Salary Survey 2018: IT compensation rebounds in U.S., takes hit abroad

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This feature first appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of Certification Magazine. Click here to get your own print or digital copy.

What's the latest word on IT compensation? Let's find out what the Salary Survey has to say.As we learn from careful and rigorous analysis of the battlefield maneuvers of storied tactician the Grand Old Duke of York, in some circumstances one is ascendant, while in other circumstances one is subjacent. Such conditions, of course, are not uniquely present during military engagements.

At this time last year, the average annual salary of certified IT professionals in the United States was down, having tapered off from the previous mark established at the start of 2016. The past 12 months, on the other hand, have brought about a pretty impressive reversal of fortune, and the average annual salary of certified IT professionals in the United States is up — way up.

It’s all the way up to $115,670, a year-over-year increase of almost $7,000. The salary tide is ebbing, on the other hand, outside the United States. The average annual salary of IT professionals in non-U.S. countries tailed off from a four-year high of $59,000, dipping down a little less than $5,000 to $54,360. When you’re up, you’re up — and when you’re down, you’re down.

Another notable uptick from this year’s data comes on the employment front. Of the more than 4,100 IT professionals who responded to this year’s survey, 95.1 percent are employed full-time, versus just 1.6 percent who don’t presently hold employment of any kind. (Part-time employment, sabbaticals, retirement and school enrollment accounts for the rest of our IT crowd.)

That’s an increase of 1.7 percent from last year, when just 93.4 percent of respondents claimed full-time employment. If you have IT-certified skills, then there’s very little reason to find yourself stewing over employment listings, unless maybe you’re looking for a job that’s even better than the one you have now.

The boom in data storage and analysis, the urgent and ever-present need to secure and protect sensitive information, and exploding demand for connectivity and IT infrastructure are just some of the pressing reasons why the world needs more certified professionals.

Steady demand for IT professionals also manifested in other survey readings. A notable 55 percent of those surveyed got some level of bonus or incentive pay in 2017, while 71 percent of those surveyed got a raise. (A shade more than 40 percent double-dipped at the well of prosperity, both getting a raise and taking home bonus or incentive pay.) That’s compared to just 4.1 percent who took a pay cut.

All three of those figures are improvements over the prior year. Just 65 percent of survey respondents got a raise in 2016, while only 47 percent were given bonuses or incentive pay. At the same time, 5 percent of those surveyed last year saw their pay cut. So things are looking better all around as we move into 2018.

One other item of interest: Bonuses and incentive pay were equally common in 2017 among both U.S. workers and IT professionals in other countries — about 55 percent of respondents were given additional compensation no matter where you look. Pay raises were more common among U.S. workers, however, with about 73 percent getting a salary bump, compared to just 63 percent among workers from all other countries.

What's the latest word on IT compensation? Let's find out what the Salary Survey has to say.

Even with all of the good news going around, however, there are some certified IT professionals who want more. A solid 65.3 percent of all survey respondents are either completely satisfied (6.3 percent), very satisfied (17.5 percent), or satisfied (41.5 percent) with their current salary. On the other hand, 27.7 percent of all respondents are not very satisfied with their current salary, while 7 percent are not at all satisfied.

There’s much more to tell than we have room for in print, and we’re not stopping here. Keep your eyes glued to CertMag.com in the months ahead, and we’ll check in there with new survey data every week.

 TABLE TALK Compensation rises for some certifications faster than others.

What's the latest word on IT compensation? Let's find out what the Salary Survey has to say.

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CertMag Staff

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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