Although tech-industry unemployment remains low, and salaries for specialized skills such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) have risen to stratospheric heights, salaries as a whole for tech professionals in the U.S. were flat in 2017, according to the latest Dice Salary Survey. (The survey was administered online by Dice.com, with 10,705 employed technology professionals responding between October 18, 2017 and December 13, 2017.)
Tech pros’ average annual pay hit $92,712, a very slight 0.7 percent increase from 2016. Things were a bit sunnier for contractors, who saw their average rates rise a full five percent, to $72.32 per hour. And as with past Salary Surveys, certain tech skills earned their practitioners much more than the average:
“There’s a perception that the technology field is the Wild West with outsized compensation and lavish perks. While not true across the board, salaries for skills where employers have to compete for a limited supply do come with a premium,” Michael Durney, President and CEO of DHI Group (Dice’s parent company), wrote in a statement accompanying these results. “This disconnect is partly what creates frustration among employers or tech pros when the recruiting process yields a gap between salary expectations and true market trends.”
In a bid to attract top talent, employers continue to focus on perks and benefits such as flexible work hours, additional vacation time, and the option to work from home. While 53 percent of companies offered those benefits in 2009, some 71 percent do so today. That further emphasizes how firms can’t just throw money at specialized tech pros and expect to land the talent they need; employees care deeply about things like work-life balance and workplace culture.
High demand also means that many tech pros who are currently employed will spend this year exploring whether other companies can offer them a better deal. That will add an additional element of uncertainty (and cost) to employers’ hiring calculations throughout 2018. For a deeper breakdown of everything related to tech salaries, check out the newest Dice Salary Survey.
If you’re interested in seeing how much your own skills are worth, check out Dice’s Salary Calculator, which provides a personalized salary estimate based on your skills, years of experience, and other factors.