Executive Salary Survey Data Trends: 2015-2016

by Lyle Leritz, Ph.D. 21. October 2016 09:25


October marks the opening of ERI Salary Surveys data collection phase. Over the next six months, organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada will submit compensation data for use in ERI’s traditional industry-specific and job function salary surveys.  As we prepare for incoming data for the 2017 reports (available in July), let’s look at some salary comparisons between 2015 and 2016 submissions for both nonprofit and for-profit reports.

In 2016 there were contributions from 411 organizations, while 2015 had contributions from 585 organizations. Titles with fewer than 10 observations in either year were dropped from the analysis, resulting in 391 titles for comparison. For each year, total averages were calculated by job title and included all available data to maximize sample size.

Salaries for 61% of the benchmark jobs increased from 2015 to 2016. Across the entire sample the average change in salary was 4.3%. In terms of raw dollars, this translated to an average increase of $3,359 annually.

In addition to examining overall trends, we compared salary changes for eight executive titles, shown in the table below. 2016 appears to have been a large growth year for executive positions. All eight executive titles saw relatively large increases in base salary from 2015, with Top Legal Officer realizing the largest gain.

All of these comparisons are independent of organization and incumbent. That is, no data points were matched to specific entries from the prior year. These changes reflect general trends rather than specific industry or organization changes.