How much does a chief investment officer make?

CIOs or Chief Investment Officers are the executive professionals who oversee the technology operations of the company and develop the best technology game plan for business growth.

And since CIO is a senior-level position, professionals serving under this title get paid exceptionally well.

Apart from their regular salary, they are entitled to bonuses and even profit shares in some cases.

The average CIO salary in the US is $168,729 per annum and as technology continues to become a crucial part of every sector, the market for CIOs is very promising.

By 2026, the job market for this field is expected to grow by 11% which is much faster than the average 7% growth rate of other occupations.

Read on to learn more about CIO salary and related questions like the following:

CIO Roles & Responsibilities

The primary responsibility of a CIO is to ensure that the business stays relevant in terms of technology advancements and digital transformation.

They make executive-level decisions for the IT team and work with other departmental chiefs to nurture business growth and formulate policies.

Although the day-to-day responsibilities of a CIO can vary depending on the industry and company, given below is a general overview of their duties:

  • Developing goals for the IT department and formulating strategies to successfully implement them
  • Directing IT projects and ensuring their success
  • Monitoring current updates in the industry to optimize the company’s IT operations
  • Supervising company networks and systems to ensure optimum performance
  • Identifying best practices in the IT sector and enforcing them throughout the organization
  • Liaising with the board of directors to execute IT projects and policies
  • Deciding on software and hardware upgrades for the organization

Also read: How to build a stellar Chief Information Officer resume?

Factors that Affect CIO Salary

Like any other job profile, the salary of a CIO is influenced by certain factors that are discussed below:

Experience

Among others, experience is the most basic factor that affects a CIO's salary.

The more years of experience you have, the more you earn.

Look at the different salary figures of CIOs based on their level of experience:

EXPERIENCE AVERAGE SALARY
1-3 years $107,650
5-9 years $129,199
10-19 years $164,414
20+ years $182,845

Location

Yes, location plays an important role in determining a CIO's salary.

The difference in pay based on location is caused due to variation in:

Living costs
Labor laws
Local tax regulations
Talent demand

For instance, the median salary of a CIO in New York City is lesser than that of the average CIO salary in San Jose.

Given below are some CIO salary figures based on location (US states):

LOCATION AVERAGE SALARY
New York City $169,542
San Jose $175,133
Boston $167,292
Des Moines $145,114
Austin $150,378
Washington $124,266
Los Angeles $117,683
San Diego $114,579
Sacramento $114,486
Atlanta $112,704

Industry

Although studies show that CIOs across all industries face the same challenges at work and require the same skillset to overcome them, their salaries can vary widely depending on the industry.

CIOs working for the government earn comparatively less than those working in the finance industry.

The following table shows the average salaries of CIOs based on the different industries:

INDUSTRY AVERAGE SALARY
Government $125,000
Insurance $229,000
Finance $2,132,000
Healthcare $178,000
Education $152,000

Employer

Last but not the least, an influential factor in determining CIO salary is the company or the employer they are working for.

And it is no surprise that the highest paying employers for CIOs are among the Fortune 500 companies.

Listed below are the Fortune 500 CIO salaries (excluding bonuses & other perks):

COMPANY AVERAGE SALARY
CDW $330,279
JCPenney $473,333
US Foods $475,000
Norfolk Southern $525,000
SunTrust Banks $500,000
Western Union $533,300
ManpowerGroup $568,035
UPS $491,439

Also read: How and when can you ask for a raise at work?

Requirements to Become a CIO

The hefty compensation package earned by CIOs is very lucrative, to say the least.

However, to be considered for this C-suite position, candidates must check a lot of boxes in terms of the requirements for the role.

Educational Background

While aspiring CIOs need at least a bachelor’s degree, employers prefer MBA degrees if the candidate has lesser years of experience.

And depending upon the industry, some of the desirable college degrees for CIOs are:

  • Management Information Systems (MIS)
  • Computer Information Systems (CIS)
  • IT management and project management
  • Bachelor’s degree in software engineering/computer science/information systems or a related field
  • Master’s degree in Information Technology (IT)

Also read: How to list education on a resume?

Professional Experience

Apart from educational requirements, most of the CIO job descriptions list a minimum of 8 years of experience in IT and resource management along with a preference for candidates with at least 3 years of experience in an executive role.

Meanwhile, studies show that 31% of CIOs hold 15 to 20 years of experience in a related field and 26% have 10 to 15 years of experience under their belt.

The bottom line is, that the more experience one has, the better the chances of bagging the role of Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Also read: How can you showcase work experience on a resume in 2022?

Skills

In addition to the educational requirements and experience, aspiring CIOs need to possess a diversified skillset.

Exceptional communication, strategic thinking, adaptability, emotional intelligence, and an executive presence are some of the soft skills that employers like to see in an ideal candidate.

Listed below are some of the other in-demand CIO skills:

Project Management Agile Methodologies
Enterprise Software Development Budgeting
Recruitment Business intelligence
SAP VMware
Data warehouse architectures Microsoft SharePoint
Cybersecurity Design Thinking
Contract Management ERP Development
Risk Analysis & Mitigation C-level Engagement
Process Engineering Performance Improvement
Disaster Recovery Project Direction
CompTIA Network+ Cloud Services

Also read: What are the most essential soft skills that you need to advance in your career in 2022?

Key Points from the Blog

  • Chief Investment Officers (CIOs) are executive professionals who oversee the technology operations of the company and develop the best technology game plan for business growth.
  • The average CIO salary in the US is $168,729 per annum.
  • The primary responsibility of a CIO is to ensure that the business stays relevant in terms of technology advancements and digital transformation.
  • CIO salary is influenced by factors such as location, experience level, industry, and employer.
  • On the lower end of the spectrum, CIOs earn an average salary of $107,650 while on the highest end, they can earn anything above $568,035.
  • Boston, New York, and San Jose are among the highest paying US states for CIOs positions.
  • CIOs working for the government earn comparatively less than those working in the finance industry.
  • The highest paying employers for CIOs are among the Fortune 500 companies.
  • Apart from having a bachelor’s or master’s degree, CIOs require a minimum of 8 years of relevant experience.

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