Modest salary increases in US IT

Salaries for IT pros working in the United States edged 1.7% higher last year than in 2006, according to the latest Dice.com annual technology salary report.

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Salaries for IT pros working in the United States edged 1.7% higher last year than in 2006, according to the latest Dice.com annual technology salary report.

This was slow compared to the UK, where increases in London were 4.3% last year, according to another survey, and 3.4% across the south-east. The average IT salary in London was reported to have reached £38,577, over £2,000 more than the US average. But technology professionals in the US' Silicon Valley fared better than London, bringing in $93,876 (£47,000) on average.

It was also reported that the UK's south east region was responsible for the creation of most of the new IT jobs last year, partly reflecting the concentration of financial services and central government offices there. This meant finding a well paid IT job in other regions was more difficult.

American IT professionals on average earned just 1.7% more in 2007 than the previous year, with full-timers averaging about US$72,000 (£36,000). Salaries rose 5.2% in 2006 from 2005.

But some specific job categories fared better, particularly for those in management positions. MIS managers saw a 7.8% increase in salary, bringing their average pay to about $89,000 (£45,000) in 2007. Project managers experienced an increase of about 5%, which landed workers in those positions in the $100,000 (£50,000) and above club. Contractors experienced gains of 3.7%, which resulted in about $93,000 (£47,000) in salary.

More than half of the 19,000 tech professionals interviewed for the report said they were satisfied with their salaries in a market that boasted just a 2.1% unemployment rate.

"Technology workers remain among the highest paid employees, especially those with management experience and hard-to-find skills," explained Scot Melland, CEO of Dice Holdings, the parent company of technology and engineering career site Dice.com.

But the survey did reveal that gender continues to play a role in salary levels.

The US gender gap worsened to the point where women working in IT were making 12% less on average than their male counterparts. Women made about $67,500 (£34,000) last year, while men earned more than $76,500 (£38,000).

Dice.com reported that the gender gap was most severe high up the chain. Lower skilled positions such as technical support and systems administrators had a smaller gender gap. Women with 1 to 5 years of experience saw the smallest gender gap (approximately 2.3%) while women with more than 15 years of experience had the largest gap (11.3%); hence, women age 40-49 also saw the largest gender gap (16.4%).

On a positive note, Dice.com said the gender gap in pay was smaller among female consultants at about 8.9%. And project management positions, which now pay six figures on average, pay women more equitably when compared to men.

"There is some good news for female IT professionals. Project managers now make $100,436 [£50,000], which marks the first time that females in this position have averaged more than $100,000. This position also compares relatively favourably to male counterparts, who earn $101,569," Dice.com reports.

Geographic location, not surprisingly, also played a big role in salary levels, according to the survey. For instance, locations in Silicon Valley, Boston and Baltimore/Washington, D.C. saw higher salary increases in 2007 than others.

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