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CIO salary data shows high paychecks still the norm

Despite an uneasy economy, CIO salary data shows that IT executives and managers continue to make six-figure salaries, and they remain confident about future IT job security.

How much do you make?

You're thinking: Not enough. But here's something that may surprise you -- you're better off than most.

According to the 2008 and survey of nearly 400 CIOs and IT managers, respondents from both large and midmarket organizations are confident they will get a raise next year -- and a bonus. They also say they have increased job flexibility and feel confident enough in their skills (and the market) that they'd just as soon leave their job as put up with a bad boss.

Despite an uneasy economy, IT professionals are refreshingly optimistic. And why not? Compensation for midmarket CIOs and IT managers remains solid (about $150,000 for midmarket, $250,000 for large organizations), with above-average pay increases for both segments (albeit modest, at about 4.5%). In addition, technology spending is up, and opportunities are plentiful for managers with the right skill set (just ask a recruiter).

Our CIO salary survey also found:

  • Roughly three in four execs expect to get a raise for 2009, most in the 3% to 4% range.
  • Three in four also get some sort of bonus as part of their compensation; this increases to nine in 10 at the largest companies.
  • Bonuses are expected to increase the most at companies with 100-499 employees (by 60%). Elsewhere, they are expected to increase by roughly 25% to 40%.
  • Bonuses typically range from $20,000 to $35,000.
  • Roughly 14% of survey respondents said their companies have implemented a salary freeze as a result of the economic downturn. In the midmarket, 12% of respondents did not get a raise at all this year and the same percentage expect no raise next year. At companies with more than 5,000 employees, 6% didn't get a raise this year -- but 26% expect nothing more next year.

For the most part, these findings reflect what independent industry observers are saying: It's good to be the CIO. Certainly, there's still progress to be made. In some organizations, salaries are not commensurate with those of C-level executives in other departments. And while getting to the head of the table is attainable, it is not yet a given.

So in this issue we get to the core issue of salaries and compensation and examine how CIOs fare in a shaky economy; deal with changes in management and increased work hours; and see -- when things don't work out -- how to land that dream job.

Here's to optimism!

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