Chief Technology OfficerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

A chief technology officer is a high-ranking executive that is in charge of the entire information technology department of a company. Workers in this position should have advanced technical skills and extensive knowledge about the industry they work in.

Chief technology officers are primarily responsible for making decisions in the information technology department, including managing a budget, making technological investments, and setting a vision for how technology should be used in the company. They will also be required to create goals for research and development in a way that will most benefit the company.

This career opportunity allows CTOs to use their previous experience in business and technology to make important decisions that will impact the current and future operations of the company. Chief technology officers work directly under the CEO and will act as technology director when working with colleagues in the same department. 

Sample job description #1

What you’ll do as the chief technology officer at ABC Company:

ABC Company is seeking a Chief Technology Officer to oversee our global technology organization, which spans teams across Development, IT Infrastructure and Security, and constitutes the largest part of ABC Company’s workforce. You’ll partner closely with key stakeholders from Trading, Quant Research, and our BizOps groups to understand the firm’s business strategy and set the vision for our cutting-edge technology platforms. This broad scope spans the low-latency, globally distributed trading systems, our hybrid cloud big data platforms, our enterprise computing environment which supports the firm’s rapidly growing organization, and much more. In this role, you will report to ABC Company’s CEO and be a vital member of the global leadership team. We have big growth plans, and we’re excited to find a talented technical leader to help us further realize them. In this role, you will:

  • Define and deliver the technical strategy that enables our business vision, roadmap, and growth
  • Lead the ongoing design, architecture, and expansion of our global technology platform to improve flexibility and scalability, reduce latency, and maximize ROI
  • Drive strategic planning and forecasts of current and future technology needs, based on partnerships with Trading, Quant Research, and other stakeholders
  • Provide excellent management and technical oversight to the global technology team. Ensure the team is delivering using modern best practices such as Agile methodologies and DevSecOps, with a focus on automation and Infrastructure-as-Code
  • Understand and manage the Technology financial budget and operating costs in alignment with business strategy
  • Ensure consistent delivery of projects that are on schedule, on cost, on scope, and within quality goals
  • Manage key vendor and third-party relationships to ensure alignment to strategic objectives and ongoing reduction of costs. Build effective partnerships with service providers and hardware/software vendors that are unique to the trading industry

Qualities that make great candidates:

  • BS/MS/PhD in technical field – Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, Math, or equivalent
  • 10+ years of experience in leading diverse and multi-disciplinary technology teams, with a hands-on background working across various aspects of the domain. Will have planned, scoped, and executed highly complex engineering projects earlier in your technical career
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills needed to collaborate, negotiate, and influence effectively with all stakeholders at the firm
  • Proven experience providing shared technology services in a global organization. Demonstrated ability to establish the right amount of process and structure to increase reliability and service levels, while not slowing the pace of delivery and responsiveness
  • Results-oriented leader with a proven track record of leading complex initiatives across people, process, and technology
  • Experience building & growing teams and developing team members to their full potential. Progressive talent management experience with ability to successfully recruit, hire, develop and retain top talent
  • Experience in trading or the FinTech industry is strongly preferred, but not strictly required
  • Ability to operate in a fast-moving environment and deal with the complexity of multiple priorities and stakeholders
  • Organized and detail oriented

Sample job description #2

As Chief Technology Officer (CTO), you will be the most senior technology leader within ABC Company, responsible for overall leadership to the entire product, technology and data engineering organization, including all store, eCommerce and internal-facing systems as well as the underlying data infrastructure. The CTO will be responsible for continuing to evolve the strategic technology vision, and planning and implementing ABC Company’s key priorities for existing, as well as innovative, new digital products and technologies. In addition, the new CTO must demonstrate the ability to motivate, grow and drive accountability across teams and successfully contribute to driving revenue, profitability and productivity through exceptional execution, high engagement and commitment to quality.

What you’ll do…

  • Develop and gain buy-in for an overall product and technology strategy and associated roadmap that aligns with ABC Company’s business and customer strategy
  • Lead an effective technology governance process whereby all key stakeholders are brought into the decision-making process, and all ideas are brought forward for discussion
  • Drive the prioritization process by aligning business goals with technology resources, identifying initiatives that are of the highest value to the business, and gaining buy-in for those initiatives
  • Build the near and long term technology strategy and plan for the integration, upgrade and alignment of systems to fully optimize the value of the enterprise
  • Monitor external technology changes and be a source of continuous innovation, facilitating speed-to-market and competitive advantage. Leverage technology to drive innovation in the business, reducing complexity and improving customer experience across all consumer channels
  • Serve as a true partner to other members of the Executive team, capable of contributing to the business strategy and operations of the company at the same level as other business leaders
  • Create and deliver a sustainable and efficient architecture, applications strategy and operational plan for ongoing delivery and optimal integration of all systems. Develop and implement appropriate technology policies, processes, systems and technology portfolio/lifecycle management, development standards and methodologies
  • Manage the budget process and all deadlines related to technology. This includes the alignment and allocation of people, projects and performance of all technology and related functions of ABC Company, including delivery within established corporate guidelines
  • Build effective partnerships and negotiate positive agreements with service providers and hardware/software vendors
  • Recruit, develop and retain high-performing technology talent. Develop a team that is capable of executing the technology strategy and delivering value to the company. Build a strong slate of successors within the technology organization
  • Foster a proactive, results-focused technology culture that is responsive to the needs of the business. Create an environment that encourages innovation and receptivity to change. Encourage intelligent risk-taking

