Tech Pros’ Salaries, Confidence Rise: Dice Report

More technology professionals in the U.S. enjoyed merit raises over the last year, driving average salaries up in 2013. Average U.S. tech salaries increased nearly three percent to $87,811 in 2013, up from $85,619 the previous year, according to the 2014-2013 Salary Survey from Dice, the leading career site for technology and engineering professionals. (Tweet This)

Technology professionals understand they can easily find ways to grow their career in 2014, with two-thirds of respondents (65%) confident in finding a new, better position. That overwhelming confidence matched with declining salary satisfaction (54%, down from 57%) will keep tech-powered companies on edge about their retention strategies.

Salary Satisfaction SlippiEmployers are using selective and strategic increases in compensation to hold onto experienced tech talent. While the overall average salary increase was smaller than the previous year’s historic jump of more than five percent, employers offered more frequent merit increases.

Increasingly Competitive Market for Tech Pros Boosts Merit Pay Increases

For those technology professionals whose salary increased in 2013, 45 percent say the increase was sparked by a merit raise, compared to 40 percent the previous year. Salary increases were more likely for tech professionals early in their career or with one to five years of experience, while bonuses are being used for more experienced tech professionals.

Thirty-four percent of respondents received a bonus as part of their 2013 compensation, with average bonuses totaling $9,323.

Tech professionals are recognizing employers’ efforts, with just 34 percent of respondents saying their company offered no motivators last year, down from 47 percent who felt that way in 2009.  Likewise, the motivator with the most dramatic rise over that timeframe: increased compensation.

10 Year Trend“With the tech unemployment rate low, technology professionals know they can take control of their careers,” said Shravan Goli, President of Dice. “Tech hiring managers tell me they are stretching budgets where they can to keep their technology work forces focused and satisfied.” (Tweet This)

Still More Bounce in California

Silicon Valley tops the list of highest paid metropolitan areas when it comes to tech talent, with an average annual salary of $108,603 and an average annual bonus of $12,458. The seven percent year-over-year increase in salary was partially driven by those tech professionals earning more than $250,000 being included in this year’s results. Excluding those highly paid professionals, Silicon Valley salaries still increased at a greater rate than the national average or five percent year-over-year.

Most of the top ten markets enjoyed year-over-year salary increases at or above the national average, including Los Angeles ($95,815, up 4%), New York ($93,915, up 5%), Denver ($93,195, up 3%), Philadelphia ($92,138, up 8%), and Austin ($91,994, up 3%).

The notable exception in the top markets is number two: Baltimore/Washington, D.C. whose average salary of $97,588 was essentially unchanged year-over-year. Salaries in and around the nation’s capital are boosted by the aerospace and defense industry whose average technology salaries rank second-highest among industries.

Salary milestones were captured in Atlanta and Charlotte, joining Philadelphia and Austin with average salaries for tech professionals above $90,000 for the first time.

For additional market information, an interactive map of average U.S. tech salaries for the 48 continuous states and key metropolitan areas is provided on Dice.

Big Data Dominates Top Paying Skills

Professionals with big data oriented languages, databases and skills garnered the highest pay checks, with nine of the top ten salaries related to big data:

1. R $115,531 6. Omnigraffle $111,039
2. NoSQL $114,796 7. Pig $109,561
3. MapReduce $114,396 8. Service Oriented Architecture $108,997
4. PMBok $112,382 9. Hadoop $108,669
5. Cassandra $112,382 10. Mongo DB $107,825


“Companies are betting big that harnessing data can play a major role in their competitive plans and that is leading to high pay for critical skills,” said Mr. Goli. “Technology professionals should be volunteering for big data projects, which makes them more valuable to their current employer and more marketable to other employers.”

For additional information on top paying skills in product, design, mobile, cloud and other categories, please visit the 2014-2013 Dice Salary Survey.

Dice Salary Survey Methodology

The 2013 Dice Salary Survey was administered online, with 17,236 employed technology professionals responding between October 14, 2013 and November 29, 2013. Respondents were invited to participate in the survey through a notification on the Dice site and registered technology professionals were sent an email invitation. A cookie methodology was used to ensure that there was no duplication of responses between or within the various sample groups and duplicate responses from a single email address were removed. The Dice Salary Survey was adjusted for inflation in 2013: technology professionals earning salaries of $250,000 and above were not automatically eliminated from the survey if they met other criteria.

Media Contacts

Jennifer Bewley, Jonathan Blank and Rachel Ceccarelli


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3 Responses to “Tech Pros’ Salaries, Confidence Rise: Dice Report”

  1. Uh… please don’t tell me companies are going to continue being this dumb with technology. Big Data is going to be a nice fashion fad this year? We’ve been doing “big data” since computers came but, but now we need to follow a fad by giving it a name. That is the only thing that has changed… you’ll find the data to be about as good as Netflix is at picking your favorite movie: about as smart as a 6 year old child.

    • Chas, you’re right that “big data” has been around for a lot longer than the term. Like you, I get annoyed when businesses and marketers take up these terms and turn them into something they’re not.

      However, industries are facing a huge influx of data much unlike we’ve ever seen before. New technologies, new skills, and new ways of working with data have all come about in the last 5 – 10 years.

      Just think of the SKA Telescope being built. That system will be collecting more data than we are able to store fast enough. Much of it needs to be quickly triaged with only the salient parts stored for future analysis. Then there’s biological data used in genetic research. Far more data to analyse that can be done with traditional tools. This is where real big data skills are required.

      Of course, there’s always solving the “social networking” big data “problems” too! 😉

  2. I don’t know it looks to me like the companies are just throwing bones to people who have been overworked, who have worked for less, just to be lucky you have a job type of threat. Now they
    are turning the pocket to open again to keep the rable from rousing. Our IT industry is akin to what use to be sweat shops of the early industrial revolution. They are nice, they are cozy, and leave workers with a false sense of security. Don’t get me wrong they are good jobs. However there is no money in it. They are just workmans wages that have to go up because for nearly a decade or more prices have gone up while salaries have not! The money they are handing out is way way overdue. There are the ones who do get the BIG BUCKS, but those people are gifted individuals, who have endured overwork while losing co-workers in the thousands to help them. So don’t get too excited folks. Beware of BIG Corporations with deep pockets, Why? because they quickly close just as fast as they open. You have to give and give and give 200%, and still they chew you up and spit you out when they are done wth you. How do I know this. I was just one of 300, with good skills, and many were cut with more talent than I. What we have to do is find a way to strike a balance with these places. Understand and appreciate the other for what can be offered. I think a 20 or 30 hour work week would be a good start, at a higher rate. This would help people to have more of a life, and opportunities to really live. It would crete ability to have multiple ways to make a living using all talents, gifts, and abilities. Our souls are not for the company store, so don’t give up or give in. We need to find a way to give what they need, while
    getting things we really need and I don’t mean their 401K, health benefits (which should not be much of a bene anymore), or retirement, if you can ever last that long anymore. I will save them piss loads of moeny we’ll get more money, and we can get our own health care on the exchange.
    The retirement, that is just an overrated bad joke anymore. They all have vanilla, and have been out of chocolate for at least 2 decades!