10 cities with the happiest CIOs

Are you a happy CIO? If you hesitated before answering, you might want to consider moving to one of these 10 cities, which are home to the nation's happiest CIOs, according to recent research from Robert Half Technologies.

cities with happiest cios
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Cities with the happiest CIOs

The role of CIO has never been more important as companies across every industry embrace cloud infrastructures, artificial intelligence and automation. It's an exciting time to be a CIO, but three things can make it even better: Location, location, location.

Where you live has a more to do with your happiness than you might think. Robert Half Technologies surveyed over 2,500 CIOs in the U.S. in 25 major metropolis areas to find where the happiest CIOs live. The data shows that, while it might be a great time to be a CIO anywhere, it's even better if you work in one of these 10 cities.

Miami
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Miami

Maybe it's the sunshine or maybe it's the rapidly booming tech industry, but Miami is home to some of the happiest CIOs in the country. TechCrunch reports that Miami is not only home to an incredibly diverse population -- bridging the gap between Latin America and U.S. business relations, but it's also the second most entrepreneurial city in the nation.

And CIOs won't just find better weather in Miami, they might even land a higher salary. According to data from PayScale, Miami CIOs report salaries that are, on average, 22-percent higher than the national average.

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Boston

Home to the likes of MIT and Harvard, Boston has quickly become a hub for technology growth. In fact, last May, The Boston Globe reported that for every recent, in-state college graduate with a STEM degree, there were 17 relevant job openings. And, according to Robert Half Technologies, it's also home to some of the happiest CIOs in the nation.

Despite the uphill battle with a talent shortage profiled in the Boston Globe, it's still a great place to work as a CIO. And whatever it is that keeps CIOs happy, it probably isn't money -- PayScale data shows that, on average, Boston CIOs report salaries that are only 11 percent higher than the national average.

Des Moines, Iowa
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Des Moines, Iowa

"Silicon Prairie?" is the name often given to mid-western or southern cities in the U.S. that are experiencing rapid tech growth. Des Moines is one of those areas where the tech sector is quickly growing -- thanks in part to a better cost of living and less competition than the San Francisco are and other tech hubs.

According to Indeed, the average salary for a CIO in Des Moines is around $173,498 - well above the national average. Combine a higher-than-average salary with a low cost of living, and it's no wonder Des Moines' CIOs are so happy.

[ Related story: Why happy developers equal happy customers ]

Indianapolis
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Indianapolis

Just a few hours north of Chicago, where CIO's report a 41 percent higher salary than the national average, is Indianapolis. And the tech industry is booming. In fact, the Indiana Business Journal reports that tech jobs in Indianapolis grew 30 percent between 2012 and 2015, and the New York Times ran a piece earlier this year highlighting the city's shift from manufacturing to tech.

While the average salary for CIOs in Chicago comes in just under $200,000 per year, the average CIO salary in Indianapolis is around $128,000, according to PayScale. While the average salary is lower than Chicago, accounting for the lower cost of living in Indianapolis lessens that gap.

Cincinnati
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Cincinnati

Cincinnati ranked fourth for the happiest CIOs, but Ohio isn't exactly known for its tech or startup industry. But Ohio has no shortage of impressive companies and institutions where CIOs can make their mark. Just in Cincinnati alone you'll find the headquarters for Procter & Gamble, The Kroger Company, Macy's, and GE's Aviation business and Global Operations center.

While they may not all be tech-focused companies, every high-profile business needs a savvy, energetic CIO to help manage the business. In terms of salary, Cincinnati CIOs report earning an average of $168,000 per year, according to PayScale.

Minneapolis
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Minneapolis

As the largest city in Minnesota, and 16th largest metropolis in the nation, Minneapolis is home to a growing base of tech companies. In fact, Amazon opened up shop last year, with the vice president of operations technology citing motivations such as the "caliber of technical talent" and the "region's commitment to education," according to the Star Tribune. And just last month, Southwest Minneapolis Patch reported 100 new technology jobs in Minneapolis alone, noting an "exploding" market.

According to PayScale's data, CIOs working in Minneapolis report an average yearly salary of $180,000 -- slightly higher than the national average.

[ Related story: Why employee experience trumps company culture ]

Raleigh
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Raleigh

Raleigh is part of the North Carolina Research Triangle, or just "The Triangle," which is touted as one of the largest research parks in the United States. It's comprised of 170 companies and focuses on high-tech, bio-tech and textile research companies that all share "the same approximate coordinates."

As a hub of technology and innovation, it's no surprise that CIOs in Raleigh report high levels of job satisfaction. The average salary for a CIO in Raleigh, according to Glassdoor, is around $143,000 per year, which is slightly lower than the national average.

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Salt Lake City

Utah might not be the first state that comes to mind when you picture a technology mecca, but Salt Lake City, Provo and Park City make up the "Silicon Slope." The name is a nod to California's Silicon Valley, referring to Utah's growing tech industry -- home to companies like San Disk, Intel, EA Sports and Adobe Systems. Not to mention, just 35 minutes south of Salt Lake City, you'll find the NSA Utah Data Center. Salt Lake City also ranked as the 10th best place to live in the US, which likely contributes to CIO satisfaction levels.

With so many tech companies operating out of the Silicon Slope, CIOs in this city report high levels of overall job satisfaction. And according to PayScale, the average salary for a CIO in Salt Lake City is just under $110,000 per year.

Dallas
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Dallas

The Dallas Fort-Worth, Texas area is home to another Silicon Prairie -- with companies like Microsoft, Motorola, AT&T and Texas Instruments calling it home. As GeekWire points out, Dallas Fort-Worth is not only home to plenty of large corporations; there are also more than 50 colleges and universities in the area to help fill those open positions.

And the saying that "everything's bigger in Texas" seems to hold true for CIOs; data from PayScale shows that CIOs working in Dallas report salaries that are 29 percent higher than the national average at $163,000 per year.

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San Francisco

San Francisco is the hub of the Silicon Valley, where companies like Facebook, Google and Apple are headquartered. But even as the tech industry branches out around the country, CIOs are still happy working in the Bay Area. At number 10 on the list of cities with happiest CIOs, the San Francisco bay area is where you'll find companies like Intel, Cisco Systems, Asus, Logitech, McAfee, SAP, Oracle, Twitter, Uber, YouTube, Yelp and many more.

With so many options for CIOs, San Francisco offers plenty of opportunity for eager candidates. And according to PayScale, CIOs in San Francisco also report salaries that are 26 percent higher than the national average, at just under $200,000 per year.