Tech salary survey reveals conflicted job market

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Technology professionals are seeing a spike in salary increases despite a recessionary economy, according to the 2008-'09 annual salary survey from Dice, a leading career site for technology and engineering professionals. Gathering the responses of more than 19,000 technology workers between August and November 2008, Dice tracked a 4.6 percent increase in average pay from the previous year to $78,035.

The top worries for technology professionals in 2009 are keeping skills up to date (22 percent), job elimination (20 percent), lower salary increases (14 percent), cancelled projects (12 percent) and increased workload due to staff cuts (10 percent). Supporting this theme, Dice reports a 67 percent increase in the number of new resumes posted to its site in the fourth quarter (year over year). Given that the majority of technology professionals who utilize Dice are currently employed, such "passive job hunting" indicates greater anxiety about the job market.

Still, individuals with specific training and capabilities received outsized raises in 2008: for example, Security Analysts saw increases of 8.4 percent, Software Engineers were up 7 percent, and Applications Developers enjoyed 6.6 percent raises.

"That average tech salaries are rising even as the economy falls reveals how much has changed since the dot-com days," said Tom Silver, senior vice president and CMO at Dice. "Today, many technology professionals are seen as core assets where they work. As they enhance their skills, they'll need to align those efforts with the market's shifting demands. However, over the long-term, updating and broadening one's skill set is the key to continued salary gains."

Additional findings of the survey include:
  -  In major technology centers, IT salaries are up 5.8 percent in New York, 3.8 percent in Chicago, 3.6 percent in both Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., and just 0.4 percent in Dallas/Fort Worth.
  -  By metropolitan area, smaller, less traditional tech markets such as Charlotte saw the biggest salary increases, up 14.7 percent to $81,426, followed by St. Louis, up 12.5 percent to $72,819.
  -  Topping the compensation/skill set list are workers in the areas of ABAP - Advanced Business Application Programming ($106,975), ETL - Extract Transform and Load ($102,364) and Business Intelligence databases ($101,585).
  -  Project managers earned, on average, $103,424 in 2008, the highest earning title outside of top technology executives. Those workers, often holding CIO and CTO titles, earned an average of $111,998 in 2008.
  -  On an industry-by-industry basis, technology professionals in the Computer Hardware field received average raises of 9.4 percent to $77,387. Salaries in the Internet Services industry were boosted by 8.8 percent to $77,819. Retail/Mail Order/E-Commerce and Government/Defense fields were allotted the smallest raises, up 2.4 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
  -  Women technology professionals, as a group, earned 12% less on average than men.  However, when comparing women IT professionals with their equivalent male counterpart (controlling for years of experience, education levels and job titles), the so-called gender gap disappeared.

The Dice Salary Survey was administered online with 19,444 registered Dice job seekers and visitors responding between August 27 and November 15, 2008. Respondents were invited to participate in the survey through a notification on the Dice home page, and registered job seekers were sent an email invitation. A cookie methodology was used to ensure that there was no duplication of responses between or within the various sample groups, and duplicate responses from a single email address were removed.

  Table 1: Technology Salaries                                  Previous
                                                                  Year
                        2005-06   2006-07   2007-08   2008-09  % Change
                        -------   -------   -------   -------  --------

  U.S. Average          $69,700   $73,308   $74,570   $78,035      4.6%

  By Industry:

  Bank / Financial /
   Insurance            $76,092   $82,504   $82,961   $87,257      5.2%
  Computer Software     $74,730   $77,582   $79,756   $84,094      5.4%
  Telecommunications    $72,430   $78,003   $77,312   $81,006      4.8%
  Medical /
   Pharmaceutical       $71,714   $72,717   $74,689   $79,928      7.0%
  Government /
   Defense              $69,078   $75,086   $77,187   $79,843      3.4%
  Manufacturing         $66,732   $71,878   $73,470   $77,864      6.0%
  Internet Services     $65,426   $71,854   $71,538   $77,819      8.8%
  Computer Hardware     $66,462   $69,987   $70,740   $77,387      9.4%
  Retail /
   Mail Order /
   E-Commerce           $55,909   $63,830   $66,782   $68,394      2.4%

  By Job Title:

