Companies are still holding back on salary increases for IT professionals, and many workers say they are going to switch employers to boost their salaries, according to a report from Dice.
Even as the economy recovers and companies start hiring IT workers again,
the average pay for technology workers remained flat for a second year in a
row, according to the results of a survey released by technology and engineering career Website Dice
on Jan. 19.
The online poll of nearly 20,000 employed IT professionals nationwide found
that average compensation edged up 0.7 percent, from $78,845 to $79,385, in
2010, Dice said. Salaries
by a similar amount in 2009, Dice said.
However, there was room for optimism in the salary survey. Nearly half, or
49 percent, of the respondents said they received a salary increase in 2010,
compared with only 36 percent who received a raise in 2009, Dice said.
Additionally, 29 percent of the respondents received a bonus in 2010, compared with
24 percent in 2009, according to the survey.
"Companies can no longer get away with paltry salary increases for
their technology staffs based on the demand we are seeing for talent,"
said Tom Silver, senior vice president of North America
But there was some bad news for new technology professionals, with
entry-level salaries being reset lower, Dice said. The average salaries for
professionals with less than two years experience have declined for the second
year in the row and is 6 percent less than what it was in 2008, according to
Despite wages remaining flat, about 50 percent of the surveyed IT
professionals said they are either "somewhat" or "very satisfied"
with their salaries, according to the survey. Only 46 percent felt that way in
2009. Despite the apparent satisfaction, a significant number of the IT
professionals, about 40 percent, said they would consider switching jobs to
increase their salaries, according to the survey.
Interestingly, IT workers who said they didn't think switching jobs would
bring a salary increase earned an average of $13,000 more than those who felt a
change would bump up their income.
"Employers that are reluctant to increase compensation or step up
retention efforts will likely pay for their unsatisfactory ways," Silver
Some regions obviously had better salaries than others. The Silicon
Valley had the highest average IT salary, at $99,028, followed by
the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area, at $89,149, and New
York, at $87,298. Silicon Valley
workers had, along with higher average salaries, higher levels of satisfaction
and were more likely to have received a bonus. The biggest jumps were in Atlanta
and Philadelphia, where salaries
jumped 5 percent from 2009 to 2010. The biggest decline was in Los
Angeles, with salaries declining 4 percent to $84,551,
the survey found.
According to the survey, professionals working for larger companies tended
to earn more, as did those with highly specialized skills. Workers with
experience in advanced business application programming, Informatica databases,
data warehousing skills like extra/transform and load (ETL), and service-oriented
architecture could earn over $100,000 a year, the survey found.
Demand for database skills remained strong, based on an analysis of the job
postings on Dice. Oracle jobs accounted for nearly a quarter of all job
postings on Dice, with demand up 57 percent from the previous year, Dice said.
The national average salary for Oracle database professionals was $90,914, and
for Oracle Application Server, $88,063, Dice said. There was also an increase
in job postings looking for professionals with a SQL background, with average
salaries of $84,375.
Programmers remain in high demand, although job postings for Java/J2EE
outnumbered C/C++/C# postings. Java programmers on average earned $91,060, more
than C programmers, who earned between $85,500 and $90,350, according to the
While there aren't as many job postings for information security and cloud
computing professionals on Dice, postings for those two specialties have
doubled and tripled in the past few weeks, according to a separate Dice report
released Jan. 10.
The survey was conducted between Aug. 31 and Nov. 15, 2010, Dice said. There was some
self-selection involved in the poll, since the respondents were all part of the
Dice community and were either actively looking for jobs or had used the sites
to browse job listings. The survey invitation was mailed to registered Dice
members and a link was placed on the Dice Website.