Enterprise Systems 2008 Salary Survey, Part 1: Staff Positions

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


Although there has been a great deal of concern in the state of the overall economy, seven out of eight IT professional positions measured from year to year in the latest Enterprise Systems salary survey still saw modest gains in their base salary levels. The survey finds that IT line positions -- including programmers, analysts, and administrators -- averaged across-the-board raises of about 2.3 percent. Most professionals also saw increases in their bonuses over the past year.

Along with economic pressures, a driving force behind IT initiatives in this year’s survey was the ability to capture, manage, and analyze data coming in from transactions, customer databases, and other sources, and leverage this capability to drive new business. For five of the nine positions covered in the survey, those involved more closely with customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives saw the highest average salary rates.

In addition, database administrators, considered the guardians and stewards of the data driving organization success, now are the top earners among IT staff professionals. In this year’s survey, database administrators surpassed systems programmers -- last year’s leader -- in terms of IT staff-level compensation. DBA income topped $81,000 in base compensation, followed by systems programmers at $80,000 a year. DBAs also had impressive increases in their average bonuses.

The financial and insurance services industry depends heavily on data as the value provided to customers, and organizations in this sector paid the most generous base salaries to IT staff professionals, our survey finds.

Overall, for seven out of the eight job categories covered in this survey year-to-year between 2007 and 2008, average bonuses climbed. Systems administrators saw the greatest increase in bonus levels, while programmer/analysts had the highest average bonuses.

The latest salary survey of 691 enterprise IT sites, conducted by Enterprise Systems in May and June, tracked salary figures for IT managers and professionals across a broad spectrum of organizations. Along with a range of management positions (see Part 2 of this report), our survey covered nine line IT positions: application systems analysts, programmer/analysts, application programmers, system programmers, network administrators, system administrators, database administrators, storage administrators, and security administrators.

Salaries varied considerably by industry group and application environment. The hottest application area for IT staff professionals this year is customer relationship management (CRM) systems -- in five out of the eight positions covered, CRM sites paid the highest average base salaries.

Many respondents reported seeing increased salaries for areas with highly specialized skills. For instance, as one respondent noted, “Business Analysts with SAP experience draw the highest salaries. Other areas include high-level security and storage area networking skills.”

Another respondent noted that IT compensation has been up within his organization. “Opportunities are increasing along with salary rates,” the respondent stated. “Skills drawing the highest premiums are project managers.”

Another respondent added that along with project management skills, there are increasing opportunities for professionals with .NET and business process management expertise.

The spotty economy has created IT staffing shortages and competition for IT talent within some industries, and hardships within others. As one respondent stated: “We are having a hard time recruiting quality personnel so we secured significant increases for existing personnel and are offering higher salaries for open positions. Many times we've offered positions to applicants who have taken positions with other companies for higher salaries.”

Still, some sectors have been hit by the economic slowdown, and this has impacted IT salary growth. As one respondent put it: “Our industry has been hard hit this year with the real estate issues; employees in this organization over 100K are being asked to take salary reductions until the end of this year. Also, there has been a salary freeze in effect since 2007.”

About 28 percent of survey respondents run mainframes (both IBM and non-IBM) at their sites, up from 24 percent last year. Across the board, mainframe shops appeared to offer the highest salary ranges for IT professionals, topping four out of the eight positions measured. Another 26 percent run midrange-class systems, including the IBM I Series platform.

Another 44 percent run at least one of the major commercial Unix flavors (AIX, Solaris, or HP-UX), up from last year's 39 percent.

A majority of respondents (85 percent) support Windows server environments, including Windows Server 2003, 2000, or even NT systems within their companies. This is up from last year, when 70 percent reported running one of the versions of Windows server installations.

About 22 percent report having Linux installed within their organizations, not including instances running on mainframe systems.

Respondents come from a wide range of industry groups, including government/education (20 percent), high-tech/software (15 percent), finance/insurance (12 percent), manufacturing (12 percent), health care (seven percent), services (seven percent), utilities/transportation (six percent), and retail/distribution (three percent).

Some respondents indicate that their organizations recognize the increasing vital role IT is playing in driving business growth and are adjusting compensation accordingly. “Increases are due to the transition from commodity-based technology services to truly strategic technology services,” said one respondent. Part of these rewards also address “trying to get out of the backlog of major implementations we are in.”

