The Jobs and Industries With the Biggest Bonuses in 2016

December 19, 2016

Thinking about a career change in the new year? We have new insights on the careers and industries with the highest annual bonuses.

This time of year when extra expenses come in the form of gifts and holiday events, understanding job compensation is important. While 75% of companies are planning on giving out annual bonuses this year, it’s important to understand how different roles and industries are being paid. Using our LinkedIn Salary tool we explored careers and industries in the U.S. that took home the highest annual bonuses in 2016 (not including C-suite titles). We found annual bonuses are not just reserved for top executives, or even the industries you might expect.

If you’re considering a new job in 2017, keep reading to discover what bonuses for different careers and industries look like.

Jobs with the highest annual cash bonuses (excludes C-suite titles):

  1. Investment Banking Associate - $100,000

  2. Surgeon - $60,000

  3. Radiologist - $47,500

  4. Investment Banking Analyst - $45,000

  5. Medical Director - $40,000

  6. Commercial Director - $35,000

  7. Global Marketing Director - $34,500

  8. Senior Portfolio Manager - $34,000

  9. Senior Corporate Counsel - $31,000

  10. Equity Research Analyst - $30,000

The average bonus for professionals in the U.S. is 7.6% of their median annual base salary, or $5,225.

Industries with the highest annual cash bonuses:

  1. Energy & Mining - $10,000

  2. Hardware & Networking - $9,000

  3. Software & IT Services - $8,000

  4. Consumer Goods - $7,500  

  5. Finance - $7,100

  6. Retail - $6,000

  7. Healthcare - $5,500

  8. Manufacturing - $5,380

  9. Construction - $5,000

  10. Corporate Services - $5,000

As we found in our recent Work Satisfaction Survey — compensation matters to job fulfillment. If you're looking to negotiate an annual bonus next year, think about these tips when getting ready to speak with your manager or apply for a new role:

  • Do your research and make your case. The key to this type of conversation is being prepared. Compile your biggest achievements over the past year and be ready to discuss how your work impacts the company’s bottom line.

  • Explore factors that impact your compensation. LinkedIn Salary can help you identify the many different factors that may impact your compensation including location, education, industry, company, and bonuses. You may be able to use this information to make your case for a year-end bonus.

  • Learn a new skill. Adding a new skill to your professional arsenal can really impact the way you're paid. There are thousands of classes on LinkedIn Learning offering credentials that can help raise your earning potential. For example, explore over 300 classes that can teach you more about finance.

  • Be open to negotiation. Even if a manager can't give you a bonus, there may be an opportunity for another form of compensation. This is also an opportunity to ask what you can do to prove you deserve a bonus next year.


For a job title to be considered for this list, LinkedIn must have collected at least 40 salary reports per job from U.S. members that include annual bonus pay. Bonuses per job reflect the median annual bonus pay reported by U.S. LinkedIn members. To identify industries that tend to offer the highest bonus payouts, we looked at the median reported bonus across all jobs that met this threshold in each industry. C-level jobs (e.g. CIO, CSO, etc.) were excluded from the analysis.