How to become a CTO: Catalyze your professional development with a free certification

How to become a CTO: Catalyze your professional development with a free certification

An organization’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is responsible for overseeing current technology and formulating relevant policies. A CTO must possess business knowledge to align technology decisions with the organization’s objectives.

So, what does a CTO do? What is the primary responsibility of the CTO? Besides resolving IT-related challenges, the CTO is accountable for creating, executing, managing, and assessing the company’s technological resources. Basically, it is the CTO’s responsibility to identify new technologies relevant to the organization. The CTO’s objective is to evaluate short- and long-term requirements and allocate resources for investments contributing to the organization’s accomplishments.

The CTO position often overlaps with other roles, particularly that of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Science Officer. Depending on the organization’s size and focus, it may have one or more of these positions. The CTO might manage infrastructure, act as a strategic planner, or interact with customers in specific contexts. The responsibilities of a CTO can vary among organizations. Generally, the CTO reports to the Chief Executive Officer.

CTOs hold a significant role in the executive team, as they are frequently positioned to adopt novel technologies and help guide organizations toward improved efficiency and performance by adopting new tools.

If you want to improve at being a CTO and do great in the industry, check out the free certification program on Document Workflow Automation for Chief Technology Officers from the airSlate Academy. This program gives you essential skills to handle IT work and make things better for the company.

In this piece, we’ll delve into how gaining expertise in document workflow automation can fast-track your career toward becoming a successful CTO. Let’s get started!

CTO salary in 2023

According to Zippia, the average salary for Chief Technology Officers in the United States is  $172,989 ($83.17/hour). Typically, CTO salaries range from $105,000 to $284,000 annually. ZipRecruiter presents a more optimistic figure, stating that the average yearly pay for a CTO in the U.S. is $192,871. The average CTO salary by company size can vary — for instance, companies like IBM and AKUNA CAPITAL are willing to pay $361,982/year and $327,625/year, respectively.

CTO Average Salary 2023

Let’s now look at the top 5 highest paying CTO-related jobs in the U.S. We’ve identified a few related positions that offer higher compensation compared to roles within the CTO category. For instance, Chief Medical Officer jobs can pay as much as $89,711 (46.5%) more than the average CTO salary of $192,871.

Top 5 Highest-Paying CTO Jobs in the U.S.

We found a few related jobs that pay more than jobs in the CTO category. For example, Chief Medical Officer jobs pay as much as $89,711 (46.5%) more than the average CTO salary of $192,871.

Job TitleAnnual Salary
Chief Medical Information Officer$282,582
CIO CTO VP$214,796
Chief Product Officer$207,298
Chief Scientific Officer$196,812
Federal CTO$192,871

What does a CTO do?

The Chief Technology Officer is expected to offer solid technical leadership across all business facets in many organizations. This involves effective communication with employees, stakeholders, and customers to ensure proper utilization of the company’s technologies.

As the primary responsibility of a CTO is to steer the company towards financial and marketing objectives through innovative tech strategies, any workflow connected to this goal falls under their purview. The document workflows managed by Chief Technology Officers encompass the following areas:

1. Strategy and planning
2. Resource and budget planning
3. Customer engagement
4. Leadership
5. IT infrastructure
6. Innovation and adoption

Chief Technology Officers regularly confront several primary challenges, including:

1. Managing critical data spread across different silos
2. Navigating the rapid pace of technological changes
3. Controlling budget fluctuations
4. Handling numerous demands supporting various business lines
5. Addressing user resistance to process or platform changes
6. Ensuring security, compliance, and safeguarding internal and customer data
7. Managing shadow IT—unmanaged and unsanctioned services

Additionally, a C-level executive such as Chief Technology Officer faces the challenges such as: 

  • Techno trend awareness: Keeping updated with current and upcoming tech trends is vital. Selecting the right CTO tools from the myriad of options and integrating new solutions into daily operations is crucial. Employee resistance to adopting innovations is a challenge.
  • Infrastructure growth: Ensuring continuous development of the organization’s IT infrastructure poses a significant challenge. Scaling infrastructure for consistent company growth demands advanced cost planning and operational process implementation.
  • Customer experience enhancement: Evolving technologies heighten customer expectations, necessitating companies to meet them. Digitization and automation are essential for managing vast data influx while providing personalized attention to each customer.
  • Talent recruitment: The IT workforce is projected to double by 2030, posing recruitment challenges. Building a team with skilled employees, especially those proficient in coding, is a substantial hurdle. CTOs work closely with HR Managers to recruit new tech talent.
  • Cost escalation: Rising equipment and software costs are anticipated in the coming years. Overcoming inflation as an impediment to growth will be a priority for CTOs.

The business value of document workflow automation for Chief Technology Officers

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is sometimes referred to as a Chief Automation Officer in organizations emphasizing technology-driven process automation. In such cases, the role of a CTO expands to focus on identifying and implementing automation technologies to enhance efficiency and streamline operations. However, these titles can vary widely across organizations and industries. Based on airSlate’s recent findings, this year presents unique challenges for CTOs, including substantial layoffs, recession concerns, shadow IT, and cybersecurity threats. Delve into the comprehensive IT and Ops report for insights.

Automation streamlines workflow creation and management, lessening the direct engagement of IT departments and CTOs in the implementation process. Leveraging a document workflow automation solution empowers IT specialists, especially CTOs, to boost operational efficiency and redirect resources from routine tasks to more valuable projects.

