The 2008 IT Salary Guide

Thursday Nov 1st 2007 by James Maguire
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The IT Salary Guide lists salaries for many tech positions, including pay levels for various U.S. regions. Plus: salary incentives for specialty IT skill sets.

UPDATE: See the 2009 IT Salary Guide

Also see: IT Salary Survey, January 2009 (gives comparative numbers between '08 and '09.)

The 2008 IT Salary Guide indicates that the average starting salary will increase by 5.3 percent over 2007 levels, with some high demand positions commanding 7 percent. This healthy increase is due to a talent crunch in the IT industry – the demand for talented tech professionals is higher than it's been in five years, according to Robert Half Technology.

This scarcity of tech talent is caused by various factors. College students are veering away from IT careers, perhaps scared by headlines about outsourcing; the number of freshman planning on majoring in computer science plunged by a whopping 70 percent between 2000 and 2005, according to a UCLA study. At the same time, the IT industry is expanding. The Bureau of Labor forecasts that 1 million new IT jobs will be created between 2004 and 2014. In fact, that number zooms to 1.3 million new jobs when you add the retirements of aging Baby Boomers.

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On the other hand, tech execs concede that they're being cautious about hiring: having excess staff causes its own headaches. Consequently, hiring managers are attempting to use contract workers until they're sure that they can offer a stable long term position.

The level of demand for each tech speciality, of course, varies constantly. A survey of 1,400 CIO's by Robert Half in August 2007 asked the question: "Which technical skills are most in demand within your organization?" Leading the pack was Windows administration (73%), followed by Network administration (70%), Database management (60%), Firewall administration (55%), Wireless network management (52%), Business intelligence (34%), ERP implementation (22%), Microsoft .NET development (22%), CRM implementation (18%), Linux administration (18%), Unix administration (18%), and XML development (18%).

Several trends are expected to drive IT hiring in 2008. Foremost among these are network and desktop security, wireless, business intelligence, and database management. Web 2.0 and social media are particularly buzz-worthy, especially as the difference between what's resident on the desktop and what lives online continues to lessen.

IT Salaries by Specialty

Based on data from Robert Half Technology, the 2008 IT Salary Guide lists a broad range of IT salaries, from software developer to CTO to help desk manager. The Guide also provides data about pay levels for regions across the U.S., and the salary incentives for related tech skills (such as VoIP expertise, or Visual Basic experience).

The Salary Guide also lists salary levels going back (in some cases) to 2005, which allows IT staffers to compare rate of pay increases for various jobs.

To view the average salaries for today’s tech jobs, GO TO 2008 IT SALARY GUIDE.

UPDATE: See the 2009 IT Salary Guide

The average salary for IT positions, along with regional pay levels and the value of speciality tech skills:

Chief Technology Officer

Applications Development: Developer/Programmer

Business Systems Analyst

Database Manager

Senior Web Developer

Networking/Telecommunications: Network Engineer

Project Manager

Systems Security Administrator

Help Desk Manager

Also see: Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Job Title: Chief Technology Officer

2008 average salary range: $107,250 – $165,250.

• The 2008 salary range is an increase of 5.2% over this job’s 2007 salary range, which was $101,000 – $157,750.

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Note: Since these numbers are national averages, adjust them based on your area of the country.

Salary levels are – approximately – 7% to 20% higher in the Northeast; about average in the South Atlantic (Florida to Delaware); average to modestly lower in the Midwest and South; and 5% to 25% higher on the West coast.

IT salaries in large metropolitan areas are higher than the national average. For instance, in following cities they are:

• Boston, MA: 24% higher

• Stamford, CT: 30% higher

IT Job Articles
IT Salaries, 2003-2008

Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Seven Hot Tech Skills That Employers Need

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• New York, NY: 41% higher

• Washington, DC: 30% higher

• Philadelphia, PA: 15% higher

• Atlanta, GA: 15% higher

• Miami, FL: 15% higher

• Chicago, IL: 23% higher

• Dallas/Houston, TX: 5% higher

• Irvine, CA: 25% higher

• Los Angeles, CA: 25% higher

• San Diego, CA: 21% higher

• San Francisco, CA: 30% higher

• San Jose, CA: 27% higher

• Seattle, WA: 18% higher

Also see: Tech Resumes: Get the IT Job You Want

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Salary data courtesy of Robert Half Technology. To request a copy of the complete Robert Half Salary Guide, which includes salary ranges for more than 60 different job titles, in the U.S. and Canada, click here.