SYSTEMS ANALYSTS

Systems analyst salaries continue to grow, barely keeping up with inflation, growing just over three percent from last year's Enterprise Systems survey. This is comparable with gains over the previous two years. However, there have been appreciable bonuses handed out to these professionals among the companies surveyed.

Overall, systems analysts -- who typically work with corporate management, end users, and clients to plan and design systems -- earn about $74,700 in base salary, up from $72,150 in 2007. This is about 13 percent higher than average salaries in the first survey of this series, conducted in 2001. Systems analysts are the fourth-highest income category among the nine line IT positions in our survey, after database administrators, systems programmers, and security administrators.

System analysts are projected to also earn bonuses close to $4,200 on top of their base salaries for this year. This is up from the average of $3,200 last year and reflects the highest amount in four years. This is the second-highest average bonus level among the categories in the survey, led by programmer/analysts.

The typical systems analyst in our survey has about 11 years of industry experience. On average, seasoned system analysts with 10 or more years of experience earn up to a third more than their less-experienced or entry-level counterparts.

Systems analysts working with customer relationship management (CRM) system environments fare best this year, earning more than $79,000 in base salary. Those working within business-to-consumer type systems averaged close to $77,000.

The survey found some differences in platform environments -- systems analysts in Unix shops are drawing an average base salary of $77,200, or three percent higher than the overall average. Mainframe, midrange, and Windows sites follow with average base salaries around $73,000.

System analyst salaries are strongest within the financial and insurance services sector, averaging about $86,000, followed by services (including business services, retail, and health care) at $85,000.

SYSTEM ANALYST SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 7-year change
$74,700 $72,150 $70,500 $67,900 $70,900 $66,500 $66,000 +3.5% +13.2%

Average Annual Bonus
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 7-year change
$4,190 $3,200 $3,500 $4,100 $4,200 $2,920 $4,290 +30.9 -2.3%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$58,100 $76,200 $77,100 +32.7%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-Mainframe)
$73,300 $72,900 $77,200 $73,500 $71,200 $73,700

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$74,100 $79,100 $75,300 $76,700 $75,000 $75,900


PROGRAMMER/ANALYST

Salary growth for application programmer/analysts -- who develop applications and associated environments -- has slowed over the past year, well below the inflation rate, our survey finds. Average base salaries are up one percent, from an average of $71,050 to $71,700. Previous years of salary growth were five percent last year and three percent the year before.

Programmer/analysts are the fifth-highest income category among the nine line IT positions in our survey, led by database administrators, systems programmers, security administrators, and systems analysts.

Bonuses for P/As, however, have been more generous as of late, averaging about $4,600, up from $3,400 in last year’s survey. This, in fact, is the highest bonus level among the eight line IT categories measured.

On average, the P/As covered in our survey have about 10 years' experience. By application categories, P/As working in shops building and managing CRM systems top the list with an average base close to $77,000. Data warehouse shops follow at $76,000.

There are only slight differences in development environments. P/As in mainframe-type environments fare best, drawing average salaries of $75,500 a year. Those working in Unix and Linux operating system environments follow with $72,300.

P/A salaries are strongest in the financial and insurance services sector, averaging $79,000 a year, followed by high-tech/software sector at $78,000.

PROGRAMMER ANALYST SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 6-year change
$71,700 $71,020 $67,400 $65,200 $63,800 $61,700 +1% +16.2%
Average Annual Bonus
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 6-year change
$4,610 $3,410 $3,400 $3,400 $3,375 $2,460 +26.0% +87.4%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$69,700 $72,200 $73,900 +6.0%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows Only
(Non-mainframe)
$75,500 $66,800 $72,300 $70,600 $72,300 $69,200

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$70,600 $76,600 $72,700 $68,900 $68,400 $73,400


APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER

The survey found little good news for application programmers, who, more than any other position, face the headwinds of tight IT budgets, outsourcing threats, and shifts toward more automated or streamlined methods of application development. While base salary rates for application programmers continued to rise, growth is at a tepid rate.