Key areas where CTOs see significant improvement after implementing document workflow automation:

1. Big Data Management:

As businesses digitize processes, daily data management becomes a challenge. Effective planning and specific architecture are crucial. Handling Big Data becomes vital, ensuring secure data movement. Efficient control of Big Data brings cost savings and streamlined processes.

2. Integration:

Businesses seek solutions for challenges like eSignatures, document editing, and CRM needs. While integrating apps, the challenge is getting them to work as needed. Complex, custom ecosystems can be expensive. Many services offer integrated solutions for streamlined workflows with little maintenance effort.

3. Data Security:

For IT workflows, user data security is paramount. airSlate ensures data security through encryption, daily backups, password hashing, data storage protection, secure payment processing, and adherence to standards-based identity verification.
airSlate‘s document workflow automation empowers IT departments, including CTOs, with robust automation tools, optimizing efficiency and securing data, ultimately enhancing overall performance and peace of mind.

Automation skills you’ll learn with the airSlate Academy

Enroll in the Document Workflow Automation for Chief Technology Officers certification to acquire vital automation proficiencies:

1. Streamlined request management: Enhance routine task efficiency, enabling you to concentrate on strategic IT Director responsibilities. This involves devising long-term technology strategies and identifying growth opportunities.

2. Seamless third-party integrations: Develop skills to integrate diverse systems, facilitating efficient data exchange seamlessly. This empowers you to leverage various tools while maintaining a coherent tech ecosystem.

3. Business Process Automation proficiency: Become an expert in automating business processes across teams and departments. This fosters rapid decision-making, project execution, and adaptability to market dynamics.

As a CTO, proficiency in business process automation, third-party integrations, and request management is pivotal. These proficiencies empower you to attain operational excellence, base decisions on data-driven insights, and optimally allocate resources. Mastering these skills cultivates organizational success and establishes a competitive advantage in the dynamic technology landscape.

Explore the 5 benefits of earning your airSlate Academy certification as a CTO

The airSlate Academy’s Document Workflow Automation for Chief Technology Officers certification program offers more than just the potential for a salary increase. As a CTO, this certification comes with several exciting advantages:

1. Elevate your career: Enhance your prospects for moving up the management ladder, unlocking new professional development avenues.

2. Amplify strategic focus: Allocate more time to strategic tasks demanding creativity and critical thinking, amplifying your impact within the organization.

3. Reclaim valuable time: Retrieve valuable time from routine tasks, allowing you to engage in your favorite activities and spend quality moments with your family.

4. Achieve work-life balance: Attain a better balance between work and personal life through enhanced efficiency and time management. This leads to a more satisfying and enjoyable overall life experience.

5. Boost productivity and happiness: Elevate your productivity and experience the genuine satisfaction of being a happier CTO. Research indicates a direct correlation between employee happiness and productivity, and with your newly honed skills, you can anticipate a notable 13% increase in productivity

Final thoughts

In the role of a CTO, embracing document workflow automation can ignite efficiency, productivity, and innovation throughout the organization, ultimately contributing to its overall success and competitive advantage.

Workflow automation solutions provide CTOs with a potent tool to tackle challenges like outdated systems and lackluster employee engagement, all while streamlining processes without requiring intricate technical expertise. With a suite of tailored features encompassing Flow Creator, no-code integrations, contract management, and analytics, the airSlate platform empowers CTOs to seamlessly establish fully automated workflows.

Embarking on the journey of the airSlate Academy’s certification program on Document Workflow Automation for Chief Technology Officers opens doors to acquiring vital automation skills. This certification positions you as an invaluable asset to your organization, propelling your career to unparalleled heights.

Shape your future by enrolling in the airSlate Academy’s CTO certification program and revolutionize how you lead and excel in your influential role!


1. Is CTO a big position?

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is a significant and influential position within an organization. The CTO is typically a high-level executive responsible for overseeing the strategic use of technology, driving innovation, and ensuring that technology aligns with the organization’s goals and objectives. The CTO plays a crucial role in shaping the organization’s technological direction, making decisions about technology adoption, managing technology teams, and guiding digital transformation efforts. Given the increasing importance of technology in modern business operations, the role of a CTO is considered substantial and impactful.

2. What is a chief technology officer CEO?

A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is not the same as a CEO (Chief Executive Officer). A CTO is a high-level executive responsible for overseeing technology strategies and innovations, while a CEO is the highest-ranking executive responsible for overall company leadership and decision-making.

3. Is CIO higher than CTO?

In most organizations, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) holds a higher position than the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). The CIO manages the company’s IT strategies, concentrating on aligning technology with the organization’s goals. In contrast, the CTO’s focus lies in technical aspects like innovation and infrastructure. However, hierarchy varies with company size, industry, and structure, occasionally leading to overlapping roles and differing hierarchies. Organizational structures can diverge, impacting the roles’ significance.

4. How long does it take to become a CTO?

The time it takes to become a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) varies widely and depends on factors such as education, experience, skills, and career progression. It typically takes many years of relevant experience, often ranging from 10 to 20 years or more, to attain the necessary expertise and leadership qualities required for a CTO role.

5. Is it hard to become a CTO?

Becoming a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is a demanding endeavor, requiring a blend of technical expertise, leadership acumen, and experience in both technology and management domains. Like other executive roles, achieving the position of CTO necessitates substantial time investment and a wealth of work experience. Commencing your journey with an online bachelor’s degree in business or IT can provide a strong basis. Expanding your credentials through advanced CTO executive education, such as pursuing a Chief Technology Officer degree, an MBA in IT, an M.S. in Technology Management, or an M.S., can further elevate your qualifications for the role.