Enterprise Systems Salary Survey 2010 Part 2: IT Staff Salaries

IT staff salaries perk up; premiums highest in supply chain, SOA, CRM environments

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

Although companies have been careful about their information technology expenditures, they recognize that IT talent is essential for future growth. In fact, seven out nine key IT staff positions covered in the latest Enterprise Systems salary survey saw increases in their salary levels since 2009. In a similar survey last year, only three positions saw increases.

The survey found that for the most part, salaries for a range of positions – from systems analysts to system administrators – grew between two and six percent over the past year. Base salaries were even higher for many IT professionals engaged in application areas such as supply chain management and service-oriented architecture (SOA). In fact, across all of the nine positions covered, IT staff professionals engaged in supply chain management system development commanded the highest salaries of all. This was also the case for SOA and CRM-related work among seven out of the nine categories measured.

Of course, software skills demand varies by business needs. One respondent, for example, observed that in his company, “software skills that are drawing attention include SaaS-related architecture skills, Java, cloud architecture, Web services, and data architecture.”

Another respondent said that business skills are the most valued area right now for IT staff professionals, and that more technical skills are being outsourced. “Solution architects are the most wanted people, together with analysts,” he said. “Programmers have been outsourced to our office in India.” It should be noted, however, that many of the programming positions in the survey did see modest salary gains.

Another respondent indicated his company is moving away from outsourcing. “We're moving slowly away from contact labor towards FTEs to better maintain institutional knowledge and reduce turnover,” he said.

Bonuses for IT professionals were a mixed picture over the past year, with bonuses for four positions rising, four declining, and one with no change since last year. Most IT professionals saw their highest bonus levels in the middle of the 2000s (our survey has been conducted on a regular basis since 2001). Among those IT professionals receiving bonuses, most reported awards between $2,000 and $3,000.

These findings are based on an Enterprise Systems survey of 893 companies, conducted in May 2010. 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

Salaries for applications system analysts notched upward over the past year, increasing from an average of $71,000 in base salary to more than $73,000. (Base salaries reported in this article do not include bonuses (which are addressed separately), stock options, or benefits.)

Applications system analysts, as defined for this survey, work with corporate management, end users, and clients to plan and design systems and devise processes for solving specific business problems.

The total average increase in system analyst pay for the 2009-2010 period was about three percent. Although suffering a decline in last year's survey, systems analysts are closer to where they were before the economic recession took its toll.

Systems analysts did well with bonuses over the past year, perhaps reflecting efforts by companies to keep their IT talent without driving up salaries. These professionals are projected to earn bonuses of about $4,600 on top of their base salaries for this year -- up by almost 40 percent over a year ago. In fact, this is the highest average bonus recorded for this position since the survey was first conducted nine years ago. Typically, systems analysts' annual bonuses have been within a range of $3,000 to $4,000.

The typical systems analyst in our survey has eight years of experience. On average, those with more experience -- at least a decade on the job -- earn a third more than those at entry level (less than five years' experience).

Systems analysts in organizations with supply chain management systems fare best this year, earning more than $84,000 on average -- about a 15 percent market premium. Those in organizations with service-oriented architecture efforts have base salaries of close to $82,000. By operating system and platform, systems analysts in midrange shops (including IBM System i servers) tend to pay best, slightly outpacing their mainframe-centric counterparts.


APPLICATIONS SYSTEM ANALYST SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 9-year change
$73,130 $70,960 $74,700 $72,150 $70,500 $67,900 $70,900 $66,500 $66,000 +3.1% +10.8%

Average Annual Bonus
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 9-year change
$4,600 $3,300 $4,190 $3,200 $3,500 $4,100 $4,200 $2,920 $4,290 +39.4 +7.2%

By Experience Level (Average = 8.3 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$57,430 $76,270 +32.8%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
SOA CRM B2B ERP Cloud/Virtualization Data Warehouse B2C
$84,500 $81,600 $78,800 $76,200 $75,600 $73,800 $73,800 $73,390

By Operating System Environment
Midrange Mainframe AIX/Unix Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$82,900 $80,670 $77,400 $77,400 $69,580


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 a modest salary jump over the past year, from about $68,000 to $69,000. As with many other positions, average base salaries had declined in last year's survey, down from their peaks in the prior 2007-2008 survey. In the case of programmer/analysts, salaries bumped up by about two percent over the past year, but still did not recoup the level seen in the survey two years ago, when the average was $72,000.

