How steep is the upward trend in IT salaries?

Very steep, according to this salary survey. The biggest wage increases are occurring at the more senior levels.

IT professionals are worth their weight in gold. Personnel Systems, in Ottawa, conducted an IT salary survey for the Software Human Resource Council, to see just how scary the reality is for employers trying to hire - and pay - IT professionals.

Increase in average salaries of IT professionals from 1997 to 2000

Design and Delivery

Software Development Manager: 23% (Average base salary: $104,468)
Senior Software Developer: 24%
Customization Project Manager: 25% (includes a 19% increase in the last year alone)
Customization Programmer: 30%

Technical Architecture and Network Support

Systems Design Manager: 18%
Senior Network Administrator: 26% (Average base salary: $58,946)

Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance Manager: 34% (includes a 15% increase in the last year alone. Average base salary: $94,265)
Intermediate QA Engineer: 16%
Software Test Engineer: 20% (Average base salary: $63,805)

Problem Management

Technical Support Engineer: 18%
Senior Help Desk Analyst: 12%
Senior Technical Generalist: 16%

Education

Senior Customer Training Instructor: 13% (Average base salary: $62,208)
Technical Writer: 19% (Average base salary for an entry-level tech writer: $39,656)

These numbers represent base salary only. Increasingly, companies are making use of cash incentives and stock options to compensate employees over and above base salary.

The most significant increases are at the more senior levels. Activities requiring higher knowledge levels (engineer or equivalent) are receiving significantly higher increases than less skilled jobs. This reflects shortages of individuals at these highly skilled levels, but also may reflect the fact that a company will pay premium rates to obtain a person who can hit the ground running, rather than one who needs training.

U.S. data shows similar trends in the same areas, with a 2 per cent more aggressive upward trend in salaries (the U.S. base salaries are already about 5 per cent higher than in Canada.)

Source: Personnel Systems' compINSIGHT High-technology Compensation Survey and compINSIGHT IT Compensation Survey - more than 700 companies from Canada and the U.S. Reprinted with their permission.

For more information contact PERSONNEL SYSTEMS ' senior partner Janice Schellenberger at (613) 241-8210.

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