In the realm of corporate governance, understanding the compensation package for the board of directors is a question often raised. Whether you’re an aspiring director, a shareholder, or simply interested in the corporate world, having an awareness of director salaries can provide insight into the financial realities of boardroom life.

Key Points

  • Director salaries vary significantly depending on factors such as the size of the organisation, the industry, and the responsibilities of the role
  • Remuneration often consists of a base fee, supplemented by additional pay for committee work and other responsibilities
  • Director salaries are frequently made transparent in company reports to promote accountability and alignment with shareholders’ interests

 

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How Are Director Salaries Determined?

Rarely is there a one-size-fits-all answer. Much like salary packages in other fields, director salaries depend on the size, sector, and complexity of the organisation. Larger companies with extensive operations tend to offer higher director remuneration, reflecting the significant responsibilities and accountabilities that come with such roles. Often, directors of Not-For-Profits or smaller enterprises forgo remuneration entirely, while directors of the largest, most complex organisations could receive remuneration packages in the six, seven or even eight figure range. 

What Components Make Up a Director’s Salary?

Director remuneration often includes a base fee, which compensates for time and expertise dedicated to board activities. It may also include additional pay for committee work, special assignments, and travel expenses related to board meetings and company events. Notably, these components can vary significantly, adding complexity to the calculation of a director's compensation.

Are Director Salaries Public Information?

In many jurisdictions, including Australia, listed companies are required to disclose director remuneration publicly. This transparency contributes to accountability and helps ensure that director pay is aligned with shareholder interests and company performance. You can view director remuneration in a publically listed company's annual report.

Why Is Understanding Director Salaries Important?

Having a grasp on director remuneration is vital for various reasons. It provides a benchmark for aspiring directors, aids shareholders in their corporate governance oversight, and allows for greater understanding of the financial realities in the boardroom.
This salary information, combined with a director's other benefits and responsibilities, paints a broader picture of the role of a director and its associated remuneration. The Australian Institute of Company Directors strives to promote transparency in these dealings and works diligently to support directors in their roles.

How Does AICD Support Board Members?

The Australian Institute of Company Directors offers courses, programs, resources, and tools to assist directors in their roles. These provide directors with valuable information, development opportunities, and ongoing support to effectively achieve their governance responsibilities.


In conclusion, understanding board of director salaries is more than just knowing a number. It's a matter of corporate transparency and good governance, and it's crucial in promoting alignment between boards, their companies, and their shareholders.

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