As the nation’s top CFO search firm we have placed hundreds of extremely well-qualified CFOs in companies all across the nation.

After years of filling the top financial spot for so many different organizations, we decided to start compiling our own CFO salary information based upon our industry knowledge and placement information.

The following compensation information should be used as a general guide to determine what a certain-sized company might expect to pay on average for a highly-qualified CFO. These are very general salary ranges and there are many unique factors that could cause these ranges to shift in one direction or the other.

Generally speaking, the larger the company, the higher the average CFO salary range and the higher the total compensation package. On average, public companies tend to pay slightly higher than private companies and areas with a higher cost of living tend to pay slightly more than areas with a more moderate cost of living.

Average CFO Salary Range by Company Size

Company Size

$10 – $40 Million
$41 – $100 Million
$101 – $300 Million
$301 – $500 Million
$501 – $999 Million

Private Company

$153,400 – $236,600
$166,500 – $262,500
$194,000 – $294,600
$223,400 – $352,200
$244,900 – $443,100

Public Company

$157,200 – $257,300
$173,500 – $277,100
$209,300 – $314,400
$237,900 – $366,500
$259,000 – $461,500


The majority of public company CFO positions that we work on consist of three main compensation components: base salary, bonus and equity. Equity stakes vary from one organization to another but generally consist of an initial first year grant with the remainder vesting over a period of several years. Equity stakes can be significant, especially with larger public companies in excess of $500 million. Although less common than public companies, we see a significant number of private companies offering some sort of equity stake in addition to base salary and bonus.

Bonus Structure

Bonus structures vary greatly from one organization to another. Generally speaking most Chief Financial Officer positions have an average bonus potential of around 30 – 60% of base salary. Many have the ability to pay out higher. We have seen some that could potentially double a candidate’s base salary. Typically the bonus potential and total earning potential increases as the size of the organization increases.

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