How Much Do Tech Bosses Really Earn?


Maybe you’re interested in making the big leap from team member to manager, and want to know how much those in the latter position tend to earn. Or maybe you’re just curious about the amount (roughly) your boss takes home every month. Either way, Dice recently crunched the numbers on how much some of the top posts in the tech industry—CIOs, vice presidents, and top-level managers—pull down in annual salary.

Before we plunge into the data, a few explanations about our methodology (and a few caveats about the actual numbers). Different companies sometimes use different names for what’s basically the same job: one firm’s “Chief Data Officer,” for example, is another’s “Data Guru” or “Head Data Scientist.” With that in mind, we did our best to fold as many variants as possible into single job titles.

In the explanation accompanying each of these job titles, we emphasize the median salary (i.e., the 50th percentile), as that allows us to mitigate the influence of “wild values” that could throw the data off. (The median is also a more robust measure of central tendency than the mean, which can be noticeably impacted by even a small handful of very high or very low salaries.)

Last but not least, keep in mind that salary doesn’t represent the whole of someone’s compensation package. Equity and perks can go a long way toward attracting (and keeping) top talent, especially at cash-strapped startups. While a CIO at a new company might “only” pull down $42,000 per year, they could also potentially own a sizable portion of the firm.

Starting at the top of the earnings scale…

VP of Engineering

Median Salary: $175,000

First things first: The VP of Engineering is not the same thing as a CTO, although some people tend to confuse the two. While the CTO ultimately decides what’s best for the company’s overall tech stack, VPs of Engineering tend to be more tactically focused, wrangling personnel to solve problems and ensuring that tech-related strategy is implemented in a timely way. They must possess a combination of soft skills (to wrangle big teams) and tech knowledge (to figure out a program plan).

VPs of Engineering have a big job—if a product they manage doesn’t make it successfully to market, the company could be doomed—with pay to match. According to Dice, the maximum salaries for the role top out at close to $450,000.

Next: Chief Data Officer, VP of Product, and more (click here or below)