The following article discusses the career path of Chief Technology 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 Technology Officers.
Chief technology officers (CTO) are a member of an organization’s executive team. They focus on their company’s technological development. Usually, it is a terminal position within an organization for which strong leadership is required. The CTO provides leadership to all other IT (information technology) staff members.
The CTO is responsible for determining when certain equipment need to be updated. Hence, they have to stay abreast of all developments within the field. Furthermore, they monitor the competition in order to determine where they have made improvements. They research a variety of different factors and analyze numerous pieces of data, on which they report to the executive team. In so doing, they help to drive the company’s vision and create an action plan towards achieving that.
Other job duties of chief technology officers are:
- To lead IT teams’ daily operations, setting their performance goals and line managing their managers
- To conduct reviews of available technology to determine whether it is fit for purpose
- To work with senior managers to drive strategic decisions and to develop budgets
- To ensures all licenses, databases, software, and hardware are up to date and licensed
- To create IT strategies and ensure that all data are kept private and secure.
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 367,600 computer and information systems managers in 2016.
The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Computer systems design and related services: 22%
- Information: 11%
- Finance and insurance: 11%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 10%
- Manufacturing: 8%
How to Become
The position of CTO is one of significant seniority. Hence, experience in an IT-related field is incredibly important. Most hold a degree at undergraduate, graduate, or doctorate level in IT, computer science, or computer programming.
The minimum educational required is a bachelor’s degree in information or computer sciences. This means that courses in mathematics, software development, and computer programming have been completed. Usually, taking management information systems (MIS) classes is also important, as this provides students with business skills.
A graduate degree is almost always required. Many businesses prefer the masters of business administration (MBA), a degree that can be completed while working. This is interesting since relevant work experience is so important. It is common for a CTO to have in excess of 15 years’ professional experience, having grown through the ranks within a company.
Some also choose to specialize in a certain area of computer science. For instance, hospital and health care IT is very different to that used in banking. Advancement, therefore, is usually available to those who have the greatest education and who have completed the most certifications as is relevant to their industry.
Suggested degree programs to consider:
- Big Data Analytics Degree
- Computer Science Degree
- Information Systems Degree
- Technology Management Degree
- Security Management Degree
- Cybersecurity Degree
- Data Science Degree
Traits & Qualities
The most effective CTOs have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Excellent analytical skills
- Great business skills
- Strong communication skills, both oral and written
- The ability to make decisions, even under pressure
- Motivational leadership skills
- Strong organizational skills
- Being highly self-motivated
- Problem solving skills
- The ability to multitask
- Working well even when under significant pressure
The national average salary estimate for Chief Technology Officer was $147,424. This number is estimated from over 542,024 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $76.78 and monthly of $12,285.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Chief Technology Officer salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Iowa had the largest quoted salary of $179,408 while Montana had the smallest quoted salary of $90,913.
|Iowa||North Carolina||Tennessee|Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Chief Technology Officer. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Kore Healthcare Recruitment||California||$245,217|
|The Job Jobber||Iowa||$235,682|
|Gambit Technologies||North Carolina||$220,000|
|Access Staffing LLC||New York||$210,669|
|Robert Half Technology||Oklahoma||$200,000|
|Motion Recruitment Partners Prod||California||$197,960|
- Chief technology officer – Wikipedia
- Chief Technology Officer of the United States – Wikipedia
- Best Information Technology Management Degree
- Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – GSA
- Best Technology Careers
- Things You Can Do with a Information Technology Degree
- Online Technology Management Degree
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Chief Medical Officer||$185,835|
|Director of Engineering||$138,182|
|Director of Pharmacy||$136,890|
|Chief Marketing Officer||$136,769|
|Chief Financial Officer||$130,123|