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Starting Salaries For Most IT Pros Will Climb In 2008

IT consulting firm sees increases of 5.3% in major metropolitan areas, with application developers, application architects, and project managers seeing even higher boosts.
Starting salaries for U.S. tech professionals in major metropolitan areas will increase more than 5% in 2008, says a report released Monday from Bluewolf, an IT consulting and resources firm.

Pay will increase an average of 5.3% for IT professionals in major metropolitan areas such as New York, San Francisco, and Chicago and in North Carolina, says Michael Kirven, Bluewolf co-founder and principal.

However, pay for application developers, application architects, and project managers will climb a bit higher than other tech pros, he says. "Architects and project managers are skills that are not easy to outsource overseas," he says.

According to the report, application developers should see their starting pay jump 7.6% in 2008, with starting salaries ranging from $80,250 to $112,500. Application architects can expect to see annual starting salaries in 2008 climb 7.5%, ranging from $87,500 to $120,000. And project managers can expect to see starting pay rise 7.4% in 2008, with salaries ranging from $85,000 to $150,000 annually, he says.

Bluewolf currently sees high demand for open source coders and skills related to Ajax, Flash, PHP, and Ruby on Rails, Kirven says. "Our phone is ringing off the hook" for that talent, he says.

Salaries in the New York and San Francisco Bay area are the highest, he says. Many of Bluewolf's temporary and full-time job placements are in the New York area, where salaries tend to be about 25% higher than the northeast and west coast, he says. New York starting salaries also tend to be 50% above the national average.

Bluewolf's research is based on surveys, transaction data from job placements, and interviews with CIOs, says Kirven. The company's sales force typically meets weekly with 40 to 50 CIOs at Fortune 1000 and "fast growing" start-ups, and data about job salaries are entered into Bluewolf's systems afterwards, he says.

Despite concerns about a possible recession, Bluewolf isn't seeing that damper its clients' hiring or project plans, says Kirven. "Fears about a recession or a pending recession are overblown," he says. "Outside of the mortgage-specific sectors, the reality is not as bad as the fear," he says.

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