2010-2009 Dice Salary Survey: Silicon Valley

For the first time in five years, Silicon Valley technology professionals see average salaries decrease slightly, according to the 2010-2009 Annual Salary Survey from Dice, the leading career site for technology and engineering professionals.

Silicon Valley still reigns as one of the top metro areas to work in, with a reported average IT salary of $96,299, but that is down one percent from the previous year. This result is in stark contrast to Washington D.C. tech professionals who earned the largest raise in the nation at 4.3 percent to $89,014.

Further, Silicon Valley technology professionals were disappointed with efforts by employers to keep them motivated via non-compensation related incentives during the recession. Close to half (45%) say their employers are doing nothing to keep them motivated; a quarter (24%) are being offered more interesting or challenging assignments, and 15 percent are benefitting from more flexible work hours.

Despite the decline in average salaries and the large disregard for other incentives, Silicon Valley tech pros are taking it in stride. With nearly half (46%) reporting that they are satisfied with their salaries, outstripping those that are dissatisfied (37%).

“Today, Silicon Valley has more available technology jobs than at this time last year. This is an improving market and technology professionals should start listening to opportunities outside their company and be prepared to move,” said Tom Silver, Senior Vice President, North America at Dice. “HR and technology managers seem to have gotten a bye from their staffs for now, but they should be identifying new motivators to keep staff on board including compensation, training and career growth.”

Technology workers for hardware companies are the best paid in the region averaging $111,811, followed by those toiling in financial services ($109,695), telecommunications ($101,627) and software ($101,060).

Silicon Valley-based technology consultants report average income 10 percent higher ($106,336) than the average salary. Further, their average contract base rate is $68 per hour.

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, including 1,260 Silicon Valley-based technology professionals. 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.