2005 SALARY SURVEY
- By Enterprise Systems
- September 1, 2005
Good News for Application Developers…
Overall, there is a cautious optimism about new and ongoing
opportunities in IT which may translate into increased compensation.
"The market is starting to heat up again," says an IT
executive with a southeastern government agency. "The highest
demand is for Web developers with some mainframe knowledge
to know how to link the two up."
The IT job market has been strengthening over the past year, but many organizations
have been aggressively cost cutting, keeping their IT departments lean and mean,
according to a new salary survey of 1,170 enterprise IT sites conducted by Enterprise
Systems [Editor’s note: ADT and Enterprise Systems are owned by 101communications].
Among seven key IT staff positions covering responsibilities for applications
and systems, four saw increases in average base salaries over the past year
while three suffered downturns. The worst positions to suffer, and slowest to
recover from the downturn earlier in the decade, are systems related jobs.
“In the past two years, the size of our IT staff has dropped from 150
to 95, leaving a user-to-staff ratio of 158-to-1,” laments one respondent,
a manager with a government agency based in the Midwest. “Salary increases
for this year barely top at 1.5 percent. The most sought-after skill is the
ability to do everything with nothing.”
Application development and administration jobs, on the other hand, saw raises
in recent years.
There are some other bright spots driving the latest salary increases for developers
and administrators, according to survey respondents. “We are giving good
raises to our employees—Microsoft certifications are drawing the best
compensation,” says a manager with an IT development firm based in the
Southeast. Another survey participant, a manager with a telecom development
firm, speculates “security is going to be a big boom in the next few years.”
He also identifies “larger-scale management of network services and capabilities
for VoIP, video conferencing and more” as a career and salary growth area
for IT professionals.
APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT MANAGERS
With all the hype and excitement around SOA and Web services, these should be
heady times for application development managers. However, accelerated development
may be tempered by outsourcing as well as IT budgets that continue to be tight.
AD manager salaries have plateaued in recent years, and bonuses have slipped.
AD managers—who plan, direct and control all day-to-day application development
functions—are earning base salaries of about $86,500, roughly a 1-percent
dip from last year’s survey.
AD managers are projected to earn bonuses of about $6,900, down slightly from
Typical AD managers in the survey will see salary growth up to 24 percent throughout
their careers. Salaries range between $74,000 at entry level to $98,400 for
more than two decades of experience.
AD manager salaries are strongest within the high-tech and software sector,
averaging $102,000. Financial services follow at $98,300, and AD managers in
the services sector follow at $93,000.
Executives leading development for business-to-consumer systems average about
$98,000, giving them the highest pay. Those overseeing development in organizations
supporting supply chain management systems average about $93,200, which is also
higher than average.
Read The Complete ESJ Salary Survey
This is a good year for application programmers. Those who write and text code
saw the largest jump in salaries across the IT staff positions covered in the
survey for the second year in a row, and now average about $56,500—a rise
of 6.6 percent over last year’s survey. Average base salaries for this
position have risen by almost 15 percent since the beginning of the decade.
Bonuses have been healthy for application programmers too. Programmers are
seeing bonuses averaging $2,665, up 11 percent over last year. However, app
programmers have yet to recapture the bonuses they saw at the beginning of the
Because 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
is limited. App programmers who have remained in these positions for 10 years
or more make about 37 percent more than their entry-level counterparts. The
typical programmer in the survey has about six years of industry experience.
Programmers in mainframe and Unix shops make the most, topping $59,000 a year
in base salary. By development language environment, programmers in CICS and
COBOL shops fare best, drawing average salaries of almost $62,000 for CICS-based
development and $59,000 for COBOL.
Companies deploying and managing supply chain management and business-to-consumer
systems have the most generous compensation for programmers, paying annual base
salaries of about $61,000 and $60,000, respectively. ERP skills also command
close to $60,000 in base compensation for application programmers. “Rates
are staying down but opportunities are picking up,” says one respondent,
a manager with a southeastern IT service company. “ERP programmer skills
are in high demand and in somewhat low supply.”
Application programming salaries are strongest within the high-tech and manufacturing
sectors, averaging about $67,000 and $61,000, respectively.
