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IT Workers' Salaries Register 6.2 Percent Gain

The average salary for IT workers registered a 6.2-percent gain in Global Knowledge and TechRepublic's fifth annual IT Skills and Salary Survey--the highest increase in the survey's history.

The survey also found that job satisfaction among IT professionals is rebounding from its low point in 2010. Sixty percent of respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their positions, compared to 43 percent in 2011 and 40 percent in 2010.

Individuals who trained in the prior year earned an average of 8.6 percent more than those who did not train. Additionally, 65 percent of respondents reported earning a certification in the past five years. The impact of new skills and certifications was also echoed by managers. The percentage of managers reporting that their staff was more effective or significantly more effective on the job after receiving a certification rose to 50 percent, up from 35 percent in 2011.

As it relates to specific job functions, all areas reported at least modest salary growth. Salaries grew the most for those involved in security, database, data center, and servers and storage, while those working in communications and applications/programming experienced the least amount of growth.

Adding to the good news of this year's higher average salary is the fact that 63 percent of respondents received a raise. The bad news is that the likelihood of receiving a raise varied greatly by salary range. Individuals earning $60,000 or less were much less likely to receive a raise than their colleagues in higher earning brackets.

Average salary varied widely across the country. There was a variance of more than $9,000 between the top paying (Northeast) and the lowest paying (Midwest) regions. When looking at pay by state, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, DC, had the highest average salaries. New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming were the lowest-paying states.

Silicon Valley Tech Workers Best Paid in US

Tech workers in California’s Silicon Valley are the best paid in the nation, according to a CyberCoders analysis.

CyberCoders checked out some 3,000 tech jobs and salaries to come up with a list of the top 10 highest paying cities for tech jobs.

On average, tech workers in top-ranked San Jose get paid about $119,000 a year. Workers in San Francisco, No. 2 on the list, get more than $112,000. New York’s “Silicon Alley” came in third with workers netting, on average, about $105,192.

Here’s the full list:

1. San Jose – $119,412

2. San Francisco – $112,739

3. New York – $105,192

4. Washington D.C. – $99,618

5. Boston – $99,099

6. Los Angeles – $96,705

7. Brooklyn – $96,696

8. Philadelphia – $95,929

9. Chicago – $94,899

10. Dallas – $94,799

As overall salaries differ from city to city, so do average salaries for specific positions, according to CyberCoders’ analysis. The average salary for a .NET developer in San Francisco, for instance, is nearly $99,000. Head south a few hundred miles to Los Angeles, and the average pay for the same position is about $87,000.

The higher average salary in the San Francisco Bay Area is a case of supply and demand in a competitive market, CyberCoders CTO Matt Miller said.

“Companies should expect to pay top dollar for a highly competitive talent pool,” he said.

Higher Salaries for Mobile Media Professionals

Continued adoption of smartphones and tablets is heightening demand for individuals with experience creating and organizing content for the small screen, according to Robert Half Technology's latest salary report. As a result, starting salaries for mobile applications developers are expected to rise 9.1 percent over 2010 levels to a range of $85,000 to $122,500.

Businesses are also seeking those who can gather and organize data and highlight what's relevant to business goals. Among the positions most in demand are business intelligence analysts, who will see a 6.3 percent increase in average starting salaries to a range of $87,750 to $123,500, according to RHT.

Data security and protection also continue to be a priority for companies, particularly in the banking and healthcare industries. Consequently, starting salaries for data security analysts are expected to increase 6 percent to a range of $89,000 to $121,500.

As firms increase their use of internal social media to facilitate collaboration and online learning, there's an increasing need for software developers, especially those with SharePoint and .NET experience, according to RHT. The base compensation for software developers is expected to rise 6.5 percent next year to a range of $70,000 to $111,000.

"The demand for professionals who can help companies take advantage of new technologies, such as mobile media or popular collaboration tools, is outpacing the supply in some cases," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "This has resulted in higher starting salaries within certain specialty areas."

IT Hiring Up for Programmers

In its latest salary survey, Janco Associates notes that although overall IT compensation remains flat, hiring is up, especially for programmers.

Mean compensation for all IT professionals has decreased by 0.39 percent to $78,078, from $77,773 at the beginning of 2011. This takes IT salaries back to January 2008 levels, Janco notes.

IT hiring is up, however. Since January, 55,500 IT jobs have been added in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Janco said midsized enterprises are beginning to hire programmers, mid-level infrastructure managers, and supervisors.

Layoffs seem to have tapered off, however some companies continue to cut the size of the IT organizations. Onshore outsourcing has apparently peaked and companies have been looking to bring IT operations back under their direct control and reduce operating costs.

In addition, companies are continuing to reduce the benefits provided to IT professionals by requiring them to pay a greater share of healthcare costs.

IT Professionals' Median Income Rises to $118,000

Median 2010 income for electrotechnology and information technology professionals rose nearly 4 percent from the previous year, according to the latest IEEE-USA Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey.

Median incomes from primary sources--salary, commissions, bonuses, and net self-employment income--for US IEEE members working full-time in their primary area of technical competence (job specialty) moved from US $113,500 in the 2009 tax year to $118,000 in 2010, a 3.96 percent increase.