Job Title: Applications Development: Developer/Programmer

2008 average salary range: $57,500 – $96,750.

• The 2008 salary range is an increase of 6.0% over this job’s 2007 salary range, which was $55,250 – $90,750.

• The 2006 salary range was an increase of 4.6% over this job’s 2005 salary range, which was $52,500 – $83,250.

Add 5% for C++ development skills, 10% for Java development skills, 5% for Visual Basic development skills, 12% for C# development skills, 5% for LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl), 5% for AJAX development skills, 5% for Microsoft Sharepoint skills, and 10% for Visual Basic .NET development skills.

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Note: Since these numbers are national averages, adjust them based on your area of the country.

Salary levels are – approximately – 7% to 20% higher in the Northeast; about average in the South Atlantic (Florida to Delaware); average to modestly lower in the Midwest and South; and 5% to 25% higher on the West coast.

IT salaries in large metropolitan areas are higher than the national average. For instance, in following cities they are:

• Boston, MA: 24% higher

• Stamford, CT: 30% higher

IT Job Articles
IT Salaries, 2003-2008

Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Seven Hot Tech Skills That Employers Need

Find Yourself Online (And Make Sure You're You)

Put Job Hunting On Auto-Pilot

FREE IT Job Newsletter

• New York, NY: 41% higher

• Washington, DC: 30% higher

• Philadelphia, PA: 15% higher

• Atlanta, GA: 15% higher

• Miami, FL: 15% higher

• Chicago, IL: 23% higher

• Dallas/Houston, TX: 5% higher

• Irvine, CA: 25% higher

• Los Angeles, CA: 25% higher

• San Diego, CA: 21% higher

• San Francisco, CA: 30% higher

• San Jose, CA: 27% higher

• Seattle, WA: 18% higher

Also see: Is a Career In IT Risky?

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Salary data courtesy of Robert Half Technology. To request a copy of the complete Robert Half Salary Guide, which includes salary ranges for more than 60 different job titles, in the U.S. and Canada, click here.

Job Title: Business Systems Analyst

2008 average salary range: $64.250 – $91,750.

• The 2008 average salary range is an increase of 5.6% over this job’s 2007 salary range, which was $61,250 – $86.500.

• The 2006 salary range was an increase of 5.1% over this job’s 2005 salary range, which was $56,000 – $80,500.

Add 5% for C++ development skills, 10% for Java development skills, 5% for Visual Basic development skills, 12% for C# development skills, 5% for LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl) development skills, 5% for AJAX development skills, 5% for Microsoft Sharepoint skills, and 10% for Visual Basic .NET development skills.

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Note: Since these numbers are national averages, adjust them based on your area of the country.

Salary levels are – approximately – 7% to 20% higher in the Northeast; about average in the South Atlantic (Florida to Delaware); average to modestly lower in the Midwest and South; and 5% to 25% higher on the West coast.

IT salaries in large metropolitan areas are higher than the national average. For instance, in following cities they are:

• Boston, MA: 24% higher

• Stamford, CT: 30% higher

IT Job Articles
IT Salaries, 2003-2008

Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Seven Hot Tech Skills That Employers Need

Find Yourself Online (And Make Sure You're You)

Put Job Hunting On Auto-Pilot

FREE IT Job Newsletter

• New York, NY: 41% higher

• Washington, DC: 30% higher

• Philadelphia, PA: 15% higher

• Atlanta, GA: 15% higher

• Miami, FL: 15% higher

• Chicago, IL: 23% higher

• Dallas/Houston, TX: 5% higher

• Irvine, CA: 25% higher

• Los Angeles, CA: 25% higher

• San Diego, CA: 21% higher

• San Francisco, CA: 30% higher

• San Jose, CA: 27% higher

• Seattle, WA: 18% higher

Also see: Top Five Fastest Growing IT Jobs

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Salary data courtesy of Robert Half Technology. To request a copy of the complete Robert Half Salary Guide, which includes salary ranges for more than 60 different job titles, in the U.S. and Canada, click here.

