About 30% of CIOs earn more than a quarter of a million pounds according to the latest research from IT manager forum CIO Connect.
The large pay packets are justified because IT heads are seen as executives that play an important role in business strategy, believe two-fifths of CIOs.
More than 40 of the 100 CIOs interviewed said they reported directly to the CEO. And half said they are responsible for IT globally.
"Some 40% of CIOs believe themselves to be accomplished networkers, and think they are seen as someone who is really helping to reshape the business," said the report.
More than a third are also ensuring they keep their eye on job opportunities with 35% developing relationships with head-hunters.
IT head-hunters can act as an interface between members of the CIO community, according to Matt Smith, director of UK regions at recruitment company Harvey Nash. He said relationships between CIOs and headhunters can provide more than just job opportunities.
"CIOs can use headhunters to put them in touch with their peers so they can share knowledge. This is as well as the fact that headhunters can find them appropriate staff."