Pay is Better in Tech, But Not by a Whole Lot

Technology professionals endured a second straight year of nearly flat salaries, according to Dice’s 2010-2011 Annual Salary Survey. On average, tech workers saw salary increases of about 1 percent – 0.7 percent, specifically – to $79,384. That’s compared to $78,845 in 2009. And THAT represented a similar increase from 2008.

Still, there are glimmers of recovery within the study. Nearly half of those surveyed (49 percent) received a salary increase in 2010 compared to just 36 percent the previous year. And more technology professionals received bonuses: 29 percent compared with 24 percent of respondents in 2009.

Tech professionals expressed slightly more satisfaction over pay than last year, with 50 percent “somewhat” or “very satisfied,” an increase from 46 percent last year. And nearly four out of ten believes they could make more money if they moved to another employer.

Says Tom Silver, our SVP, North America (and, ahem, my boss’s boss):

Companies can no longer get away with paltry salary increases for their technology staffs based on the demand we are seeing for talent. The moderate increases in satisfaction levels indicate that tech professionals’ concerns are being heard by some companies, but certainly not all. Retention is the key to driving additional contributions to the business from technology staffs. Employers that are reluctant to increase compensation or step up retention efforts will likely pay for their unsatisfactory ways.

— Mark Feffer and Dino Londis

Download Dice’s 2022 Salary Survey Report Now!

15 Responses to “Pay is Better in Tech, But Not by a Whole Lot”

  1. Living in Silicon Valley/Bay Area, you would think the tech jobs are here and paying a lot. It is just a tough here as it sounds like everywhere else. The job I just landed is paying $15K lower than reported a year ago, and I am happy to have landed it. Seems like most of the lower/entry level jobs have been scooped up by more experienced people with a handful of years of experience for much less pay than they should be making.

    I can’t wait for the baby boomers to finish up and retire. I am thinking with the slight increase we’re seeing in the economy now, and the vacuum the boomers will leave in middle/upper management when they retire will spur a rapid succession period for those of us just entering the job market. (Graduated college 1 year ago and have worked as a contractor for the last year). Needless to say those with jobs should be happy; many are not so lucky. I don’t complain about my salary because I have one. Things could be much worse.

  2. In 2008 and 2009 they imported 490,000 H-1B workers (there are only 4 million it jobs in america). Since 1994 they have imported 3 million H-1B workers. With retention rates nearly 2 million are still here, many with green cards to compete permanently with americans

    Throwing our best and brightest into the streets and kicking them in the teeth is NO WAY for america to remain competitive

    The day of reckoning is coming. Company after company that went “indian” is failing. Hiring managers still dont want to wake up. Many huge companies now look like Bombay. Its only a matter of time when they realize innovation has stopped.

  3. I’d like to know where that average is. In 10 years, my salary has gone down. Sure, I lost my job in between, but IT salaries have gone down over the last 5-10 years, especially when one figures in inflation.

    Where I currently work, we are under salary freeze for two years because of the economy.


    Uh, right. After, working for over 15 years & climbing …VERY SLOWLY… upto a comfortable wage with one “Tech” company (a custom manufacturer of computer boards), now that same company offers me a job for MINIMUM WAGE on contract (or less for Part-time work). Then, I read how The Cost Of Living IS increasing? Tell us the logic of that! You say what?


    Think about it! ANY person,would say positive things to survive. What makes you think Company Executives are different? Where else is sophisticated Software going to start, as our human staffs work on inproving production…well Tech Industries, of course! (Can you say:”PAY-FREEZE”?) People need to do what computers can’t gamble by adapting. YUP, it’s not logical! Computer’s are just fancy calculators to cruntch numbers, logically. Remember, the Black-smith vs. automobile? People adapted! Heck, I can’t EVEN get funding for a honest innovative concept to help all mankind, Yet we are begged to innovate? HA!

