Tech Salaries: From High to Low

Wednesday Sep 12th 2007 by James Maguire
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A series of charts shows the wide range of pay within various types of tech jobs.

Update: See the 2009 IT Salary Guide

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

A look at recent salary numbers for tech professionals reveals a remarkable range. A mid-level software engineer, for example, can make anywhere from the mid $60k level to somewhere above $90k. (See chart below.)

Similarly, plenty of networking pros get paid in the mid $50k range, but some earn over $80k (chart). A small percentage of database experts earn well into six figures, though an equal percentage pull in about $70k (chart). A veteran sysadmin brings home close to $100k, yet a less experienced staffer earns about $60k (chart ).

By looking at pay charts from Salary.com, tech professionals can see how their salaries compare with a bell curve of national averages. Take a look at the charts in this article to see how you stack up.

There is one tech job that seems to be on the upswing more than any other, at least based on Salary.com data.

“What I’ve seen over the last year or two is a scarcity of security engineers,” says Roger Sturtevant, VP of Salary’s survey division. (Salary gets its pay data from employers, rather than from self-reporting by staffers.) “And it comes in two flavors: one is people who are creating security-related products from an engineering standpoint; the other side is internal IT people working on a company’s own internal infrastructure.”

In short, security is hot, Sturtevant tells Datamation.

Tech Job Salary Ranges

Here's the list of salary ranges for other tech sectors:

Software engineers (scroll down to see charts)

Security

Database

Help Desk

Systems Administrators

Networking

Tech Sales rep

Tech Managers

Entry Level Software Engineer

software developer job, pay

Job Description: Designs, modifies, develops, writes and implements software programming applications. Supports and/or installs software applications/operating systems. Participates in the testing process through test review and analysis, test witnessing and certification of software. Requires a bachelor's degree in a related area and 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area.

Mid-level Software Engineer

mid level software developer job, pay

Job Description: Similar to above, but this position requires a bachelor's degree in a related area and 4-6 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of complicated tasks. May lead and direct the work of others. May report directly to a project lead or manager. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected.

Senior Software Engineer

advanced software developer job, pay

Job Description: Similar to above, but requires a bachelor's degree in area of specialty and at least 8-10 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Demonstrates expertise in a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. May provide consultation on complex projects and is considered to be the top level contributor/specialist. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. May report to an executive or a manager.

All data and job descriptions courtesy of Salary.com. Data from September 2007.

Look at the salary ranges of the following tech jobs: Software engineersSecurityDatabaseHelp DeskSystems AdministratorsNetworkingTech Sales repTech Managers

Security Administrator

security tech job, pay

Job Description: Troubleshoots network access problems and implements network security policies and procedures. Ensures network (LAN/WAN, telecommunications, and voice) security access and protects against unauthorized access, modification, or destruction. Requires a bachelor's degree with at least 5 years of experience in the field. Familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. May lead and direct the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager.

Chief Information Security Officer

security chief tech job, pay

Job Description: Responsible for determining enterprise information security standards. Develops and implements information security standards and procedures. Ensures that all information systems are functional and secure. Requires a bachelor's degree with at least 12 years of experience in the field. Familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Leads and directs the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to top management.

All data and job descriptions courtesy of Salary.com. Data from September 2007.

Look at the salary ranges of the following tech jobs: Software engineersSecurityDatabaseHelp DeskSystems AdministratorsNetworkingTech Sales repTech Managers

Database Administrator

software developer job, pay

Job Description: Administers, maintains, develops and implements policies and procedures for ensuring the security and integrity of the company database. Implements data models and database designs, data access and table maintenance codes; resolves database performance issues, database capacity issues, replication, and other distributed data issues. May require a bachelor's degree in a related area and 2-4 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Familiar with standard concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Relies on limited experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Works under general supervision; typically reports to a manager. A certain degree of creativity and latitude is required.

Database Analyst – Consultant

database analyst, tech job, pay

Job Description: Reviews, evaluates, designs, implements and maintains company database[s]. Identifies data sources, constructs data decomposition diagrams, provides data flow diagrams and documents the process. Writes codes for database access, modifications, and constructions including stored procedures. Requires a bachelor's degree in area of specialty and at least 8-10 years of experience in the field or in a related area. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to a manager or head of a unit/department.

All data and job descriptions courtesy of Salary.com. Data from September 2007.

