Tech Pay Rises, But Job-Mood Sinks, Say New Reports

Wages for IT workers in the fourth quarter of 2006 were 3.1% higher than they were in the comparable quarter of 2005.



Tech professionals happily reported their wages rose last year, but their mood about jobs dipped last month, according to findings of several new reports released on Wednesday.

In the fourth quarter of 2006, wages for IT workers were 3.1% higher than they were in the same quarter of 2005, according to professional services and staffing firm Yoh.

"That's the same good solid growth we've been having for the last two years," says Jim Lanzalotto, VP of Yoh strategy and marketing. "It's unsexy, but it's not out of control," he says.

There are exceptions. Some skill sets had pay rise beyond the 3.1% average, he says.

Among the highest paid skill-sets in Q4 were ERP, security and data-warehousing talent. Specifically, ERP technical consultants earned the highest wages--$84.36 per hour, followed by ERP functional consultants, who earned hour wages of $80.76, according to Yoh's report.

Other talent that saw steeper hourly wage hikes were project managers, who earned $58.51; firmware engineers, who earned $58.82; .Net developers, who earned $50.58; and Java developers, who earned $47.07.

From 2002 to 2005, IT wages have risen about 15%, according the Yoh's findings.

Although pay for most techies is creeping higher, spirits haven't exactly been rising so far this year, according to a new report by IT staffing and outsourcing firm Hudson.

Compared to a base score of 100, IT and telecom pros rated their job confidence in January at 104.6, down 5.2 points since December. The drop was the second consecutive monthly decline in IT job confidence, which has been improving steadily through most of last year, according to Hudson. Still, IT pros in January rated their job optimism a tad higher than the larger workforce, which scored job confidence at 104.2 according to Hudson's survey of 9,000 workers in several segments. Hudson polled 442 IT workers for the report.

The mood about IT jobs was likely dampened by a slightly more conservative approach employers have taking with new projects than anticipated, says Eric Samargedlis, a regional VP for Hudson's IT and telecom practice.

"There had been aggressive forecasting about capital spending," says Samargedlis. "It's tailored back a bit, with more spending on core business, complex applications and infrastructures," he says. "There's more maintenance spend taking place," he says. Still, plans for new projects haven't been cancelled, but rather are slightly delayed from starting, he says.

Hudson has seen strong demand for skills involving databases, Java and .Net as well as project managers, he says.

Finally, on a regional basis, salaries for tech talent in Illinois are expected to rise 4.2% for IT staff and 4.3% for IT managers in the upcoming fiscal year, according to a new report released on Wednesday from the Illinois IT Association.

According to the ITA study, the average salary for a CIO or chief technology officer in that state is $149, 264. Add bonuses and that average figure grows to $168, 210.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, a senior technology architect earns an average salary of $109,237 and a junior software engineer earns $66,754. When bonuses are added, those respective pay packages rise to an average of $120,308 and $70,504

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