IT job salaries increase 5.3%

Staying put appears to be the best way of maximising your salary.

Want to stay in the money? If that’s your choice the answer is not to move too quickly from your current job.

IT job salaries increased 5.3% on average during the past year for those who have been in their jobs 12 months or more, according to PA Consulting’s annual salary survey. This figure compares with the average 4.6% increase across all jobs.

IT and information managers occupied the highest paid positions and systems analysts, first-level programmers and project leaders have been getting the biggest pay increases during the past year.

Systems analysts’ salaries have risen 9.3%, while those of first-level programmers have risen by 9% and project leaders have received 10.2% pay increases. But only for those who were in the same job 12 months ago. Those who weren’t missed out.

Kevin McBride, of PA Consulting in Wellington, says those in the same job were presumably paid bonuses or higher salaries to keep them there --particularly in the area of project management, where good employees are hard to find.

For new people coming into one of the three top-paying job categories, there was almost no increase in salary. Project leader salaries went up by only 0.6% and programmers and systems analysts’ pay increases did not even register a percentage point.

“Overall for these positions the market rate hasn’t changed. The rewards are there for those who stay put,” says McBride, “There’s a suggestion that people job hop to attract salaries and graduate rates are going up at entry level. But people are moving into bigger jobs, not higher paid versions of the same job.”

The survey found large numbers of people who were in their jobs 12 months ago have received significant pay increases and that bonuses are on the increase as well, with general staff getting on average bonuses of $3000 and top executives receiving average bonuses of $14,800.

“It is not accurate to say large numbers of staff are not seeing increases in salaries, as a third received higher than inflationary rates,” says McBride. “The survey covers a broad range of jobs from top executives through to school leavers. In all there are nine or 10 categories and across all these salaries went up 4.9% on average. With headline inflation around 2.4%, this is a significant increase.”

Those who have been in a job less than 12 months tended not to get bonuses or the same level of bonus payments as those staff who had been in the job longer.

McBride says increases above the inflation rate are probably the result of a higher than expected headline inflation rate this time last year.

Another trend found in the survey was a tendency to limit inclusion of a car in employee packages.

“Organisations have simplified packages away from benefits that will not directly assist people with their jobs. There is a slow trend away from providing vehicles with a job unless the position demands the use of a car. For employees using their own cars, employers will now provide cash reimbursement or pay for taxis.”

Employers are also tending towards cash bonuses rather than health care schemes and home loan finance.

PA Consulting does a benchmark survey in March each year and then a full survey of 562 participating organisations across 200 positions. A third of survey participants are public sector organisations, with the private sector making up the remainder. PA is now looking at doing a full survey twice a year, making the March benchmark survey into a full survey. McBride says PA does not give out results to individuals, but only to those organisations participating in the survey.

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