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CBS International Business School, 10 August 2023

Technology management salary - This is what you earn after studying

Technology management salary - This is what you earn after studying

Technology Management: Salary and Prospects

The salary in technology management is consistently attractive, as the field demands many interdisciplinary skills ranging from business administration to engineering. The high skill requirements severely limit the number of possible candidates for every job. This has the effect of inflating the average information technology manager salary.

Since the range of technology management professions is very large, starting salaries and career prospects differ greatly. As a rule, the greater the responsibility for core technologies, the higher salaries will rise. This applies to jobs in technology companies as well as in consulting firms. If the job consists primarily of procuring technologies on the market for a small area of a company, salaries will be lower. Likewise, an individual salary in technology sales is difficult to predict: In that case, it depends on how big and successful the company is. How many competitive advantages the technology being sold creates also has an influence. 

In principle, however, it’s safe to say that a technology manager salary is in the upper third of professions in the fields of business administration and engineering.

How much do you earn in technology management?

You can earn good money after studying technology management or digital transformation. The decisive factor determining an information technology manager salary and later career prospects is your role in the company. Technology managers who have successfully managed key projects in the company will soon move up to positions in department management, division management or board-level management roles. 

This table provides a rough estimate of information technology management salary prospects. The bottom number refers to an entry-level position in a smaller company for a candidate with a bachelor’s degree. The top number refers to a career with a bit of work experience at a top company, for a candidate with a master’s degree. There is also a special case In the field of IT: IT managers and IT consultants can mean a whole range of job descriptions. The salary can be very different for jobs that superficially sound the same.




Technology / Innovation / IT Manager

€ 45.000 – 90.000

(Digital) Transformation Manager

€ 40.000 – 90.000

Consultant (Technology, IT, Strategy…)

€ 60.000 – 100.000

Technology Scout

€ 40.000 – 80.000

Project engineer

€ 45.000 – 70.000

Technology Project Manager

€ 40.000 – 65.000

Product Manager

€ 40.000 – 75.000

Sales Engineer 

€ 40.000 – 90.000

Which technology management jobs offer the highest starting salaries?

The highest technology manager salary levels can be found in two areas. Firstly, corporations and medium-sized companies in top industries in economically strong federal states pay very well. The same applies to top management consultancies. In both areas, a gross annual salary of between 60,000 euros and 80,000 is possible with a master's degree.

Starting salaries at top companies

Large companies in Germany usually pay collectively agreed salaries. In those companies, the technology manager salary is not generally negotiable. Instead, the information technology manager salary is determined by the HR department according to a classification system. 

In this system, the concrete requirements for the job are determined in order to create a qualification and remuneration profile. This is usually carried out via points systems, which are then translated into pay groups. For example: Does the position require a master's degree? Do you have to work very independently? Will you have personnel responsibility? These factors will be reflected in the job profile and will increase the salary.

A similar system operates in public services, but is much more finely differentiated. In addition, collective agreements in the metal, electrical and chemical sectors have a different number of pay groups, and these groups differ from state to state. For example, an information technology manager salary in the metal and electrical industry will be very low in Berlin, but much higher in Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria.

Keep another factor in mind: The gross monthly basic salary often looks low for companies bound by collective agreements, but in reality the annual salary is very high. This is because a performance bonus is usually added on top, alongside holiday pay, the Christmas bonus – often called a special payment – and possibly further allowances or another annual bonus. 
Another aspect is the weekly working time: This is often only 35 hours, and overtime is recorded and compensated. This further increases the calculated hourly wage.

Starting salaries in consulting

In the consulting industry, starting salaries as a fellow with a master's degree are usually around 70,000 to 100,000 euros gross per year, regardless of the "practice", i.e. the specialist area. This includes a possible bonus and a company car. There is a special feature of some management consultancies: After 2 or 3 years in the job, you can plan an "educational leave" to do an MBA for example. The salary is usually paid for one year to subsidize your studies. The next career step is then a position as an associate. At that point your information technology manager salary will rise significantly. And the technology manager salary curve as a consultant rises much more steeply than in large corporations.

Starting salaries in "normal" companies

In addition to the top of the corporate pyramid, there is also a broad base of ordinary companies from industries such as trade and services as well as SMEs and start-ups. A technology project manager salary here starts at about 40,000 to 65,000 euros gross per year. With a bachelor's degree, the remuneration is lower, and with a master's degree it rises a few thousand euros. But don’t write off smaller organizations. Positions there can be very exciting as the degree of responsibility is often high. You can learn specialist tech skills and prove your competence before earning a higher information technology management salary later on.

These factors determine a technology manager salary

A typical information technology manager salary is subject to numerous influencing factors.

  • Size: Companies with more than 5,000 employees usually pay the highest salaries. But there are exceptions: Highly specialized technology companies in particular may be relatively small but are still highly profitable world market leaders. In those situations the information technology manager salary is usually very high, even for smaller companies. Some companies also score points with other services such as excellent canteens or other additional services that are difficult to quantify.

  • Industry: High-margin industries tend to remunerate their employees particularly well. Examples are the IT, chemical, pharmaceutical, metal and electrical industries. An interesting point to note: These industries offer the most jobs in technology management, so are good places to start your job search.

  • Academic degree: The starting salary with a bachelor's degree is often a few thousand euros a year lower than with a master's degree, and this is the case almost everywhere. The Master's degree is therefore a good investment in your professional future. Above all, in companies that attach great importance to formal education, you will struggle to advance unless you move beyond a bachelor's degree.

  • Field of responsibility: If you are only responsible for managing less important technologies at work, the salary prospects are lower than in a leadership role in a core technology. For example, you may work in project management supervising a small team for a low-revenue product or a small business unit. Personnel responsibility also increases salary, but it does not often occur at the start of a career.

  • Location: Location has some impact on an information technology manager salary, but is not decisive. It may even be the case that salaries are higher in rural regions with a low supply of skilled workers than in metropolises. As explained above, regional collective agreements can also have a major influence on the salary level. It’s even possible to encounter a technology manager salary difference of up to 10,000 euros when starting work.

  • Professional experience: More years in the job have a salary-increasing effect. In companies bound by collective agreements, there are often automatic mechanisms that significantly increase the salary in the second year of service. In the further course of the career, however, professional success becomes increasingly important: In technology management, your work performance is measurable. Were you part of a successful technology project? If so, this makes you attractive for specialist and management roles in your own company – and on the general job market. However, if your professional experience consists of failures, this will not have a positive effect. It is therefore advisable to always remain ambitious and realistic in order to create added value for the employer. You can read more about job profiles in our article on technology management professions.


At the beginning of your career, an information technology manager salary is comparatively high for business and engineering graduates. This is because of the broad competence profile demanded by technology companies. Keep in mind that technology management is a professional career that does not necessarily quickly lead to a role in management or a board position. However, this can also be seen as an advantage. Because you do not have to consider management topics such as human resources, accounting and tax law, you can go deeper into technology topics. Specialists in important areas can eventually command a very high information technology manager salary.

Are you looking for a suitable course of study? At CBS you will find an extensive range of courses for technology management studies. We offer Bachelor's and Master's degrees, including full-time attendance, dual or part-time, and with characteristics ranging from classic business administration with a specialisation in technology to industrial engineering. If you want to maximize your technology manager salary, CBS is the place to start.

CBS International Business School

CBS International Business School is a state-recognised private university of applied sciences for business. We offer accredited Bachelor's, Master's and MBA degree programmes in German and English on a full-time or part-time basis. Throughout Germany, the university is represented at three locations in Cologne, Mainz, and Potsdam.

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