – £1.2m $350k – $1.68m
Renewables £150k – £500k $210k – $700k
Manufacturing Aerospace and Defence £250k – £1.2m $350k – $1.68m
Automotive £150k – £800k $210k – $1.12m
Management Consulting Strategy Consulting £750k – £2m $1.05m – $2.8m
Operations Consulting £500k – £1.5m $700k – $2.1m
Human Resources Consulting £150k – £500k $210k – $700k
Accounting Big Four Accounting £150k – £800k $210k – $1.12m
Mid-tier Accounting £80k – £250k $112k – $350k
Legal Services Corporate Law £500k – £1.5m $700k – $2.1m
Litigation £150k – £500k $210k – $700k
Advertising and Marketing Creative Agencies £100k – £500k $140k – $700k
Media Agencies £80k – £300k $112k – $420k
Public Relations PR Agencies £80k – £250k $112k – $350k
SMEs Small Enterprises £50k – £100k $70k – $140k
Medium Enterprises £100k – £250k $140k – $350k
Third Sector Non-profits £60k – £100k $84k – $140k
Start-ups Pre-seed and Seed Stage £50k – £80k $70k – $112k
Series A and B £80k – £120k $112k – $168k

How has the average executive salary changed?

Main driver which resulted in changing the average executive salary is due to job roles becoming more transient. Executives move jobs more often and there’s no longer this idea of a job for life and so what you don’t have is this incremental annual increase in salary which in the past would bump up a person’s salary annually. So taking into account inflation from my anecdotal experience in knowledge, I would say that the average salary hasn’t increased as much as you would expect.

Also, what you find is that many companies reduce the basic executive pay and instead include many incentives to help increase the overall package.  This can be in the form of shares within the company performance-related bonus, particularly in line with the overall company’s performance but also their own departmental performance.

However, you can also find that in certain Industries that have become more dominant over the last 20 years particularly, you will find that executive salaries are much higher than they were two decades ago. Also, when you include places like London, New York, Los Angeles, and Singapore, where most senior management jobs and executive roles are based, the average salary is higher because there are far more executive jobs open as well as these cities being expensive to live in.

How to negotiate an executive salary?

To negotiate your salary as an executive. You’re in a strong position and you have far more leverage to negotiate than the average job role. This is partly due to the fact that the whole interviewing process has been so rigorous and long.  That if you are being offered a position within the senior leadership team as a VP, CEO, CTO or CFO role, know, that you are their only option and that means their best option! So, you are in a position of strength. I recommend that you do the following four things in negotiating an above-average executive salary:

  1. Be bold and don’t be afraid to ask what you believe you are worth in fact, ask a little bit more because of the sheer effort you’ve had to put in to get that job offer.
  2. Make sure that you understand what the package is and don’t purely focus on the basic salary, understand the small print, understand what the bonus package entails, and how much the share options.
  3. Once you’ve put your case forward, stay calm like you’re playing a game of poker. Let them blink first and see what they offer.
  4. Don’t be afraid to go back and renegotiate the initial offer. It’s a negotiation, there’s always going to be a back and forth, so enjoy that process.

Things you can do to increase the average executive salary

  1. Don’t be afraid to move jobs and always be open to opportunities within the job market this is a sure-fire way to increase your salary since there are always other companies that are willing to pay more to price you out of the job or with your current employer learning that you are looking elsewhere they could potentially make you an offer to keep you.
  2. Let the board know that you are seeking an increasing salary. This is important since many board members are sometimes disconnected from the corporate world and how much a good salary should be. The board is likely going to be a group of millionaires and multi-millionaires. And like any shrewd business owner they’re only going to pay you more if you demand it.
  3. If you’re below the average executive salary then make sure you benchmark the average salary and present it to the decision-makers of your salary.
  4. If there’s little leverage in the salary, always say to increase the share option, the bonuses, and the benefits because they all result in an increase in your overall earnings which of course is the ultimate objective that we want to achieve.

Other types of ‘executive’ roles

The thing about the word executive is that it can equally represent the most junior of positions such as an account executive marketing executive. Although it’s always nice to be caught in executive this will likely be an entry-level role which definitely isn’t paying the executive-level salary. 

However, if you do want to start earning more than those two important things you should do

  1. learn how to write a great supporting statement
  2. learn how to dress for an interview.

Below are a list of average salaries for other types of ‘executive’ roles:

Job Title Average Salary (UK)
Marketing Executive Average Salary UK £25,000 – £40,000
Average Executive Assistant Salary £25,000 – £37,000
Average Account Executive (London) £33,000 – £45,000
Average Executive Secretary £25,000 – £45,000

These are subject to change due to the volatility in the job market.

Farhan Raja

I'm Farhan, the Founder and Coach at JobInterviewology.com, one of the world’s leading Career and interview Coaching specialists. Bringing over a decade of industry experience and a passion for guiding individuals in their career journeys. As an Interview and Career Coach, I've authored the eBook '10 Simple Steps to CV & Resume Success,' directed a leading UK CV writing specialist, and pioneered the iPREP interview coaching methodology.

My career and interview coaching has spanned over 10 years across diverse industries, from IT giants like Google and Microsoft to vital sectors like Civil Service & NHS, Pharma, Finance, Engineering, Automotive, Construction, Logistics, Banking, and Management Consulting. I've had the privilege of assisting professionals in presenting their best selves, and targeting roles at renowned companies like Amazon, GSK, EY, Shell, Rolls Royce and more.

Related Posts

Leave a comment