Account Executive Salaries & Compensation Rundown & Analysis

Updated May 25, 2023 by Axel Grubba

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If you consider yourself a natural-born salesperson and are confident in your social skills, a career as an account executive can be extremely fulfilling and rewarding.

Aside from being in high demand, an account executive is also paid very well. In fact, senior account executives can easily bring home north of $100,000.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the job, from your day-to-day responsibilities to factors that influence your salaries and benefits. We also delve into current account executive salaries and compensation.

And if you’re still interested by the end of the article, you can start searching for new opportunities as a remote account executive through Remotely.

Salary data is valid as of 28th of October, 2022.

The Average Account Executive Salary: What is an account executive’s salary?

According to Glassdoor, an account executive can bring home about $87,092 per year in total compensation. This includes base pay of $59,814 and additional pay of $27,279.

Some people may consider the base pay for this position a little lower than average but, like most sales positions, a big percentage of an account executive’s paycheck is made up of bonuses.

Account executives are generally expected to meet periodical sales targets. If they meet (and maybe exceed) these targets, performance pay is added to their pay slips. Plus, for every sale they make, account executives will also be rewarded with commissions.

Take note however that this range is specific to average account executive salaries. When applying for the same position in another company, account executives can actually be offered anywhere between $54,000 to $114,000.

Factors That Influence Account Executive Salaries

Like most jobs, the actual pay you’re going to get will differ depending on many factors. Here are the most decisive ones.

Years of Relevant Experience

The more relevant working experience you have, the higher your pay will be.

In most job postings for account executives, companies will demand at least 2-3 years of experience in sales. But if you display exceptional talent or impress employers, you can become one with less than a year of relevant working experience.

According to data provided by Built-In, those with less than a year of experience will only be offered an average of $55,870.

On the other hand, veterans in the business with more than seven years of experience will make nearly double that amount, with an average pay of $121,684.

Understandably, if you’re a fresh graduate hoping to land a 6-figure position right out of the gate, this can be extremely disappointing news.

But the reality is that employers will judge a person’s skill and competence by looking at their years in the industry. As a newcomer, you’ll have to prove yourself first. If you do the work and demonstrate great skills as a sales person, you’ll eventually rise through the ranks.


Generally speaking, the longer someone works at an organization, the better their pay and benefits will be. For example, senior employees usually have better salaries and more perks (extra paid holidays, prioritized promotions, etc.)

So, in many cases, even if you perform better and are more talented than senior account executives in the company, you’ll still have access to fewer benefits than them.

There are problems with this system, but we’re not going to discuss them in today’s article. The key takeaway is this: when you first enter a company as a new employee, expect to be paid less and given fewer benefits than senior workers.


If you work remotely, you’ll be able to choose companies based in many different regions in the country (and possibly even around the world.)

However, your salary will differ depending on where the company you’re working for is based. Companies will typically adjust their pay range based on the local cost of living.

Let’s take a quick example. Say you’re an account executive working remotely for an office based in Manhattan, NYC. According to Glassdoor, you would make about $102,117 per year.

But if you were to to work for a company based out of Memphis, Tennessee, odds are that you’d be offered a substantially lower salary. Specifically, you would only make about $84,718 per year, on average.

The reason for this pay gap is simple: the cost of living in Manhattan is 53.3% higher than in Memphis.

In most job postings, you’ll be able to see exactly where the company is based out of, so you can estimate how much you’re going to be offered before you throw in your resume. You can view current openings right now via Remotely’s job board!

Negotiation Skills

Your final salary will be decided based on how well you negotiate with the employer before you sign the contract.

Don’t feel shy or apprehensive about negotiating pay, especially if you think you’re worth more than what they are offering. It’s standard practice, so employers (at least the decent ones) won’t fault you if you choose to negotiate instead of signing right away.

Be sure to look at the industry’s data and the trends of account executive job salary to determine exactly how much money and what type of benefit you should get. From there, build a case around it. Provide many supporting points, such as your previous working experience and qualifications.

If you do this well enough, you’ll have far more than what you were initially offered.

Employees Compensation Review

Account executives’ pay, benefits, and work-life balance differ greatly depending on their seniority, location, and the company they’re working for.

A sales account executive working in the IT industry with 20 years of experience shared that they made $300[k] in on-target earnings (OTE). OTE is the total pay a salesperson would get if they perform as expected and meet sales goals regularly.

