IT salaries 'on the up'

Network engineers and project managers see largest increase

IT salaries are growing steadily, in spite of the tough economic conditions, according to a new report.

The median pay increase across IT roles was 2.75 percent in the 12 months to June, according to a new Incomes Data Services report. Sixty nine organisations employing 268,000 staff were surveyed.

IT staff numbers remained "generally unchanged" overall, the Pay in IT report found. But a third of staff pay reviews resulted in salary freezes, and this was a major factor affecting staff retention.

Network and systems engineers experienced the largest pay rises, with median salaries between 9.4 and 14.3 percent higher than last year, the report found. IT project managers saw their salaries rise six percent, and operations managers three percent.

Most staff hit "market rate" in the first two to three years of their careers, it said.

The report also highlighted several roles that tend to earn salary premiums: SAP programme managers, analysts, engineers and those with skills in SQL, Citrix, Microsoft .Net and Alpha. Around 20 percent of the companies surveyed said they paid skills premiums.

IT user support staff, software developers and business and systems analysts experienced flat salaries, and there were no roles experiencing a decrease, Incomes Data Services said.

The report also noted the growth in the number of organisations offering bonus schemes for IT staff. These are now on offer in two-thirds of organisations --from a half of companies last year. Bonuses were based on a mixture of individual and company performance and generally around nine percent of salaries.

Most staff had a 35 hour official working week, with 25 days holiday. But overtime pay is being slashed, with only 47 percent of firms paying an overtime premium to staff, down from 71 percent last year. The most common overtime arrangement was time-and-a-half for weekdays and double-pay for weekends.

Ken Mulkearn, editor of the report, said: "Despite the recession and a weaker labour market, many sectors are still performing well and certain key skills are still very much in demand." There had also been salary growth in sectors such as energy, finance, pharmaceuticals and food manufacturing, he said.

There was a need for key skills geared towards "driving performance, improving efficiencies and maintaining employee motivation and engagement", he noted.

This story, "IT salaries 'on the up'" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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