IT DirectorJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Careers in IT are gaining popularity as the years pass thanks to the increases in technology. Those who expand their skills over time while gaining management experience and skills along the way may have an opportunity to work as an IT Director.

An IT Director has multiple responsibilities, including but not limited to: supervising technical projects, ensuring the effective delivery of networks, working cooperatively with information engineers, supervising team members, preparing financial budgets, discovering new products and new market opportunities, and improving IT processes. 

IT Directors should have plenty of experience in the field, have strong leadership skills, and enjoy technology. If you’re self-motivated, love to maintain a team of individuals in the technology space, this position could be perfect for you.

Sample job description

[Your company name] is looking to hire an experienced IT Director for our company. You will be expected to supervise your team members and technical projects, manage business activities by working with information engineers, develop office budgets, and identify new market opportunities. If you enjoy working in a position of leadership and have IT experience, this job could be a good fit for you. Contact us to apply today.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Assessing technology necessities and making changes to improve
  • Heading up and implementing both long and short term IT goals
  • Creating and implementing new software and hardware deployments
  • Protecting the company from external viral threats
  • Creating and implementing IT department budgets
  • Supervising team members

Education and experience

  • B.S. degree in computer science, information technology, programming, or another related field
  • Minimum 10 years of experience working in IT, with 5 years in advanced or management positions

Required skills and qualifications

  • Thorough understanding of computer systems, networks, security, telecommunications, databases, and storage systems
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Strong organizational skills to prioritize tasks and projects
  • Coding language knowledge
  • IT security skills

Preferred qualifications

  • M.S. or MBA in information systems a plus
  • Prior IT certifications

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an IT director is $168,900. Salary may vary depending on where you are located, the size of the company you’re working for, and how experienced you are. 

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$167,100$226,000
Los Angeles, California$188,500$255,000
Denver, Colorado$157,100$212,500
Washington, DC$191,350$258,900
Miami, Florida$156,350$211,550
Orlando, Florida$144,250$195,150
Tampa, Florida$145,650$197,100
Atlanta, Georgia$152,800$206,700
Chicago, Illinois$175,650$237,600
Boston, Massachusetts$189,900$256,950
Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota$151,350$204,800
New York City, New York$199,900$260,700
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$162,800$220,250
Dallas, Texas$158,500$214,450
Houston, Texas$157,800$213,500
Seattle, Washington$182,800$247,300
National Average$142,800$193,200

Typical work environment

The typical work environment for an IT director is in an office setting. IT directors may work for an individual corporation or an IT security firm. There are a number of industries that employ IT Directors, including but not limited to: health care, government, finance and insurance, business, and manufacturing.

Typical hours

Most IT directors work the expected 9 AM to 5 PM workday. At times, they may be expected to work late nights or even weekends if an IT crisis arises. IT directors are essentially always on call, in case of a technical crisis. These types of situations can’t wait for business hours to be resolved.

Available certifications

While there are a number of certifications that can boost your career as an IT Director, here are just a few to choose from:

  •  Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). This certification requires candidates to pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is required every 3 years. 
  • AMA Certified Professional in Management. This certification only requires candidates to pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is required every 3 years. 
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). This certification requires a secondary degree along with 23 hours of project management education. Candidates must pass a 150 question exam within the 3-hour time limit. 15 earned PDUs are required every 3 years to maintain certification. 
  • Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT). This certification requires at least 5 years of experience in IT Governance or Management. Candidates must pass the oral or written exam. Certification holders must earn at least 20 CPE hours annually and 120 CPE over the course of 3 years in order to remain certified. 
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). This certification requires that candidates have passed the CISM exam within the last 5 years. They must also have relevant full-time work experience. Recertification is not required.
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP). This certification requires a secondary degree, 21 contact hours of training in agile practices, and 8 months of agile project experience within the past 5 years. An additional 12 months of general project experience within the past 5 years is also required. Candidates must pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is required every 3 hours.

Career path

Many prospective IT directors start out their career path by earning their degrees. They then obtain multiple certifications to increase their knowledge base. Gaining experience is their next logical step, and it will take years before you are qualified to become a director. Many will work as IT analysts, managers, and more until they have the relevant experience.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-3021

2020 Employment482,000
Projected Employment in 2030534,600
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 11% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift52,700 increase

With the advances in technology growing by leaps and bounds, the need for network security will only increase. Becoming an IT director is a smart career choice for the future. Many of these directors will manage large teams of IT workers, and depending on the company, there may be multiple directors who manage different IT departments. Getting experience in one aspect of IT could be a smart move for the future. 

Sample interview questions

  • What tools do you use to measure the performance of your work and your team members’ work?
  • Which of your computer programming projects are you most proud of? Tell me about it. 
  • Have you ever made suggestions to upper management that led to improvements in your company? Tell me about it. 
  • Have you ever had to deal with a difficult person? How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deliver a difficult piece of information to someone. 
  • What strategies do you use to organize, plan and prioritize your work?
  • Have you ever had to apply new technology in your job? How did it help the company?
  • Do you have any data analysis strengths? 
  • How do you ensure that your company is compliant with all laws, regulations, and standards that are your responsibility?
  • What strategies do you use to ensure efficient completion of work involving large amounts of information or data?
  • What is your next step after discovering a problem with a network?
  • Tell me about your programming abilities.
  • What process do you use to determine the cause of an operating error?
  • What methods do you use to maintain and administer computer networks and computing environments?
  • How extensive is your knowledge of devices that operate mainly by electronic principles? 
  • Have you ever had to deal with a technical malfunction that affected the entire IT department? Tell me about it.  
  • Can you explain the most complicated thing you know how to do in 5 minutes or less?
  • What software or hardware are you proficient in?
  • What applicable certifications do you have? In what ways do you feel that these certifications boost your performance as an IT Director? Do you have plans to earn any additional certifications?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
  • What improvements have you made to past organizations in your previous positions?

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