Application programmers -- typically those who write and test code -- now average close to $65,000 a year, up by more than two percent from last year's figure. This is in line with the average increase seen last year as well. Notably, however, programmers have done well over the long term -- from $49,000 at the start of the decade. Programmers are the lowest-ranked income category among the nine line IT positions in our survey.

Bonuses for these professionals have slipped over the past year. Programmers received average bonuses of about $2,500 over the past year, down 12 percent. This is the only job category among the nine surveyed where bonus levels have slipped between 2007 and 2008.

Programmers who have remained in this position for 10 years or more make about 32 percent more than their entry-level counterparts. The typical programmer in our survey has about six years of industry experience.

Programmers in Unix shops make the most, topping $65,000 a year in base salary. By development language. Windows, Linux, and midrange systems. By programming language environments, programmers in C/C++ shops fare best, drawing average salaries of $69,000.

Companies deploying and managing supply-chain management systems reported the highest levels of compensation for programmers, with base salaries averaging close to $73,000. Programmers in CRM-focused and data warehouse shops follow at $69,000.

Application programming salaries are strongest within the high-tech/software sector, averaging about $74,000, followed by manufacturing with $71,000

APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 7-year change
$64,600 $63,000 $61,400 $56,500 $53,000 $49,400 $49,200 +2.5% +31.3%
Average Annual Bonus
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 7-year change
$2,540 $2,890 $2,700 $2,665 $2,400 $2,600 $3,150 -12.1% -19.4%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$56,800 $62,300 $74,800 +31.7%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe)
$63,300 $65,100 $65,500 $64,500 $65,100 $65,400

By Programming Environment
CICS C/C++ COBOL VB VB .NET Java
$64,000 $69,200 $63,300 $66,200 $64,200 $63,000

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$65,700 $68,900 $67,300 $64,800 $72,900 $68,600


SYSTEMS PROGRAMMER

After a torrid pace of salary growth seen in recent Enterprise Systems surveys, salary growth for systems programmers slowed almost to a standstill this year.

Base salaries for this position edged only slightly, from $79,300 a year ago to close to $80,000 this year. Average salaries for systems programmers grew by about 17 percent from the first time this position was covered in 2002.

Systems programmers are the second-highest income category among the nine line IT positions in our survey, surpassed only by database administrators.

Systems programmers also saw impressive bonuses over the past year as well, our survey finds. This year, system programmer bonuses averaged more than $4,000, close to last year’s amount. This is the third-highest average bonus level among the categories in the survey, led by programmer/analysts and systems analysts.

Systems programmers can expect to see salary growth of at least a third throughout their careers. Currently, entry-level systems programmers make about $67,000, a level that rises to more than $88,000 for seasoned programmers.

Mainframe-related skills continue to be the top-earning area for systems programmers, followed by those in midrange-class system environments. Those working within JCL programming environments average more than $87,000 a year. Those working with COBOL and CICS follow closely.

By industry, systems programmers are the best paid within financial and insurance services organizations, averaging close to $92,000 a year.

SYSTEMS PROGRAMMER SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 6-year change
$79.900 $79,300 $69,100 $67,150 $70,400 $68,500 N/A +0.8% +16.6%
Average Annual Bonus
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 6-year change
$4,050 $3,940 $3,000 $2,665 $3,000 $3,360 N/A +2.8% +20.5%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$67,300 $70,800 $88,400 +31.4%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe>
$84,500 $78,100 $76,900 $74,800 $70,100 $69,800

By Programming Environment
CICS C/C++ COBOL JCL VB VB .NET Java
$82,300 $69,200 $83,200 $87,300 $70,900 $64,300 $74,800

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$76,000 $75,600 $81,400 $81,800 $74,700 $80,000


NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR

The base salaries of network administrators, who monitor and troubleshoot network usage, have seen a sizeable uptick, our survey shows. These professionals now earn average annual base salaries of more than $65,000, up six percent from a year ago. Last year, network administrators’ salaries grew by only a single percentage point.

Since this survey series was first launched in 2001, network administrator salaries have grown by 17 percent. Network administrators are currently the second-lowest salary category of the nine positions measured in the survey.

Annual average bonuses for network administrators stand at about $2,600, up from $2,100 a year ago. Network administrators rank seventh on the list of nine positions in terms of bonus compensation.

