Chief Information Officer Salary

By Henry R. Steele - January 8, 2018
Reading Time: 9 minutes

The following article discusses the career path of Chief Information Officer. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Chief Information Officers.

Job Duties

Today’s businesses and enterprises cannot function without proper information technology. In fact, their framework has to be constructed, maintained, and upgraded regularly. A large proportion of a business’ budget goes on information technology, which is why their IT department is usually also very large. Sometimes, these departments and the infrastructure is so large, that there is a need for a Chief Information Office (CIO).

The CIO heads the organization in terms of information technology. CIOs make important decisions in terms of how the information framework is managed. They are the final decision maker on which IT equipment should be chosen, purchased, and upgraded. They determine the best method of installation, when upgrades have to be completed, and how the system can be improved upon. They also strategically decide how the company can best use the system to its advantage.

CIOs focus strongly on technology. They understand how communication and information systems evolve and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Furthermore, they have experience in purchasing and financing, while at the same time being strong leaders and managers. They head the overall IT department, which includes its people.

Other job duties of chief information officers are:

  • To create, evaluate, and coordination IT strategies for all key services and products within the organization
  • To manage the full IT development team and its personnel
  • To liaise with other senior managers within the business
  • To maintain industry knowledge and have technical expertise in order to ensure all marketing and sales efforts can be as efficient as possible
  • To evaluate and oversee all IT operations

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.3 million general and operations managers in 2016, of which CIOs are some. The largest employers of these professionals were:

  • Retail trade: 12%
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: 11%
  • Manufacturing: 10%
  • Wholesale trade: 8%
  • Construction: 7%

How to Become

A CIO is someone who has both IT and management talents. This means that many have completed a bachelor’s degree with a focus on areas such as information technology degree, computer science degree, and business management degree. Furthermore, a CIO will usually have at least five years of professional management experience in an IT-related field.

Education Requirements

While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, the majority of CIOs now hold a master’s degree, usually the master of business administration (MBA). Many hold degrees in areas such as computer science.

See Best Online MBA Programs Rankings for 2018

Having significant experience is usually of greater importance. Most CIOs have climbed the ranks within their own organization, starting at entry level and moving into lower management and then senior management. Sometimes, external candidates are brought in because they provide a fresh, outsider look on the company. In this case, education weighs heavier as a requirement for the job.

Traits & Qualities:

The most effective CIOs have the following traits to some degree or other:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong decision making skills
  • Leadership skills, being able to motivate others
  • Management skills
  • They are excellent problem solvers
  • They have strong time management skills

Traits & Qualities

The most effective CIOs have the following traits to some degree or other:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong decision making skills
  • Leadership skills, being able to motivate others
  • Management skills
  • They are excellent problem solvers
  • They have strong time management skills

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Chief Information Officer was $121,573. This number is estimated from over 404,624 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $63.32 and monthly of $10,131.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$25,000

$289,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Chief Information Officer salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Connecticut had the largest quoted salary of $183,705 while Nebraska had the smallest quoted salary of $37,056.

Alaska Iowa Minnesota Oklahoma
Alabama Idaho Missouri Oregon
Arizona Illinois North Carolina Pennsylvania
California Indiana Nebraska Texas
Colorado Kentucky New Jersey Virginia
Connecticut Louisiana New Mexico Washington
DC Massachusetts Nevada Wisconsin
Florida Maryland New York
Georgia Michigan Ohio
Alaska$63,408 Rank: 33rd
The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Workplace Alaska.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$2,400

$9,300

Salary Distribution
Alabama$119,920 Rank: 14th
The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Precision Resources.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$27,000

$280,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$107,728 Rank: 23rd
The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Maricopa County, AZ, State of Arizona, ClearCall Solutions, and CyberCoders.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$20,000

$266,000

Salary Distribution
California$144,445 Rank: 2nd
The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like ReduxionData, Clinical Management Consultants, COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA, and Tech Placements Direct.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$37,000

$323,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$108,264 Rank: 22nd
The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Nurse-Family Partnership.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$22,000

$260,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$183,705 Rank: 1st
The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Manufacturing Automation HW/SW and CyberCoders.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$58,000

$379,000

Salary Distribution
DC$127,933 Rank: 8th
The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, USAJOBS, Department of Education, and Department of Agriculture.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$37,000

$273,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$105,616 Rank: 24th
The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Miami Dade College, Miami Dade County, Orange County Public Schools (OCPS), and Broward College.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$19,000

$266,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$121,477 Rank: 13th
The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Georgia Student Finance Commission, City of Atlanta, and Robert Half Technology.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$26,000

$286,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$124,923 Rank: 10th
The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Technology and TEAM SOURCING.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$27,000

$294,000

Salary Distribution
Idaho$88,770 Rank: 29th
The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like IDAHO DEPT. OF LABOR.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$239,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$129,905 Rank: 6th
The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RED SKY Consulting LLC and Voorhees Associates.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$29,000

$302,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$95,783 Rank: 27th
The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Indiana and Robert Half Technology.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$19,000

$233,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$105,438 Rank: 25th
The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TEKsystems and University of Kentucky.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$23,000

$248,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$124,595 Rank: 11th
The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Louisiana.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$32,000

$277,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$128,540 Rank: 7th
The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Bunker Hill Community College.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$33,000

$286,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$137,468 Rank: 5th
The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like National Security Agency, AllSearch Professional Staffing, and Bison Data Systems.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$40,000

$292,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$116,308 Rank: 16th
The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Michigan Association of School Boards and Robert Half Technology.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$22,000

$284,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$80,944 Rank: 32nd
The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Minnesota.

  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$226,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$94,334 Rank: 28th
The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like United States Department Of Defense.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$255,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$98,123 Rank: 26th
The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders and Robert Half Technology.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$22,000

$226,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$37,056 Rank: 34th
The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Nebraska.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$7.95

$35.50

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$139,681 Rank: 4th
The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like AllianceIT, Robert Half Technology, Robert Half, and EXC Search,LLC.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$40,000

$299,000

Salary Distribution
New Mexico$86,973 Rank: 31st
The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like New Mexico State Personnel Office.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$232,000

Salary Distribution
Nevada$87,389 Rank: 30th
The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Nevada.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$14,000

$224,000

Salary Distribution
New York$126,146 Rank: 9th
The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like INA Solution Ltd., IT-Talent Inc. (A Division of Tech Brains Solutions), Healthcare IT company, and New York City Department of Education.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$25,000

$307,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$119,396 Rank: 15th
The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Eastern Gateway Community College and Robert Half Technology.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$18,000

$312,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$114,840 Rank: 18th
The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like SNAP, Inc. and Accounting Career Network.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$31,000

$251,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$111,954 Rank: 20th
The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Washington Frank, Portland Community College, and State of Oregon.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$30,000

$245,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$141,362 Rank: 3rd
The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$42,000

$299,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$112,973 Rank: 19th
The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City of San Antonio, CITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI, PMCA, and CyberCoders.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$21,000

$281,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$110,758 Rank: 21st
The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like United States Department Of Defense, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and Department of Homeland Security.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$21,000

$270,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$116,067 Rank: 17th
The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Washington State Government, Sound Transit, CyberCoders, and Strategic IT Staffing.

  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$26,000

$270,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$124,271 Rank: 12th
The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like RED SKY Consulting LLC.

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Most Reported
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

$34,000

$271,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Chief Information Officer. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

As Seen On

BusinessStudent.com provides students of business with the opportunities to get ahead in their career.

“It doesn't matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once.” - Mark Cuban