Aussie IT professionals' pay moving on up

Australian computer professionals are coining it, with typical salaries in excess of $A100,000.

Australian computer professionals are coining it, with typical salaries in excess of $A100,000.

And the growing skills shortage means wages are rising much more rapidly than inflation or other salaries.

The 2000 Australian Computer Society Renumeration Survey, conducted by the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia shows that in the year to March, wages for IT professionals increased by 5.1%.

Those in the private sector saw their pay increase 6% , compared with a 3.6% increase in the public sector and 2.4% in education.

Meanwhile, average weekly earnings rose 3.6%, and prices by 2.8% over the period.

Sales and marketing is the most lucrative, with average packages, including bonuses and benefits like cars, totalling a whopping $164,263. This was followed by general management ($142,125), IT management ($110,462), project management ($103,486) and consulting ($102,453).

Other average salaries were as follows:

  • Systems management - $84,559.
  • Database administrator -$84,558.
  • Project leader -$79,723.
  • Research & training - $79,599.
  • Research & development - $78,019.
  • Analysis and testing - $72,076.
  • Programmer/analyst - $65,436.
  • LAN manager - $62,354.
  • Teaching/training only - $61,408.
  • Computer support - $61,105.
The survey reports most programmers and analysts have a variety of skills - four-fifths in two to eight major applications, mostly in SQL, Windows NT and Unix.

Those possessing skills in COBOL reported the highest income packages at $68,400, while Visual Basic was the least well rewarded with packages of $60,487. CICS workers averaged $67,500, Java $67,341, DB2 $67,193, Lotus $66,185, HTML $63,960, Unix $63,824 and Win 95 $63,721.

Independent contractors earned $60 to $90 an hour.

The survey says starting salaries were around $40,000, with average industry earnings expected after eight to 10 years. Higher level positions would also attract more perks like cars and bonuses.

In 1999, the APESMA says IT salaries grew significantly for Y2K work and the recent introduction of GST will lead to similar upward movement in salary levels.

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