Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Salary
Six-figure salaries are the norm for Chief Technology Officers in the United States, with median pay hovering around $152K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $59K and $51K, respectively — total cash payment to Chief Technology Officers can bottom out near $87K or peak near $259K depending on individual performance. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Chief Technology Officers.
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
- 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.
- Contribute to senior management team, guiding strategic decisions and resource allocation.
- 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.
Common Career Paths for Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Chief Technology Officers sometimes move into a VP of Computer Software Engineering role, where the salary is similar. Chief Technology Officers most often move into positions as Chief Information Officers or Chief Operating Officers. Chief Information Officers actually earn $17K less on average, however, and Chief Operating Officers earn $24K less per year than Chief Technology Officers do.
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Popular Skills for Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Survey takers working as Chief Technology Officers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Software Architecture, Leadership, Java, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 9 percent. Those listing HTML as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Network Management / Administration and Microsoft SQL Server also typically command lower compensation. Most people familiar with IT Management also know Project Management.
Pay by Experience Level for Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Chief Technology Officers. Even the relatively untested can earn a lot; individuals who have been working for fewer than five years report a median six-figure salary of $101K per year. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $165K in this role. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $187K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.
Pay Difference by Location
For Chief Technology Officers, busy Washington offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 28 percent above the national average. Chief Technology Officers will also find cushy salaries in Boston (+22 percent), San Francisco (+16 percent), San Jose (+14 percent), and Denver (+13 percent). Chief Technology Officers in Miami take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 26 percent less than the national average.
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