Research Shows Increase in Average Starting Salaries for IT Professionals

Oct 22, 2007

MENLO PARK, CA -- Information technology (IT) professionals in the United States can expect starting salaries to increase an average of 5.3 percent in 2008, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology 2008 Salary Guide.  Larger increases in base compensation are expected in high-demand segments such as applications and web development, network management, and database administration.

Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.  The annual salary survey is based on an in-depth analysis of the thousands of job placements managed by the company’s U.S. offices.

“Business expansion and the increased reliance on technology within all sectors has resulted in a competitive environment for skilled IT professionals,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology.  “Many companies are raising base compensation for new hires and offering additional perks, including signing bonuses and equity incentives, to recruit and retain top candidates.”

According to the Salary Guide, lead applications developers, who manage software development teams and projects, will see the greatest starting salary gains of any job classification in 2008, with base compensation expected to rise 7.6 percent, to between $80,250 and $108,000 annually.  “There is strong demand for skilled developers with solid technical skills as well as the ability to solve business problems,” Lee said. 

Base compensation for applications architects -- who design major architectural aspects of an application, including interface and infrastructure -- is projected to increase 7.5 percent next year, to a range of $87,250 to $120,000.  Messaging administrators should see starting salaries increase 7.1 percent, bringing them to the range of $55,000 to $77,750 annually.  “Messaging administrators are the air traffic controllers of the vast amount of information passed among e-mail systems, corporate networks and, increasingly, hand-held devices like BlackBerrys,” Lee commented.  “These professionals are in high demand as companies aim to keep their employees, clients and customers connected.”

Other key findings from the Robert Half Technology 2008 Salary Guide include:

  • Data modelers can expect base compensation in the range of $74,250 to $102,000, a gain of 7 percent over 2007.
  • Network managers also will see average starting salaries rise 7 percent, to the range of $74,500 to $98,500 per year.
  • Base compensation for senior IT auditors will increase 6.9 percent, with starting salaries of $86,750 to $114,750 annually, on average.
  • Average starting salaries for business intelligence analysts will rise 6.6 percent, to the range of $78,250 to $108,250 annually.

Industries forecasting particularly strong demand for IT professionals in 2008 include financial services, healthcare and commercial construction.  However, hiring activity varies significantly by geographic region.  (All salaries listed are national averages.  A regional analysis of hiring trends and compensation variances is included in the Salary Guide.)

Information in the Salary Guide is based on thousands of project and full-time placements made by Robert Half Technology staffing and recruiting specialists, and exclusive research on hiring trends conducted by Robert Half Technology.  Ongoing salaries are not reported since seniority, performance, work ethic and other hard-to-measure factors can affect pay as individual work histories develop.

Organizations of all sizes and industries turn to the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide to benchmark salary levels and make better hiring decisions.  In addition, educational institutions and research entities such as the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reference the guide for the latest compensation data. 

With more than 100 locations in North America, Europe and Asia, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support.  Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at

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