Of the record 17,030 US IEEE members who responded to the Internet-based survey, 12,877 were employed full-time in their job specialty. Those working in communications technology reported the highest median income ($135,000), while workers in circuits and devices were second ($125,252). Those in signals and applications and engineering and human environment tied for third ($125,000).

On the other end of the spectrum, energy and power engineering professionals reported a median of $107,000, followed by industrial applications ($109,350) and systems and control ($110,000).

The IEEE-USA Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey, 2011 Edition, is the 24th compensation survey the organization has conducted since 1972. It also includes income data based on things like age, ethnicity, gender, experience, and years with current employer. The results are valuable to companies seeking to know what type of compensation package they should put together to attract and retain electrotechnology and IT professionals, and to employees looking to benchmark their salary and benefits.

The IEEE-USA Salary Service offers annual subscribers access to an online salary calculator and survey reports (2009-11) for accurately benchmarking technical professionals' compensation individually or organization-wide.

Survey: Salaries Rise, But So Does Dissatisfaction

Respondents to Computerworld's annual salary survey said total average compensation (including salary and bonus) was up 1.4 percent, compared to just 0.1 percent in 2010. The magazine also reported that this year's survey showed an overall 1.5 percent salary increase and a 0.3 percent increase in bonuses, while the 2010 survey found a 0.7 percent increase in salaries and a 6.6 percent drop in bonuses.

Fewer of this year's respondents reported budget cuts, salary cuts or freezes, hiring freezes, permanent layoffs, training cuts, or canceled projects. And fewer mentioned the economy as a challenge, the magazine reported. But more than half of this year's respondents reported being "significantly affected" by budget cuts and heavier workloads, with 66 percent saying they expected continued workload increases in the next year. Some 22 percent said they are less satisfied with their job now than they were a year ago, and 19 percent were less satisfied with their overall compensation, according to Computerworld.

Economy Holds Salaries in Check

For the third straight year, the stagnant economic environment held salaries in check for the IT profession. The average salary of the 12,000 IT professionals that Global Knowledge/Tech Republic surveyed  was $79,579 — down 3.2% from the previous year's survey ($82,115). At the same time, most of the different types of benefits — from PTO to health insurance to 401k — were also down a few percentage points from 2010.

However, Global Knowledge and Tech Republic caution that it’s also important to keep these decreases in perspective, since the average salary is still up 8% from the 2008 survey ($73,900). In terms of benefits, many of those (especially healthcare) took a jump in 2010, so they may just be settling down a little bit from those leaps.

The survey report notes that differences in the way IT departments are funded and staffed is partly to blame for the layoffs and salary and benefits reductions. Shifting some activities to the cloud, managed services, or offshore outsourcing are also to blame.

Just over half of this year's respondents reported receiving a raise--up from 43% a year ago but down from 70% in 2009. On average, those who received a raise this year saw increases of about 7%. More than 40% of respondents received bonuses, but they were $728 stingier than in previus years. Over 38% of respondents said they were contemplating a job change.

More than three quarters of respondents took some training. Half of those did so to obtain a certification.

Layoffs Have Eased, Salaries Creeping Up

Layoffs are tapering off and IT compensation and hiring are recovering, according to the latest semiannual salary survey from Janco Associates and

The total mean compensation for all IT professionals has increased modestly by 0.35 percent to US $77,873 from $77,604 in the past year, returning overall compensation to January 2008 levels. Middle managers and non-line IT executives continue to feel a salary crunch, however.

The survey shows that midsized enterprises are starting to hire staff workers, with salaries in the IT sector increasing the most. Mean compensation of $61,924 is up 1.44 percent from $61,047 a year ago.

Among other results:

  • Onshore outsourcing has peaked and companies are looking to bring IT operations back into their direct control and reduce operating costs.
  • Cost reduction is still the rule of the day; however the number of part-timers and contractors who are focused on particular critical projects has increased.
  • Companies are continuing to reduce the benefits provided to IT professionals. Though benefits such as healthcare are available, IT professionals are now paying a greater portion of that cost.
  • Flexible hours and work schedules are becoming more available as the recovery begins to take hold and is viewed as a low-cost, high-value benefit by both employers and employees.
  • CIO compensation has increased over the last 12 months. The mean compensation for CIOs in large enterprises is now $184,681 (an increase of 1.73 percent) and $163,106 (an increase of 0.49 percent) in midsized enterprises.
  • CIO demand is almost non-existent as companies who were not pleased with their existing CIO have already replaced them and incumbents in those positions are reluctant to move with the current economic conditions.
  • In midsized enterprises, the mean total compensation for all positions has increased by 0.43 percent from $73,934 to $74,253. This is due to an average increase of 1.44 percent in the non-management staff levels of those enterprises.
  • In large enterprises, the median compensation has risen slightly from $82,273 to $81,493.

The Janco Associates salary survey draws on data collected throughout the year by extensive interviews, internet-based survey data, and survey forms completed by businesses throughout the United States and Canada.

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