2011 Salaries Looking Up

By James Maguire

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The good news: IT salary levels are once again headed upward. The 2011 IT Salary Guide indicates some respectable boosts in average salary. Lead applications developers get a 4.7% increase and software engineers enjoy a 4.1% boost in paycheck. Okay, so IT managers move up a ho-hum 2.5% and project managers rise 2.8%, but Web developers jump 4.6% and System Security Admins levitate a healthy 4% (seems like security is always hot).

The bad news: these rising IT salary numbers are merely compensating for last year’s 2%-4% decreases. So alas, the net effect is that IT salaries are essentially flat over the last year or so. Yes, times are tough.

Still, IT remains one of the better-paid fields, and a multi-year look at the salary numbers bears this out. Between 2007 and 2008 – the tail end of the boom years – IT salaries rose an impressive 5.3%. And between 2008 and 2009, before the downturn squeezed IT, paychecks trended upward 3.7%.

IT salary happy days returning?

Is more IT hiring on the way? I can point to one sunny indicator. I keep an eye on the Dice tech job site. Back around 2007, I remember Dice hosting some 90,000 plus openings. As the economic headlines turned darker and darker, the total slid down to a depressing 50,000 or so. But a recent glance shows Dice’s listings have risen back to 74,000. Someone tell the band to start playing.

See the complete 2011 IT Salary Guide on Datamation.com.