More money may be coming your way if you're an IT pro. The average annual salary for technology professionals jumped more than 5 percent, from $81,327 in 2011 to $85,619 in 2012, according to the Dice annual salary survey released this week. This is the biggest wage increase in the profession since the early 2000s.
And it's not just seasoned professionals who are getting a bigger paycheck. Salaries for IT pros with two years or less experience reported an increase of 8 percent, bringing their average annual salary to $46,315. Professionals with more than 15 years experience also fared well, averaging for the first time a compensation above six figures at $103,012.
While these results may seem surprising amid the current job climate, industry experts note that within the technology field, unemployment is at 3.8%; far below the national unemployment average of 8%.
Several cities across the U.S. recorded pay increases for IT pros. Salaries in Pittsburgh ($76,207), San Diego ($97,328), St. Louis ($81,245), Phoenix ($83,607), Cleveland ($75,773), Orlando ($81,583) and Milwaukee ($81,670) all increased on average more than 10 percent. Other cities that noted an increase above 5 percent are Boston, ($94,742), Atlanta ($87,556) and Los Angeles ($92,498).
Approximately one-third (36%) of the respondents attributed their increase to merit pay, companywide raises or promotions. Another 19 percent changed jobs to earn additional wages. IT pros employed in database and data analyst roles noticed the biggest increase. Those who work on systems such as Hadoop, NoSQL and Mongo DB earn on average above $100,000. Jobs associated with cloud and virtualization technologies come in second at $90,000 and mobile technologies in third at $80,000.
The online survey was taken by 15,049 employed technology professionals late last year. In response to the results, Scot Melland, CEO of Dice Holdings Inc., observed that it shows employers are adjusting to the reality of a tight market. "The fact is you either pay to recruit or pay to retain and these days, at least for technology teams, companies are doing both."