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The $13,000 Man

InformationWeek's latest salary survey charts the gender gap in IT pay and other money matters.

Are men worth more than women? If you work in IT, the answer seems to be yes, according to the InformationWeek 2014 US IT Salary Survey.

The median total compensation for a female IT staffer is $81,000. For male counterparts it’s $94,000, a difference of $13,000. That’s a significant gap. And it’s echoed in compensation for managers, with median total compensation for men at $122,000 vs. $110,000 for women.

The survey also shows that the pay gap is increasing, not decreasing. In 2012, the difference was $10,000 for staffers. In 2013 it jumped to $12,000.

The same scenario plays out at the management level, with a $9,000 difference in median total compensation between men and women in 2012, and a $12,000 difference in 2013.

IT salaries as a whole are up in 2014, but only by very modest amounts, according to the survey. According to responses from 11,662 IT pros, the median change in total compensation over the past 12 months is an increase of 1.6% for IT staff, and 2.4% for management.

The survey slices and dices salary data in numerous ways, including by industry. For instance, the median total compensation in the top three industries are securities and investments ($165,000), bio-tech/pharma ($151,000), and engery ($150,000). The lowest is K-12 education, with median total compensation of $84,000.

The survey also details salary information from a variety of IT discplines, including for networking and datacenter management professionals. Median total compensation in this category is $88,000 for staff, which is an increase of $3,000 compared to 2013. Management totaled $104,000, which is just an increase of $1,000 vs. the previous year.

Datacenter management pros pull in slightly more than their networking counterparts, at $90,000 to $87,000 respectively for staff. The difference is greater among managers, with total median compensation for datacenter management at $110,000 vs. $100,000 for networking.

But before datacenter management pros hold up their noses as they pass the network engineers in the break room, the survey data notes that IT pros with “architect” in their title take the salary crown, with a total median compensation of $132,000.

As you might expect, the survey shows the median salary going up as networking and datacenter professionals get older—but only up to a point. Workers age 46-55 reported the highest median salary, at $90,000 for staff and $103,000 for management. But once you go over 55, salaries begin to dip: $87,000 and $96,000 respectively for staff and management.

We probably didn’t need a survey to learn that women and older workers don’t do as well when it comes to compensation as their younger, male counterparts. But it’s important to have the numbers to spell it out. I’d love to get your input as to the causes for these disparities in gender and age, and what might be done to remedy them.

Drew is formerly editor of Network Computing and currently director of content and community for Interop. View Full Bio

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