Government IT still pays better than other industries. But after three years of belt-tightening, half of federal IT employees are looking for a new job, InformationWeek salary survey shows.
Most Wasteful Government IT Projects Of 2013
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
It should come as no surprise that a three-year salary freeze has exacted a deepening toll on federal IT pros. InformationWeek's 17th annual survey of IT managers and staff reveals new labor strains among federal employees, as reductions in training and benefits continue to erode the job satisfaction of IT workers, even as salaries began moving upward again.
The findings are part of a nationwide InformationWeek study examining salary, work satisfaction, and job security trends across 30 US industries, including federal, state and local government sectors. The full results of the study are being published in a series of articles this week.
For federal IT employees, including contractors working on government projects, salaries and overall cash compensation began moving upward for the first time in three years. Among the 532 federal IT employees -- 204 IT managers and 328 IT staff -- surveyed this past February, 46% of federal IT managers and 52% of IT staffers say they received a raise in the past year.
However, more than a quarter reported having fewer training opportunities than in the past 12 months, and roughly 20% said their benefits had been cut, reflecting the intense budget pressures agencies continue to face and resulting in another year in which job satisfaction figures took a dive.
If there's a silver lining in this year's annual salary figures, it's that the federal government still pays well above other industries. Among 11,662 IT pros surveyed across 30 industries, federal IT staff employees ranked in the top five for median base salaries in 2014, at $100,000.
Table 1: IT Staff Salaries
US IT Staff - Salary Rank by Industry
Base salary (median-1000s)
Total compensation (median-1000s)
Securities and investments**
Consulting and business services
Metals and natural resources*
Financial services, other
Education (college, university)
* Low base, use with caution
** Rounded up to nearest thousand
Data: InformationWeek 2014 US IT Salary Survey of 11,662 IT professionals, February 2014
Nevertheless, working for Uncle Sam has been especially challenging for IT employees, with agencies under the gun to cut costs and workers tasked
Wyatt Kash is a former Editor of InformationWeek Government, and currently VP for Content Strategy at ScoopMedia. He has covered government IT and technology trends since 2004, as Editor-in-Chief of Government Computer News and Defense Systems (owned by The Washington Post ... View Full Bio
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 18, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."