by Meridith Levinson

IT Salary Survey Predicts Meager Increases for 2010

Feb 11, 2010

If you thought 2009 was bad for IT salaries, 2010 is likely to be even worse for everyone at all levels and job functions, according to a Computer Economics IT salary survey.

We wish we had better news to share on the IT salary front: The median pay increases organizations are planning for IT professionals this year are small—1.8 percent—according to the latest Computer Economics IT salary survey. That’s .2 percent lower than the median salary increases the Irvine, Calif.-based IT research firm predicted tech workers would receive in 2009.

John Longwell, Computer Economics’ vice president of research, says raises are smaller this year even though most employers expect 2010 to be better business-wise than 2009. Companies budget for employee salaries based on facts about the prior year. Since last year was so bad, employers remain tightfisted with IT salaries this year.

“When we surveyed companies this year, we asked what really happened last year with salaries, and those numbers did come in at two percent,” says Longwell. “You’d think 2010 would be better [for IT salaries], but really there’s a lag, and the raises tend to reflect what happened last year in a lot of ways as opposed to the year ahead.”

Longwell adds that the paltry raises employers are planning for IT professionals reflects downward pressure on IT salaries. “With persistent unemployment, organizations will be able to hire new workers at rates lower than those who were laid off during the recession,” Computer Economics noted in a press release.

The good news is that more than half the companies Computer Economics surveyed are giving raises this year and that some companies are giving more than 1.8 percent depending on the position, according to Longwell. He adds that the 1.8 percent figure is the median salary increase for all IT positions regardless of level and job function, and that the median tends to be a little lower than a pure average or mean.

As a point of comparison, Robert Half Technology’s 2010 IT Salary Guide showed salary decreases across the vast majority of IT job functions.

The 1.8 percent bump is in line with the two percent increases IT departments are making to their operational budgets this year, according to a separate Computer Economics study. Last year,

most IT budgets saw significant cuts

IT Salary Increases by Job Function

Software developers, database administrators, business analysts, architects and other IT professionals involved in the development of new systems or the maintenance of existing systems will make out the best with 2.1 percent raises this year, according to Computer Economics.

[ Related: 10 Best IT Jobs Right Now and 10 Recession-Proof IT Skills ]

Next in line are IT operations workers. Data center operators, tech support people and production control analysts are predicted to earn two percent raises in 2010.

Network administrators, systems administrators, storage administrators, telecom analysts and security analysts will see an extra 1.9 percent in their paychecks.

Those in IT management will witness the smallest salary increases, with 1.3 percent for executives and 1.7 percent for managers. But Computer Economics notes that “as the economy improves, executives and managers will no doubt see their compensation rise faster than the other groups.”

Follow Senior Online Editor Meridith Levinson on Twitter @meridith.