Chief Technology Officer Salary

By Henry R. Steele - January 8, 2018
Reading Time: 7 minutes

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.

Job Duties

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.

See also 5 Newest MBA Degree Jobs in Technology

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.

Education Requirements

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:

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

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

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.

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$41,000

$319,000

Salary Distribution

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.

Arizona Illinois New Jersey Texas
California Massachusetts New York Utah
Colorado Maryland Ohio Virginia
DC Michigan Oklahoma Washington
Florida Missouri Oregon
Georgia Montana Pennsylvania
Iowa North Carolina Tennessee
Arizona$110,948 Rank: 24th
The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, MY DR NOW, and Disruptive, Online Fitness Company.

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$27,000

$250,000

Salary Distribution
California$155,544 Rank: 7th
The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Interush, Inc., RecruitiFi, TTS Media, and Kore Healthcare Recruitment.

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$49,000

$320,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$129,044 Rank: 19th
The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Robert Half Technology, and Native Roots.

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$33,000

$287,000

Salary Distribution
DC$161,918 Rank: 5th
The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders.

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$44,000

$353,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$119,564 Rank: 22nd
The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Shipoci, Ferreri Search, Robert Half Technology, and Ascendo Resources.

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$32,000

$260,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$149,907 Rank: 11th
The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Technology.

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$33,000

$350,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$179,408 Rank: 1st
The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The Job Jobber.

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$54,000

$377,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$166,141 Rank: 4th
The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Hirewell, Request Technology, Computer Futures Solutions, and CyberCoders.

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$54,000

$338,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$155,250 Rank: 8th
The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Selby Jennings, Workbridge Associates, #besomebody, and Huxley Associates.

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$39,000

$348,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$144,058 Rank: 13th
The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, WSSC, and United States Department Of Defense.

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$45,000

$298,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$150,233 Rank: 10th
The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders.

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$75,000

$250,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$145,332 Rank: 12th
The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders.

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$38,000

$320,000

Salary Distribution
Montana$90,913 Rank: 25th
The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders.

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$32,000

$179,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$132,745 Rank: 17th
The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Web/Mobile Development & Marketing Company and Gambit Technologies.

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$26,000

$323,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$138,822 Rank: 15th
The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Nigel Frank International, Robert Half Technology, and CyberCoders.

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$45,000

$282,000

Salary Distribution
New York$142,687 Rank: 14th
The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Bowman Williams, Ink, Brandit, and Access Staffing LLC.

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$39,000

$311,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$125,054 Rank: 20th
The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Ohio State University and CyberCoders.

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$22,000

$316,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$175,425 Rank: 2nd
The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Blue Signal and Robert Half Technology.

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$70,000

$328,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$131,996 Rank: 18th
The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Towerhill Associates and CyberCoders.

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$43,000

$267,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$161,034 Rank: 6th
The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The Judge Group and CyberCoders.

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$43,000

$352,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$113,824 Rank: 23rd
The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders and Elwood Staffing.

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$44,000

$216,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$134,029 Rank: 16th
The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Camden Kelly Corporation, Camden Kelly, Career Consultants of Texas, LLC, and CyberCoders.

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$36,000

$294,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$152,400 Rank: 9th
The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Central Wyoming College, Nigel Frank International, and CyberCoders.

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$42,000

$330,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$171,897 Rank: 3rd
The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like United States Department Of Defense, CyberCoders, Workbridge Associates, and Bowman Williams.

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$46,000

$378,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$121,071 Rank: 21st
The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Washington, Pivot, and CyberCoders.

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$29,000

$275,000

Salary Distribution

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

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

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