average cto salary

CTO stands for Chief Technical Officer and refers to the C-level executive in a company. It is a person in charge of all technology-related decisions. 

CTO is extremely valuable for any business that has technology at its core. Such an expert combines both business and technical knowledge to bring a company to success. CTO takes responsibility for the technology, team of developers, and product. The main responsibilities of such a position are in the range of:

  • Creating a technical strategy of a business, including the integration of the new technologies
  • Management of both the development team and R&D centers; 
  • Provision and maintenance of the programming standards and best practices for the team
  • Designing a tech roadmap for the business
  • Integration of cybersecurity procedures and solutions

That’s why CTO is such an important part of any business. It also defines the CTO salary range, which differs from country to country, but remains on the higher end. Of course, an average CTO salary will always be on the same level as payments of other C-level executives in the same country. 

If you are interested in how to find a CTO for your startup, you should know that this process is challenging. There are not many top-notch specialists at this level. A business needs to evaluate the tech expertise, leadership skills, communication, and management style, as well as culture fit. 

Average CTO Salaries by Country

Even though the main responsibilities of Chief Technologies Officer are commonly universal, the payments range based on geographical location. It is more about the local economy and level of life rather than the quality of the provided services. CTO salary in USA will be on the higher end in the world, while Barcelona CTO salary is much more budget-friendly. Of course, the numbers also differ in the cities or provinces of the same country, so the CTO salary range in Singapore can be quite fluctuant depending on the exact city. 

So CTO compensation varies greatly depending on the country, as well as factors such as experience, company size, and industry. To give you a better understanding of the costs involved, we’ve compiled the average CTO salaries by country, including fractional CTO costs and hourly rates.

In the United States, the average CTO salary is approximately $160,000 per year. CTO hourly rates typically range from $100 to $250, with the cost influenced by their experience and the complexity of the project.

In the United Kingdom, the average CTO compensation is around £100,000 per year. Fractional CTOs can charge an hourly rate from £75 to £200, depending on their expertise and the project’s requirements.

In Australia, CTOs earn an average of AUD 150,000 annually. Fractional CTO hourly rates range from AUD 100 to AUD 250, depending on the scope of the project and the CTO’s experience.

In Canada, the average CTO salary is CAD 130,000 per year. Fractional CTO costs are typically charged at an hourly rate between CAD 100 and CAD 250.
It is important to note that these figures are only averages and can vary based on numerous factors. CTO consultant hourly rates will fluctuate depending on the level of expertise, industry, and specific project requirements.

This is one of the leading factors why many businesses choose to find a remote employee, especially if they cannot afford CTO salary Canada rates compared to CTO salary in China. Here is a comparison table that will show the difference:

CountryAverage annual CTO salaryAverage monthly CTO salary
New Zealand$94,843$7,903

The table clearly shows that the CTO salary in New Zealand is lower than the CTO salary UK based on the country. But it is not the only factor that influences the payment. Another one is experience. Based on the years a professional has dedicated to this position, the salary can also fluctuate in every country. For example, let’s take a CTO salary in the USA based on experience, from a minimum of $120,000 up to $426,000 per year in New York.

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CTO Salaries from World-Known Companies

Of course, when we talk about industry leaders and innovators as Google, Tesla, Twitter, or Oracle – the payment expectations might be different. Walmart CTO salary or CTO Boeing salary is probably higher than from their colleagues in a smaller business.  First of all, they always look exclusively for the best professionals in the field. Secondly, the level of responsibilities and the amount of work is also quite different from a startup or midsize producer. Nevertheless, it is always exciting to know how much these giants pay annually for their Chief Technology Officers, so here is a little comparison:

FAQ: All You Need to Know About a CTO

– When to hire CTOs and whether the company needs one at all?

Any company that is providing technology solutions or products needs a CTO. Of course, startups can survive without such a specialist for some time, as they usually are very limited in finances. But they’ll need to hire CTO at some point, especially if they want to grow and release the product. Here are some situations when a business needs to hire Chief Technology Officer:

  • Startup or business that has a great idea of a product, but do not know how to bring it to life. They need a tech expert for that;
  • A company needs to design a tech roadmap and set goals and purposes; 
  • A business wants to grow, increase their development powers or start R&D as well as integrate new technologies; 
  • You have a remote or outsourced team working on a product and you need someone to evaluate efficiency, set best practices, hire developers, etc. 
  • The existing tech product needs updates and development in the later stages; 
  • A company needs a tech leader who will communicate their ideas and goals to vendors and investors from the side of technology.

– CTO skills: what should a CTO be good at?

