Enterprise Systems Salary Survey 2011 Part 2: IT Staff Salaries

IT staff salaries remain flat, but bonuses rise; premiums highest in supply chain and data warehouse environments

In the second article in our two-part report, we look at compensation growth for professional positions.

IT staff salaries – covering positions from developers to administrators – have hit a plateau over the past year, advancing little from levels attained at the end of the last economic expansion, which ended about 2008. In lieu of salary increases, however, most have seen increases in their annual bonus levels.

Only one out of nine key IT staff positions covered in the latest Enterprise Systems salary survey saw an increase in their salary levels since 2010. In most cases salaries slipped between one and four percent, although current levels are on a plateau reached at the tail end of the previous economic expansion, which ended between 2007 and 2008.

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There were differences in base salaries for many IT professionals engaged in leading initiatives, particularly supply chain management, data warehouse, and business-to-consumer systems. In fact, across eight of the nine positions covered, IT staff professionals engaged in supply chain management system development commanded the highest salaries. By operating environments, those professionals working in Unix and midrange systems environments also received higher premiums than the average.

Bonuses for IT professionals were, for the most part, positive over the past year, with bonuses for seven positions rising and two declining. Among those IT professionals receiving bonuses, most reported awards between $3,000 and $4,000. This is a level comparable with the highest levels reported in the first decade of the 2000s, during the peak of the economic expansion.

These findings are based on an Enterprise Systems survey of 1,467 companies, conducted in May 2011. The survey covered nine key IT staff positions and nine key management positions (covered in the previous installment of this report).

As in previous years, the survey found that IT professionals at mainframe and midrange sites tend to have the highest salaries; those in more distributed environments (such as Windows or Linux servers with no mainframe) have lower salaries.


APPLICATIONS SYSTEMS ANALYSTS

Our survey results show this past year has not been favorable for applications system analysts, who work with corporate management, end users, and clients to plan and design systems and devise processes for solving specific business problems. Systems analysts' average pay dipped slightly over the past year, increasing from an average of $73,000 in base salary to about $70,000. Base salaries reported in this article do not include bonuses (which are addressed separately), stock options, or benefits.

As the chart on this page shows, system analyst pay has changed little since 2006 in this survey, ranging between $70,000 and $74,000. Systems analysts have the third-highest average salaries of the nine IT staff positions covered in this year's survey.

Systems analysts also saw a decline in bonuses over the past year, slipping an average of 22 percent, to about $3,600 across the board. Although this is down from 2010 levels, it is within the general range of $3,000 to $4,000 seen for these professionals over the past year.

The typical systems analyst in our survey has nine years’ worth of experience. On average, those with more experience -- at least a decade on the job -- earn more than 60 percent more than those at an entry level (which we define as less than five years' experience).

Systems analysts in organizations with supply chain management systems fare best this year, earning about $75,000 on average -- about a seven percent market premium. Those in organizations with business-to-consumer initiatives follow closely with base salaries of more than $74,000. By operating system and platform, systems analysts in Unix systems shops tend to pay best, averaging more than $73,000 a year.


APPLICATIONS SYSTEM ANALYST SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 10-year change
$70,020 $73,130 $70,960 $74,700 $72,150 $70,500 $67,900 $70,900 $66,500 $66,000 -4.3% +6.1%

Average Annual Bonus
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 10-year change
$3,580 $4,600 $3,300 $4,190 $3,200 $3,500 $4,100 $4,200 $2,920 $4,290 -22.1% -16.6%

By Experience Level (Average = 9.5 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$47,860 $77,900 +62.8%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
B2C ERP Data Warehouse B2B CRM Cloud/Virtualization SOA
$74,930 $74,250 $74,180 $73,610 $72,400 $71,880 $70,650 $70,470

By Operating System Environment
AIX/Unix Midrange Mainframe Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$73,300 $70,380 $69,735 $69,300 $68,500


APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER/ANALYST

Applications programmer/analysts -- who develop applications and environments, formulate statements of business problems. and devise procedures for solutions, and work with end users to determine their information requirements -- saw little change in their salaries compared to last year, from about $69,000 to about $68,000. As with many other positions, average base salaries remain on the plateau reached about 2006, at the peak of the previous economic recovery.

