IT Salaries: Growth Reflects Positive Changes in the IT Job Market

Software developers, information security analysts, network architects and business intelligence analysts are among the IT professionals experiencing the most significant salary growth in 2012, according to a new report from IT staffing firm Bluewolf.

IT departments may be struggling to support and manage all of the consumer devices infiltrating their enterprises, but there appears to be one unexpected and positive outcome from the consumerization of IT: higher salaries for many IT professionals.

The need to develop new applications and to adapt existing programs so that customers, staff and business partners can access them on Android and iOS devices is driving demand for IT professionals with a range of skills and across a broad swathe of IT functions, from development to security. As companies struggle to find these IT professionals, salaries are going up. And up.

"Every interactive firm, every advertising firm, every major firm in America is trying to get their platforms set up to support mobile devices," says Michael Kirven, co-founder and principal of Bluewolf, a NYC-based provider of IT staffing, consulting and managed IT services. "There's a mad rush for skills like Android, Ruby on Rails, Facebook developers—all these skillsets that didn't exist a handful of years ago."

Kirven adds that companies today are looking toward their IT departments to drive innovation and make them more competitive. "The face of IT is changing. People in IT are no longer expected to be heads down, in their cube, banging out code and taking direction," he says. "Companies now want IT to be part of the dialog, part of the innovation cycle. IT is becoming more of a strategic partner inside companies, and because of that, there's more demand."

Consequently, IT professionals seeking new jobs are in a strong position to negotiate higher salaries. Kirven says "they have a tremendous amount of leverage" because IT hiring at Fortune 2000 companies is so active. He adds that the majority of IT professionals with which Bluewolf works have multiple job offers and are able to negotiate better compensation packages.

To help IT professionals benchmark their salaries, Bluewolf recently released its 2012 IT salary guide. The guide gives salary ranges for 70 different job titles, from entry level help desk administrator to CIO, in six major markets across the US: the San Francisco Bay area; Long Island, NY; the New York Tri-State area; Boston; Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Two-thirds (51) of the listed job titles are seeing salary increases in 2012 over 2011. One-third (19) are seeing little change in their salaries.

Perhaps not surprisingly, software developers are seeing the most significant salary increases. So too are information security analysts. IT professionals helping companies meet the challenges posed by "Big Data" are also seeing welcome hikes in pay. Kirven says salary increases of six percent or more are considered significant. (For the full list of IT job titles experiencing significant salary growth, see the table below.)

Some of the 27 positions experiencing "moderate" pay increases (that is, between three and six percent) are CIO, CSO, business analyst, network and systems administrators, data analysts and SharePoint developers.

Bluewolf's data is based on salaries for full-time, permanent IT professionals and on rates for contract IT professionals that Bluewolf has placed with clients. Kirven says approximately 60 percent of the open requirements his company fills for clients are for permanent, full-time positions while 40 percent are for contracts.

Don't see your title in this article, check out the complete salary guide.

IT Job Titles with the Most Salary Growth

17 IT job titles that are commanding some of the highest salaries and seeing "significant" growth in the 6+ percent range. These salaries are averages CIO.com took across the six major metro markets Bluewolf tracks.

Job Title Salary Range
Network Architect $122,666 - $143,500
Information Security Analyst $107,000 - $142,000
Mobile Developer $110,333 - $125,333
Front End Developer (3 - 5 years' experience) $87,500 - $112,000
Front End Developer (7 - 10 years' experience) $108,000 - $133,500
HTML5 Developer $82,833 - $118,500
Android Developer $113,666 - $139,333
iPhone/iPad Developer $98,000 - $134,333
Software Developers (3 - 5 years' experience) $71,833 - $92,166
Software Engineer $117,500 - $153,666
Software Architect (10 years' experience) $134,166 - $158,500
JAVA/J2EE Developer $81,833 - $153,666
Ruby on Rails Developer $87,000 - $122,666
.NET Developer $92,166 - $138,333
UI/UX Designers (5+ years' experience) $82,166 - $102,833
Business Intelligence Analyst $91,833 - $121,500
Data Architect $97,000 - $124,000
Cognos Analyst $97,000 - $117,500
SQL Database Administrator $89,666 - $127,500

SOURCE: Bluewolf

Meridith Levinson covers Careers, Security and Cloud Computing for CIO.com. Follow Meridith on Twitter @meridith . Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Meridith at mlevinson@cio.com.

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