2010-2009 Dice Salary Survey

In the face of nearly flat salaries for tech professionals – a one percent increase in average pay to $78,845 – technology professionals cited an increase in salary dissatisfaction, according to the 2010-2009 Annual Salary Survey from Dice, the leading career site for technology and engineering professionals. Further, technology professionals were disappointed with efforts by employers to keep them motivated via non-compensation related incentives during the recession.

Close to half (47%) say their employers are doing nothing to keep them motivated; just 19 percent are being offered more interesting or challenging assignments, and 14 percent are benefiting from more flexible work hours. Nearly a quarter (24%) of surveyed tech professionals said that they received a bonus last year. But those who didn’t reported higher levels – at 42 percent – of dissatisfaction with their compensation, than their rewarded colleagues of which just a quarter (27%) were displeased.

“The new war for technology talent is coming and the battle is retention,” said Tom Silver, Senior Vice President, North America at Dice. “With job and salary dissatisfaction at its highest levels in years, technology professionals should be willing to go fight for career advancement. HR and technology managers can win by identifying new motivators to keep staff on board including compensation, training and career growth.”

Technology salaries are up four percent in Washington, D.C. to $89,014. In fact, technology pros in the Government and Defense sector enjoyed a 4.4 percent average increase — nearly equal to last year’s overall 4.6 percent surge in salaries. Silicon Valley still reigns as one of the top metro areas to work in, with a reported average IT salary of $96,299. New York City reported a 1.5 percent increase in average salaries to $86,710, similar to the wage increase reported nationally in financial services.

Continuing to lead the pack in top paid skills is ABAP- Advanced Business Application Programming ($115,916), followed by SOA – Service Oriented Architecture ($107,827), and ETL – Extract Transform and Load ($105,844).

Additional findings of the survey include:

  • Seattle technology professionals earned $84,144 on average, an increase of nearly two percent. Dallas tech pros gained on their counterparts in Austin, with a two percent gain to $78,438. However, Austin-based pros still have fatter paychecks, on average earning $81,503, a slight decline year-over-year.
  • Applications server skills JBoss and Weblogic joined the $100,000 salary ranks with annual salaries topping $101,869 and $100,313, respectively. Individuals with Solaris ($96,672) and AIX ($95,464) skills were the highest paid operating system skills.
  • The highest paid titles include IT Management ($114,874), Information Architecture ($105,247), Project Manager ($103,437), Software Engineer ($91,342), and Database Administrator ($91,283).

Dice Salary Survey Methodology

The Dice Salary Survey was administered online with 16,908 registered Dice job seekers and visitors responding between August 24 and November 12, 2009. Respondents were invited to participate in the survey through a notification on the Dice home page, and registered job seekers were sent an email invitation. A cookie methodology was used to ensure that there was no duplication of responses between or within the various sample groups, and duplicate responses from a single email address were removed.