Tech Salaries And Confidence Advance, Says Dice
February 17, 2014 Dan Burger
Salary surveys are like train wrecks, you know from experience this could very well be ugly, but you can’t help but look anyway. This opportunity to survey the scene comes from the career trackers at Dice. If indicators of rising salaries and mounting confidence only make you feel miserable because of your employment situation, let this be your warning to look the other way.
Compensation is up, but salary satisfaction is not. And, with two-thirds of the survey respondents also confident they could grab a better job at a different company, it leads to the unanswered question: What will companies do in 2014 to retain top talent? (Outsource more IT to the cloud is one possibility.)
The Dice survey indicates employers are using selective increases in compensation to hold onto experienced tech talent as opposed to department-wide raises for everyone. And while the overall average salary increase was smaller than the previous year, employers offered more frequent merit increases.
By the numbers, salary growth was 2.6 percent in 2013, which compares to a 5.3 percent increase in 2012. That put the average salary of this survey at $87,811. Merit raises were responsible for in the increase for 45 percent of the survey takers. Bonuses were popular compensation rewards with one-third of those getting a pay increase claiming that prize. However, one-third of all survey responders said their companies offered no motivation and that included raises and bonuses. Of those who claimed motivators were offered, that list included compensation, more interesting or challenging assignments, flexible work location and hours, and training and certification programs.
The top five metro areas based on tech salaries were: Silicon Valley, Baltimore/Washington, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Boston. These and most of the top 15 beat the 3 percent annual increase last year. One notable exception is San Diego, where the average salary decreased 6.7 percent. (Check out the cost of living in areas boasting high salaries. You may end up with less money in your pocket than you do now.)
If you’re in this for the money–and if you weren’t, would you be reading this?–this survey shows tech management taking home about $45,000 more per year than the average techie. That figures out to be about $133,000 for CIOs, CTOs, VPs, and directors. Their compensation jumped 8 percent in 2013. Other job titles that equate to happier pay days are: system architects, $125,467; data architects, $118,756; tech strategists and architects, $118,060; and project managers, $109,598. The Dice report includes a list of 25 job titles and corresponding compensation.
When it comes to specific skills, big data brings big bucks. Professionals with big data-oriented languages and databases skills grabbed nine of the top ten salaries related to big data. Those with cloud-related skills are also high on the compensation ladder.
The 2013 Dice Salary Survey was administered online, with 17,236 employed technology professionals responding between October 14, 2013, and November 29, 2013. The complete survey can be viewed here.