Average Info Tech Pay Drops To $103,000 For Managers, $76,000 For Staff, Our Survey Finds - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // Team Building & Staffing

Average Info Tech Pay Drops To $103,000 For Managers, $76,000 For Staff, Our Survey Finds

Fewer people got raises the past year, though some IT jobs remain red hot, our survey of 9,600 info tech pros finds.

Raises aren't as common this year, but raises in title only may be, which may explain some watering down of salaries for the very top job categories. Architects are a prime candidate. "True enterprise architects are always in demand, but there's been an inflation of the architect title," Van De Voort says. "Some architects are no more than developers, but the highest-level architects are doing design." That might explain one of the more puzzling findings: that median pay slipped for both architects and system architects--the top two staff jobs by title--though they still pay a median salary of $105,000 and $100,000, respectively.

chart: Training Isn't For Everyone -- In the past 12 months, which of the following apply to you?
Total compensation for programmers also took a bit of a hit, though perhaps not as bad as one might guess, given the pressure the segment faces from lower-cost offshore competition. Median total compensation for staff with the "programmer" title was flat at $66,000, dipped $1,000 for programmer/analyst, and declined $5,000 for systems programmers. Steven Neel is a Web software developer who's been working for the same manufacturer of electrical products for 15 years, starting as a student employee. He feels fairly secure--his company does most all work in-house--but he's also feeling the caution that Van De Voort describes. The company's freezing open positions, and he expects his and most people's raises will be around 3%, not the 5% they might get in more bumper years.

Regardless of title, a gender gap persists, though female staffers gained some ground the past year. While male IT staffers earn a median salary of $75,000, female staff earn $68,000--a 9% gap, compared with 13% a year ago. Male IT managers pull a median salary of $98,000, 10% more than women managers' $88,000, a slightly bigger gap than last year. Comparative years of experience in IT does not erase the gender gap.

Help desk jobs remain at the bottom of the compensation scale--$51,000 for staffers, $72,000 for managers--and they also aren't the stepping stone they once were, says David Foote, whose research firm, Foote Partners, studies IT salaries. Gone are the days when the help desk was the entry-level job for IT pros starting their careers. "No one can find help desk jobs any more, and no one wants to be a help desk worker," says Foote, as those jobs get outsourced or automated. Instead, kids right out of college need to show business knowledge, such as finances or marketing course work, to help land analyst jobs, he says.

chart: What Matters Most
Percentage of IT staffers who got raises this year, down from 74% a year ago
The typical IT staffer works 45 hours a week, with 10 hours on call. IT managers say it's 50 hours a week, plus 10 on call. Managers earn 35% more for the effort.
Median raise percentage this year for IT staffers, down from 3.3% a year ago

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