Chief Technology Officer CTO average salary serves as a representation of the level of skills and expertise such a position requires. A company can expect a perfect combination of soft and hard skills as well as years of experience in the tech industry. Here’s what Chief Technology Officer should be good at:

  • Communication. It is not only about making decisions but also convincing other C-level executives and vendors. It is also essential to communicate with the developers, motivate them, and explain the idea behind the product. 
  • Tech expertise and forward-thinking. Of course, such a specialist needs to have deep tech knowledge and years of experience with particular languages, systems, or platforms. But it is also about staying on top of the industry, learning about new arising solutions, and integrating them for increased efficiency. 
  • Leadership and management skills. 
  • Experience in many parts of a product development process. It helps to have a more clear knowledge of each step of development and set realistic deadlines and quality expectations for the project. 
  • Decision making and strategic thinking. CTO should have a similar vision for the company as other executives. It is vital to be strategic about any choice and tech choice and a balanced budget as well as future profit. 

– Are there any types of a CTO?

Overall, the types of CTO can be defined via their employment type. According to the involvement in the company’s life; there are four types of professionals. 

  • Full-time employee. The average salary for CTO of Fintech is usually based on full-time employment of in-house specialists. Such an executive is harder to find as there are many factors to consider. And it is also more expensive, that’s why many starting businesses choose other models; 
  • Part-time position. In such a case, CTO works for the business as a part-time employee. It is more cost-efficient and many startups choose this type of employment. CTO salary startup is often harder to provide. 
  • Interim model. It is a process when a specialist is hired for the period of searching for a new in-house tech leader. For example, if the previous CTO has left the position and there is no new one yet. 
  • Fractional CTO is hired only for particular tasks. For example, only for designing a roadmap of one project or release of a new app. 

– What’s the difference between a CIO and a CTO?

CIO stands for Chief Information Officer and some might think that this position comes close to CTO. Although there might be some overlapping, CIO is usually preoccupied with the existing systems and mostly cares about maintaining and improving existing systems to ensure everyday productivity and efficiency. CTO, on the other hand, deals with strategic thinking, planning, making roadmaps for future projects, and making decisions on choosing particular technologies and solutions for internal use of developing a new product. CTO owns external products and is more focused on delivering them to end customers. 

– Does the size of the company influence the role of a CTO?

The size of the company influences the role of the CTO and the number of responsibilities to take care of. That’s why Tesla CTO salary is significantly higher than payment for a co-founder of a small startup. When managing the tech strategy of a bigger business, the Chief Technical Officer will have to prioritize tasks carefully and delegate many of them to other specialists. It is essential to know how to do it correctly and evaluate the performance afterward. 

CTO in a small business or startup does a lot of “fieldwork” or can even participate in the development project personally. It is just easier to navigate one project than 10 of them. 

– What makes a great CTO?

A great CTO has to be a leader and manager first of all. This person also needs to possess deep tech knowledge and stay on the top of the industry and the newest solutions. It takes strong decision-making and practical experience to make crucial decisions and foresee the company’s strategy for the coming years. It is all about strategizing, prioritizing, and considering many polarizing factors at the same time. 

Another sign of an excellent specialist is the passion for the work and position as well as motivation to constantly learn and communicate with other industry leaders.


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– What are the pros and cons of hiring a remote CTO?

There are many benefits of hiring a remote CTO, such as:

  • Cost efficiency. It is not a secret that the CTO of pharmaceutical company salary will be significantly lower in Ukraine than in the USA or Germany, for example. 
  • It helps to find a perfect fit. CTO is a high-profile position and there are not so many people that can successfully fill it in. The choice is pretty limited in itself; also the majority of such a specialist does have a job with a decent salary. Search for a remote employee increases the chances to find the perfect person and provides more candidates to choose from. 
  • If you are also interested in outsourcing development or opening an R&D center in another country, a remote CTO can ensure that everything is going according to plan. 
  • For many businesses, it is better to have a full-time remote leader than only a fractional and part-time local one.  It ensures continuous strategy and vision for the company’s success. 

Of course, as in any process, there are cons in hiring a remote CTO, such as:

  • It might be more challenging logistically. The interview and all communication will probably happen online, so it might not be the most convenient way. 
  • There is a cultural difference that might cause some confusion. This con is easy to avoid by evaluation, interviewing, and finding someone with similar business ethics. 
  • It is quite difficult to do without the professional help of a local recruiting company or outsourcing provider. Finding a high-profile specialist without knowing the local IT market is hard, so it is better to team up with someone, who has expertise in that.  

– Why consider Ukraine for finding a CTO on a remote basis?

Ukraine has a great reputation as an IT outsourcing and outstaffing CTO consulting services destination. There are many professionals and experienced companies that can help businesses to find the exact fit for their needs. One of the main reasons why many companies look for remote CTO here is the salary rates. No matter what industry you are working in, CTO insurance salary or eCommerce CTO salary will be much lower than in the USA, Canada, or the UK. Also, Ukrainian specialists share similar business and ethical values. They have a good command of English and experience in international projects. 

The decision to find a remote CTO helps to access a wider talent pool that might not be otherwise possible. If you are interested in hiring a remote CTO in Ukraine, you’ve come to the right place. We have years of experience and deep knowledge of the market to help you on this journey. We can give all the necessary information and assist in finding the perfect candidate for your business. 

Want to know all about hiring a virtual CTO from Ukraine? Contact us today for more information!


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