Although their base salaries were flat, programmer/analysts were better rewarded with bonuses this year than last -- getting close to the levels seen in the mid-2000s. The typical average bonus reported among this survey group is about $3,600, up significantly from $3,000 a year ago and $2,200 in 2009. Over the past decade, programmers' bonuses ranged between $3,400 and $4,600.

On average, the programmer/analysts covered in our survey have about nine years' experience. P/As with 10 or more years experience make 42 percent more than their entry-level peers. A P/A with fewer than five years experience can expect to make about $53,000 a year, a figure that climbs to almost $76,000 for those with at least a decades' worth of experience.

Programmer/analysts participating in operations involving supply chain management systems command the highest base salaries, averaging more than $73,000, or about eight percent above the average. Those in companies with data warehouse and business-to-consumer operations follow with more than $71,000 a year in base pay.

Programmer/analysts in midrange-class systems environments earn the most among their counterparts, with base salaries of more than $72,000 a year, followed by those in Unix shops at $70,000.


APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER/ANALYST SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 9-year change
$67,740 $68,910 $67,640 $71,700 $71,020 $67,400 $65,200 $63,800 $61,700 -1.7% +9.8%

Average Annual Bonus
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 9-year change
$3,610 $3,000 $2,180 $4,610 $3,410 $3,400 $3,400 $3,375 $2,460 +20.3% +46.7%

By Experience Level (Average = 9.0 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$55,300 $75,500 +42.0%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
Data warehouse B2C B2B ERP CRM SOA Cloud/Virtualization
$73,410 $71,680 $71,360 $70,980 $70,920 $70,165 $69,730 $68,975

By Operating System Environment
Midrange AIX/Unix Mainframe Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$72,100 $70,000 $67,420 $67,100 $66,260


APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER

Although the past year has been flat for systems analysts and P/As, companies were more generous to applications programmers. The average base salaries of these programmers edged slightly upward over the past year, reaching the highest level since our first survey in 2001. Application programmers, who are involved with writing coded instructions or software or modify packaged applications, maintained their salary levels consistently through the recent economic downturn, now making an average of close to $65,000 in base salaries. Since our first survey in 2001, programmers' salaries have grown by almost a third.

Applications programmers saw modest bumps in their average base salaries, and they are receiving impressive bonuses this year. Reported average bonuses, now stand at about $4,000, well over the $2,400 received the year before. This is well above the range over the past decade for typical bonuses, averaging between $2,400 and $2,900. Programmers received the highest average bonuses among the nine IT staff positions covered in our survey, as well as the highest increase.

The average applications programmer in this survey has eight years of on-the-job experience. Those at entry-level stages average about $51,000, a figure that jumps to close to $72,000 after about 10 years.

In terms of programming environments, the highest premiums are paid for work with 4GL languages (such as Forte or Platinum), followed by C/C++. At the lower end of the skill are CICS and Visual Studio .NET.

Programmers involved in sites implementing supply chain management systems are likely to average the highest levels of pay, about $70,000 -- or about eight percent more than the average. Those programmers working in companies with data warehouse environments follow at about $68,000.

By operating system environment, programmers in midrange systems shops lead, earning a base of close to $68,000 a year, followed by those with Unix and mainframe systems.


APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 10-year change
$64,900 $64,020 $62,000 $64,600 $63,000 $61,400 $56,500 $53,000 $49,400 $49,200 +1.4% +31.9%

Average Annual Bonus
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 10-year change
$4,020 $2,450 $2,610 $2,540 $2,890 $2,700 $2,665 $2,400 $2,600 $3,150 +64.1% +27.6%

By Experience Level (Average = 8.0 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$51,200 $71,975 +40.5%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
Data Warehouse CRM Cloud/Virtualization SOA B2B ERP B2C
$69,860 $67,810 $67,690 $67,220 $66,610 $66,460 $66,100 $65,930

By Operating System Environment
Midrange AIX/Unix Mainframe Windows
(Non-mainframe)
Linux
(Non-mainframe)
$67,600 $65,940 $65,330 $63,000 $64,600

By Programming Language/Environment
4GL C/C++ Java RPG Visual Basic COBOL Visual Studio .NET CICS
$73,110 $68,020 $66,480 $66,180 $66,080 $66,070 $64,440 $64,010


SYSTEMS PROGRAMMER

The average base salaries of systems programmers – which peaked in 2009 – continue to erode, the survey finds. Overall, base salaries on average declined by about seven percent over the past year, to about $66,500. Over the past decade we’ve included this position in the survey series, the position has had the most volatile salary ranges. Since the first time this position was introduced in 2002, average salaries are down about thee percent.

