IT salary survey: How CIO, IT salaries vary by industry

The results of our annual IT salary survey are in, and IT execs in some industries clearly earn more than others. Which industry do you think comes out on top?

The highest-paid CIOs and senior IT executives may be in retail and health care, but director-level IT managers do better in financial services, according to the results of SearchCIO.com's annual IT salary and careers survey.

The survey, conducted among readers of SearchCIO.com and SearchCIO-Midmarket.com in the fourth quarter of 2009 via email, garnered 952 responses across 21 industries and all regions of the U.S. It defined a senior IT executive as having a title of vice president, executive vice president, senior vice president, CIO, chief technology officer or chief information security officer. Midlevel IT executives were defined as those at the director level, and IT managers as having one or more direct reports.

As the following charts show, not surprisingly, the higher one's title in the IT organization, the higher one's compensation. The best-paying industries? That often depends on your rank -- but not tenure, which doesn't always correspond with more money, according to our survey.

The tables below show the responses by title and industry for base IT salary and total compensation, both average and median. Because sorting the data so finely can result in low sample sizes as shown, those findings are anecdotal rather than statistically valid. Nonetheless, we thought you'd want a peek into what your IT peers make.

Salaries and total compensation by title and company size
  
  
  IT manager
 Midlevel
IT executive
 Senior
IT executive
Salary
 Average
 $94,744
 $116,976
 $145,899
 Median
 $93,759
 $115,000
 $135,000
Total
compensation
 Average
 $101,803
 $128,269
 $166,537
 Median
 $98,000
 $124,000
 $150,000
Response base
  
 449
 279
 224
Senior IT by (select) industry
  
 Total comp. average
 Total comp. median
 Base average
 Base median
 Avg.
tenure (years)
Wholesale/
retail
 $193,077
 $165,000
 $162,769
 $159,000
 6.45
Health care
 $175,293
 $170,000
 $153,907
 $160,000
 5.75
Manufacturing
 $171,600
 $160,000
 $145,114
 $146,087
 7.24
Financial services
 $152,569
 $137,500
 $132,292
 $125,250
 4.47
Education
 $139,912
 $128,000
 $141,673
 $120,000
 6.11
Government
(state and local)
 $113,900
 $112,500
 $117,447
 $115,500
 5.98
Response base:Wholesale 13, health care 23, manufacturing 20, financial services 37, education 23, government 29.
Midlevel IT by (select) industry
  
 Total
comp.
average
 Total
comp.
median
 Base average
 Base median
 Avg.
tenure (years)
Financial
services
 $151,840 
 $150,000 
 $131,840
 $122,000
 5.02
Manufacturing
 $140,724 
 $136,000 
 $119,309
 $112,000
 6.74
Wholesale/
retail
 $138,700 
 $131,000 
 $121,421
 $122,500
 5.11
Government
 $122,026 
 $115,000 
 $117,845
 $112,000
 6.65
Health care
 $117,140 
 $120,000 
 $112,235
 $112,500
 4.48
Education
 $96,124 
 $94,500 
 $95,716
 $94,500
 6.72
Response base:Financial services 25, manufacturing 36, wholesale/retail 10, government 27, health care 30, education 32.
IT managers by (select) industry
  
 Total
comp.
average
 Total
comp.
median
 Base average
 Base median
 Avg.
tenure (years)
Financial
services
 $111,439 
 $108,000 
 $102,047
 $103,000
 4.85
Government
 $97,782 
 $96,000 
 $95,028
 $93,579
 7.92
Wholesale/
retail
 $97,066 
 $95,475 
 $90,034
 $89,174.5
 7.86
Health care
 $95,594 
 $100,000 
 $90,860
 $95,250
 5.57
Manufacturing
 $94,377 
 $90,000 
 $89,719
 $89,000
 6.93
Education
 $76,603 
 $75,000 
 $75,410
 $75,000
 8.44
Response base:Financial services 44, government 61, wholesale/retail 22, health care 43, manufacturing 64, education 39.
Average base salary by industry and title

Let us know what you think about the story; email editor@searchcio.com, or follow us on Twitter @EnterpriseCIO.

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