Good news for IT professionals: Salaries are on the rise.
In the 2018 Interop/Information Week Salary Survey, unveiled this week, median total compensation climbed 5% from $100,000 per year in 2017 to $105,000 in 2018.
The survey polled 1,900 technology professionals employed in the United States. Half of the respondents worked in management roles, and half held staff positions. Forty-five percent were from enterprises with more than 1,000 employees, and they represented a wide range of industries.
Both managers and IT staffers saw their pay rise by $5,000. For staff, median total compensation rose from $85,000 in last year to $90,000 this year. That’s a significant increase, but the end result still trails the all-time high of $92,000 set in 2014.
Those who identified themselves as managers experienced a median pay increase from $120,000 to $125,000. That’s the highest mark ever in this survey; the previous record was $121,000 set in 2016.
For women working in IT, the news wasn’t quite as good. They averaged about $10,000 less per year than their male counterparts. Female staff made $80,000, compared to $90,000 for male staff. Female managers earned a median salary of $115,000 compared to $125,000 for male managers. However, women did see sharper increases between 2017 and 2018 than the men did, so the gender gap appears to be narrowing.
Overall, IT professionals are happy with their pay. Fifty-seven percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their pay, and only 3% were very dissatisfied. That seems to translate well into job satisfaction because 59% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with all aspects of their jobs.
And, when asked what matters to them most about their jobs, respondents said it really is the money. Among participants, 54% selected base pay and 47% said benefits were among the most important aspects of their jobs (up to seven responses were allowed).
The following slides dive into the salary data in more detail and include median total compensation for 12 of the most popular job titles in IT, from the CIO all the way down to the help desk. You can download the full report here.
1. CIO/CTO or Other IT Executive
Not surprisingly, C-level executives are the most highly compensated group in IT. Chief information offers, chief technology officers and other executives said they are earning around $185,000 for 2018. That’s a $15,000 increase over the $170,000 they earned in 2017, and that was the biggest pay raise experienced by any group in the survey.
Among the people who participated in the survey, 9% identified themselves as CIOs, CTOs or other tech executives.
2. Vice President, IT (Tie)
Two job titles tied for second place in this year’s IT salary survey. One of them was vice president of IT, which earned a median total compensation of $155,000. That was a $5,000 increase over the $150,000 they earned in 2017, which was the average salary increase for participants in the survey.
Among respondents, 4% identified themselves as vice presidents of IT.
2. CSO/Security Management (Tie)
Security is a hot field within IT. In fact, respondents were most likely to select IT security as the skill they were learning or planning to learn, and identify it as the skill that would be most valuable in their careers. With all that demand, it’s not surprising that chief security offices and those in security management tied for second place among the highest-paying job titles at $155,000. Like several other job titles, the CSO title saw a $5,000 increase in median pay between 2017 and 2018.
Among those surveyed, 3% identified themselves as CSOs or security management.
IT workers with “architect” in their job titles are also among the most highly compensated in the field. These can include network architects, application architects and data architects, among others. This role saw a $5,000 increase in median pay between 2017 and 2018, from $135,000 to $140,000.
Among those surveyed, 4% identified themselves as architects.
5. Program Manager/Project Manager (Tie)
Fifth place on the salary list was also a tie. Program managers and project managers have a median total compensation of $115,000 for 2018, up from $110,000 for 2017. As DevOps approaches take hold in the enterprise, PMs are seeing their responsibilities change, but some are also seeing the role become more important within IT teams, which make account for some of the salary increase.
Among those surveyed, 7% identified themselves as program managers or project managers.
5. Software/Web Developer (Tie)
Over the past several years, developers have been among some of the most highly compensated people in IT, and that isn’t changing. In fact, the software/Web developer role tied for fifth place on the salary list, placing it ahead of some leadership roles. Median total compensation for developers came in at $115,000 for 2018, $5,000 more than the $110,000 they made in 2017.
Among those surveyed, 4% identified themselves as Web or software developers.
7. Director/Manager, IT, Networking or Infrastructure
They may be paid less than some of the developers who work for them, but directors and managers are still very well compensated. Median salaries and bonuses totaled $105,000 for this group, up from $100,000 in 2017. It’s also worth noting that that this was a large and diverse group of respondents, and those with a title like “director of IT” likely earn considerably more than those with a title like “networking manager.”
This was the most common job title among survey respondents; 24% identified themselves as directors or managers of IT, networking or infrastructure.
8. IT Supervisor
IT supervisors also saw a $5,000 increase in total compensation between 2017 and 2018. Their median pay climbed from $90,000 to $95,000 for the year, placing them just behind the directors and managers.
Among those surveyed, 5% identified themselves as IT supervisors.
Interestingly, those with a programmer or analyst job title did not see an increase in pay over the past year. Instead, median total compensation remained flat at $85,000. This is somewhat surprising as the programmer category has some overlap with developers, but it may be that pay for this group has risen so quickly over the past few years that supply and demand are finally evening out.
Among those surveyed, 3% identified themselves as programmers or analysts.
10. Systems Analyst
This group also saw their total compensation remain steady over the past year. Median total compensation came in at $80,000, exactly the same as in 2017.
Among those surveyed, 5% identified themselves as systems analysts.
11. IT Staff
Unsurprisingly, IT staffers, who tend to be closer to the bottom of the org chart, also tend to be closer to the bottom of the pay scale. Median pay for this group totaled $75,000, which was a $5,000 increase over the $70,000 earned in 2017. Note that this is something of a catch-all category that includes workers with a very diverse group of responsibilities.
This was the second most common job title among respondents to the survey; 13% identified themselves as IT staff.
12. Help Desk
The help desk has long been an entry-level position for people interested in working in IT, and it continues to be the lowest-paying on this list, by a wide margin. Median total 2018 compensation for help desk workers was just $55,000, exactly the same as last year.
Among those surveyed, 2% identified themselves as help desk workers.
[Learn more about IT salary trends in the full report.]Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years. View Full Bio