On average, network administrators in our survey have about eight years of experience. The more experienced network administrators (with a decade or more of experience) are drawing salaries if at least $69,000, or 25 percent more than their less-experienced counterparts.

Network administrator salaries are strongest within the financial and insurance services sector, averaging $74,000, or about 13 percent above the average.

By environment, our respondents reported that network administrators in Unix shops fare best, drawing average salaries of more than $72,000.

Network administrators working in environments with data warehouses fare best financially, averaging close to $69,000 a year in base salaries. Those in CRM environments follow with more than $66,000.

NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 7-year change
$65,500 $61,900 $61,300 $59,300 $57,300 $53,800 $56,000 +5.8% +17.0%
Average Annual Bonus
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 7-year change
$2,600 $2,100 $2,600 $2,500 $2,000 $1,660 $3,150 +23.8% -17.5%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$55,300 $65,600 $69,100 +25.0%

By Network Environment
Ethernet Unix Linux Windows
2003
Windows
2000
Windows
NT
WinXP Novell
$67,400 $72,100 $65,600 $65,900 $64,700 $66,590 $67,200 $66,900

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$65,500 $66,500 $66,400 $64,300 $62,100 $68,700


SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR

Systems administrators, who deploy and maintain operating systems and servers, saw very modest raises over the past year, the survey finds. System administrators in the survey averaged close to $66,000 in base salaries, up by less than two percent over last year's survey. Overall professionals in this position have seen very little appreciable salary growth since Enterprise Systems included this category in the salary survey in 2002.

System administrators salaries rank seventh on the list of nine IT line positions covered in this year’s survey.

In addition, compared with most other IT line positions this year, the bonus picture was not as bright for these professionals. The average annual bonus awarded was $2,200, up barely two percent over last year's figure of $2,170. Systems administrators rank eight on the list of nine IT staff positions covered in our survey.

By platform, systems administrators in mainframe environments edge out other environments, with average salaries of more than $73,000. Those at Unix sites follow with $68,000.

As is the case across most professional categories, systems administrators in sites with data warehouses and CRM systems commanded the highest rates, averaging more than $70,000.

By industry group, systems administrators within the financial and insurance services sector have the highest average annual base salaries, more than $77,000 -- 17 percent above the overall average.

SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 6-year change
$65,900 $64,700 $61,600 $60,500 $56,000 $62,000 +1.8% +6.3%
Average Annual Bonus
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 6-year change
$2,220 $2,170 $3,000 $2,600 $1,800 $2,480 +2.3% -10.5%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$64,900 $65,300 $68,900 +6.2%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe)
$73,400 $66,600 $68,200 $65,400 $66,900 $62,800

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$66,400 $70,800 $66,100 $62,700 $66,100 $71,000


DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR

DBAs, who oversee building and use of company databases, had a very good year this year. The survey finds average base salaries for DBAs at just above $81,000 a year, up from $75,000 a year ago. This represents an eight percent jump from last year’s survey. This is the highest increase of all the nine categories, as well as the highest income level.

As noted earlier, companies are paying premiums in areas such as customer relationship management and data warehousing, and DBAs play a key role in working closely with business units to better leverage data resources for applications such as business intelligence and analytics.

Across the board, DBAs are projected to also earn bonuses close to $3,700, up by 18 percent from our survey a year ago. This is the fourth highest bonus level, and the third highest rate increase on the list of nine IT staff positions.

The typical DBA in our survey has close to 11 years of industry experience. Entry-level DBAs start at about $68,000, and then rise by almost half to almost $85,000 for those with at least a decade of experience.

This year, premiums for in-demand database skills are paid to those who work with DB2 and IMS environments, with average salaries exceeding $84,000 a year. Those working with MySQL, the open source database, had the lowest average, at $76,000.

By platform, those DBAs at Windows-intensive sites report the highest average base salaries, at $83,000. Typically, salaries at mainframe sites have tended to lead in these surveys, as evidenced by the lead in DB2 and IMS salaries cited above. This may be indicative of the growth of Windows server systems within enterprise settings.

As with many of the job categories in the survey this year, those DBAs involved with sites focusing on customer relationship management (CRM) implementations topped the salary scale, at close to $90,000. DBAs at sites with robust ERP and supply chain management deployments followed with $85,000 a piece. Supply chain management implementations topped the salary scale in previous surveys.