Systems programmers are charged with deploying, monitoring, maintaining, and reporting system performance. The range for salaries has been wide, typically between $66,000 and $80,000. The up-and-down volatility seen in the year-to-year chart may reflect the shifting requirements seen among employers of this group, between more straightforward technical skills to the need to interface with business users.

Although slipping in base salaries, systems programmers saw improved bonuses over the past year -- up eight percent over the past year, to about $2,800. This is still at the bottom of the range seen for bonuses since 2002, however. In 2008, for example, typical bonuses for this position were almost double the current level.

The average systems programmer in this survey has about nine years of experience on the job. These professionals can expect to see salary growth of at least 70 percent in the first decade of their career, the survey finds. Currently, entry-level systems programmers (those with less than five years’ experience) make about $45,000, a level that rises to $77,000 after a decade.

Unix and midrange-class systems work offer the highest premiums for this job, our survey finds. Those systems programmers involved with AIX, Solaris, or other Unix flavors draw more than $71,000 annually, outpacing those in distributed environments (Windows or Linux).

Those systems programmers engaged in operations involving supply chain management systems draw the highest average base salaries, more than $72,000 a year -- more than eight percent above the average for this position. Business-to-business operations is an area that draws higher salaries here as well.


SYSTEMS PROGRAMMER SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 9-year change
$66,500 $71,250 $89,200 $79,900 $79,300 $69,100 $67,150 $70,400 $68,500 -6.7% -2.9%

Average Annual Bonus
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 10-year change
$2,830 $2,610 $2,620 $4,050 $3,940 $3,000 $2,665 $3,000 $3,360 +8.4% -15.8%

By Experience Level (Average = 9.0 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$45,070 $76,660 +70.1%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
B2B Data Warehouse ERP B2C Cloud/Virtualization CRM SOA
$72,150 $71,420 $70,800 $70,000 $68,830 $68,545 $67,280 $67,275

By Operating System Environment
AIX/Unix Midrange Mainframe Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$70,785 $68,710 $64,900 $64,300 $63,800


NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR

Network administrators' average base salaries have essentially seen a plateau since 2008, slipping by about four percent over the past year, to $65,400. Network administrators oversee day-to-day network usage and security, as well as troubleshoot network bottlenecks or failed connections.

Although salaries are flat for these professionals, their bonuses grew at an impressive clip, rising close to $2,900. This is near the top of the range for bonuses awarded to these jobholders during the past decade, but still below the peak seen during the closing days of the dot-com mania in 2000-2001.

On average, network administrators in our survey have about nine-and-a-half years' experience on the job. The more experienced professionals (with more than a decade on the job) are drawing salaries close to $75,000, or 75 percent more than their entry-level counterparts with fewer than five years' experience.

Supply chain management systems expertise is a high-paying area for network administrators. Those administrators working in companies with supply chain management environments are paid more than $71,000, or nine percent above the average for this position. Data warehouse and business-to-business sites also tend to pay their network administrators above the average rate.

In terms of operating system environments, those network administrators overseeing Unix-based installations also commanded higher average salaries, bringing in about $70,000 over the past year in base salaries. Network administrators in midrange systems-class shops also saw higher-than-average salaries.


NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 10-year change
$65,400 $68,400 $62,700 $65,500 $61,900 $61,300 $59,300 $57,300 $53,800 $56,000 -4.4% +16.8%

Average Annual Bonus
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 10-year change
$2,890 $2,440 $2,280 $2,600 $2,100 $2,600 $2,500 $2,000 $1,660 $3,150 +18.4% -8.3%

By Experience Level (Average = 9.5 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$42,620 $74,820 +75.6%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
Data Warehouse B2B B2C Cloud/Virtualization ERP CRM SOA
$71,240 $70,300 $70,030 $69,000 $67,840 $67,680 $67,000 $65,190

By Operating System Environment
AIX/Unix Midrange Mainframe Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$70,040 $67,200 $64,535 $64,100 $63,600


SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR

For systems administrators, salary growth has been slow over the past decade, according to our survey results. This year, systems admins average about $63,000, slipping from last year's peak and falling into a range virtually unchanged since the first survey was conducted in 2002. These professionals -- who deploy, maintain, and secure operating systems and servers in LANs or WANs -- have only seen modest growth since they were first included in our survey in 2002, rising only above a percentage point during this nine-year period.

Average bonuses for system administrators, however, have been far more generous, climbing 27 percent over the past year -- the largest rise of all positions covered in the survey. This puts sys admin bonuses above their typical range for bonuses -- over the past nine years, bonuses have averaged between $2,200 and $2,700.

The typical administrator in this survey has been on the job just over nine years. System administrators who average more than 10 years’ experience on the job can expect to see salary growth of more than 50 percent, according to survey respondents. Currently, entry-level system administrators (with less than five years' experience) make about $45,000, a level that rises to more than $71,000 once the jobholder surpasses a decade's worth of experience.

Sys admins with supply chain management efforts underway draw the highest base salaries, at more than $67,000, or seven percent above average. Those sys admins involved in data warehouse environments also saw better compensation.

Systems administrators in midrange systems environments also were paid better than those with other platforms, at a base rate of about $67,000.


SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 9-year change
$62,900 $68,440 $64,700 $65,900 $64,700 $61,600 $60,500 $56,000 $62,000 -8.1% +1.5%
Average Annual Bonus
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 9-year change
$3,100 $2,440 $2,700 $2,220 $2,170 $3,000 $2,600 $1,800 $2,480 +27.0% +25.0%

By Experience Level (Average = 9.1 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$45,200 $71,300 +57.8%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
Data Warehouse B2B B2C ERP Cloud/Virtualization CRM SOA
$67,400 $67,100 $66,320 $64,650 $64,240 $64.050 $63,770 $63,120

By Operating System Environment
Midrange AIX/Unix Mainframe Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$66,900 $66,520 $62,540 $61,800 $61,080


DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR

Database administrators saw a modest dip in their salary levels over the past year, down about three percent to $74,000 annually. DBAs, who oversee the building, use, and security of company databases, have seen salaries in the range of $74,000 to $80,000 since 2006, landing on the same kind of salary plateau as their counterparts across the IT spectrum.

DBAs earned the highest average salaries of the nine staff IT positions covered in the survey.

Although salaries remain flat, bonuses for DBAs are up. On average, DBAs are seeing bonuses of about $3,300, up 27 percent from last year's levels. This is actually in line with DBA bonuses over the past decade, which have typically averaged between $3,000 and $5,000.

The database administrator in our survey has close to 11 years of industry experience, on average. He or she will start out at about $51,000 in the first five years, and then rise to $81,000 as experience grows.

DBAs in Unix environments also tend to earn more than their peers involved with other platforms, averaging about $80,000, followed by those in midrange shops at $77,000 a year. By database brand, DBAs specializing in IBM's DB2 databases see the highest salaries, averaging more than $78,000 a year. DBAs in Sybase and Oracle environments follow closely.

DBAs working within business-to-consumer operations are averaging close to $81,000 in base pay, or a premium of more than nine percent of the average salary for this job. There are also premiums being paid to those DBAs involved in data warehouse management systems, as well as business-to-business shops.


DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 10-year change
$74,100 $76,170 $74,800 $81,200 $75,050 $75,500 $70,500 $71,400 $71,500 $66,800 -2.7% +10.9%

Average Annual Bonus
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 10-year change
$3,320 $2,610 $5,180 $3,670 $3,100 $3,800 $3,750 $3,600 $3,360 $5,350 +27.2-49.6% -37.9%

By Experience Level (Average = 10.7 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$51,030 $81,850 +59.9%

By Application Environment
B2C Data Warehouse B2B Supply Chain
Management
ERP SOA CRM Cloud/Virtualization
$80,860 $80,430 $80,370 $78,650 $77,570 $77,030 $75,720 $75,400

By Operating System Environment
AIX/Unix Midrange Mainframe Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$80,000 $76,980 $72,290 $71,470 $70,520

By Database Environment
DB2 Sybase Oracle IMS SQL Server MySQL
$78,560 $77,735 $77,390 $75,720 $74,220 $72,600


SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR

Base salaries and bonuses for security administrators weakened over the past year, perhaps a reflection of the disconnect between pressing security needs and corporate willingness to devote resources. Security admins -- who oversee the installation, configuration, and management of tools and policies that protect corporate data and IT assets -- saw average annual base salaries of about $71,000, down about 10 percent from last year. Security admins have the second-highest annual base salaries of the nine IT staff positions covered in this survey.

Security administrators' bonuses averaged about $3,400 in this year's survey – down from last year's high, but still within the range seen for this position in the four years this position has been covered in the survey.

On average, security administrators have been on the job about 10 years. Those just starting out make just under $50,000 a year, a rate that rises to close to $84,000 with experience.

Security administrators are the most highly compensated in companies that either have supply chain management initiatives underway – close to $77,000. Their colleagues working closely with business-to-consumer and data warehouse systems follow closely, averaging $76,000 annually.

Security administrators at Unix sites earn the most, with an average of more than $76,000 a year. Security admins at midrange sites follow, making about $72,000.


SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES
Year-to-Year Change
2011 2010 2009 2008 1-year change 3-year change
$70,930 $79,270 $77,800 $75,200 -10.5% -5.7%

Average Annual Bonus
2011 2010 2009 2008 1-year change 3-year change
$3,415 $4,670 $2,380 $3,330 -26.9% +2.6%

By Experience Level (Average = 9.6 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$48,800 $83,675 +71.5%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
B2C Data Warehouse ERP B2B Cloud/Virtualization CRM SOA
$76,630 $76,535 $76,110 $75,410 $74,700 $73,185 $71,400 $68,910

By Operating System Environment
Midrange Mainframe AIX/Unix Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$71,700 $70,100 $76,520 $69,810 $62,750


STORAGE ADMINISTRATOR

Storage administrators -- who oversee the installation, configuration, security, and usage of company storage resources -- have been on a plateau in recent years in terms of salary growth. This year, average base salaries are at $65,000 – down a bit from last year, but in line with the range seen since this position was first introduced to the survey in 2006.

Salaries may be relatively flat, but storage administrators saw generous bonuses from their employers over the past year -- up 31 percent to about $3,000. This is the second-highest increase among the IT staff positions surveyed, and may be a reflection of the emphasis and concern about the growth of “big data” within enterprises, often scaling in the hundreds of terabytes.

Storage administrators in the survey have, on average, nine years of industry experience. Starting salaries typically range about $44,000, growing over the years to $76,000 for more experienced admins.

The survey also finds that storage administrators working within companies with supply chain management and business-to-business operations have the highest base salaries of systems categories, averaging about $69,000. Those focused on ERP and data warehouse systems follow at $68,000. By platform, storage admins in Unix computing environments had the highest ranges, averaging close to $70,000. Midrange sites follow at about $68,000 annually.


STORAGE ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES
Year-to-Year Change
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 1-year change 5-year change
$65,200 $68,000 $68,800 $68,400 $71,600 $65,300 -4.1% -0.2%

Average Annual Bonus
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 1-year change 5-year change
$3,080 $2,340 $2,925 $2,980 $2,480 $3,600 +31.6% -14.4%

By Experience Level (Average = 8.9Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$42,730 $75,770 +77.3%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
B2B ERP Data Warehouse Cloud/Virtualization B2C CRM SOA
$69,320 $68,890 $68,360 $68,300 $67,340 $67,110 $66,650 $65,400

By Operating System Environment
AIX/Unix Midrange Mainframe Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$69,800 $67,730 $64,700 $64,000 $62,165

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