The national average salary for the CEO/partner/owner job function in a small business is $258,400; however, compensation varies widely across geographies, according to the 2006 Small Business Executive Compensation Survey conducted by Salary.com, a provider of on‑demand compensation management solutions. The survey reports on 12 key executive job functions and includes data from more than 1,800 organizations representing more than 50 industries, 15 regions, all 50 states, 96 metropolitan areas and 10 size ranges.

The survey found that small business CEOs/partners/owners in the District of Columbia earn $395,000 annually - more than 2.5 times as much as their counterparts in Oklahoma. The remaining top five states for pay for this position were New York, Tennessee, Massachusetts and California, which paid from $296,600 to $321,800. States with the lowest pay ranges were Nebraska, Kansas, Maine, South Carolina and Oklahoma, which paid from $141,100 to $188,800.

CEO/partner/owner compensation varies across industries as well, with the manufacturing industry paying its CEOs/partners/owners $254,700, or 8% higher than the national median, and several industries paying well below the national median. For example, the retail trade industry pays $169,500 (38% lower than the national median), the construction industry pays $190,000 (23% lower) and the healthcare and social assistance industry pays $210,000 (11% lower). 

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