U.S. IT salaries are doing just OK. IT remains a well-paying field, with median total compensation of $90,000 for staffers and $116,000 for managers. Staffers report a median raise in total compensation of 1%, while managers report a 1.8% raise, according to our 2012 U.S. IT Salary Survey of 13,880 IT professionals. As recently as 2010, the median raise was zero.
As always, there's a wide range of salaries depending on skills and industries. Total median compensation for staffers ranges from $105,000 for those with ERP skills to $55,000 for those on the help desk. A few niche job functions, such as wireless infrastructure ($115,000) and cloud computing ($110,000), reach even higher, but the sample size for those specialties is quite small.
But pay's on the rise across job functions. People who perform 11 of 23 staff job functions report median total compensation above $100,000. Last year, just three staff functions broke the six-figure barrier--ERP, enterprise app integration, and data integration and warehousing. With managers, all but two functions, training and help desk, top $100,000 this year.
One skill in very high demand is business analytics. Think of people with these skills as those who can marry business wits and industry savvy with technical understanding, and ideally some statistical chops. While that business-tech blend has always been sought after, demand is rising as companies try to make sense of their mountains of data and as IT becomes ever more embedded in business operations.
Drew Duncan, a lead business intelligence analyst with Brown-Forman, which makes Jack Daniel's, Southern Comfort, and other alcoholic beverages, sees more opportunity in IT analytics than he can grab. Duncan's from the old school of analytics, with 15 years of experience using BI platforms such as BusinessObjects to pull data out of SAP and other systems to create dashboards that let execs see what's selling and shipping, and to dig into those results. Old school's usually not a complement in the tech world, but the demand for conventional BI skills keeps rising.
At the same time, Duncan watches with envy the rise of a new school of analytics centered on emerging technologies such as Hadoop, focused on gleaning meaning from the growing mass of unstructured data such as Web traffic and social network comments. He'd love to immerse himself in this hot area, but Brown-Forman's keeping him plenty busy with conventional BI. It's an energizing problem for a 52-year-old IT pro to have. "I'm not in park," Duncan says. "I'm in high gear."
Median total pay for business analytics managers has climbed 11% since 2010, and 8% for staffers. Companies are drowning in data and looking for business-savvy technologists to help them make sense of it. Among our 23 IT job categories, BI managers rank fourth in total compensation, earning $135,000. BI staffers are more middle of the pack, tied for 13th (with telephony and unified communications staff), earning $95,000. That middle-of-the-pack rating reflects the range of people in this role--from those generating flat reports to those in higher-end roles using BI to do analysis. Data integration and data warehousing managers rank sixth in total compensation, at $131,000, while staffers are eighth, at $101,000.
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- Salaries in 13 different metro areas and 29 industry segments
- Job satisfaction for IT managers and staffers
- What would most likely cause an IT pro to look for a new job