IT Salaries: Are You Paid What You're Worth?

A Web site allows you to compare tech salaries for IT sectors across the country.
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Are you paid as much as your colleagues in equivalent tech jobs? More importantly, are you paid what you’re worth?

The Payscale web site allows you to answer these questions in ways that early job data sources didn’t. In a new twist, the site’s information comes directly from workers, not from employers, headhunters or large job banks. Seattle-based Payscale has a hefty database of pay data from workers who have entered their salary level at the site.

However, some observers might look at Payscale’s data and ask: is it accurate? After all, online surveys filled out anonymously are notoriously unreliable.

But Payscale has an answer. Dr. Al Lee, Payscale’s director of quantitative analysis, points out that users come to the site to see how their salary compares with similar workers. So there’s no incentive for users to falsely inflate their income – the comparison data would be worthless. Additionally, the site uses filtering software to eliminate obviously wrong data.

Moreover, he says, since the site’s mountain of data from IT workers is enormous, it has a framework that enables it to edit out erroneous entries.

“The tech space is one of our best spaces in terms of the fraction of workers who come to our site,” he tells Datamation. He estimates that as much as 2-3% of all tech workers have entered salary data in Payscale. While that percentage sounds high, it’s true that Payscale’s figures fall roughly in line with other IT salary data that Datamation has gathered, for example these figures and these figures.

Median IT Salaries

Here are some national median salaries listed by Payscale:

(All figures represent base salary plus annual bonus, without equity or stocks.)

Software Developers:

• Senior Software Developer = $85,256

• Software Architect = $121,686

• Senior Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer (Computer Software) = $74,636

Database Administrators:

• Database Administrator (DBA) =$79,821

• Data Warehouse Manager = $82,082

IT Managers:

• Information Technology Manager = $102,059

• Software Development Manager = $123,880

• Information Technology Director = $127,444

Platform Architects:

• Information Technology Architect = $114,639

• Systems Engineer (Computer Networking / IT) = $82,632

Next page: Boosting Your Tech Pay

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