Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Salary
Chief Technology Officers in the United States can expect to earn a very comfortable salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $152K) surpassing six figures annually. Total cash compensation to Chief Technology Officers bottoms out near $87K and approaches $258K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $59K from bonuses and almost $50K from profit sharing. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Chief Technology Officers. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
A chief technology officer is part of an executive team in a company. He or she leads the efforts of the technology development within the company. This is usually the highest position related to technology within a company. Leadership skills are needed, as the CTO will often lead teams of people in the information technology department.Read More...
The CTO may decide when technologies need to be updated, so it is important to stay up to date with developments in the field. It is also important to keep an eye on the competition, in order to stay a step ahead. An abundance of research will be carried out by the CTO, and reports will be generated. That way, decisions can be made by the executive team. The CTO will generate a vision for the company and a plan to achieve it in the future. It is important to harness the best technology available to provide a good experience for the end user and to make employees’ work more efficient.
Since this is a senior position in a company, it is usually necessary to have many years of experience in a position relating to information technology. Since the job involves many duties, it is important to be self-motivated and to be able to problem-solve, multitask, and work well under pressure. The CTO may have a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate’s degree in a field such as information technology, computer programming, or another computer science.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Tasks
- Monitor management of all hardware, software, databases and licenses, maintenance, and projections of future needs.
- Define technology strategies and ensure that processes meet expectations for federal, state and community privacy and security.
- Contribute to senior management team, guiding strategic decisions and resource allocation.
- Lead technology teams in day-to-day operations, provide key expertise, supervise the heads of departments, and set performance goals.
- Conduct technical reviews of products or solutions to compare and evaluate their applicability.
Common Career Paths for Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
As Chief Technology Officers transition into upper-level roles like VPs of Computer Software Engineering, it's possible that they won't see a change in salary. VPs of Computer Software Engineering earn the same amount as Chief Technology Officers on average. A lot of Chief Technology Officers advance their careers by becoming Chief Information Officers and Chief Operating Officers. However, those positions offer $18K less and $25K less per year on average.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Survey results imply that Chief Technology Officers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Software Architecture, Leadership, Java, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Network Management / Administration as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. HTML and SQL also typically command lower compensation. For most people, competency in IT Management indicates knowledge of Project Management.
Pay by Experience Level for Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Chief Technology Officers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Salaries can reach six figures almost right off the bat; beginning workers who have less than five years' experience bring in a median of $102K per year. After working for 10 to 20 years, Chief Technology Officers make a median salary of $166K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $189K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
For Chief Technology Officers, working in the bustling city of San Jose has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Chief Technology Officers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+24 percent), Boston (+21 percent), San Francisco (+14 percent), and New York (+13 percent). Chief Technology Officers in Miami make 22 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay.