CEOs may run their companies with surgical precision, but they don’t make nearly as much as surgeons do. The median annual income for a corporate leader was $181,210 in 2017, according to data compiled by CareerCast from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A surgeon makes $409,665, the highest paying field. One upside for current corporate leaders is that the job growth outlook for corporate executives is just 6%. That means it is projected that many will stay where they are, or rise up the ranks.