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Part of Western Governors University

November 21, 2019

Information Technology

IT manager job description and salary.

Woman working on laptop as IT manager

What is an IT manager?

For almost every business in the modern world, technology is a needed and valuable element. Whether you have an in-office computer network, a need for video conferences with remote employees, a website to monitor and maintain, or computers and hardware that you need to keep working efficiently, somebody needs to take charge of these tech matters. Managers handle all of these issues and more. They are responsible for ensuring that every aspect of a company’s information technology implementation is executed cleanly, on-time, and within budget. Sometimes that involves doing the work themselves and sometimes it involves working with someone else, such as a web developer or network administrator, to delegate the work to and supervise. 

Managers make high level decisions about tech in their workplace. They are the final word on network implementations and upgrades, the hardware and software used in an organization, and any other issues surrounding business technology. 

What does an IT manager do?

The day-to-day job description of a manager will greatly vary depending on the kind of industry they work in. For most information technology management the job will include reporting and giving updates to the non-technical managers in the company, making decisions about business technology, fixing any problems with the current computer system, tackling a list of needed updates or bug fixes, maintaining the website, managing network administrators and web developers, and overseeing the information technology operations of an organization. Another part of the job description of management is to work with vendors to help them establish information technology software and systems. This part of the job is all about knowing the technology as well as great communication.

Managers should expect that part of their job description is to have a few employees working under them. Sometimes this could be the help desk that is in charge of answering questions for clients or employees. Other times it includes web and software developers in charge of the website. And other time it will include just an employee or two to help information technology management with all the technical tasks in an organization. The management part of the job happens with these employees.

Depending on the industry where a manager has a job, they can expect a varying degree of technical requirements as part of their job description. Some industries are on the cutting edge of tech so the manager will have a lot of responsibility and work to do in developing and implementing new software. Other industries don’t have as many technical needs, so managers are responsible for helping explain technical needs to other managers. 

Close-up of hands typing on a laptop.

How much does an IT manager make?

IT managers occupy a management position in an organization, and are responsible for a lot of hugely important issues in a workplace. Thus, a manager salary is often expected for this position. A manager salary do vary around the country; location and the industry you’re in will greatly influence the salary. A small local business will pay a lot less than a large corporation. Some larger companies even hire multiple managers to keep up with their needs. 

Average IT manager salary.

Payscale shows that the average IT manager has a median yearly salary of $87,000 per year. This is much higher than the national average for yearly salary. Payscale also shows that many IT managers receive yearly bonuses, can get shares in their company, and can expect regular raises. The entry level salary for IT managers is around $53,000 per year, a great entry level salary compared to other industries.

Senior IT manager salary.

The longer you’ve been in the industry and the more education you have, the higher you can climb on the career ladder. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average yearly salary for higher level IT managers is over $140,000 per year. This is much higher than the national average, and much higher than the average IT manager. This kind of position is one that IT managers often aspire to. With the right education and putting in time to grow and learn within the profession, this kind of salary is possible. 

A businessman sits at his desk writing down information while looking intently at his laptop.

How to become an IT manager.

IT managers need to have a background and skills in information technology career in order to move up to management positions. Expect you’ll spend some career doing other IT skills like web or software development or computer and data analytics. These technical skills are crucial to help you be qualified to be a manager. You’ll need to know how to do the day-in and day-out technical work in order to manage well.

Most managers will also need higher education to augment their IT knowledge with management and leadership skills. A degree in IT or business can be the perfect fit to help you move into an information technology management position. 

IT manager requirements.

Most information technology managers are required to have a bachelor’s degree, usually in information technology or business. An IT background is usually needed so you can show you have the technical skills to do an IT job well. Three to five years of experience in IT is usually required before you move to a supervisory and decision-making role. This background is essential to ensuring you’re qualified to call the shots in an IT realm. 

If you’re considering a career as an information technology manager, WGU offers plenty of degree programs that can help you reach your goals. You can begin with a bachelor’s degree in IT to learn the basics, and a master’s degree in IT or even an MBA could be the next step to help you succeed. 

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