IT Director (Director of IT Operations): Job Description, Salary, Skills & Career Path

Within a corporation, the IT Director is the senior operational manager for information technology (IT). He / she is responsible for the smooth and effective management, strategy, and execution of IT infrastructure for their organization.

Where companies employ both, IT directors are the direct subordinates of CIOs, playing a key role in ensuring businesses make the most out of technology to successfully propel them into the future.

As technology continues to grow and expand, the separation of different technological positions is imperative, and having leaders who can effectively manage the maintenance of systems and staff is integral to success.

And for that reason, IT Directors have many skills and are compensated generously.

IT Director / Director of IT Operations Job Description: Key Roles & Responsibilities

IT directors (regardless of industry) are in charge of internal technology operations and overseeing their smooth and effective operation. Beyond this, IT directors are required to have a plethora of skills, roles, and responsibilities to complete on a day-to-day basis.

With the emergence of technology within businesses, different technical leaders and directors evolved from one general position. This was done in order to best organize and delegate tasks, especially in very large organizations where a lot needs to get done.

For that reason, much of an IT director’s responsibilities are largely dependent on the size and organizational structure of the business where they are employed:

  • In smaller companies, the IT director typically has total management responsibility over IT resources, reporting directly to the company’s CEO or CFO.
  • In larger organizations, there is often a more intricate hierarchical structure, where there are technical C-suite executives such as the Chief Information Officer and/or the Chief Technology Officer. Where this is the case, the IT director will take the day-to-day operational responsibilities and report directly to the CIO, who is in charge of overseeing long-term strategic goals.

Regardless of who they report to, IT directors must have excellent leadership, collaboration, and technical skills in order to successfully fulfill their duties. The typical responsibilities of an IT director include:

  • Overseeing the maintenance of systems and services
  • Ensuring IT operations are well-resourced and staffed
  • Training, hiring, managing, and motivating IT staff
  • Securing data and IT systems against loss, attack, or risks
  • Working with other leaders and executives to create and alter IT security policies
  • Meeting the company’s IT requirements within budget
  • Overseeing technical projects to ensure they are aligned with organizational goals
  • Communicating effectively with external and internal vendors and advisors
  • Making innovative and effective system and technology investment decisions
  • Identifying new market opportunities
  • Working with other leaders, executives, and engineers to find solutions
  • Presenting comprehensive proposals to their staff and boss
  • And more

Importance of IT Directors

The IT director’s responsibilities and key roles are integral to the success of a corporation. By managing several operational teams and coordinating with multiple IT managers, the IT Director serves as the key link between middle management and C-Suite IT executives at many corporations.

These individuals make key investment decisions while taking into account the important business issues and technical requirements of their organization in order to best align these processes, improve productivity, and build competitive advantages.

IT Director: Related Careers

So, what are the main differences and relationship dynamics between IT directors and technical C-suite executives? Many big organizations employ multiple individuals under titles which sound very similar and whose responsibilities overlap in several areas.

Still, the distinction is apparent, with IT directors honing their focus on day-to-day technical operations, including system uptime, service maintenance, and vendor agreements. In other words, IT directors have more reactive and tactical roles, responding to business challenges and requests and the managing of staff.

On the other hand, CIOs and other C-suite technology executives spend less time with the technical, day-to-day aspects and focus their efforts on engaging with business partners and transforming the organization with innovative digital services.

All in all, IT directors are delegated many of the technical maintenance and daily operation responsibilities and report their insights, advice, and findings to the CIO, who looks at the big picture and long-term objectives of the company.

Though technically subordinate, IT directors hold an imperative role in the successful functioning of a corporation.

Becoming an IT Director – Education and Career Path

IT directors most commonly earn their title and position after working in the IT department and lower-level IT management positions for several years. Many will begin their careers as entry-level coding or software developers to gain experience before stepping up to management roles.

Although there tend to be certain requirements for these positions, it is important to note that the path to becoming an IT director is not always linear, and many may be able to obtain an IT position in other, less traditional ways. Still, here is a general guide for this career path:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology
  • Obtain IT and leadership experience through entry-level IT positions and work up to IT manager
  • Earn a master’s degree in a related field such as information technology management
    • Many decide to go back to school after getting a few years of working experience in the field, but you can also choose to attend graduate school directly after earning an undergraduate degree
  • Build up education and skill-set through IT training and certifications
    • There are multiple valuable IT certifications that help aspiring IT directors boost credibility and stand out from other candidates
      • Certified Data Professional (CDP)
      • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
      • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
      • Project Management Professional (PMP)
      • And more

IT Director Average Salary

Information technology directors make high average salaries around the world. Here, we’ll break down these averages throughout different regions and experience levels.

Please keep in mind that the numbers displayed are general averages, so many IT directors may be making considerably less while others make considerably more.

Variables are often specific cities, industries, and cost of living. Due to their high ranking, IT directors also typically enjoy a variety of benefits and job security.

For reference, the national average salary of an IT director in the United States is about US$121,176.