By industry, DBAs working within the high-tech and computer-related industry fare best, with average annual base salaries of about $94,000. Those in the service sector, including healthcare and retail, follow with salaries of more than $87,000.

DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 7-year change
$81,200 $75,050 $75,500 $70,500 $71,400 $71,500 $66,800 +8.2% +21.6%
Average Annual Bonus
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 7-year change
$3,670 $3,100 $3,800 $3,750 $3,600 $3,360 $5,350 +18.4% -31.4%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$68,000 $82,400 $84,900 +44.5%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe)
$79,000 $80,200 $81,200 $80,900 $82,800 $83,000

By Database Environment
DB2 IMS Oracle SQL Server Sybase MySQL
$84,300 $84,200 $82,200 $81,600 $81,700 $76,800

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$85,300 $89,800 $81,200 $79,100 $85,000 $82,500


STORAGE ADMINISTRATOR

Storage administrators -- those who oversee the installation, configuration, security, and usage of company storage -- now average more than $68,000 a year. This is four percent higher than the rate seen in 2006, the first year this job category was first added to the survey. However, this represents a slight decline from average salaries a year ago. Storage administrator salary levels ranked sixth on the list of nine IT staff positions covered in this survey.

Average annual bonuses for storage administrators, while up from last year, are still below 2006 levels, shrinking from $3,600 to less than $3,000. Bonuses for storage administrators ranked sixth on the list of nine IT staff positions, but third on the rate of increases.

Storage administrators in the survey have, on average, close to 10 years of industry experience. The survey also finds that enterprises are paying premiums for storage administrators within data warehouse and e-business environments. Those storage administrators working within business-to-consumer environments average close to $69,000, and those in data warehouse environments have base salaries averaging about $68,000.

By platform, storage administrators in midrange computing environments had the highest ranges, averaging about $72,000, followed by those in mainframe and Unix environments with at least $71,000.

As with most of the other IT professional categories covered in this survey, storage administrators in the financial and insurance services had the highest base rates, averaging $84,000 -- or 23 percent above the overall average.

STORAGE ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES
Year-to-Year Change
2008 2007 2006 1-year change 2-year change
$68,400 $71,600 $65,300 -4.5% +4.5%
Average Annual Bonus
2008 2007 2006 1-year change 2-year change
$2,980 $2,480 $3,600 +20.2 -17.2%

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$60,400 $69,100 $72,500 +20.0%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe)
$71,300 $71,900 $71,100 $68,300 $64,700 $64,400

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$62,400 $68,900 $68,900 $69,200 $67,500 $68,000


SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR

Security administrators, who oversee the installation, configuration, and management of tools and policies that protect corporate data assets, had average salaries of more than $75,000. This is the first year this job category was included.

Security administrators’ base salary levels ranked third on the list of nine IT staff positions covered in the survey. This reflects the urgency and priority many organizations are placing on data and systems security. Those security administrators in the financial and insurance services sector had the highest base rates, exceeding $85,000 a year.

Bonuses for security administrators averaged more than $3,300. This is the fifth highest level for the survey of nine line positions.

The typical tenure for a storage administrator covered in this survey is about six years. The survey found little differentiation based on experience, though few companies in the survey had security professionals with more than a decade of experience. Those administrators managing mainframe and Unix environments saw the highest salary rates, averaging $76,000 a year.

As with most of the positions covered in this survey, those respondents with data warehouse environments paid the highest rates to security administrators, followed by those managing CRM and business to consumer sites.

SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES
Annual Base Salary
2008
$75,200
Average Annual Bonus
2008
$3,3330

By Experience Level
<5> <10> 10+ years Differential
$71,700 $73,100 Insufficient Data +2.0%

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows Non-Mainframe
Linux
Windows only
(Non-mainframe)
$76,000 $74,200 $76,300 $74,200 $75,500 $71,700

By Application Environment
ERP CRM B2B B2C Supply Chain Data Warehouse
$71,400 $73,600 $70,400 $73,300 $72,600 $74,600

NEXT WEEK: EXECUTIVE SALARIES


Next week we'll reveal the results of our survey for management employees. Click here to read part 2.