Look at the salary ranges of the following tech jobs: Software engineersSecurityDatabaseHelp DeskSystems AdministratorsNetworkingTech Sales repTech Managers

Help Desk Support

help desk staff job, tech pay

Job Description: Provides support to end users on a variety of issues. Identifies, researches, and resolves technical problems. Responds to telephone calls, email and personnel requests for technical support. Documents, tracks and monitors the problem to ensure a timely resolution. May require an associate's degree in a related area and 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Works under immediate supervision. Primary job functions do not typically require exercising independent judgment. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager.

Help Desk Manager

help desk manager, pay

Job Description: Manages a team of support personnel who troubleshoot IT issues. Implements policies and procedures regarding how problems are identified, received, documented, distributed, and corrected. Ensures maximum issue resolutions in minimum time. Requires a bachelor's degree with at least 7 years of experience in the field. Familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to head of a unit/department.

All data and job descriptions courtesy of Salary.com. Data from September 2007.

Look at the salary ranges of the following tech jobs: Software engineersSecurityDatabaseHelp DeskSystems AdministratorsNetworkingTech Sales repTech Managers

Systems Administrator

sysadmin job, IT pay

Job Description: Installs new software releases, system upgrades, evaluates and installs patches and resolves software related problems. Performs system backups and recovery. Maintains data files and monitors system configuration to ensure data integrity. May require a bachelor's degree in a related area with at least 2 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Has knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Typically reports to a project leader or manager.

Senior Systems Administrator

senior sysadmin job, salary pay

Job Description: Installs new software releases, system upgrades, evaluates and installs patches and resolves software related problems. Performs system backups and recovery. Maintains data files and monitors system configuration to ensure data integrity. May require a bachelor's degree in a related area and 3-5 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Works under general supervision; typically reports to a project leader or manager. A certain degree of creativity and latitude is required.

All data and job descriptions courtesy of Salary.com. Data from September 2007.

Look at the salary ranges of the following tech jobs: Software engineersSecurityDatabaseHelp DeskSystems AdministratorsNetworkingTech Sales repTech Managers

Entry Level Network Engineer

software developer job, pay

Job Description: Assists in the development and maintenance of network communications. Uses knowledge of LAN/WAN systems to help design and install internal and external networks. Tests and evaluates network systems to eliminate problems and make improvements. Requires a bachelor's degree in area of specialty and 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Typically reports to a supervisor.

Director of Network Engineering

network engineer, pay

Job Description: Responsible for all aspects (software and hardware) of organization's network systems. Recommends, implements, and maintains network architectures (LAN and WAN). Requires a bachelor's degree with at least 8-10 years of experience in the field. Familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Leads and directs the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to top management.

All data and job descriptions courtesy of Salary.com. Data from September 2007.

Look at the salary ranges of the following tech jobs: Software engineersSecurityDatabaseHelp DeskSystems AdministratorsNetworkingTech Sales repTech Managers

Information Systems Manager

it manager, project manager, pay

Job Description: Manages the information technology department in accordance with organizational policies and goals. Ensures proper functioning of company's information processing system and makes upgrades as necessary. Helps business operations utilize information systems to improve efficiency. Keeps computer equipment, hardware, and software updated to meet organizational needs. Follows appropriate programming procedures. Requires a bachelor's degree and at least 5 years of experience in the field or in a related area. May lead and direct the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to top management.

Client Technologies Manager

client technology technician job, pay

Job Description: Improves desktop hardware and software processes and supports critical business strategies by managing the development, installation, vendor selection, maintenance and repair of desktop equipment. Leads multiple projects and oversees technical staff to ensure that client specifications are met. Requires a bachelor's degree in area of specialty and at least 7 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Leads and directs the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to a head of unit/department.

All data and job descriptions courtesy of Salary.com. Data from September 2007.

Look at the salary ranges of the following tech jobs: Software engineersSecurityDatabaseHelp DeskSystems AdministratorsNetworkingTech Sales repTech Managers

Account Representative, Sr - Technology Sales

tech account job, pay

Job Description: Maintains relationships and favorable contacts with current and potential accounts in the high-tech sector. Resolves customer issues/problems. Requires a bachelor's degree and at least 4 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of complicated tasks. May direct and lead the work of others. Typically reports to a manager or head of a unit/department. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected.

Enterprise IT Relationship Manager

it account manager, pay

Job Description: Establishes and maintains business relationships with internal and external customers. Develops IT projects to meet the business needs of the customers. Ensures that IT initiatives are met in a timely manner and within a prescribed budget. Requires a bachelor's degree in area of specialty and 6-8 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Leads and directs the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to a head of a unit/department.

All data and job descriptions courtesy of Salary.com. Data from September 2007.

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