Information Technology Manager
Kaiwhakahaere Hangarau Pārongo
Information technology (IT) managers plan and supervise computer and information technology services for organisations or technical teams.
IT managers usually earn
$110K-$180K per year
Source: Recruit I.T., 2021.
Pay for information technology (IT) managers varies depending on experience and level of responsibility.
IT managers usually earn $110,000 to $180,000 a year.
IT managers working as contractors usually earn $80 to $190 an hour.
Sources: 'Recruit I.T. Technology and Digital Salary Update Auckland', July 2021, 'Recruit I.T. Technology and Digital Salary Update Wellington', July 2021.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
IT managers may do some or all of the following:
- assess and recommend computer and information systems equipment, software and networks
- prepare budgets and reports
- plan for and purchase computer and information technology equipment
- supervise installation, use and repair of computer systems
- manage helpdesk support teams and other IT teams.
Skills and knowledge
IT managers need to have knowledge of:
- how their organisation can use and store information
- the latest computer hardware and software, and how it could be used by their organisation
- management, planning and technical requirements
- how to evaluate their clients' needs.
- usually work regular business hours, but may have to work irregular or long hours, and be on call
- work in offices and computer rooms
- may travel around the country or internationally to other company offices, or to attend conferences and trade shows.
What's the job really like?
Information Technology Manager
John Gould was looking for a job that was easily transportable – "Something where I could pick up work anywhere. The IT industry seemed to be the most likely to fit that bill."
Learning a lot by making improvements to systems
John found a job with the Department of Justice and one of his first tasks was to help with the installation and improvements of the Whanganui computer system. This gave him valuable experience in mainframe computing. "It was fascinating. I learned a lot in a short period."
Since then, work with a number of government agencies has allowed John to gain experience and work on some innovative projects. "The most interesting assignment I had was with the Department of Courts when we implemented their court evidence voice-recording systems. With the new technology we could get the written evidence back in the courtroom within about half an hour."
Solving technical problems for clients is the best part
As information technology manager for a large computing consultancy, John now oversees the IT requirements for his company, and also has the challenge of advising clients about their computing needs. "Problem solving is the best part of the job. When you realise your client is tied up with a process that doesn't deliver and you can do something to give them more time, it's good for all of us."
Information technology manager video
Simon Ferrari shows what it's like to be an IT manager – 1.56 mins
My typical day involves getting involved in activities that any of my staff are involved in, from projects, working with project managers, to business managers who look after those people. As well as things like one on one meetings with staff for performance reviews, or video conferences, and phone conversations with either my customers or staff beyond the Wellington region.
I love several things about my job – one is working with people. I get to work closely with the people that I’m responsible for and help them succeed in their roles. Another thing I really enjoy is the creativity aspect of software development. We’re building things from scratch and often new things never done before, and so I love that aspect of creativity and thought leadership that’s involved in. And the third thing would be the flexibility that the industry provides and certainly my job provides in terms of how I work, where I work and when I work.
Because of the industry I work in and my role, I get to do several things that I really enjoy. One of them is travel – my skills are quite portable but also my company needs me to travel. I’m able to work in Australia, I’ve spent time working in Edinburgh, I’ve also gone to Cambodia for work for a community and social responsibility project. Also, that freedom that I mentioned earlier with my time. I get to choose what I do, when I do it and how I do it. One of the things I love doing is mountain biking. I spend a lot of time on my bike, often arriving slightly later at work or taking a longer lunch break in order to enjoy my freedom on the bike.
There are no specific requirements to become an information technology (IT) manager, but relevant work experience is essential.
A tertiary qualification, such as a degree in information technology or a project management qualification, may be useful.
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include maths, physics and digital technologies.
IT managers need to be:
- good communicators, who can clearly explain complex technical information
- analytical, with problem-solving skills
- strong in evaluation and judgement
- able to work well under pressure
- leaders who can motivate their staff.
Interpersonal skills – being able to relate well to other people – are as important as technical skills.
Computing Services Manager
Useful experience for IT managers includes:
- technical computer work
- helpdesk operations
- project administration
- customer service.
IT managers may choose to become certified or chartered through associations such as the Institute of IT Professionals.
Find out more about training
- IT Professionals NZ
- 0800 252 255 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.itp.nz
- New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTIA)
- (09) 475 0204 - email@example.com - www.nztech.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Information technology managers in demand
Demand for information technology (IT) managers is good because:
- organisations are moving their information systems online
- many websites and software applications (apps) need technical systems and support
- organisations need people with IT skills and experience to manage these systems and their staff.
Shortage of experienced IT managers
There are not enough experienced IT managers to meet demand. Nearly two thirds of IT employers report skills shortages, and there aren't enough information technology (IT) trainees.
As a result, ICT project manager, (IT manager) appears on Immigration New Zealand’s long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled IT managers from overseas to work in New Zealand.
According to the Census, 9,845 IT managers worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Types of employers varied
IT managers may work for:
- private companies
- IT manufacturing companies
- organisations with IT divisions, such as government departments.
- AbsoluteIT, 'Tech Remuneration Report', February 2021, (www.itsalaries.co.nz).
- Hays, 'IT Salary Guide and Recruiting Trends', accessed November 2021, (www.hays.net.nz).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Long Term Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
IT managers may progress into the role of chief information officer (CIO).
Last updated 16 August 2022