On some weeks, they worked 60 hours, while they only clocked in 30 hours in others. They also added that they had to travel for one week every month.

Another reported that they worked in rural Virginia and made $45,000 in base pay with an OTE of $75,000.

Account Executive Average Salary Levels by Seniority and Years of Experience

This table can help you understand the pay progression of account executives based on seniority and years of experience. The data below is provided by Glassdoor.


Years of Experience Total Salary (Average)

Account Executive



Lead Account Executive



Senior Account Executive



Principal Account Executive



Director of Accounts



At the entry-level position, you’ll be able to take home about $87,092 if you meet every sales goal and performance requirement. That should include base pay of $59,814 and additional pay of $27,279.

If you display talent or perform well enough, you can get a promotion to lead account executive after a year or two. In this role, your responsibilities will increase, but so will your pay. You’ll make an average of $123,765 ($81,799 in base pay and $41,966 in bonuses).

One step above the lead account executive is the senior account executive, who will supervise and direct rank-and-file staff (including lead account executives) in their duties. When you reach senior level, your pay will cross the $100,000 barrier with an average pay of $123,765.

After close to a decade in the business, you should be able to get to the Director of Accounts. Due to rank and seniority, compensation is extremely high: $227,494 per year ($125,929 in base pay and an extra $101,565 in bonuses).

Account Executive Average Salary Levels by Industries

Account executives work in many different industries, and the pay they receive will also differ as a result. This table lays out the average salary of account executives based on industry.

Data collected here is valid as of the 9th of November, 2022.


Total Salary Range (Avg)

Brand Account Executive


Public Relations (PR) Account Executive


Legal Account Executive


Entertainment Account Executive


Management & Consulting Account Executive


The pay is proportional to the complexity of the job. For example, as a brand account executive, you’ll be paid far more than average while only having to handle a single account. But you need to understand what makes the brand tick and develop unique sales strategies to make it “work.”

On the other hand, as a Public Relations (PR) account executive, you’ll most likely be working with a marketing firm. You get paid far less and usually handle several accounts at once, which can negatively impact your work-life balance. But in return, you don’t typically need to study too in-depth about each client.

So, weigh your options carefully before you pick the position or industry to enter!

Total Compensation

Other than salary and financial incentives (commissions, performance pays, stock bonuses, etc.), most companies will also offer you other non-financial benefits.

Let’s say you work as an account executive for Apple. You’ll have access to employee discounts (25% personal, 15% for friends and family) for all Apple products. The company will also handle health insurance, contribute to your 401k, offer maternity and paternity leavesgym membership, etc.

How Do Account Executive Salaries Compare to Other Jobs?

Wondering how much do account executives make relative to other jobs in the sales business? See this table for more details:

Position Total Salary per Year (Average) Account Executive Salary ($87,092/year)
Account Manager $75,039 Above
Account Director $182,288 Below
Sales Executive $111,455 Below
Sales Manager $118,755 Below

An account manager is the only position with a lower salary than an account executive.

They’re both parts of the sales team, and they’re usually on the same level in the overarching hierarchy of the business. But an account executive’s job is generally considered more difficult. Prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process, and that’s what an account executive does: search for new leads and prospects.

Meanwhile, an account manager’s role is to ensure that the clients are satisfied after contracts are signed. It’s a lot less headache-inducing in comparison.

All the other positions, like account director, sales executive, and sales manager, have more responsibilities than an account executive. That’s why they’re paid far higher.

How Do Account Executive Salaries Vary in Various Companies

Company Name

Total Salary Range (Avg)


$203,165 per year


$268,228 per year


$291,803 per year


$253,551 per year


$255,754 per year
Walmart $101,509 per year

Working at FAANG companies or Silicon Valley-based businesses will expectedly net you a lot of money.

If you got a job offer from a high-profile company like Apple, you can expect a lucrative pay north of $200,000. But such opportunities are rare and these companies are extremely hard to get into. Companies like Walmart offer more modest salaries ($101,509 per year). There’s less competition, so they should be easier to get into.

Start Hunting for Your Next Job with Remotely

In the past few years, thousands of companies have embraced the remote working model. Employees and employers alike find the flexibility and cost-efficiency of remote work setups more convenient and ideal, especially in terms of efficiency, work/life balance and productivity.

Account executives are among the expanding list of professions that can be done totally from home. And if you’re interested in pursuing this line of work, you can find the most recent postings on Remotely.