Technology salaries rise by 4.6 percent

Despite a horrendous economy and an unrelenting tide of layoffs, technology salaries rose an average of 4.6 percent last year, according to survey results released by Dice.com.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
2 min read

Correction at 7 a.m. PST January 23: The 2006 growth rate in tech salaries was slightly off. It was 1.7 percent.

Salaries of tech professionals managed to spike up an average of 4.6 percent last year to $78,035, according to survey results released Thursday by tech career site Dice.com.

The survey results, ironically, come at a time when companies across corporate America are announcing layoffs, freezing wages, and even going so far as to temporarily institute wage cuts, like Advanced Micro Devices.

Dice, based on a survey of more than 19,000 respondents taken between August and November, found that certain sectors and job titles posted even higher percentage gains over the previous year.

The average annual salary for security analysts jumped 8.4 percent, compared with last year, while software engineers followed closely with a 7 percent gain, and applications developers rose 6.6 percent.

"The skills that are needed in technology change quickly, and employers realize they need workers with the most up-to-date skills," said Tom Silver, Dice.com's chief marketing officer.

He added that employers, as a result, are willing to pay a higher salary for such employees, especially if those skills aid the company in controlling costs.

Technology salaries in the computer hardware sector posted the largest growth last year, which climbed an average of 9.4 percent over the previous year. That was followed by the Internet services sector with an 8.8 percent increase, and the medical/pharmaceutical industry with a 7 percent gain.

But while the growth rate for technology salaries rose, on average, 4.6 percent last year, job seekers may not be as lucky in the new year.

"In another survey, we asked employers what they think will happen to salaries in 2009. About 25 percent said they will reduce salaries for new hires they bring in," Silver said.

As a result, he expects the overall growth rate for tech salaries to shrink in 2009, though he declined to estimate how much the percentage will retract.

Back in 2006, the growth rate in tech salaries was a mere 1.7 percent increase over the previous year. And in 2004, it actually declined 2.6 percent over the previous year.