Job Title: Database Manager

2008 average salary range: $88,750 – $122,750.

• The 2008 salary range is an increase of 5.4% over this job’s 2007 salary range, which was $84,750 – $116,000.

• The 2006 salary range was an increase of 2.6% over this job’s 2005 salary range, which was $81,250 – $110,250.

Add 10% for Oracle database skills, 12% for Microsoft SQL Server skills, and 7% for IBM DB2 database skills.

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Note: Since these numbers are national averages, adjust them based on your area of the country.

Salary levels are – approximately – 7% to 20% higher in the Northeast; about average in the South Atlantic (Florida to Delaware); average to modestly lower in the Midwest and South; and 5% to 25% higher on the West coast.

IT salaries in large metropolitan areas are higher than the national average. For instance, in following cities they are:

• Boston, MA: 24% higher

• Stamford, CT: 30% higher

IT Job Articles
IT Salaries, 2003-2008

Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Seven Hot Tech Skills That Employers Need

Find Yourself Online (And Make Sure You're You)

Put Job Hunting On Auto-Pilot

FREE IT Job Newsletter

• New York, NY: 41% higher

• Washington, DC: 30% higher

• Philadelphia, PA: 15% higher

• Atlanta, GA: 15% higher

• Miami, FL: 15% higher

• Chicago, IL: 23% higher

• Dallas/Houston, TX: 5% higher

• Irvine, CA: 25% higher

• Los Angeles, CA: 25% higher

• San Diego, CA: 21% higher

• San Francisco, CA: 30% higher

• San Jose, CA: 27% higher

• Seattle, WA: 18% higher

Also see: Educating Non-Tech Execs about Tech (In 5 Hours or Less)

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Salary data courtesy of Robert Half Technology. To request a copy of the complete Robert Half Salary Guide, which includes salary ranges for more than 60 different job titles, in the U.S. and Canada, click here.

Job Title: Senior Web Developer

2008 average salary range: $76,250 – $108,250.

• The 2008 salary range is an increase of 6.6% over this job’s 2007 salary range, which was $71,000 – $102,000.

• The 2006 salary range was an increase of 1.1% over this job’s 2005 salary range, which was $68,000 – $96,750.

Add 10% for Java development skills, 10% for Java Enterprise Edition development skills, 5% for LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/PERL) development skills, 5% for AJAX development skills, 5% for Microsoft Sharepoint skills, 5% for Cold Fusion development skills, 7% for Web services development skills, 5% for Active Server Page development skills, 10% for DCOM/COM/ActiveX development skills, 12% for C# development skills, 10% for Visual Basic .NET development skills, and 5% for WebLogic clustering administration skills.

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Note: Since these numbers are national averages, adjust them based on your area of the country.

Salary levels are – approximately – 7% to 20% higher in the Northeast; about average in the South Atlantic (Florida to Delaware); average to modestly lower in the Midwest and South; and 5% to 25% higher on the West coast.

IT salaries in large metropolitan areas are higher than the national average. For instance, in following cities they are:

• Boston, MA: 24% higher

• Stamford, CT: 30% higher

IT Job Articles
IT Salaries, 2003-2008

Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Seven Hot Tech Skills That Employers Need

Find Yourself Online (And Make Sure You're You)

Put Job Hunting On Auto-Pilot

FREE IT Job Newsletter

• New York, NY: 41% higher

• Washington, DC: 30% higher

• Philadelphia, PA: 15% higher

• Atlanta, GA: 15% higher

• Miami, FL: 15% higher

• Chicago, IL: 23% higher

• Dallas/Houston, TX: 5% higher

• Irvine, CA: 25% higher

• Los Angeles, CA: 25% higher

• San Diego, CA: 21% higher

• San Francisco, CA: 30% higher

• San Jose, CA: 27% higher

• Seattle, WA: 18% higher

Also see: Make Yourself Look Good Online

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Salary data courtesy of Robert Half Technology. To request a copy of the complete Robert Half Salary Guide, which includes salary ranges for more than 60 different job titles, in the U.S. and Canada, click here.