As with systems analysts, programmer/analysts were better rewarded with bonuses this year than last -- though not quite reaching the levels seen in the mid-2000s. The typical average bonus reported among this survey group is about $3,000, up from about $2,200 a year ago, but still below the range of $3,400 to $4,600 enjoyed in prior years.

On average, the programmer/analysts covered in our survey have about seven-and-a-half years' experience. P/As with 10 or more years experience make more than 24 percent more than their entry-level peers. A P/A with less than 10 years experience can expect to make about $56,000 a year, a figure that climbs to almost $70,000 for those with at least a decades' worth of experience.

Programmer/analysts participating in operations involving SOA methodologies command the highest base salaries, averaging close to $78,000, or about 13 percent above the average. Those in companies with supply chain management systems follow with close to $77,000 a year in base pay.

Mainframe programmer/analysts earn the most among their counterparts, with base salaries of more than $76,000 a year, followed by those in midrange systems environments at $74,000.


APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER/ANALYST SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 8-year change
$68,910 $67,640 $71,700 $71,020 $67,400 $65,200 $63,800 $61,700 +1.9% +11.7%

Average Annual Bonus
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 8-year change
$3,000 $2,180 $4,610 $3,410 $3,400 $3,400 $3,375 $2,460 +37.6% +22.0%

By Experience Level (Average = 7.5 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$56,100 $69,740 +24.3%

By Application Environment
SOA Supply Chain
Management
CRM B2B Data warehouse ERP Cloud/Virtualization B2C
$77,640 $77,300 $73,500 $71,930 $71,360 $71,200 $69,640 $69,280

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$76,170 $74,400 $71,920 $66,800 $65,850


APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER

The average base salaries of applications programmers, who are involved with writing coded instructions or software or modify packaged applications, have quickly bounced back close to their pre-recession levels. Programmers now make an average of $64,000 in base salaries, up three percent from last year, and close to the level seen two years ago. Since our first survey in 2001, programmers' salaries have grown by more than 30 percent.

Programmers saw reductions in their bonuses, but these are still within the range seen in recent years. Average bonuses, now at about $2,400, are down six percent from last year. Typically, bonuses have been in the $2,400 to $2,900 range, peaking in 2007.

The average applications programmer in this survey has about six years of on-the-job experience. Those at entry-level stages average about $62,000, a figure that jumps to close to $70,000 after about 10 years.

In terms of programming environments, CICS and RPG offer the best compensation for applications programmers. Those working in either CICS or RPG environments average close to $74,000 a year in base pay.

Programmers involved in sites implementing supply chain management systems are likely to average the highest levels of pay, about $77,000 -- or about 20 percent more than the average. Those programmers working with SOA-based efforts follow at more than $72,000.

By operating system environment, programmers in mainframe shops lead, earning a base of more than $71,500 a year, followed by those with midrange-class systems at about $70,000.


