IT starting salaries to increase 8.3 per cent in 2001

RHI study results: salary ranges for eight IT job areas, plus information about the strongest IT hiring industries.

Average starting salaries for information technology (IT) professionals are projected to increase an average of 8.3 per cent this year, according to the 2001 RHI Consulting Salary Guide.

Senior consultants, senior Internet/Intranet developers, and business systems analysts will see the greatest rise in base compensation.

RHI Consulting is a staffing service that provides information technology. Its annual salary survey is based on analysis of thousands of job orders managed by the company's Canadian offices.

"Starting salary increases are particularly evident within specialties such as networking, Internet/Intranet and software development,” said Stephen Mill, regional manager of RHI Consulting.

Companies are distinguishing themselves from other prospective employers by continuously reassessing their complete compensation packages. Incentives such as equity and performance-based pay are growing in usage among all staff levels.

Senior consultants can expect to see the sharpest rise in base compensation of any single subcategory in the guide, with starting salaries projected to increase more than 17.3 per cent over last year.

Other key findings:

•Senior Internet/intranet developers will receive average starting salaries of between $69,250 - $100,000 annually, up 16.7 per cent over 2000.

•Base compensation for business systems analysts will rise 16.5 per cent, bringing starting salaries to the range of $55,000 to $84,750 annually.

•Product managers will see starting salaries increase 16.4 per cent over 2000, with base compensation ranging from $82,000 to $117,000 per year.

•Chief technical officers can expect a 16 per cent increase in average starting salaries in 2001, bringing them to the range of $108,500 to $155,000 annually.

•Internet/intranet developers will see a 15.5 per cent increase in average starting salaries. Base compensation will range from $57,500 - $75,000 annually.

•Internet and e-commerce programmers/analysts will be paid average starting salaries of between $57,250 and $95,000, a 15.1 per cent increase over 2000.

•Help desk tier three technicians will see an average increase in base compensation of 14.7 per cent, with starting salaries in the range of $51,500 to $58,250 per year.

•Average starting salaries for package implementation specialists will increase 14.3 per cent over 2000, bringing them to the range of $60,000 - $80,000 annually.

Industries expected to show particularly strong IT hiring activity in 2001 include financial services, retail, technology, and automotive sectors, as well as natural resources and government agencies. However, hiring within these industries varies significantly by geographic region.

Mill said that competition for top IT candidates is intensifying, prompting companies to develop creative strategies for the recruitment and retention of skilled professionals. "In addition to increasing base compensation, firms are prioritizing issues such as progressive benefits, positive corporate culture, and professional development opportunities," Mill said.

Information in the salary guide is derived from thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements conducted each year by RHI Consulting recruiting specialists. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported because too many factors -- such as seniority, work ethic, performance and training -- can impact a full-time employee's compensation as a work history develops.

Employment opportunities vary by geographic region. In addition to providing compensation data, the Salary Guide includes a regional analysis of hiring trends and cost of living variances that affect starting salaries.

A copy of the 2001 RHI Consulting Salary Guide can be ordered by calling 1-800-793-5533.

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