IT Director Salary in East Coast USA

The average base salary for eastern USA regions such as California is typically higher than the national average at US$143,449 a year.

IT directors residing in these areas can expect to make about US$95,000 with only one to four years of experience. Once directors reach five years, this average rises considerably to US$133,454 yearly.

At the ten-year mark, information technology directors make about US$145,368 total compensation yearly, and after twenty years, it’s about US$146,000.

IT Director Salary in West Coast USA

The average base salary for western USA regions such as North Carolina is higher than the national average at $132,280 yearly.

Interestingly enough, at the start of their career, IT directors with one to four years of experience make less than other regions, with the average resting at US$80,000 per year.

However, this number skyrockets after five years, where information technology directors can expect to make a total compensation average of US$115,000.

This salary continues to grow at an impressive rate, with the average salary after ten years being US$130,325 a year, and after twenty years, US$143,000.

IT Director Salary in South USA

The average salary for southern USA regions such as Texas is typically higher than the national average at US$132,036.

At the start of their career with one to four years of experience, IT directors in south coast United States can expect to make an average total compensation of US$106,726.

With five to nine years of experience, this average increases to US$111,480. With more experience, an IT director’s salary increases impressively, with the average growing to US$133,000 after ten years.

Once these directors have been at their position for more than twenty years, they make a comfortable salary of about US$137,454.

IT Director Salary in Canada

Canadian Information Technology directors make an average base salary of C$118,266, including bonuses and overtime pay.

At the entry-level, IT directors with less than a year of experience make an average total compensation of C$101,736 in Canada. In the next few years, this salary increases slowly, with the average compensation of an IT director with up to nine years’ experience being about C$106,126.

However, after the ten-year mark, an IT director’s average salary shoots up to C$119,000, and after twenty years, becomes C$126,000.

Still, Canadians across the nation can make considerably different salaries depending on their particular location and the cost of living by city.

Typically, Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver make up to 13% more than the national average, whereas Halifax, Mississauga, and Montreal make up to 13% less than the national average.

IT Director Salary in the UK

The average base salary for information technology directors in the United Kingdom is about £81,871 yearly.

The total compensation for directors here increases steadily each year, with the salary for directors with one to four years of experience being an average of £69,319 a year.

With five to nine years, this average rises to about £74,544 a year, and after ten years, increases to £82,933 per year. With more than twenty years of experience, the average becomes £89,477 a year.

Of course, pay varies significantly depending on specific cities and locations to adjust for the cost of living and other contributing factors. It’s estimated that information technology directors in London and Birmingham make up to 17% more than the national average.

Meanwhile, the lowest salaries in the United Kingdom can be found in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and Manchester, where directors make up to 13% less than the national average.

IT Director Salary in Europe

Not surprisingly, pay varies significantly on the continental level. The highest paying countries for IT directors in Europe are the Netherlands and Germany.

While the lowest paying countries include Spain, France, and Italy. Still, the differences in pay are not tremendous, and are mostly dependent on the cost of living in each respective nation.

The average salary in the Netherlands is about €101,736. Information technology directors here can expect to make about €90,000 at the start of their career, about €100,000 after ten years of experience, and about €110,000 after twenty years.

The average salary in Germany is about €102,262. Information technology directors make an average total compensation of about €90,000 with one to four years of experience, rising to €101,000 after five years. At ten years of experience, this average increases to €103,000, and again to €106,000 after twenty years.

The average base salary in Spain is €73,907 a year. Here, IT directors can expect to make about €55,000 with one to four years of experience, and €61,000 after five years. This average caps off at almost €82,000 after reaching ten years of experience.

In France, the average salary is €90,154 a year. At the entry to mid-level, information technology directors make an estimated €80,000-€85,000 yearly. With more than ten years of experience, IT directors in this country make about €91,000, and reach about €97,000 after twenty years of experience.

IT Director Salary in India

The average base salary for information technology directors in India is about ₹3,472,170 yearly across the nation.

With less than a year of experience, IT directors in India make an average of ₹252,000 a year, but this rises considerably to ₹800,000 yearly with up to four years of experience.

At five to nine years of experience in this career, directors make an average total compensation of ₹2,272,527. After ten years, this rises again to about ₹3,461,759, and almost ₹4,000,000 after the twenty-year mark.

Again, pay varies across the nation in accordance with the cost of living by region and other contributing factors. Typically, the highest paying locations are Bangalore and Gurgaon, where directors are earning up to 12% more than the national average.

Still, some of the lowest paying locations are New Delhi, Chennai, and Pune, where IT directors make up to 22% less than the national average.


Overall, information technology directors have a very important role and function within businesses, overlooking and managing daily technical operations, leading staff, and communicating with other leaders as well as higher C-suite executives (CTO, CIO, CDO & CSO/CISO) to establish policies and business strategies. For this reason, IT directors enjoy prosperous pay and a rewarding position.


I'm a senior CS Engineer from Morocco, working as an Independent Consultant and a part-time blogger.

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