APPLICATIONS PROGRAMMER SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 9-year change
$64,020 $62,000 $64,600 $63,000 $61,400 $56,500 $53,000 $49,400 $49,200 +3.3% +30.1%

Average Annual Bonus
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 9-year change
$2,450 $2,610 $2,540 $2,890 $2,700 $2,665 $2,400 $2,600 $3,150 -6.1% -22.2%

By Experience Level (Average = 6.1 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$56,100 $69,740 +24.3%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
SOA B2B ERP CRM Data Warehouse B2C Cloud/Virtualization
$76,900 $72,400 $70,000 $66,800 $66,300 $65,600 $63,900 $63,880

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$71,530 $70,100/td> $68,100 $61,900 $60,570

By Programming Language/Environment
CICS RPG 4GL Java C/C++ COBOL Visual Studio .NET Visual Basic
$73,900 $73,750 $73,262 $66,700 $65,900 $64,500 $64,340 $63,700


SYSTEMS PROGRAMMER

Although systems programmers bucked the hard times in last year's survey with a significant salary jump, the recent economic slowdown may have finally caught up to this category. Overall, base salaries on average declined by about 20 percent over the past year, to about $71,000.

Systems programmers, who deploy, monitor, maintain, and report on system performance, have had the most volatile salary ranges of the IT staff positions covered since introduced in the survey in 2002. Since that time, average salaries have only grown by four percent, typically falling within a range of $68,000 to $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.

Bonuses have been less volatile for systems programmers, however, remaining the same as in last year's survey -- at about $2,600. 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 has about eight years of experience on the job. These professionals can expect to see salary growth of at least 26 percent in the first decade of their career, the survey finds. Currently, entry-level systems programmers make about $58,000, a level that rises to $73,000 for those with at least 10 years of experience.

Mainframe and large systems work offer the highest premiums for this type of job, our survey finds. Systems programmers working with CICS environments had the highest pay, averaging close to $77,000 annually. COBOL systems programmers follow closely at $75,000. When measured by operating system alone, those systems programmers involved with mainframe computing shops top the list, drawing at least $78,000 annually, far outpacing those in distributed environments (Windows or Linux).

Those systems programmers engaged in operations involving business-to-consumer systems draw the highest average base salaries, close to $79,000 a year -- more than 10 percent above the average for this position. Supply chain management is an area that draws higher salaries here as well.


SYSTEMS PROGRAMMER SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 8-year change
$71,250 $89,200 $79,900 $79,300 $69,100 $67,150 $70,400 $68,500 -20.1% +4.0%

Average Annual Bonus
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 8-year change
$2,610 $2,620 $4,050 $3,940 $3,000 $2,665 $3,000 $3,360 +0.0% -22.3%

By Experience Level (Average = 8.25 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$57,750 $73,000 +26.4%

By Application Environment
B2C Supply Chain
Management
CRM B2B Data Warehouse ERP SOA Cloud/Virtualization
$78,640 $78,400 $76,900 $76,600 $75,270 $74,800 $74,240 $72,800

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Windows
(Non-mainframe)
Linux
(Non-mainframe)
$78,145 $72,000/td> $71,840 $67,430 $65,900

By Programming Language/Environment
CICS COBOL C/C++ Visual Studio .NET Visual Basic Java
$76,810 $75,470 $70,270 $69,170 $68,460 $68,300


NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR

Network administrators saw the most impressive salary gains among IT staff positions over the past year, with average base salaries growing at a nine-percent clip, to $68,400. There may be a recognition that enterprises need network expertise to move forward in an economy that relies on connectivity. Network admins also saw the largest increases on the management side, reported in the first article of this survey report.

Network administrators oversee day-to-day network usage and security, as well as troubleshoot network bottlenecks or failed connections.

These professionals saw larger annual bonuses this year, rising seven percent to more than $2,400. 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 eight years' experience. The more experienced professionals (with more than a decade on the job) are drawing salaries close to $76,000, or more than a third more than their entry-level counterparts.

Service-oriented architecture is a high-paying area for network administrators. Those administrators in companies with robust SOA efforts are paid close to $76,000, or 11 percent above the average for this position. Supply chain and CRM sites also tend to pay their network administrators above the average rate.

Those network administrators overseeing mainframe sites also commanded higher average salaries, bringing in more than $77,000 over the past year. Network administrators in Unix shops also saw higher-than-average salaries.


NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 9-year change
$68,400 $62,700 $65,500 $61,900 $61,300 $59,300 $57,300 $53,800 $56,000 +9.1% +22.1%

Average Annual Bonus
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 9-year change
$2,440 $2,280 $2,600 $2,100 $2,600 $2,500 $2,000 $1,660 $3,150 +7.0% -22.6%

By Experience Level (Average = 8.2 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$55,900 $75,600 +35.2%

By Application Environment
SOA Supply Chain
Management
CRM ERP Cloud/Virtualization Data Warehouse B2C B2B
$75,800 $74,300 $71,400 $71,000 $69,600 $68,630 $68,330 $67,900

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe AIX/Unix Midrange Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$77,550 $74,500 $73,600 $66,250 $65,000


SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR

For systems administrators, the recent economic downturn was barely a hiccough in terms of impact on base salaries, and growth continues. This year, systems admins average more than $68,000, a rise of almost six percent from last year's salary, and well above pre-recession levels. However, these professionals -- who deploy, maintain and secure operating systems and servers in LANs or WANs -- have only seen modest growth since being first included in our survey in 2002, rising about 10 percent during this eight-year period.

Average bonuses for system administrators have declined over the past year, dropping almost 10 percent to about $2,400. This is still well within their typical range -- over the past eight years, bonuses have averaged between $2,200 and $2,700.

System administrators who average more than 10 years’ experience on the job can expect to see salary growth of at least 21 percent, according to survey respondents. Currently, entry-level system administrators (with less than five years' experience) make about $60,000, a level that rises to more than $73,000 with more experience.

Organizations with SOA-based efforts underway are top employers for sys admins, paying a five percent premium. Those sys admins involved in supply chain management operations also saw better compensation as well.

Systems administrators in mainframe environments also were paid better than those with other platforms.


SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 8-year change
$68,440 $64,700 $65,900 $64,700 $61,600 $60,500 $56,000 $62,000 +5.8% +10.4%
Average Annual Bonus
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 1-year change 8-year change
$2,440 $2,700 $2,220 $2,170 $3,000 $2,600 $1,800 $2,480 -9.6% -1.6%

By Experience Level (Average = 7.9 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$60,100 $72,755 +21.1%

By Application Environment
SOA Supply Chain
Management
B2B CRM Data Warehouse B2C ERP Cloud/Virtualization
$71,600 $71,400 $71,160 $70,700 $70,260 $69,740 $69,600 $67,570

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe Midrange AIX/Unix Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$74,180 $72,200 $69,900 $65,000 $65,700


DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR

Database administrators saw a very modest bump in their salary levels over the past year, rising two percent to about $76,000 annually. DBAs, who oversee the building, use and security of company databases, took a major hit in salary levels during the recent downturn, and still are below the peak seen in the 2007-2008 survey period.

Salaries may be inching up again for DBAs, but bonuses fell to low levels for this year. On average, DBAs are seeing bonuses of about $2,600, or down by 50 percent from last year's levels. This is also well below the range seen for DBA bonuses over the past decade, which have typically averaged between $3,000 and $5,000.

The database administrator in our survey has at least nine years of industry experience. He or she will start out at about $62,000 in the first five years, and then rise to $83,000 as experience grows.

DBAs in mainframe environments also tend to earn more than those involved with other platforms. As a result, those DBAs specializing in mainframe-centric IMS databases see the highest salaries, averaging $88,000 a year. DBAs in DB2 environments follow with $78,000, a level more comparable with other types of databases.

Database performance is critical, and even more so when made available to outside customers. To this end, those DBAs working within business-to-consumer operations are averaging $83,000 in base pay, or a premium of close to 10 percent of the average salary for this job. There are also premiums being paid to those DBAs involved in SOA and supply chain management systems.


DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES

Year-to-Year Change
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 9-year change
$76,170 $74,800 $81,200 $75,050 $75,500 $70,500 $71,400 $71,500 $66,800 +1.8% +14.0%

Average Annual Bonus
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 1-year change 9-year change
$2,610 $5,180 $3,670 $3,100 $3,800 $3,750 $3,600 $3,360 $5,350 -49.6% -51.2%

By Experience Level (Average = 8.7 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$62,250 $82,750 +32.9%

By Application Environment
B2C SOA Supply Chain
Management
B2B Data Warehouse ERP Cloud/Virtualization CRM
$82,930 $81,640 $81,300 $79,300 $77,810 $77,000 $76,200 $75,700

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe AIX/Unix Midrange Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$83,230 $80,300 $79,900 $75,900 $72,100

By Database Environment
IMS MySQL DB2 Oracle SQL Server Sybase
$87,800 $78,820 $77,900 $77,500 $76,830 $75,600


SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR

Although security administrators are a relatively recent addition to our annual survey, by all indications, companies kept increasing pay to this position through the recent economic slump. 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 almost $80,000, up two percent from last year. Security admins have the highest annual base salaries of the nine IT staff positions covered in this survey.

Security administrators also saw hefty bonuses over the past year -- almost doubling to $4,700 in this year's survey. Along with the highest base salaries, they also have the highest average annual bonuses of IT staff positions in the survey.

On average, security administrators have been on the job more than seven years, and those that stick around see salary bumps of at least 18 percent after a decade on the job.

Security administrators are the most highly compensated in companies that either have SOA of supply chain management initiatives underway -- more than $85,000.

Security administrators at midrange-class sites earn the most, followed by professionals working within mainframe environments.


SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES
Year-to-Year Change
2010 2009 2008 1-year change 2-year change
$79,270 $77,800 $75,200 +1.9% +5.4%

Average Annual Bonus
2010 2009 2008 1-year change 2-year change
$4,670 $2,380 $3,330 +96.2% +40.2%

By Experience Level (Average = 7.5 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$67,920 $80,450 +18.4%

By Application Environment
SOA Supply Chain
Management
CRM Cloud/Virtualization ERP Data Warehouse B2B B2C
$85,200 $85,180 $83,700 $78,750 $78,300 $78,300 $75,700 $73,640

By Operating System Environment
Midrange Mainframe AIX/Unix Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$85,300 $83,900 $81,840 $78,250 $76,700


STORAGE ADMINISTRATOR

Storage administrators -- who oversee the installation, configuration, security, and usage of company storage resources -- have essentially been on a plateau in recent years in terms of salary growth. Salaries have consistently been about $68,000 a year since the 2008 survey.

Salaries may be relatively stable, but storage administrators saw less-generous bonuses from their employers over the past year -- down 20 percent to about $2,300. This is the lowest level since we began tracking this position in 2006.

Storage administrators in the survey have, on average, eight years of industry experience. Those with greater than 10 years tend to see a fairly significant salary bump, topping out at $74,000 for more experienced admins.

The survey also finds that storage administrators working within companies with supply chain management installations have base salaries averaging more than $75,000, leading all other categories. Those focused on CRM systems follow at $73,000. By platform, storage admins in mainframe computing environments had the highest ranges, averaging close to $72,000, followed closely by those in Unix settings with at about $71,000.


STORAGE ADMINISTRATOR SALARIES
Year-to-Year Change
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 1-year change 4-year change
$68,000 $68,800 $68,400 $71,600 $65,300 -1.2% +4.1%

Average Annual Bonus
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 1-year change 4-year change
$2,340 $2,925 $2,980 $2,480 $3,600 -20.0% -35.0%

By Experience Level (Average = 7.5 Years)
<5 years 10+ years Differential
$56,210 $73,840 +31.4%

By Application Environment
Supply Chain
Management
CRM SOA ERP Data Warehouse B2B Cloud/Virtualization B2C
$75,500 $73,300 $73,100 $71,800 $70,960 $67,600 $67,400 $64,365

By Operating System Environment
Mainframe AIX/Unix Midrange Linux
(Non-mainframe)
Windows
(Non-mainframe)
$71,900 $71,400 $70,400 $69,700 $65,220