2006 ESJ Salary Survey, Part 1: Salaries Grow for All IT Staff Positions

In the first of our four-part report, we look at compensation growth for professional positions.

By: The Enterprise Systems Staff

A healthier economy has helped strengthen the IT job market this year, with all professional positions tracked by Enterprise Systems seeing gains from last year's survey. This year, all key IT staff positions covering applications and systems responsibilities experienced year-to-year increases in average base salaries, ranging between two and nine percent. In last year's survey, only four out of seven positions surveyed saw increases.

The hottest skill areas over the past year are application programmers, who saw increases of almost nine percent since last year's survey, followed by database administrators at seven percent. System administrators saw the most modest gains (two percent), and salaries for these professionals have not increased at all since the first time this category was included in 2002.

These are the findings of a recent salary survey of 852 enterprise IT sites conducted by Enterprise Systems. The latest salary survey tracked salary figures for IT managers and professionals across a broad spectrum of organizations. Along with a range of management positions (to be covered in next week's report), our survey covered eight IT line positions, including applications systems analysts, programmer/analysts, application programmers, system programmers, network administrators, system administrators, database administrators, and storage administrators. All figures are reported in U.S. dollars.

A majority of respondents (75 percent) support Windows server environments, including Windows Server 2003, 2000, or NT systems within their companies, a number that has declined slightly from last year's survey (78 percent). About 21 percent have mainframes on site, down from 28 percent a year ago. Another 41 percent support at least one version of commercial Unix, while 31 percent run a midrange-class system, mainly IBM iSeries. About 31 percent run Linux, roughly the same as last year (30 percent).

Respondents come from a wide array of industries, including government/education (25 percent), high tech/software development (14 percent), finance/insurance (9 percent), manufacturing (9 percent), services (7 percent), health care (7 percent), utilities/transportation (5 percent), and retail (4 percent).

Many respondents noted that opportunities and openings were improving for IT professionals at their companies, which was helping to increase salary ranges. "The most valuable skills are architects and specialists who can go in and solve problems for customers," said one respondent, an IT manager with an outsourcing service provider.

Opportunities "are on the increase and the compensation is fairly consistent within each area," noted another respondent. "The skills that are currently drawing the highest premiums are database administrators when compared to other technical positions. Management salaries have not seen as much growth."

Another respondent observed, "Budgets are increasing, and therefore there are more chances for services. Skills we are being asked for include mobile devices in Exchange environments, software deployment, metering, and how to better manage mass storage systems."Note: No survey was conducted in 2003.

SYSTEMS ANALYSTS

After some ups and downs in salary levels in recent years, application systems analysts are seeing notable growth in base pay and bonuses, our survey reveals. System analyst salaries grew by almost four percent over the past year, but bonuses were down.

Systems analysts -- who typically work with corporate management, end users, and clients to plan and design systems -- currently earn about $70,500, up from $67,900 in 2005. This is also nearly seven percent higher than average salaries in the first survey of this series, conducted in 2001. Systems analysts are the second-highest income category among the eight line IT positions in our survey, after database administrators.

System analysts are projected to also earn bonuses of about $3,500 on top of their base salaries for this year. This is down by almost 15 percent from last year.

The typical systems analyst in our survey has about nine years of industry experience. On average, seasoned system analysts with 10 or more years experience earn up to 25 percent more than their less-experienced or entry-level counterparts. Systems analysts working with either enterprise resource planning or business-to-business infrastructures fare best ($74,900 and $74,200, respectively). ERP sites led last year's survey as well for this job category.These application categories are followed closely by CRM implementation sites ($73,600).

System analyst salaries are fairly consistent across operating system environments, with little distinction by platform. Systems analysts in Unix shops are drawing an average salary of $72,200, followed by $72,000 within midrange system sites, and $71,000 for those working with mainframes. Those systems analysts working in Linux shops (distributed systems only) saw the lowest compensation, averaging just under $60,000 a year. For systems analysts at Windows sites with no big-iron machines, the average runs at $62,400.

System analyst salaries are strongest within the services sector, averaging about $85,000, followed by high-tech and software at $75,000.

SYSTEM ANALYST SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year changeChange 01-05
$70,500 $67,900 $70,900 $66,500 $66,000 +3.8% +6.8%

Average Annual Bonus
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 5-year change
$3,500 $4,100 $4,200 $2,920 $4,290 -14.6% -18.4%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$59,400 $72,900 $74,400 +25.3%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-Mainframe)
$71,200 $72,000 $72,200 $69,900 $59,700 $62,400

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$74,900 $73,600 $74,200 $68,300 $73,300 $71,700


PROGRAMMER/ANALYST

Application programmer/analysts -- who develop applications and environments -- saw some modest growth since last year's survey, up more than three percent, from an average of $65,200 to $67,400. P/A bonuses have remained relatively unchanged for the past three years, and continue to average about $3,400.

The typical P/A in our survey has about eight years experience in the field. Long-term salary growth prospects appear relatively limited for professionals remaining in these positions, the survey finds. P/As with 10 or more years experience can expect to make 19 percent more than their less-seasoned counterparts. An entry-level P/A can expect to make an average of $59,200 a year, a figure that climbs to $70,000 for those with 10 or more years of experience.

P/A salaries are fairly consistent across the application categories measured in the survey. There are differences in development language environments, however. P/As in C/C++ shops fare best, drawing average salaries of $71,500, followed by those working in Java shops ($68,400).

P/As in Unix environments have the highest average, at $69,500. Interestingly, while this rate drops considerably (to $56,800) in all-Windows shops, many respondents observed that .NET, Microsoft's service-oriented application server environment, is a hot area. "There are lots of opportunities for .NET developers; I get between three and five solicitations per day," said one respondent.

P/A salaries are strongest within the services sector, averaging $73,400 in annual base compensation. Those in the high-tech and software sectors followed with $70,400.

PROGRAMMER ANALYST SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 4-year change
67,400 $65,200 $63,800 $61,700 N/A0 +3.4% +9.2%

Average Annual Bonus
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 5-year change
$3,400 $3,400 $3,375 $2,460 $2,300 +0.0% +47.8%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$59,200 $67,800 $70,400 +18.9%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows Only
(Non-mainframe)
$66,100 $67,800 $69,500 $66,000 $57,500 $56,800

By Programming Environment
CICS C/C++ COBOL VB Java Visual Studio .NET
$67,000 $71,500 $63,800 $63,900 $68,400 $65,000

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$66,500 $65,400 $66,700 $64,800 $66,800 $67,200


APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER

This has been a good year for application programmers -- typically those who write and test code. Programmers saw the largest jump in salaries across the IT staff positions covered in our survey, and now average about $61,400 -- a rise of almost nine percent over last year's survey. Average base salaries for this position have risen by a quarter since the first time this survey was conducted at the beginning of the decade.

Bonuses have been stagnant, however. Programmers are seeing bonuses averaging $2,700, reflecting little change from last year's average.

Since many programmer jobs tend to be entry-level, these salaries are the lowest in the survey, and long-term career and salary growth in this category are limited. Application programmers who have remained in these positions for 10 years or more do make about 18 percent more than their entry-level counterparts. The typical programmer in our survey has about 5.5 years of industry experience.

Programmers in midrange shops make the most, our survey finds, topping $64,000 a year in base salary. By development language environment, programmers in Java shops fare best, drawing average salaries of almost $63,000. C/C++ development sites followed with $62,100 in average annual base salaries.

Companies deploying and managing e-business systems had the most generous compensation for programmers, paying annual base salaries of about $66,500 to programmers within B2B environments and $64,500 in business-to-consumer shops.

Application programming salaries are strongest within the services sector, averaging about $75,000.

APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 5-year change
$61,400 $56,500 $53,000 $49,400 $49,200 +8.7% +24.8%

Average Annual Bonus
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 5-year change
$2,700 $2,665 $2,400 $2,600 $3,150 +1.3% -14.3%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$50,400 $68,500 $59,600 +18.3%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe)
$58,000 $64,200 $60,700 $61,700 $56,700 $57,100

By Programming Environment
CICS C/C++ COBOL VB Java
$57,300 $62,100 $65,900 $59,300 $62,700

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$60,500 $63,800 $66,500 $64,500 $61,500 $61,900


SYSTEMS PROGRAMMER

Among the technical positions in this survey, systems programmers had the second-lowest rate of increases in terms of base salaries. Salary growth for this position has been the slowest for this position in previous surveys as well. Systems programmers -- professionals supporting the corporate infrastructure and networks -- now earn base salaries of about $69,100, up about three percent since last year, but still down almost two percent from a peak of $70,400 in 2004. Salaries for this position have remained relatively stagnant since this position was first covered in 2002.

The bonus picture looks brighter for systems programmers, however. These professionals are projected to earn bonuses of $3,000, an increase of 13 percent over last year's average.

The typical systems programmer in our survey may see tremendous salary growth throughout his or her career, however. Salaries start at $59,000 for entry level and rise to $73,000 for more than a decade's worth of experience -- a 23 percent gain with experience.

Mainframe skills continue to be the best area for systems programmers. Those working in mainframe locations earned an average of $70,200, followed by their Unix counterparts at $70,100. By development language environment, systems programmers in CICS and COBOL shops fare best, drawing average salaries of $72,100 and $70,200, respectively.

Systems programmers working with JCL received the highest base compensation, averaging $73,100 in annual base compensation. Those working with CICS and COBOL averaged about $72,000 and $71,000, respectively.

By application area, systems programmers in business-to-business shops led with almost $74,000. Systems programmer salaries are strongest within the services sector, averaging $79,400 annually.

SYSTEMS PROGRAMMER SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 4-year change
$69,100 $67,150 $70,400 $68,500 N/A +2.9% +0.9%

Average Annual Bonus
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 4-year change
$3,000 $2,665 $3,000 $3,360 N/A +12.6% -10.7%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$59,200 $68,300 $72,600 +22.6%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe>
$70,200 $64,100 $70,100 $67,000 $61,000 $55,400

By Programming Environment
CICS C/C++ COBOL VB Java JCL Perl
Visual Studio .NET
$71,700 $65,600 $71,200 $64,100 $66,400 $73,100 $71,300 $64,600

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$72,800 $70,400 $73,900 $67,800 $71,300 $68,100


NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR

The base salaries of network administrators, who monitor and troubleshoot network usage, are keeping pace with inflation, according to our survey respondents. These professionals earn average annual base salaries of about $61,300, reflecting growth of 3.5 percent over the past year.

Long term, network administrator salaries have remained relatively flat, up only nine percent since the first time this category was surveyed in 2001. In fact, this is the lowest salary category of the eight positions measured in the survey. Annual average bonuses awarded to network administrators have increased by four percent in the past year, rising to an average of $2,600.

Network administrator salaries are strongest within the high-tech/software sector, averaging $69,200, or about 13 percent above the average. By environment, our respondents reported that network administrators in Unix shops fare best, drawing average salaries of $62,700. Novell network administrators follow at about $62,100.

The typical network administrator in our survey has about eight years of industry experience, and seasoned network administrators are drawing salaries of up to $65,900, or a 20-percent jump over their less-experienced counterparts.

NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 5-year change
$61,300 $59,300 $57,300 $53,800 $56,000 +3.4% +9.5%

Average Annual Bonus
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 5-year change
$2,600 $2,500 $2,000 $1,660 $3,150 +4.0% -17.5%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$54,500 $59,700 $65,900 +20.9%

By Network Environment
Ethernet Unix Linux Windows
2003
Windows
2000
Windows
NT
Novell WinXP
$61,300 $62,700 $58,200 $60,400 $60,000 $60,400 $62,100 $60,100

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$60,200 $62,400 $66,100 $65,000 $65,000 $62,500


SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR

Systems administrators, who deploy and maintain operating systems and servers, saw the flattest raises over the past year, our survey finds. These professionals now earn average base salaries of about $61,600 -- a rise of about two percent since last year's survey. This is on the heels of an eight percent gain in last year's salary.

System administrators continue to see huge increases in their average annual bonuses as well. Across the board, system administrators are projected to earn bonuses of about $3,000, an appreciable increase over the average $2,600 bonus reported in last year's survey.

Systems administrators can expect to see salary growth of at least 22 percent throughout their careers, the survey finds. Currently, entry-level systems administrators make about $55,000, a level that rises to $67,000 with 10 years' worth of experience.

By platform, systems administrators in Unix environments continue to edge out other environments, with average salaries of $64,500. Mainframe systems administrators followed with salaries averaging almost $63,400. At the low end of the scale were systems administrators in Linux server environments (with no mainframes), earning an average of $59,900.

System administrator salaries are strongest within the financial services and insurance sector, averaging $70,000. Salaries also above average for system administrators in e-commerce or e-business application areas. System admins in sites supporting business-to-business commerce make an average of $65,800, and those at business-to-consumer commerce sites average $65,600.

SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 4-year change
$61,600 $60,500 $56,000 $62,000 N/A +1.8% -0.7%

Average Annual Bonus
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 4-year change
$3,000 $2,600 $1,800 $2,480 N/A +15.4% +21.0%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$55,100 $61,300 $67,000 +21.6%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe)
$63,400 $63,400 $64,500 $62,000 $59,900 $57,600

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$61,800 $61,800 $65,800 $65,600 $63,200 $62,700


DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR

DBAs, who oversee building and usage of company databases, are a hot commodity in this year's salary survey. DBAs make the most of the IT line positions covered in our survey, and have enjoyed one of the highest increases as well over the past year. They currently earn base salaries of about $75,500 -- a 7.1 percent jump since last year's Enterprise Systems salary survey.

This year, premiums for in-demand database skills are paid to those who work with Oracle and Sybase environments, the survey finds. Database administrator salaries are strongest within the high-tech and software industries, averaging almost $95,000, or more than 25 percent above the industry average for DBAs. Across the board, DBAs are projected to also earn bonuses of about $3,800, the second-highest average bonus in the eight line positions surveyed.

The typical DBA in our survey has about 8.5 years of industry experience. Entry-level DBAs start at $63,000, the highest starting salary of the eight positions measured in this survey. The money gets even better -- DBA salaries rise more than 33 percent, to about $85,000, with 10 years experience.

It appears there has been a boost for entry-level DBA salaries as well. In last year's survey, DBAs with less than five years experience made $60,600 a year, a figure that is up to $63,600 this year. DBAs with at least 10 years of experience average $85,000, up from $78,700 last year.

Supporting supply chain management deployments is also a hot area for DBAs, the survey finds, drawing up to $81,500 a year. DBAs at sites with ERP implementations averaged more than $80,000.

DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 5-year change
$75,500 $70,500 $71,400 $71,500 $66,800 +7.1% +13.0%

Average Annual Bonus
2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 5-year change
$3,800 $3,750 $3,600 $3,360 $5,350 +1.3% -29.0%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$63,600 $73,000 $85,000 +33.6%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe)
$77,800 $76,400 $81,700 $75,200 $68,000 $64,700

By Database Environment
DB2 IMS Oracle SQL Server Sybase MySQL
$79,000 $77,200 $80,000 $73,700 $82,100 $74,200

Note: N/A indicates not available -- the question was not asked in our 2001 survey.

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$80,200 $75,700 $79,900 $81,000 $81,500 $78,900


STORAGE ADMINISTRATOR

Storage administrators, who oversee the installation, configuration, security, and usage of company storage resources, including hardware (tape, disk, etc.), physical interfaces, and virtualization, earn an average of $65,300, the survey finds. This is the first year this job category has been included in the survey.

However, the survey finds that enterprises are paying premiums for managing storage within e-business environments. Those storage administrators, in fact, working in business-to-consumer environments are commanding base salary rates 12 percent above the average, at $72,900. B2B environments follow at $67,000.

Storage admin salary ranges do not vary widely between operating system platforms, with the exception of those with distributed Linux, which paid $7,000 a year lower than the average.

The typical storage administrator in our survey has about eight years of industry experience. Our results show a 15 percent differential based on experience between entry-level storage admins and those with 10 or more years' experience.

STORAGE ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES


(2006 figures only -- this is the first year we cover this position)
2006
$65,300

2006
$3,600

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$55,800 $70,000 $68,300 +22.4%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe)
$65,100 $63,700 $66,400 $65,200 $58,900 $56,300

By Database Environment
DB2 IMS Oracle SQL Server Sybase MySQL
$62,400 $62,600 $67,000 $72,900 $59,000 $65,200

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$80,200 $75,700 $79,900 $81,000 $81,500 $78,900


Related Articles

2006 ESJ Salary Survey, Part 2: Management Salaries
http://esj.com/enterprise/article.aspx?EditorialsID=2072

2006 ESJ Salary Survey, Part 3: Salaries by Region, Industry
http://esj.com/enterprise/article.aspx?EditorialsID=2087

2006 ESJ Salary Survey, Part 4: IT Attitudes
http://esj.com/enterprise/article.aspx?EditorialsID=2108

comments powered by Disqus