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More Specialization, Higher Pay

Demand is up and so are wages for people with specialized knowledge in SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft .Net
Highly skilled tech workers are commanding ever-higher wages as IT employment shifts to a more narrowly focused marketplace. The Yoh Index of Technology Wages reports that IT wages increased 3.1% overall in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. Oracle database experts and SAP specialists are among the higher-paid workers.

Top Payouts
Pay per hour as determined by the Yoh Index
SAP functional consultant $75.09
Data warehouse architect $69.03
CRM project manager $62.01
Hardware or firmware engineer $59.34
Project manager $57.07
Oracle database adminstrator $55.82
.Net developer $45.77
Data manager $45.06

Note: Based on quarterly analysis of wages of about 5,000 temporary tech hires at more than 1,000 businesses.
Data: Yoh Services

"We're becoming a more and more narrowly focused job economy," says Jim Lanzalotto, VP of strategy and marketing at Yoh Services, a provider of staffing and outsourcing services. "Employers are now saying, 'I need a specialist. I need a good CRM project manager with Siebel experience and five to seven years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry.'"

In the past, employers looked more for generalists or specialists in trendy areas. "In the late 1990s, Webmasters were the rock stars," Lanzalotto says, "but they were in an artificial bubble, and their salaries dropped."

Specialists with experience in some high-impact IT fields--for example, Oracle database administrators and SAP functional consultants--will be recession-resistant and able to command good salaries even in economic downturns, he adds.

"Companies that have made significant investments in ERP will have to continue hiring" even if there is an economic downturn, Lanzalotto says. "Between the growing need for information security experts and highly knowledgeable ERP and Internet-based technology professionals, our outlook ... is optimistic for 2006."