Systems programmers are having the toughest year in terms of salary and bonuses.
Overall, salaries for this category slipped from last year’s survey. Systems
programmers—workers supporting the corporate infrastructure and networks—are
earning base salaries of about $67,150, down almost 5 percent from $70,400 since
last year’s survey. Salaries for this position have remained relatively
stagnant since the survey first covered this position in 2002.
Systems programmers project they will earn bonuses of nearly $2,665, lower
than last year. Typical systems programmers in the survey may see tremendous
salary growth throughout their careers, however. Salaries range between $49,000
at entry level to $77,000 for more than a decade of experience.
Mainframe skills continue to be a strong suit for systems programmers, who
earn an average of $71,100, outpacing their Unix counterparts by about $2,000.
By development language environment, systems programmers in CICS and COBOLshops
fare best, drawing average salaries of $72,100 and $70,200, respectively.
By application area, systems programmers in ERP shops receive the highest base
compensation, averaging $68,700 in annual base compensation. Those in business-to-business
shops follow with $68,000. Systems programmer salaries are strongest within
the retail and distribution sector, averaging $81,200 annually.
Read The Complete ESJ Salary Survey
Application programmer/analysts—who develop applications and environments—saw
modest salary growth since last year’s survey, rising about 2 percent,
an average of $63,800 to $65,200. Over the long term, P/As have seen their compensation
climb by 13 percent since the beginning of the decade. P/As expect to earn bonuses
of about $3,400 this year—about the same as last year, but substantially
higher than earlier in the decade.
The typical P/A in the survey has about six years of experience. Long-term
salary growth prospects appear solid for professionals remaining in these positions.
P/As with 10 or more years of experience make 26 percent more than their less-seasoned
counterparts. An entry-level P/A can expect to make an average of $57,500 a
year, a figure that climbs to almost $73,000 for those with 10 or more years
P/As working in companies with e-business initiatives under way saw the highest
payoffs. Those with companies with business-to-consumer implementations earn
average base salaries of $66,700, while employees at business-to- business sites
By development language environment, programmer/analysts in CICS shops fare
best with average salaries of $67,100, followed by those with C/C++ shops, with
average salaries of $66,000.
P/A salaries are strongest within the healthcare sector, averaging $74,000
in annual base compensation. P/As in the high-tech and software sectors follow
with $70,800, and those in the financial services sector receive $68,500.
App systems analysts working in mainframe and Unix shops earn the highest salaries
for this position. Overall, however, systems analysts—who typically work
with corporate management, end users and clients to plan and design systems—saw
no growth in annual base salaries over the past year.
Currently, these IT professionals earn about $67,900, down slightly from $70,900
in last year’s survey. This is nearly 3 percent higher than average salaries
in the first survey of this series, conducted in 2001. Although average annual
bonuses for system analysts are the highest of the IT line positions measured
in this survey, bonuses have fallen by more than 2 percent from last year (bonuses
are down more than 4 percent from the beginning of the decade). System analysts
look to earn $4,100 on top of their base salaries for this year.
The typical systems analyst in the survey has about nine years of industry
experience. On average, system analysts with 10 or more years of experience
make up to 39 percent more than their less experienced or entry-level counterparts.
Systems analysts working with enterprise resource planning infrastructures fare
best with $70,700 in annual pay. Salaries are strong at ERP sites across the
positions covered in the survey. “Implementation of our new ERP is driving
our salaries these days,” says an IT manager with a Midwest-based retailer.
Unlike last year, salaries at ERP sites are higher than business-to-business
implementation sites. The survey reveals salaries at ERP sites average $69,700.
By operating system environment, systems analysts in Unix shops fare best,
drawing an average salary of $69,100. However, this is only about 2 percent
above the overall average. Those systems analysts working in Linux shops (distributed
systems only) saw the lowest compensation, averaging just over $65,000 a year.
System analyst salaries are strongest within the services sector, averaging
about $75,000, followed by retail and distribution and high-tech and software,
both at $73,000.
System Analyst Salaries
Programmer, Systems Programmer Salaries
Development Manager Salaries, Regional IT Salaries, IT Salaries by Industry,
IT Salaries by Company Size
Read The Complete ESJ Salary Survey