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Are You Getting Paid Fairly? UBM’s IT Salary Survey for 2012

Those of you working for others, or considering hiring others, probably are interested in what the going ‘rate’ is. How much will it cost to create your eCommerce channel? How much will it cost to maintain my help desk and answer all those questions? How much should I pay my CIO (chief information officer) to herd all the parts of my technology infrastructure to manage my website and more?

Well the short answer is either ‘it depends’ or ‘as much as you want to pay’. But neither is real helpful without context. So I find it helpful to see what other companies are doing with their IT staff and management. In the information management industry UBM has created a long term name for themselves as understanding what is happening in the IT world with their variety of publications including Information Week, and analysis services. Granted their bias is heavily towards enterprise work, but they try to segment their data whenever possible. They have been doing annual surveys for quite a while, and recently their 2012 salary survey came out.

To get your own copy of the survey in PDF go to: here or here  UBM’s form is a quick lead collector with the chance to register for some useful webinars.

The survey is based on over 1,300 responses in large and small organizations, with much slicing and dicing to allow you to see how your staff matches. But it also helps to understand the mindset of employees, and to see how other businesses structure their IT teams. That is part of what I find useful in reviewing the survey and looking at it across the pages. Looking at regional differences and major city compared to a region has some insights as well.

I was most focused on some friends who have vast experiences, but are currently working in the help desk area. Here are some of the insights I collected from the data (all numbers are in thousands of US dollars per year):

  • Typically, salaries are 1% or 2% more then last year in information technology after a flat 2011.
  • To double your salary – jump from help desk work to management. Help desk is always viewed as the lowest common demoninator, and is paid accordingly low. If you want to increase your pay, look for something ‘simpler’. Or at least something that is labeled differently.
  • page 41 – Seattle average staff base $99k vs. Chicago $88k. Seattle is probably offset by higher total package with more benefits and bonus.
  • page 43 – Midwest average staff base is $79k vs. Pacific region $92k (after ‘subtracting’ average for Chicago, means that outside of Chicago (all the way north to Kenosha) is way lower.
  • page 45 – Manager pay though the swing in higher pay switches in the Chicago dual with Seattle. With Chicago, manager average is $118k for base salary vs. Seattle $110k. This may also incorporate that Seattle may tend to have more ‘working’ programming managers rather then ‘stand alone’ management, creating almost a hybrid rate (lower pay for split duties).
  • page 49 – 73% expect 401k match next year.
  • page 51 – 48% attended paid company training last year.
  • page 59 – shows how many companies that IT people have been at. 29% have worked at 3 or more companies in last 10 years. It is not clear how many have been with multiple companies while sitting at the same desk, but corporate takeovers changed the sign at the parking lot. I once worked for 3 companies in the space of 4 months at the same desk.
  • page 82 – less then half have a bachelors degree (or higher). The percentage is even lower if you are in management.
  • page 85 – Many people are working in  jobs with companies with annual revenue under $50million – 38% of jobs are with these smaller companies. Not all jobs are enterprise jobs.
  • page 87 – 20% of jobs are in companies with less then 100 total employees (total, not just IT).
  • page 88 – shows which industries tend to pay the most – in terms of total packages non-profit is lowest. In spite of what Governor Walker says, government is 3rd lowest after education (which is still typically a government job). For those that feel that government employees with defined benefits packages should look at these numbers. This goes against your pension frustration. It infers that government employees are taking a $15-30k cut in pay per year for the better pension. The time value of money is an interesting analysis.  Is it fair or not?  The defined benefits of government positions is in contrast to 75%  of all IT employees expect a 401k program with an employer match on page 49.
Here is some older salary suveys:
Of course is another great resource for looking at ‘how much it costs’ but this direction is also helpful, with a background in the industry older then has been around.

How does this survey compare to your experiences? Do you find any surprises, please share in the comments section?

June 19, 2012 Posted by | Chicago, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

What 1st Steps as New IT Manager Would You Take?

From a post I commented on in LinkedIn

You are assigned the position of IT Manager in a new company. You don’t know the business or the developers you’ll be managing. What are the first steps you would take?

A few additions on my part:
1) Look at the ‘written’ /published documentation (preferably 1st) of stated goals, visions etc. They may not be accurate, but someone wanted them at some point. Ideally you have time (ha) to incorporate this perspective as you ask others how they view the issues.

2) Being ‘new to the business’ may imply new to the industry. Find the top 3-6 periodicals for the industry. Read as much of the last 6 months to learn the jargon and issues coming down the road in the next 2-3 years. If you are not at the leading company in the industry, these will tend to indicate what needs to be done to be competitive in the near future.

3) Take a look at previous reviews for your developers. These indicate what previous perspectives were. Even if they are totally off base, the reviewed may still be battling the criticisms in those reviews. This also allows a point of reference for areas to keep an eye on what other staff may view as issues.

4) I would look to find what may be written about your customers – whether that is blogs, press releases or trade journal for external customers, or wiki’s, newsletters, blogs, annual reports for internal customers. What is written can be a starting point for conversations of how others perceive and understand the situation.

5) I suggest the SPIN approach to conversations –
– What is the Situation?
– What is the Problem(S) created by that situation?
– What is the Implication of the situation, the ‘So What’ of the situation?
– What is the Need of the situation, This lets you help set your priorities described in previous posts.

6) Keep a sense of humor – seldom is it that life or death, and your attitude can build far more bridges than the ‘perfect’ knowledge or a perfect plan written yesterday.

July 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment