top of page

Understanding CFO Salaries: How Much Can a CFO Earn?

CFO salary, Chief Financial Officer salary, CFO job description, Compensation for CFO, CFO qualifications, CFO experience, Incentive compensation, Long-term incentives, CFO benefits, CFO bonuses, Virtual Chief Financial Officer (vCFO), Virtual CFO salary, CEO salary, CFO vs CEO salary, CFO salaries by location, CFO salaries by company size, Fortune 500 CFO salary, Becoming a CFO, CFO qualifications and education, CFO career path.

CFOs are the financial architects of business success, managing finances at the highest levels of organizations. Their vital role can be seen in their salary, which frequently exceeds that of other executives. In this post, we will look at the average salary ranges for CFOs, the factors that influence their pay, and the additional benefits that come with the job.

Average CFO Salary Ranges:

CFOs in the United States can make between $130,000 and $462,923 per year, based on their qualifications, experience, and the size and location of the organization. Some of the most important factors influencing CFO pay are:

  1. Company Size: The size of the company is quite important. Startups often pay less, with an average salary of roughly $130,546, whereas major firms pay an average of $362,030.

  2. Company Location: Location is important. CFOs in Washington, for example, earn more than those in North Carolina.

  3. CFO Qualifications: Accounting certificates and advanced degrees, such as CMA or CPA, might increase earning potential.

  4. Years of Experience: For top-level CFO positions, a decade or more of relevant work experience is frequently required.

Additional CFO Compensation:

CFOs are paid more than just a salary. Their pay packages may include the following:

  1. Incentive Compensation: Pay-for-performance incentives.

  2. Long-Term Incentives: Stock awards and pay packages.

  3. Insurance: Supplemental life, disability, long-term care, and job-related liability insurance.

  4. Benefits: Supplemental medical insurance, vacation allowances, sabbatical or leave of absence allowances, employee discounts, and more.

  5. Retirement Plans: CFOs often enjoy robust retirement plans.

These additional components can account for up to 30% of a CFO's annual remuneration, increasing the median salary from $363,567 to $519,692.

CFO Salaries by Company Size:

CFO salary are also affected by the size of the company:

  • Startup Business CFO: $130,546 (average)

  • Small Business CFO: $194,354 (average)

  • Medium-Sized Business CFO: $237,983 (average)

  • Large Business CFO: $362,030 (average)

Fortune 500 companies often pay six-figure salaries, as well as significant bonuses and stock awards. The road to becoming a CFO may differ depending on the type of firm you want to work for, as each has its own set of needs and expectations.

CFO vs CEO Salary:

While both CFOs and CEOs hold top-tier roles, CEOs earn significantly more. Top-paid CEOs can earn up to $108 million per year, while CFOs receive a median yearly pay of $393,412. The difference reflects the positions' varied tasks and responsibilities.

CFO Salaries by Location:

CFO salaries can vary by location, with demand, business saturation, and cost of living all influencing compensation. Here are some salary ranges for high-paying jobs:

  • Los Angeles: $444,941

  • New York City: $473,275

  • Chicago: $417,367

  • Dallas: $390,855

  • Boston: $443,258

  • Houston: $403,248

The median CFO salary in the United States is approximately $393,412 in smaller U.S. cities.


Being a CFO is a rewarding path that requires years of experience and dedication. While the financial benefits are great, candidates interested in this position should also consider firm size, location, and personal career ambitions. The CFO position provides not just financial security but also the ability to make a big effect in the business world.

Consider hiring a CFO trainer or researching the developing role of a Virtual Chief Financial Officer (vCFO) for more insights and direction on CFO career options for a unique and exciting career option.


1. What is the role of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)?

A CFO is in charge of overseeing an organization's financial operations. Their responsibilities include financial planning, budgeting, risk management, and assuring the company's financial health and regulatory compliance.

2. How do I become a CFO?

An excellent educational background in finance or accounting, relevant professional experience, and often advanced degrees or certifications such as an MBA, CMA (Certified Management Accountant), or CPA (Certified Public Accountant) are required to become a CFO. It is essential to have knowledge in financial leadership responsibilities.

3. What is the salary range for CFOs?

CFO salaries can vary widely depending on company size, location, qualifications, and experience. CFO salaries in the United States typically range from $130,000 to $462,923 per year. Bonuses and benefits are examples of additional pay components that can have a major impact on total earnings.

4. What is the difference between a CFO and a CEO?

While both CFOs and CEOs are upper management in their organizations, their roles are not the same. A CFO is largely in charge of a company's finances, but a CEO is in charge of all areas of the organization, including operations, strategy, and decision-making. CEOs often earn more than CFOs.

5. Are there alternative career paths for finance professionals who don't want to become CFOs?

Yes, there are other options in finance besides being a CFO. Financial analysts, investment bankers, financial consultants, and portfolio managers are some options. These positions provide a variety of chances in finance, each with its own set of duties and career paths.

108 views0 comments


Connect us.png

I hope you like this blog post.

Connect with a career expert

bottom of page