What's the average salary of a chief financial officer (CFO)?

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A:

While the average yearly salary of a chief financial officer (CFO) can vary based on a number of factors, the median compensation for a CFO in the United States as of November 2017 is $313,541 per year, according to Salary.com. CFOs within the bottom 10th percentile should expect to earn $177,928 per year, while those in the 90th percentile should expect to earn $473,450 per year.

The primary factors that impact the median salary of a CFO includes geographic location and the experience and personal qualifications of the CFO.

Base salary makes up roughly 60% of the total compensation a CFO should receive within a given year. The other areas of compensation are bonuses and benefits.

When bonuses are included in salaries, the median total compensation for a CFO is $425,427 per year. Those within the bottom 25th percentile should expect to earn $296,817 per year, and those within the 75th percentile should expect to earn $606,924 per year. Bonuses comprise approximately 20% of the yearly compensation for the average CFO.

Finally, aside from salary and bonuses, CFOs should expect to receive benefits as well. These include Social Security, 401(k), disability, healthcare, pension and time off. The value of these benefits for the average CFO is about 20% of his or her total compensation.

By way of comparison, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings of full-time workers in the United States was $859 in the third quarter of 2017, which is $44,688 per year. Thus, the average CFO makes over 600% more than the average worker, making the CFO a very lucrative career by comparison. (See also: "A Day in the Life of a CFO.")


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