  IT Management        $102,326  $106,272  $107,830  $111,998      3.9%
  Project Manager       $93,009   $96,475  $101,292  $103,424      2.1%
  MIS Manager           $82,824   $82,510   $88,934   $93,318      4.9%
  Software Engineer     $78,807   $83,524   $84,122   $90,031      7.0%
  Database
   Administrator        $81,301   $85,441   $85,092   $89,742      5.5%
  Developer:
   Systems              $72,732   $78,476   $88,361   $87,211     -1.3%
  Security Analyst      $74,837   $79,411   $80,052   $86,778      8.4%
  Business Analyst      $77,158   $82,288   $84,101   $85,933      2.2%
  Developer:
   Applications         $73,636   $78,037   $79,421   $84,672      6.6%
  Developer:
   Database             $73,768   $79,911   $83,163   $84,176      1.2%
  Developer:
   Client/Server        $75,941   $74,602   $78,173   $78,560      0.5%
  Programmer/Analyst    $65,174   $69,757   $71,623   $74,851      4.5%
  Technical Writer      $68,125   $73,094   $73,133   $73,762      0.9%
  Network Engineer      $65,122   $67,202   $68,391   $72,496      6.0%
  Systems
   Administrator        $63,698   $64,917   $66,388   $70,307      5.9%



  Metropolitan Area (by largest annual increase):

  Charlotte                 n/a       n/a   $70,985   $81,426     14.7%
  St. Louis                 n/a       n/a   $64,715   $72,819     12.5%
  Pittsburgh                n/a       n/a   $58,221   $65,135     11.9%
  Portland, OR              n/a       n/a   $71,182   $77,801      9.3%
  Baltimore             $68,161   $70,170   $70,590   $77,079      9.2%

  Metropolitan Area (by highest salary*):

  Silicon Valley        $85,430   $90,310   $93,876   $97,259      3.6%
  Washington D.C.       $77,064   $81,957   $83,788   $86,841      3.6%
  Los Angeles           $73,911   $79,583   $81,039   $86,766      7.1%
  New York              $76,382   $80,006   $80,770   $85,452      5.8%
  Boston                $79,211   $80,308   $83,465   $84,627      1.4%
  Seattle               $73,105   $79,787   $79,636   $82,514      3.6%
  San Diego             $72,163   $79,416   $75,994   $82,302      8.3%
  Austin, TX                n/a       n/a   $76,605   $81,833      6.8%
  Sacramento            $72,355   $75,197   $83,410   $81,193     -2.7%
  Denver                $74,823   $77,317   $77,846   $80,646      3.6%
  Chicago               $71,496   $75,154   $76,407   $79,320      3.8%
  Philadelphia          $71,881   $72,786   $74,442   $78,860      5.9%
  Atlanta               $73,684   $72,323   $74,822   $78,036      4.3%
  Hartford              $72,265   $71,796   $73,372   $77,584      5.7%
  Phoenix               $70,023   $74,976   $71,246   $77,303      8.5%
  Dallas/Ft. Worth      $71,494   $74,656   $76,560   $76,836      0.4%
  Houston               $68,358   $71,526   $72,733   $75,199      3.4%
  Miami                     n/a       n/a   $69,149   $74,448      7.7%
  Kansas City               n/a       n/a   $71,149   $73,647      3.5%
  Detroit               $64,154   $67,080   $67,271   $73,327      9.0%

  * Excluding metropolitan areas that were provided under the largest
    annual increase designation.



  Table 2:  Top 10 Average Salaries for Popular Skills and Experience

                                                                 2008-09
                                                                 -------

  ABAP - Advanced Business Application Programming              $106,975
  ETL - Extract, Transform & Load                               $102,364
  Business Intelligence                                         $101,585
  Informatica                                                   $101,337
  ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning                             $99,332
  Data Warehouse                                                 $99,323
  SOAP - Simple Object Access Protocol                           $98,826
  Korn Shell                                                     $98,517
  JBoss                                                          $98,111
  ITIL - Information Technology Infrastructure Library           $97,863


  Table 3:  For 2009, what is the biggest concern you have about
            your career?

  Keeping Skills Up-to-Date / Being Valuable to Employer             22%
  Position Elimination                                               20%
  Lower Salary Increases / Lower Billing Rates                       14%
  Cancelled Projects / Fewer Projects                                12%
  Increased Workload (due to staff cuts)                             10%
  Increased Outsourcing                                               7%
  Position Relocation                                                 3%
  No Concerns at this Time                                           12%

Subscribe to Reliable Plant


About the Author