High Pay for High Expectations

Douglas BattistaWhy are senior employees paid so much more than their ground-level counterparts? According to Douglas Battista, it’s because when you reached the C-suite, you’ve amassed the amount of experience and education needed to keep a company on its feet. But what, exactly, do the chief officers do and how are they compensated?

Q: What is a chief officer?

Douglas Battista: A chief officer, which may be the CEO, COO, CFO, CHRO, or CITO among other important titles, is an individual responsible for the growth and development of the company. A CEO, for example, is put in place to organize the company’s leadership and to ensure that it is in compliance with all applicable laws and industry regulation. A CITO is the company’s chief information technology officer and shoulders the weight of responsibility for all computer systems and technology that support his or her company’s organizational goals.

Q: What is the average salary of an executive?

Douglas Battista: That really depends on a number of factors. A CEO on the West Coast may bring in more than $1 million per year in base and bonus pay. This may also be supplemented with dividends paid on company stock.

Q: How does one reach this level of importance in the company?

Douglas Battista: There are many different executive positions, especially in larger businesses. While the requirements for each may be different, it usually starts with education and experience. For example, a CEO will often have 20 years or more in their industry and a masters degree in business or a related field. IT executives often have an advanced degree in information systems management, and many hold an MBA.

Q: Why is the pay so high?

Douglas Battista: An entry level employee may earn a salary of $40,000 or less per year. This, like a salary of an executive, reflects experience and responsibilities. Moving up the corporate ladder there are many benefits, but there is also leadership actions that demand a higher rate of pay. An executive might work 70 hours per week and his or her decisions can make or break a company.