CIOs, while members of the C-suite, are not always given their full authority to control and transform the tech portfolio. However, hefty compensation for CIOs in major companies is challenging that notion. For example, Mike McNamara, EVP and chief information and digital officer for Target, earns a salary of $468,462, reports CIO. When bonuses, stocks and other forms of compensation are added, he takes home nearly $10 million.
However, CIOs making upwards of a few million dollars every year are an exception. The average CIO, in the 25th percentile where most CIOs fall, earns about $171,750, or less than half of McNamara's salary, according to a Robert Half report.
The next tier, the 50th percentile, earn a salary of about $205,250 in the U.S. The 50th percentile CIOs "will likely be of average complexity" or in a market with moderate talent competition, according to the report. CIOs in the 95th percentile, earn a salary of about $293,000, with the expectation of having specialized certificates.
CIOs must have sharpened technical and business skills to realize their authority. CIOs are tasked with setting the precedent for change in an organization through technology, and their role has never been more important across business looking to grow and modernize.
The relationship between the CIO and CFO is the most important in regards to getting things done. But influence from other sources, like the CEO, can help elevate a CIO's power. There are no regulations in the private sector that can guarantee transparency and communication in the C-suite, so CIOs have to rely on their ability to effectively communicate technology in business terms.
Large corporations, like Target, often see the value in technology before other smaller businesses. Their CIO compensation reflects that.
A handsome salary in tech is dependent on a list of factors, including level of authority and gender. As the roles decline from the title CIO position, so do salaries. Women CIOs make about 30% less than their male counterparts, though the pay disparity among CTOs was only 1%.