IT job titles hierarchy (with responsibilities and salaries)

Updated 19 January 2023

Many IT departments and organisations have employees working in a range of roles to complete various duties. Each role has unique responsibilities and salary packages, with some taking on managerial responsibilities and others taking instructions from those with more experience. If you're looking to work in IT, understanding these job titles helps you find a position that best suits your experience, skill set and career goals. In this article, we discuss what the IT job titles hierarchy is and list some of the jobs within it, with details of their salaries and responsibilities.

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What is the IT job titles hierarchy?

The IT job titles hierarchy is a structure that defines the level of seniority that each position holds in an organisation. Someone at a higher level in the hierarchy has the authority to give instructions to staff members that are below them, with each increasing level also adding more responsibilities to the employee's portfolio. Ideally, employees advance up the hierarchy as they continually demonstrate their skills to their employers. Employees with greater skills and competencies tend to rise to the top of the hierarchy.

Modern IT systems depend on a series of permissions and levels of access for staff members, so the hierarchy also determines who has access to what. For example, an IT support assistant has access to some behind-the-scenes information and tools, while senior staff members have complete authority over people's accounts and the content of those accounts. By accurately tracking the hierarchy and controlling these permissions, IT organisations ensure a high level of security while maximising productivity.

Related: Computer science vs. IT: differences and common jobs

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The IT job titles hierarchy

Here's a list of IT jobs arranged roughly in hierarchical order, starting with some of the more basic roles before advancing to leadership positions:

1. IT apprentice

National average salary: £14,189 per year

Primary duties: An IT apprentice is the lowest rung on the hierarchy of IT jobs. This role entails learning the basics of IT support, assisting customers with their IT issues and responding to remote tickets to support people unable to visit the IT department in person. As this role is an apprenticeship, successful applicants also spend some time completing classroom learning about the role. Upon completing an IT apprenticeship, employees have a qualification that's relevant to the industry and may apply for a full-time role.

Related: What are apprenticeship benefits? (Plus eligibility)

2. IT technician

National average salary: £24,507 per year

Primary duties: An IT technician is responsible for maintaining and repairing the technology available throughout an organisation. This role entails following a strict schedule for IT maintenance, which includes undergoing standard updates and fixing any faulty software. This role also involves fixing computer hardware issues, completing part replacements and supporting mobile repairs for devices the organisation owns and provides to its employees. IT technicians also keep learning about new and emerging technologies to develop a full understanding of how to repair the newest devices.

Related: Tips and steps for how to become an IT technician

3. IT support

National average salary: £26,767 per year

Primary duties: IT support employees are responsible for receiving customer feedback and responding to it with potential fixes. This includes writing responses to emails that the IT support team receives, sending instructions for resolving the issue and sometimes working on a support desk to offer assistance with in-person issues. IT support employees also teach their fellow employees and customers about new systems as a preventative measure, avoiding issues with new systems.

Related: IT support levels: definitions, tiers and advantages

4. IT systems administrator

National average salary: £28,941 per year

Primary duties: An IT systems administrator is responsible for tracking tan organisation's systems. This includes knowing the number of people using the system at any one time, the nature of the licencing for the systems and the ideal uses for all of the systems the organisation has available. This role also includes negotiating with systems providers and vendors to obtain advanced systems that the organisation may benefit from. Systems administrators teach other employees about these systems, reducing and easing transition time.

Related: Management information systems vs. IT: what's the difference?

5. IT engineer

National average salary: £30,062 per year

Primary duties: An IT engineer creates and maintains the larger systems an organisation uses in its IT enterprises. This includes the servers the organisation uses, the devices employees use and the connective cabling and infrastructure that keeps the system together. IT engineers also resolve faults with the system, increasing the reliability of the organisation's connections and supporting faster links between them and their external partners.

Related: How to become a systems engineer (with duties and skills)

6. Chief information officer

National average salary: £35,142 per year

Primary duties: A chief information officer ensures that an organisation has reliable information and data security policies. This includes thoroughly reading through regulations pertaining to data security, understanding the organisation's data security policies and adjusting those policies to ensure everything complies with legal frameworks. This position also includes inspecting data security practices throughout the organisation, establishing whether colleagues follow the policies and adjusting them where necessary.

7. IT manager

National average salary: £45,629 per year

Primary duties: An IT manager works towards the top of the hierarchy and is responsible for instructing other members of the IT staff. This role includes telling other staff members what to do throughout the workday, supporting employees by facilitating their workflow with new procedures and strategies and organising rotas. IT managers also send reports to board members, organise the organisation's budget for the coming period and make hiring and firing decisions when appropriate.

8. Procurement manager

National average salary: £48,436 per year

Primary duties: A procurement manager is a management staff member who's primarily responsible for buying equipment and materials for the organisation. This role entails ordering new equipment, providing staff members with the tools to use in their work and negotiating with suppliers to reduce the cost of equipment. Procurement managers also manage the organisation's finances, working within a strict budget.

9. Information manager

National average salary: £48,582 per year

Primary duties: An information manager is a senior staff member responsible for how an organisation receives, handles and processes information. This includes internal information such as strategy documents and customer data. Information managers also learn about the changing nature of data security legislation, providing updates for the organisation and changing policies in line with the GDPR and UK Data Protection Act amendments. The role also involves training employees about the importance of secure information in an organisation.

10. IT project manager

National average salary: £48,667 per year

Primary duties: An IT project manager is a member of the management staff in an IT team and is responsible for arranging major projects and transformations in the organisation. These project managers support a project from the initial planning stage, providing an initial brief. They then ensure that the right personnel complete the assigned tasks to finish the project on time and under budget. At the end of the process, the project manager informs the board and executives about the success of the project and any necessary changes in the future.

Related: How to become an IT infrastructure project manager in 6 steps

11. Chief executive officer

National average salary: £54,292 per year

Primary duties: A chief executive officer isn't responsible for IT tasks exclusively but plays a fundamental role in how an organisation works. At the very top of the hierarchy in any given organisation, a chief executive officer works with the rest of the board and establishes a series of policies and strategies to use going forwards. This includes receiving feedback and reports from the IT team, allocating budgets and adjusting company-wide policies so the IT department works more efficiently and delivers positive outcomes for the organisation's customers.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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