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How Much Money Does a Senior Vice President of a Major Corporation Make?

by Christian Fisher

As of 2013, most senior vice presidents of major corporations earn a salary between $150,000 and $250,000 depending on the industry, organization and division within the organization that each executive leads. Senior vice presidents usually report directly to their president or chief executive officer. Many work their way up through the ranks of their organization to eventually get the job.

Almost the Top

The senior vice president position is found mostly in large organizations operating multiple brands or operating internationally. Where multiple VPs are needed, the senior VP may be their boss. Along with base salaries, many senior VPs earn bonuses, profit sharing and stock options that significantly increase their total compensations. For example, in 2012, the average salary for a senior vice president in the accounting industry was $183,014, according to a 2012 salary survey by the Institute of Management Accountants. The average total compensation for those same executives was $244,023.

The Big Money

Some senior vice presidents make extreme money. For example, Twitter’s senior VP made $10.3 million in 2012, according to initial public offering documents. However, just under $10.1 million of that was in stock options. Twitter’s senior VP’s salary was actually $145,513 plus a $100,000 bonus, putting him into the range of salaries for other senior vice presidents of major companies.

The Little Extras

Many senior VPs get cash for a number of living expenses and luxury items such as company cars or gym memberships. For example, as of 2011, in the U.S., 86 percent of large companies earning $1 billion or more employed a vice president or senior vice president of sustainability whose job is to reduce the organization's environmental impact, according to a salary survey by GreenBiz Group. In 2011, these executives were paid an average of $218,409. Many also got stock options and education reimbursements, according to the survey. Additionally, aligned with their environmentally friendly positions, some of them received subsidies for an electric or hybrid car. Some even got a free bicycle.

The Greener Grasses

What you’re vice president of, and the industry you work in, makes a difference in how much money you make. For example, salaries in 2013 for vice presidents and senior vice presidents of information technology ranged from $127,750 to $186,500, according to a salary survey by Robert Half Technology. In 2013, marketing was a particularly lucrative discipline for VPs and senior VPs who earned an average of $252,654 in total compensation, according to a survey by Quirk’s Marketing Research Media, which received input from VPs in 26 industry categories. The entertainment industry paid on the high end, with some compensation packages reaching $398,800, according to the survey. The consumer goods and health care industries were not far behind, with some VPs and senior VPs earning $328,000 and $309,533 respectively.

About the Author

A writer since 1995, Christian Fisher is an author specializing in personal empowerment and professional success. From 2000 to 2005, he wrote true stories of human triumph for "Woman's World" magazine. Since 2004, he has also helped launch businesses including a music licensing company and a music school.

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