What are you worth in IT?

A salary survey by Robert Walters reveals trends and differences in the Auckland and Wellington IT recruitment markets

Recruitment consultancy firm, Robert Walters, has revealed the findings of its 12th annual salary survey of IT professionals in New Zealand. The survey draws on data from Robert Walter’s New Zealand candidate and employer database, and was collected over the course of 2011 from the company's Auckland and Wellington offices.

Auckland

CIO / CTO $150k +

Security Specialists (3 years) $100k-$130k or $80-$100ph

Project Managers (3 - 5 years) $95k-$110k or $70-$90ph

Business Analysts (4 - 6 years) $80k-$90k or $75-$80ph

.NET / Java Developer (3 - 5 years) $60k-$85k or $60-$80ph

IT Support (1 - 3 years) $45k-$50k or $25-$30ph

(A more extensive pdf version of the table above may be downloaded by clicking here).

In Auckland, a recovery in confidence in the financial sector led to an increase in IT recruitment at the start of 2011, says the survey.

Engineers, developers, and support staff with enterprise experience were in high demand throughout the year, with project managers and testers coming into demand in the latter half of 2011.

Auckland differed to Wellington in that companies had a greater requirement for permanent staff than contractors, says Tom Derbyshire, Auckland IT recruitment manager at Robert Walters.

He attributes this to a desire by employers to keep intellectual property in-house, and says businesses have been looking beyond renumeration for ways to retain their experienced IT staff.

“We’ve found in Auckland the top end of the salary range is decreasing,” says Derbyshire.

“Instead of throwing money at their employees, companies are offering development and training, and giving staff the opportunity to pursue different career paths by working in other areas within the business.”

Derbyshire predicts that in 2012, IT workers with enterprise security skills will be ‘hot property’, saying high profile security breaches overseas have shone a spotlight on the need for IT staff with this area of expertise.

“Throughout 2011 we saw come to light several high profile incidents around the world. People are now more aware of the threats out there, and want to secure their companies against them,” says Derbyshire.

Wellington

CIO / CTO $130-$300k or $130-$200ph

Security Specialists (3 years) $90k-$130k or $70-$110ph

Project Managers (3 - 5 years) $90k-$115k or $70-$100ph

Business Analysts (4 - 6 years) $70k-$100k or $60-$85ph

.NET / Java Developer (3 - 5 years) $70k-$100k or $60-$90ph

IT Support (1 - 3 years) $45k-$55k or $30-$55ph

(A more extensive pdf version of the table above may be downloaded by clicking here).

In Wellington, IT workers can command a higher salary than their Auckland counterparts because there are more vacancies in the region, says Jonathan Hay, Wellington IT recruitment manager at Robert Walters.

He says government-wide organisational reviews over the past two years have resulted in a drive to reduce costs within departments, and several large transformation and efficiency projects in the Wellington region have needed the support of skilled IT workers.

“There isn’t a single government department which hasn’t been affected by the recent transformation and efficiency drives,” says Hay.

However, due to recent downsizes, Hay says government agencies are reluctant to increase head counts and are instead paying a premium for specialists and senior IT contractors.

“There are a lot of attractive opportunities for hourly or fixed term contractors here in Wellington,” says Hay.

The survey says that as a result, salaries for permanent IT workers in the region have increased up to 10 percent with employers needing to pay above market rates to prevent staff from pursuing more profitable contract roles.

Hay says he expects more transformation projects in 2012, saying the projects underway so far are only the 'tip of the iceberg'.

In particular there will be demand over the next year for solutions architects and project managers, he says, as well as business analysts with a few years technology experience, who could earn above $75 an hour due to their perceived value.

“Companies are investing more in the initial scoping period of a project because they know they could stand to save millions later on down the line,” says Hay.

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