— March 22, 2018
IT compensation appears to have finally leveled off. After years of IT salaries increasing by meteoric leaps, the average tech salary only went up from $ 92,081 to $ 92,712 in 2017, according to the Dice Salary Survey. That bump barely registers as a cost-of-living increase. If you are one of the many IT professionals who have grown accustomed to an annual spike in pay, you may find yourself wondering whether your IT salary growth is still competitive. As an IT staffing and recruiting firm, we’ve been watching this situation as it unravels and have some advice for tech talent looking to grow their salaries this year.
1.) Check IT Salary Rates First
It’s crucial to compare your IT salary to the local and national IT industry. Operating under false assumptions, whether they lead you to approach your boss for more money or restart your job search, hurt your bargaining power in the long run. Be sure to do the following:
- Contrast salary data sources – PayScale, Salary.com, and LinkedIn Salary all use different data gathering methods. To get the most accurate snapshot of your projected salary, review their reports and make an educated guess from their combined data. Whenever possible, include the most granular details about your skill sets and certifications as you build your personalized salary report.
- Get insight from local recruiters – Speaking of your skill sets and certifications, it’s incredibly advantageous to know what your experience earns at a moment’s notice. The fluctuating supply and demand of any IT expertise keeps compensation trends dynamic. Because recruiters are first-hand witnesses to what the right blend of technologies can earn, they are one of your best resources for getting fairly accurate IT salary estimates.
2.) Think Like a Hiring Manager
If your preliminary research gives the impression that your skills and experience are worth a bump in pay, take a moment to organize your thoughts before talking to your boss. Better yet, be prepared to consider your IT salary from your employer’s point of view. When you do have a discussion about compensation, you’ll need to be able to justify a pay increase with persuasive data. Take the time to compose answers to the following questions:
- Have you increased your skill levels and certifications? – Any salary increase needs to be supported by evidence of your progress. IT consultants who are able to articulate their technical growth and prove that growth impacts their performance are more equipped to earn the IT salary increase they’ve been wanting.
- Have you taken on any new responsibilities? – More than just growing your skill set, any expanded responsibilities can go a long way toward convincing your boss that your compensation needs to move up along with your workload. Make a list of the new responsibilities that have been added to your plate and how they have contributed to the greater productivity or performance of the business. Real world impact makes your case for increased pay for you.
3.) Be Open to New Opportunities
If you have talked to your employer about increasing your salary or adding other benefits to no avail, it might be time to take your search elsewhere. The good news is that most cities nationwide have a surplus of open opportunities. There are just a few questions to weigh first:
- Are your skills in demand? – You may have already found out what compensation to expect in a new job from a broad perspective, but how do your individual skills rank? By looking at the best IT certifications and competitive tech skills, you can get a better idea of what to expect for your IT salary.
- Is full-time or contract work better for you? IT professionals looking to increase their IT compensation often consider IT contract work. Companies can justify paying higher rates for a shorter period of time. If you can obtain a long-term contract role, the chances are good that you’ll earn considerably more than your previous full-time position.