  6. ScMartin

    The flood of H1B IT staff has also served to suppress IT salaries. Companies in both the private and public sector have used this sort of out sourced, in-sourcing for years. Public agencies continued to hire even with calls for hiring freezes. For Agencies like the NYS OMH, more than 10% of it’s Administrative work force is in IT consultants. There is no accountability or what bang is received for the bucks spent. Who knows how IT managers that struggle to complete projects spin the lack of progress to their superiors while a revolving door of consultants is brought in with no effort made to knowledge transfer when they depart. Consutants use to have skills that weren’t in-house, now most are no more than rent-a-programmers.

  7. Like others I would be glad to take that *paltry pay* of $78,845. Where I live the median pay is $30K for a tech job, and I am out of work due to the economy. The pay you are referring to, must be upper end engineers who are comfy and secure despite what the market might throw at them.

  8. MoChaMan

    I hate to be contrarian , but my own salary with 15 years of experience in Linux is $85K . My own recession was the nuclear winter that followed the WTC disaster and dot-com implosion . I was unemployed for 30 months , found a job at $45K and have been clawing my way up ever since .

    I think the figures are mostly for cities like San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Boston . If you live in the midwest or south , you need to adjust the salaries downward and remember that your cost of living is also way cheaper . A 3BR house in San Antonio is $150K . In Boston? $500K !

  9. Your survey methods are flawed. H1B has drove prices way down. And, your survey discounts those unemployed looking for work. If half the tech workforce is unemployed, the “Average” salary is down. And, your survey method discounts all the temp workers with no benefits and doesn’t count them in the average.

    Since 2005 the Average person that made a living in programming, database administration, networking, and other IT related fields has seen a 47% drop in “income”. And 2010 was a bad year. This according to the Dept Vo. Tech who tracks industry, college, and technical workers.

  10. In 2008, I had a job that paid around 180k. However, I was let go. Luckily, I managed to get another job quickly, but had to take a whooping 40k paycut and forgo health benefits. I am still making the same money after 2 years while the cost of living continues to go up. To make matters worse, our employer is trying to see if they can get someone for 100k. Luckily for a few of us who make around 140-150k, they haven’t been able to find anyone for the last 6-8 months that they have been looking. I agree with the other posters that there is no increase in compensation.

  11. Mr BabyBoomer

    I have been working in IT for 30 years , while I have hit about 95k a year I have had only a 3% increase a year for 7 years. For the last 3 I have not had an increase and this year no bonus. My company went GD and expected me to work 15 hour days instead of my normal 9.5 hour day. This past year I have been relegated to non-programming tasks (support) while the development goes to India. After 30 years I am tired of working late and weekends because someone screwed up the code or a manager wants it done in 24 hours instead of a week -and with NO compensation for the extra time put in. Or that India is cheaper (we can hire 3 people for what we pay you) so I have to work twice as many hours dealing with bad code…. and then Microsoft changes the code again and I need to learn how to do it all over again – instead of just getting the business need accomplished.

  12. Reality Check

    There is a need to enforce the laws covering H1-B and other visa workers. H1-B was designed to fill jobs for which there were no American workers. Instead, it is filled by foreign workers who are unable to read, write or speak English and who lack the skills on their resumes. I have worked with those who admit to paying to have their forms filled out “properly” so they could come to the US and get experience in the skills they claim to have.
    Companies also took advantage of the recession (’08-’10). I was seeing jobs offering pay cuts of 40-50% from just a few years before. They also eliminated all benefits. I was offered several jobs that required me to move to India and earn $20-30K/yr where I could “live like royalty”.

  13. I saw the article “Technology professionals endured a second straight year of nearly flat salaries”.Where does this person live??the job market in B.C is hard .Job are hard to find I have many friends who only 18 monthes ago made 55k to 70k.These same people are being offered $18.00 hourly for the same job.desperately they are accepting this offer .I know for each job out there. they are getting hundreds of resumes fo each r??I think this writer is should is writing fiction??or another friend works at a airline who once had 50 technicians .They now have 18 and those 18 are over worked .But scared if they refuse they will be let go if they refuse.So they do it.