InfoWorld IT salaries edge up back to 2008 levels

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Average IT salaries edged up slightly in 2011, but enterprise and midsize companies alike are hungry to fill particular IT roles

IT salaries edge up back to 2008 levels - over the past year, the average IT salary has seen a modest increase of 0.81 percent to $78,299, putting overall compensation back at January 2008 levels. That may not be cause for partying like it's 1999, but Janco's 2012 IT Salary Survey, which will officially be released on Jan. 10, does contain nuggets of good news for certain IT professionals.

In general, according to Janco, the United States added 33,100 IT jobs since last January, while layoffs have tapered off. Still, cost cutting remains a high priority at organizations nationwide, which has led to increased hiring of part-time and contract IT employs working on critical projects. Full-timers, meanwhile, have continued to see a reduction in benefits. For example, IT professionals are required to pay for a greater portion of their health insurance. Meanwhile, bonuses have been reduced or eliminated at many companies.

On the other hand, companies are increasingly offering IT professionals more flexible work schedules as the recovery takes hold, which, according to Janco, represents low-cost, high-value benefit for employees and employers alike.

Digging into the numbers, IT pros at large companies earn $81,644 on average, up from $81,273. Those at midsize companies take home $74,435, up 1.19 percent from $73,934. But some IT pros saw nice pay boosts whereas other took losses over the past year. The biggest winners at large enterprises (in terms of pay increase by percentage) include:

  • Security Manual TemplateNetwork services supervisors, who got an average boost of 6.7 percent from $53,754 to $57,358
  • Programmers/analysts, who enjoyed an average total increase of 6.14 percent from $75,420 to $80,051
  • VPs of technical services, who saw their total pay increase by 5.36 percent from $141,531 to $149,118
  • LAN application support analysts, who reaped an average 5.13 percent salary increase from $60,075 to $63,159
  • Librarians, who earn 5.12 percent more than a year ago, up from $43,770 to $46,010

At midsize companies, the biggest winners included:

  • Librarians, whose total average compensation jumped 11.35 percent from $41,037 to $45,694
  • Computer operations shift managers, who now earn on average $68,187, up 10.75 percent over last year's $61,569
  • Change control analysts, whose total salary increased by 6.57 percent from $51,636 to $55,030
  • Computer operations managers, who take home $86,287, up 6.46 percent from $81,051
  • Information center managers, who make an average of $63,986, up from $60,188 by 6.31 percent

Beyond salaries, companies are hungry to fill particular IT positions as the recession draws to an end, both on a full-time and contract basis. Midsize companies are seeking IT executives (such as VPs of information services and technical services), programmers, midlevel infrastructure managers and supervisors, database specialists, software engineers, system programmers, systems analysts, and voice/wireless communication pros.

Enterprises, meanwhile, are moving IT and data center operations back in-house, which means greater demand for data center managers and supervisors for such departments as computer operations, Internet systems, capacity planning, network services, and production services. LAN application support analysts, librarians, operations analysts, and Web analysts are also in demand at large companies.

Alas, other IT positions experienced a salary drop over the past year. The pros who took the biggest hits at large companies include:

  • Senior network specialists, whose total average salary dropped 7.49 percent from $85,468 to $79,069
  • Operation analysts, who on average earn 4.45 percent less, down from $61,915 to $59,160
  • OS production managers, who now have an average total salary of $93,346, a 4.18 percent drop from $97,413
  • Technical services specialists, whose average total salary is now $63,160, a 4.14 percent drop from $65,888

As for the biggest salary drops at midsize companies:

  • VPs of security (or CSOs) saw their total average salary drop by 8.24 percent, from $128,828 to $118,212
  • Production services managers, who lost 6.74 percent of their total average pay, from $92,107 to $85,900
  • Training and documentation managers, whose total average salary decreased by 4.4 percent from $64,043 to $61,224
  • Production services supervisors, the average salary for whom is now $69,092, down 3.23 percent from $71,975

Finally, demand for CIOs is also on the rise, particularly at midsize companies. CIO compensation has been a mixed bag: Base salaries are higher, whereas bonuses are lower. The mean compensation for CIOs at large enterprises is now $176,659, representing a decrease of 2.68 percent. At midsize companies, CIOs are earning $164,342 on average, an increase of 1.26 percent.

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