2012 IT Salary Survey: Wages on the Rise
The 17th annual Redmond Salary Survey shows compensation among Windows IT pros is up sharply in 2012 following years of meager growth.
- By Jeffrey Schwartz
After years of flat wage growth, IT salaries are on the rise. The average Windows IT pro this year is earning $87,360 per year, up 3.25 percent this year, according to the 17th annual Redmond IT Salary Survey. Not a jaw-dropping figure, but respectable nonetheless.
The average salary in last year's survey increased only 1.2 percent, which was an improvement over 2010's meager 0.6 raises. The latest findings come as the overall U.S. unemployment rate remains stuck at 8.2 percent, with 5.4 million non-farm workers still jobless. IT pros, though not unscathed, are faring far better. The most recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics released last month found unemployment among tech workers at a healthy 3.6 percent.
In fact, IT pros are benefiting from a sharpening skills shortage in security, networking, analytics, management, and product areas such as SharePoint and SQL Server development and administration.
The online survey of 987 Redmond readers conducted in early June also revealed 58.2 percent got raises this year, compared with 56.4 percent in 2011. Fifty-seven percent expect to get raises in the coming 12 months. The average raise this year was $3,194, compared with $2,624 last year.
Not Like Old Times
While the higher average salaries are a welcome improvement over recent years -- when many IT pros saw their pay frozen, and a number even experienced wages cuts of 10 percent or more -- they hardly foreshadow a return of the dotcom boom when pay scales were unprecedented. "I see salary improvements for IT being low to minimal for an extended duration," says survey respondent Daniel Aracena, director of LAN and help desk technologies at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York.
In order to enjoy upward career mobility, Aracena says IT pros must stay on top of new technologies, be aware of emerging trends and be open to new ideas. "Successful IT people are not the ones that tell you they can't do something. They ask, 'When do you need it by?'" he says. "Companies are looking for people not only with technical skills but with intelligent business acumen, along with the ability to foresee what's coming and quickly assess new technology and its value."
Salaries aren't increasing across the board. Thomas Parisi, CIO of New York-based Stonehenge Management LLC, says the typical salaries for those who do hardware server break-fix will remain flat, while Internet-savvy developers' and integrators' pay will increase anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent. Those involved in business-driven IT management could see salaries increase anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent.