California Managerial Positions Directory

Top Executives

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Earnings

Top executives are among the highest paid workers in the U.S. economy. However, salary levels vary substantially depending upon the level of managerial responsibility, length of service, and type, size, and location of the firm. For example, a top manager in a very large corporation can earn significantly more than a counterpart in a small firm.

Median annual earnings of general and operations managers in 2002 were $68,210. The middle 50 percent earned between $45,720 and $104,970. Because the specific responsibilities of general and operations managers vary significantly within industries, earnings also tend to vary considerably. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of general and operations managers in 2002 were:

  • Management of companies and enterprises $94,600
  • Building equipment contractors $74,550
  • Depository credit intermediation $68,110
  • Local government $60,470
  • Grocery stores $44,980

Median annual earnings of chief executives in 2002 were $126,260. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of chief executives in 2002 were:

  • Management of companies and enterprises $145,600
  • Architectural, engineering, and related services $133,880
  • Depository credit intermediation $123,220
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools $103,120
  • Local government $73,990

Salaries vary substantially by type and level of responsibilities and by industry. According to a survey by Abbott, Langer & Associates, the median income of chief executive officers in the nonprofit sector was $81,000 in 2003, but some of the highest paid made $600,000.

In addition to salaries, total compensation often includes stock options, dividends, and other performance bonuses. The use of executive dining rooms and company aircraft and cars, expense allowances, and company-paid insurance premiums and physical examinations also are among benefits commonly enjoyed by top executives in private industry. A number of chief executive officers also are provided with company-paid club memberships, a limousine with chauffeur, and other amenities.

Median annual earnings of legislators were $15,220 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $13,180 and $38,540. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12,130, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $69,380. Earnings of public administrators vary widely, depending on the size of the governmental unit and on whether the job is part time, full time and year round, or full time for only a few months a year. Salaries range from little or nothing for a small-town council member to $400,000 a year for the President of the United States.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that the annual salary for rank-and-file legislators in the 40 States that paid an annual salary ranged from $10,000 to more than $99,000 in 2003. In eight States, legislators received a daily salary plus an additional allowance for living expenses while legislatures were in session.

The Council of State Governments reports in its Book of the States, 2002-2003 that gubernatorial annual salaries ranged from $50,000 in American Samoa to $179,000 in New York. In addition to a salary, most governors received benefits such as transportation and an official residence. In 2003, U.S. Senators and Representatives earned $154,700, the Senate and House Majority and Minority leaders earned $171,900, and the Vice President was paid $198,600.

Related Occupations

Workers in other occupations who need a knowledge of marketing and the ability to assess consumer demand include advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers; food service managers; insurance sales agents; lodging managers; sales engineers; and sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing.

 

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