A chief information officer (CIO) is responsible for managing, implementing, and using information and computer technologies. They oversee the technological infrastructure of a company to ensure optimal performance and plan the implementation of new systems and guides IT professionals and other staff in the company. The CIO evaluates the costs and risks of information technology to advise management and recommend actions. They also ensure the compliance of the company's IT operations to local laws. Plus, they design technological systems to improve customer experience and satisfaction.

Employers require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, with previous work experience in a similar role. Applicants must also know about IT systems and infrastructure. Apart from this, you must possess analytical, leadership, organization, project and risk management, and problem-solving skills. You must also have a strategic and business mindset. Chief information officers earn $150,012 per annum. Their salary varies from $79,000 to $286,000.

What Does a Chief Information Officer Do

There are certain skills that many chief information officers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed management skills, problem-solving skills and time-management skills.

Learn more about what a Chief Information Officer does

How To Become a Chief Information Officer

If you're interested in becoming a chief information officer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 66.7% of chief information officers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 20.1% of chief information officers have master's degrees. Even though most chief information officers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Chief Information Officer

Chief Information Officer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Chief Information Officer

Chief Information Officers in America make an average salary of $146,907 per year or $71 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $219,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $98,000 per year.
Average Chief Information Officer Salary
$146,907 Yearly
$70.63 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Chief Information Officer

The role of a chief information officer includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general chief information officer responsibilities:

  • Develops, coordinates, tracks, and manages projects for a variety of simultaneous initiatives of varying sizes supports cross‐functional project teams consisting of application development, it operations,
  • Defines direction and oversees technology strategy, architecture, development, installation,
  • Analyze and review technology environments for prospective customers in order to determine opportunities for improvement. Provide subject matter expertise to the components

There are several types of chief information officer, including:

Information Technology Project Manager


The job of an information technology project manager isn't an entry-level position. You're going to want a few years of experience under your belt before tackling the career. In fact, you may even need some experience leading people.

As an information technology project manager, it's your job to manage the staff and lead them in the right direction so they can accomplish goals and produce results. Sometimes that means you'll have to be the "bad guy" by having a tough talk.

Being an information technology project manager can have it's stressful moments from time-to-time, but for the most part, it's a great job. Plus, you'll be able to take pride in the fact that all of your hard work paid off so that you could manage your own team, rather than the other way around.

  • Average Salary: $106,981
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Chief Finance Officer


Taking it all the way to the top. As a chief finance office, you may not be the CEO, but you're pretty far up there. In fact, you're so far up the chain of command that you're in charge of all of the company's financial actions. That's a job with a lot of responsibility.

As the CFO, you get to follow the company's cash flow and spend some time doing financial planning to ensure everyone is staying on budget. You may even get to allocate some funds to an under-budgeted department. But the biggest part of your job is identifying any weaknesses or strengths that the company has when it comes to the green stuff.

As the CFO, you can't be someone who just says "yes" all of the time. You have to have a keen mind when it comes to budgeting because you don't want to be the cause of the company going bankrupt. So you'll have to say "no" from time to time. But you'll survive.

  • Average Salary: $143,947
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Information Technology Manager


An information technology manager oversees the computing needs across a company. They coordinate the functions of all computer systems of the organization they work for and see to it that all hardware, software, networks, and related applications work correctly and efficiently.

They are responsible for hiring and training new employees, managing the IT budget, supervising the day-to-day operations, and troubleshooting the information systems. They evaluate factors that put the IT system at risk and make sure equipment and procedures are up to speed with the latest technologies.

IT managers land the position typically with a degree at hand in IT systems management or business administration and earn something around $152,860 a year.

  • Average Salary: $119,589
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Chief Information Officer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active chief information officer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where chief information officers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Chief Information Officer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
3New York3,085$157,494
7North Carolina2,119$125,620
9New Jersey1,920$155,652
24South Carolina816$123,204
37New Mexico453$137,309
39New Hampshire355$127,057
40Rhode Island348$133,416
41West Virginia300$114,289
43North Dakota254$117,480
44South Dakota227$107,408

Chief Information Officer Education

Chief Information Officer Majors

24.3 %

Chief Information Officer Degrees


66.7 %


20.1 %


7.9 %

Top Colleges for Chief Information Officers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition




5. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




8. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Chief Information Officer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 6.5% of chief information officers listed cio on their resume, but soft skills such as management skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Chief Information Officer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Chief Information Officer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Chief Information Officer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Chief Information Officer diversity

Chief Information Officer Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among chief information officers, 18.6% of them are women, while 81.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among chief information officers is White, which makes up 76.9% of all chief information officers.

  • The most common foreign language among chief information officers is Spanish at 35.9%.

Online Courses For Chief Information Officer That You May Like

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3. A Brief Guide to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery


And a look at risks, threats, business impact analysis, and more...

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Best States For a Chief Information Officer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a chief information officer. The best states for people in this position are California, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Chief information officers make the most in California with an average salary of $161,372. Whereas in New York and New Jersey, they would average $157,494 and $155,652, respectively. While chief information officers would only make an average of $153,196 in Pennsylvania, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Chief Information Officer Jobs: 8,085
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. New York

Total Chief Information Officer Jobs: 3,085
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. New Jersey

Total Chief Information Officer Jobs: 1,920
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Chief Information Officers

How Do Chief Information Officers Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Chief Information Officer Employers

Most Common Employers For Chief Information Officer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
3Hewlett Packard Enterprise$159,108$76.4920
4US Air Conditioning Distributors$156,110$75.0541
5USAF Police Alumni Association$153,521$73.8127
6United States Marine Corps$151,931$73.0417
9JPMorgan Chase & Co.$144,893$69.6635

Chief Information Officer Videos

Becoming a Chief Information Officer FAQs

How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Cio?

It typically takes at least 15 years of work experience to become a CIO. To become a company's chief officer, a person needs to gain the necessary education, experience, and leadership skills. This is a senior-level position and typically takes significant work experience and knowledge to achieve.

How Much Money Does A Cio Make?

A CIO makes around $200,000 annually. The typical salary range for a CIO is around $170,000 per year to $350,000 in a year.

However, what a CIO should be paid depends on several factors that significantly impact the salary. These are level of experience, organizational structure, and industry.

What Education Is Required To Be A Chief Information Officer?

The education required to be a chief information officer role is typically a master's degree. This is usually in business administration, finance, or business management.

This is because chief information officers are responsible for managing and successfully implementing the entire company's information and computer technology systems.

What's The Difference Between A Cio And Cto?

The difference between a CIO and a CTO is the role's focus. The CIO typically looks inward, aiming to improve processes within the company, while the CTO looks outward, using technology to improve or innovate products that serve the customers.

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