Salary Survey: Tech Pay Stagnates, Except for Specialized Skills

Salaries for technology professionals in the United States were flat in 2017 with average annual pay of $92,712, a slight 0.7 percent increase from 2016. The annual salary report from Dice mirrors the stagnant wages broadly across the U.S., but finds over the years that certain employers have been offering tech talent more motivators and benefits to remain competitive when offering the highest pay isn’t an option.

In 2017, a third of tech professionals received a bonus, earning on average $10,254. Average contract rates rose five percent to $72.32 per hour.

Download Dice’s 2018 Tech Salary Report Now!

While salaries have remained steady, demand for very specific IT skills is driving salaries upward as employers compete to attract hard-to-find talent. Categories where skills outpace the national average include cloud, big data and process management.

“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,” said Michael Durney, President and CEO of DHI Group, Inc., parent company of Dice. “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.”

Real-Time Salary Tools

To solve the pain point of lacking of industry metrics, Dice is launching a new tool leveraging predictive analysis to help emloyers discover salary estimates based on skills, job titles, years of experience and location in real-time.

The new Dice Salary Calculator allows employers to calculate salaries based on a tailored combination of attributes for use in setting budgets, recruiting for in-scope candidates and offering pay commensurate with experience. It uses machine learning to estimate salaries based on more than 600,000 data points. Try out the Tech Salary Calculator.

“That said, not all employers can compete on pay especially in hot markets like Silicon Valley, Seattle or New York,” said George McFerran, EVP of Product & Marketing at Dice. “For those companies who might not be the cool kid on the block, other factors like good benefits, challenging projects and flexible work schedules can be as rewarding as compensation to tech pros.”

Motivators > Money?

Employers have increasingly been offering tech professionals incentives beyond salary since Dice began tracking this in its annual report. In 2009, half (53 percent) of companies offered benefits such as paid trainings, more vacation, flexible work hours or the option to telecommute. Today, that has jumped to 71 percent, a testament to employers using creative recruiting tactics to secure top talent when they may not have the budgets to compete with the other company hiring tech talent across the street.

Download Dice’s full 2018 Tech Salary Report and get compensation trends by market, skill, industry and more.

Methodology

The Dice salary survey was administered online by Dice.com, with 10,705 employed technology professionals responding between October 18, 2017 and December 13, 2017.  Respondents were invited to participate in the survey in several ways: 1) via an email invitation to Dice’s registered database members, 2) through a notification on the Dice.com home page and/or via site intercept invitations within the site to visitors, and 3) via banner ads on external sites. Additionally, for the first time, technology professionals who were registered users of eFinancialCareers.com were invited to participate in the survey via 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. Technology professionals earning salaries of $350,000 and above were not automatically eliminated from the survey if they met other criteria.

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