Dec 6, 2000

MENLO PARK, CA -- Average starting salaries for Information technology (IT) professionals are projected to increase an average of 8.4 percent in the coming year, according to the just-released 2001 RHI Consulting Salary Guide. This compares to a 6.8 percent gain that was forecast for 2000. Software developers, network security managers and data architects will see the greatest rise in base compensation.

RHI Consulting is a leading specialized staffing service that provides information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis. The annual salary survey is based on an in-depth analysis of thousands of job orders managed by the company's U.S. offices.

"The hiring outlook remains strong, which will impact compensation levels as companies across all industries compete for top talent," said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of RHI Consulting. "Starting salary increases reflect this trend, particularly within today's hottest specialties, such as networking, Internet/intranet and software development."

Spencer Lee added that in addition to the rise in base salaries, companies are reassessing their complete compensation packages in order to provide more comprehensive benefits, as well as equity and performance-based incentives.

Network security leads all job categories with average starting salaries projected to rise 10.9 percent; those in management positions will see the biggest jump, 12.7 percent. "Businesses looking to safeguard corporate networks are actively hiring specialists skilled in establishing and deploying security standards," Spencer Lee said.

Software developers can expect to see the sharpest rise in base compensation of any single subcategory in the guide, with starting salaries projected to increase more than 15 percent over last year.

Other key findings in the 2001 RHI Consulting Salary Guide:

  • Database administrators will receive average starting salaries of between $72,500 and $105,750 annually, up 11.8 percent over 2000.
  • Base compensation for business systems analysts will rise 11.2 percent, bringing starting salaries to the range of $55,750 to $80,750 annually.
  • Internet developers will see starting salaries increase 10.8 percent over 2000, with base compensation ranging from $56,250 to $76,750 per year.
  • Chief technical officers can expect a 10.6 percent increase in average starting salaries in 2001, bringing them to the range of $98,750 to $152,500 annually.
  • Electronic commerce specialists will see a 10.1 percent increase in average starting salaries. Base compensation will range from $59,750 to $89,500 annually.
  • Network firewall specialists will be paid average starting salaries of between $59,750 and $82,750, an 8.4 percent increase over 2000.
  • Help desk managers will see an average increase in base compensation of 5.3 percent, with starting salaries in the range of $68,750 to $95,500 per year.
  • Average starting salaries for systems administrators will increase 7.8 percent over 2000, bringing them to the range of $50,250 to $70,750 annually.

Industries expected to show particularly strong IT hiring activity in 2001 include the finance, insurance and real estate sector, as well as business and professional services. However, hiring within these industries varies significantly by geographic region.

"Firms are actively recruiting candidates with a combination of strong interpersonal and analytical skills who can serve on project teams made up of both technical and nontechnical individuals," Spencer Lee said. She added that IT professionals are playing active roles in groups addressing such diverse issues as supply-chain management and efficient customer response.

Information in the Salary Guide is derived from thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements conducted each year by RHI Consulting recruiting specialists. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported because too many factors -- such as seniority, work ethic, performance and training -- can impact a full-time employee's compensation as a work history develops.

Employment opportunities vary by geographic region. In addition to providing compensation data, the Salary Guide includes a regional analysis of hiring trends and cost of living variances that affect starting salaries.

Businesses across the United States refer to the RHI Consulting Salary Guide when establishing compensation levels. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics consults the findings when preparing its Occupational Outlook Handbook, one of the largest-selling government publications.

RHI Consulting is a leading provider of technology professionals for the Internet economy. With more than 100 locations in North America, Europe and Australia, the company offers specialized consulting services, on a project and full-time basis, for IT initiatives ranging from e-business development and multiplatform systems integration to network engineering and technical support. For more information about RHI Consulting or to learn about online job search opportunities, please visit



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