Job Title: Networking/Telecommunications: Network Engineer

2008 average salary range: $67, 250 – $93,500.

• The 2008 salary range is an increase of 3% over this job’s 2007 salary range, which was $65,750 – $90,250.

• The 2006 salary range was an increase of 3.3% over this job’s 2005 salary range, which was $61,250 – $88,250.

Add 12% for Cisco network administration skills, 10% for LINUX/UNIX administration skills, 10% for Windows 2000/2003/XP administration skills, and 10% for Voice over Internet Protocol administration skills.

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Note: Since these numbers are national averages, adjust them based on your area of the country.

Salary levels are – approximately – 7% to 20% higher in the Northeast; about average in the South Atlantic (Florida to Delaware); average to modestly lower in the Midwest and South; and 5% to 25% higher on the West coast.

IT salaries in large metropolitan areas are higher than the national average. For instance, in following cities they are:

• Boston, MA: 24% higher

• Stamford, CT: 30% higher

IT Job Articles
IT Salaries, 2003-2008

Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Seven Hot Tech Skills That Employers Need

Find Yourself Online (And Make Sure You're You)

Put Job Hunting On Auto-Pilot

FREE IT Job Newsletter

• New York, NY: 41% higher

• Washington, DC: 30% higher

• Philadelphia, PA: 15% higher

• Atlanta, GA: 15% higher

• Miami, FL: 15% higher

• Chicago, IL: 23% higher

• Dallas/Houston, TX: 5% higher

• Irvine, CA: 25% higher

• Los Angeles, CA: 25% higher

• San Diego, CA: 21% higher

• San Francisco, CA: 30% higher

• San Jose, CA: 27% higher

• Seattle, WA: 18% higher

Also see: The Commoditization of the Tech Professional

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Salary data courtesy of Robert Half Technology. To request a copy of the complete Robert Half Salary Guide, which includes salary ranges for more than 60 different job titles, in the U.S. and Canada, click here.

Job Title: Project Manager

2008 average salary range: $76,500 – $111,500.

• The 2008 salary range is an increase of 5% over this job’s 2007 salary range, which was $72,750 – $106,250.

Add 5% for C++ development skills, 10% for Java development skills, 5% for Visual Basic development skills, 12% for C# development skills, 5% for LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl), 5% for AJAX development skills, 5% for Microsoft Sharepoint skills, and 10% for Visual Basic .NET development skills.

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Note: Since these numbers are national averages, adjust them based on your area of the country.

Salary levels are – approximately – 7% to 20% higher in the Northeast; about average in the South Atlantic (Florida to Delaware); average to modestly lower in the Midwest and South; and 5% to 25% higher on the West coast.

IT salaries in large metropolitan areas are higher than the national average. For instance, in following cities they are:

• Boston, MA: 24% higher

• Stamford, CT: 30% higher

IT Job Articles
IT Salaries, 2003-2008

Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Seven Hot Tech Skills That Employers Need

Find Yourself Online (And Make Sure You're You)

Put Job Hunting On Auto-Pilot

FREE IT Job Newsletter

• New York, NY: 41% higher

• Washington, DC: 30% higher

• Philadelphia, PA: 15% higher

• Atlanta, GA: 15% higher

• Miami, FL: 15% higher

• Chicago, IL: 23% higher

• Dallas/Houston, TX: 5% higher

• Irvine, CA: 25% higher

• Los Angeles, CA: 25% higher

• San Diego, CA: 21% higher

• San Francisco, CA: 30% higher

• San Jose, CA: 27% higher

• Seattle, WA: 18% higher

Also see: Offshoring Evolves Beyond American vs. Indian

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Salary data courtesy of Robert Half Technology. To request a copy of the complete Robert Half Salary Guide, which includes salary ranges for more than 60 different job titles, in the U.S. and Canada, click here.