You have…

  • 12+ years experience as a technology leader with a proven track-record of leading engineering teams to create compelling consumer/customer driven experiences
  • Direct retail or consumer-centric industry experience within complex technology environments, including legacy in-store and innovative digital technologies, is ideal
  • Strong Ruby on Rails and custom application development experience
  • Data and analytics experience, including the application of advanced approaches, including machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • Broad-based functional IT experience, including security, infrastructure and architecture
  • A passion for the customer and solving their problems
  • A proven ability to create innovative consumer facing products, as well as internal tools and systems that improve the efficiency of the team
  • A technical mindset, enabling them to speak fluently and credibly with engineers
  • A strong strategic mindset and a desire to dive in and solve business challenges as well as product and more technical challenges
  • Strong communication skills and ability to clearly article plans and projects both to senior level executives and more junior team members
  • A track-record of coaching and developing individuals and teams to fulfil their potential
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and are excited by the challenges that come along with building a disruptive business
  • A background in engineering and technology, either through education or work experience

We…

  • Value exceptional creativity, initiative and witty banter
  • Work hard because we love what we’re doing but also believe in balance
  • Will back up our talk with a competitive compensation and benefits package, challenging projects, random acts of team-wide fun, awesome co-workers, and the rare tribal atmosphere that values individuality
  • Are excited to hear from you

Minimum qualifications…

  • Outlined below are the required minimum qualifications for this position. If none are listed, there are no minimum qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and 8 years’ experience in software engineering or related field OR 10 years experience in software
  • engineering or related field
  • 5 years’ supervisory experience

Preferred qualifications…

  • Outlined below are the optional preferred qualifications for this position. If none are listed, there are no preferred qualifications
  • Master’s degree in Computer Science or related field and 7 years’ experience in software engineering

Sample job description #3

Your role and responsibilities

As a Chief Technology Leader for the Applications, Data & AI practice, you will be providing Technical leadership and direction to C levels to address our clients strategic business and technology imperatives. In addition to providing leadership, strategy and direction to the internal practice teams. You will become the trusted technical adviser to the client and be responsible for bringing global thought leadership, helping solve their challenges and innovation to the client. You will be assisting the practice leader in opportunity identification by developing & articulating proposals and technology direction. You will be responsible for shaping complex, multi-tower deals and the solution strategy, with support from the Solutioning team. We are seeking a high caliber individual to cover the breadth of responsibility outlined below.

Your responsibilities:

  • Be a trusted advisor to the client, pro-actively educate and guide discussions to win new clients design & articulate an innovative technical strategy/approach/solution architecture based on your understanding of client’s business and technical needs and development of next gen solutions for the practice
  • Maintain a strong PoV on relevant global or local technical trends, industry trends, market landscape on offerings and future growth plays related to application modernization, data and AI
  • Work with the practice team to identify key opportunity areas for the client by baselining their existing technical architecture & comparing with industry best practices
  • Assist in sales pitches and enable proactive campaigns to bring forth client capabilities and offerings
  • Post qualification: Support Solutioning team to develop and design a winning solutioning strategy
  • Engage with key client counterparts as technical strategy/solution/subject matter expert
  • Develop collateral showcasing key technical capabilities, trends and business need implications for client meeting

Required technical and professional expertise:

  • Deep & significant experience in working with / developing solutions in certain technologies (including technical certifications) and services e.g., Cloud native development, Hybrid/ multi-cloud, DevOps processes and tools, Application migration program, Hyperscaler, RH, Data, AI, open technologies etc.
  • Demonstrated experience to work across cross-functional teams to deliver complex IT solutions
  • Demonstrated experience in identification of key opportunity areas with the client by baselining their existing technical architecture & comparing with industry best practices
  • High technical proficiency and ability to learn new tools and capabilities quickly
  • Ability to engage in consultative selling and draft effective sales pitches to showcase Client’s offerings and win the client Knowledge of 3-4 industry trends, challenges & dynamics, and a strong perspective on how Client can expand industry eminence; attends & leads industry conferences & associations consistently
  • Understanding of what it takes to build strong relationships & drive conversations with senior leadership to generate opportunities; ability to coordinate within a team to drive leads to closure

Preferred technical and professional experience

  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team to develop a global architecture approach / technology transformation roadmap
  • Determined and self-motivated problem solver who can thrive in a dynamic, ambiguous, and customer-facing environment
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills, including demonstrated ability to effectively communicate information to C-suite / VP level clients

Required education

  • Bachelor’s Degree

Preferred education

  • Master’s Degree

Average salary and compensation

The average base salary for a chief technology officer is $202,000 per year in the United States. While only base salaries are reflected here, commissions and bonuses may greatly increase total compensation. Additionally, salaries will vary based on experience, company size, industry, and geographic market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$198,000$271,200
Los Angeles, California$224,000$312,300
Denver, Colorado$187,200$264,500
Washington, DC$230,000$315,800
Miami, Florida$188,000$262,000
Orlando, Florida$173,400$244,800
Tampa, Florida$175,000$247,200
Atlanta, Georgia$183,700$253,000
Chicago, Illinois$211,200$292,500
Boston, Massachusetts$228,300$310,400
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$182,000$250,000
New York City, New York$240,300$330,000
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$195,700$268,000
Dallas, Texas$190,500$261,000
Houston, Texas$189,700$260,000
Seattle, Washington$219,700$298,500
Overall$171,700$237,000

Sample interview questions

  • How would you describe your management style?
  • Tell us about your professional journey.
  • What assets can you bring to our company?
  • What’s your preferred software stack?
  • How do you measure your success?
  • What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • What software design patterns do you think are underrated?
  • Do you use/are you familiar with TDD?
  • How do you handle when unexpected situations arise with your team?
  • Can you describe your current role for us?
  • Why do you want to work here?

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