More Good News for IT Staffers

By CIO Update Staff

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If you’ve been looking for another reason to go into IT, this is it. According to staffing firm Robert Half Technology, you’re starting pay will be much better next year.

IT professionals in the United States can expect starting salaries to increase an average of 5.3% in 2008, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology 2008 Salary Guide. Larger increases in base compensation are expected in high-demand segments such as applications and web development, network management, and database administration.

RHT’s annual salary survey is based on an in-depth analysis of the thousands of job placements managed by the company’s U.S. offices.

“Business expansion and the increased reliance on technology within all sectors has resulted in a competitive environment for skilled IT professionals,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, RHT’s executive director in a statement. “Many companies are raising base compensation for new hires and offering additional perks, including signing bonuses and equity incentives, to recruit and retain top candidates.”

According to the salary guide, lead applications developers, who manage software development teams and projects, will see the greatest starting salary gains of any job classification in 2008, with base compensation expected to rise 7.6%, to between $80,250 and $108,000 annually. “There is strong demand for skilled developers with solid technical skills as well as the ability to solve business problems,” Lee said.

Base compensation for applications architects is projected to increase 7.5%, to a range of $87,250 to $120,000. Messaging administrators should see starting salaries increase 7.1%, bringing them to the range of $55,000 to $77,750 annually. “Messaging administrators are the air traffic controllers of the vast amount of information passed among e-mail systems, corporate networks and, increasingly, hand-held devices like BlackBerrys,” Lee commented. “These professionals are in high demand as companies aim to keep their employees, clients and customers connected.”

Other key findings include:

  • Data modelers can expect base compensation in the range of $74,250 to $102,000, a gain of 7% over 2007.
  • Network managers also will see average starting salaries rise 7%, to the range of $74,500 to $98,500 per year.
  • Base compensation for senior IT auditors will increase 6.9%, with starting salaries of $86,750 to $114,750 annually, on average.
  • Average starting salaries for business intelligence analysts will rise 6.6%, to the range of $78,250 to $108,250 annually.
  • Industries forecasting particularly strong demand for IT professionals in 2008 include financial services, healthcare and commercial construction. However, hiring activity varies significantly by geographic region. (Note: All salaries listed are national averages. A regional analysis of hiring trends and compensation variances is included in the salary guide.)

    Information in the salary guide is based on thousands of project and full-time placements made by RHT staffing and recruiting specialists, and exclusive research on hiring trends conducted by Robert Half Technology. Ongoing salaries are not reported since seniority, performance, work ethic and other hard-to-measure factors can affect pay as individual work histories develop.

    (Editor’s Note: You can order a complimentary copy of RHT’s salary guide by calling (800) 793-5533.)