Job Title: Systems Security Administrator

2008 average salary range: $73,500 – $103,500.

• The 2008 salary range is an increase of 4% over this job’s 2007 salary range, which was $70,500 – $99,750.

• The 2006 salary range was an increase of 3.9% over this job’s 2005 salary range, which was $67,500 – $92,750.

Add 12% Cisco network administration skills, 10% for LINUX/UNIX administration skills, and 10% for Check Point firewall administration skills.

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Note: Since these numbers are national averages, adjust them based on your area of the country.

Salary levels are – approximately – 7% to 20% higher in the Northeast; about average in the South Atlantic (Florida to Delaware); average to modestly lower in the Midwest and South; and 5% to 25% higher on the West coast.

IT salaries in large metropolitan areas are higher than the national average. For instance, in following cities they are:

• Boston, MA: 24% higher

• Stamford, CT: 30% higher

IT Job Articles
IT Salaries, 2003-2008

Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Seven Hot Tech Skills That Employers Need

Find Yourself Online (And Make Sure You're You)

Put Job Hunting On Auto-Pilot

FREE IT Job Newsletter

• New York, NY: 41% higher

• Washington, DC: 30% higher

• Philadelphia, PA: 15% higher

• Atlanta, GA: 15% higher

• Miami, FL: 15% higher

• Chicago, IL: 23% higher

• Dallas/Houston, TX: 5% higher

• Irvine, CA: 25% higher

• Los Angeles, CA: 25% higher

• San Diego, CA: 21% higher

• San Francisco, CA: 30% higher

• San Jose, CA: 27% higher

• Seattle, WA: 18% higher

Also see: Top Five Fastest Growing IT Jobs

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Salary data courtesy of Robert Half Technology. To request a copy of the complete Robert Half Salary Guide, which includes salary ranges for more than 60 different job titles, in the U.S. and Canada, click here.

Job Title: Help Desk Manager

2008 average salary range: $65,250 – $92,000.

• The 2008 salary range is an increase of 4.3% over this job’s 2007 salary range, which was $62,500 – $88,250.

• The 2006 salary range is an increase of 2.8% over this job’s 2005 salary range, which was $59,000 – $85,500.

Add 12% for Cisco network administration skills, 10% for LINUX/UNIX administration skills, and 5% for Windows 2000/2003/XP administration skills.

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Note: Since these numbers are national averages, adjust them based on your area of the country.

Salary levels are – approximately – 7% to 20% higher in the Northeast; about average in the South Atlantic (Florida to Delaware); average to modestly lower in the Midwest and South; and 5% to 25% higher on the West coast.

IT salaries in large metropolitan areas are higher than the national average. For instance, in following cities they are:

• Boston, MA: 24% higher

• Stamford, CT: 30% higher

IT Job Articles
IT Salaries, 2003-2008

Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Seven Hot Tech Skills That Employers Need

Find Yourself Online (And Make Sure You're You)

Put Job Hunting On Auto-Pilot

FREE IT Job Newsletter

• New York, NY: 41% higher

• Washington, DC: 30% higher

• Philadelphia, PA: 15% higher

• Atlanta, GA: 15% higher

• Miami, FL: 15% higher

• Chicago, IL: 23% higher

• Dallas/Houston, TX: 5% higher

• Irvine, CA: 25% higher

• Los Angeles, CA: 25% higher

• San Diego, CA: 21% higher

• San Francisco, CA: 30% higher

• San Jose, CA: 27% higher

• Seattle, WA: 18% higher

Also see: Is Everyone Replaceable?

GO BACK TO JOB LIST

Salary data courtesy of Robert Half Technology. To request a copy of the complete Robert Half Salary Guide, which includes salary ranges for more than 60 different job titles, in the U.S. and Canada, click here.

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