Salary Trends -- What's hot today, what's hot tomorrow

Check out the lastest salary survey results from SearchDatabase.com and SearchNetworking.com.

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When it comes to finding a high-paying job in the information systems field these days, it pays to stick to the nuts and bolts. The need for data management is growing by leaps and bounds throughout the industry, and companies are hiring professionals to manage this explosion.

According to the TechTarget annual Salary Survey, which draws on salary numbers across the TechTarget family of Web sites, four of the ten top-paying data management jobs deal with management and manipulation of online data. The title "Data modeler," which wasn't even in the top ten last year, was the highest-paying with an average salary of $86,500. "Storage architect" came in at number four, with an average salary of $80,636, while "storage manager" followed in the sixth slot at $75,000. "Data architect" brought up the rear in eighth place, with an average wage of $70,167.

Similarly, companies are sticking to their knitting when it comes to maintaining and safeguarding the technical infrastructure that drives the economic engine. Security managers continued to do well, coming in as the second highest paying job with an average salary of $79,000. Internet architects and network managers also had a strong presence, in fifth and eighth place respectively. Meanwhile, contractor/consultants climbed a notch from seventh to sixth place, despite the current popularity of IT offshore outsourcing.

The survey has rated the ten highest paying jobs at each site in the TechTarget portfolio; some interesting analysis can be gleaned by comparing this year's results with similar data from last year's survey. We'll look at SearchDatabase.com and SearchNetworking.com.

SearchDatabase.com
This survey reflected the fact that information management is a hot-button issue at many companies. "Data modeler" scored high on this survey as well -- landing in the second slot behind "network manager/architect." "Data architect" came in at number five, and storage managers were tenth on the list with an average salary of $72,000.

The top position of network manager, with an average salary of $82,500, reflects similar survey results from DICE.com, a IT job website (www.dice.com). DICE.com's recent salary survey found that network and MIS manager positions had the largest increases over the past year, gaining 7% and 5% respectively. Both positions have seen steady salary growth since 2001, according to DICE.

Regional analysis: The Northwest region made a strong surge last year. The average Northwest salary from the SearchDatabase.com numbers jumped from 7th place ($63,278) to first place ($72,600). Meanwhile, the Mid-Atlantic area dropped from first place last year, with an average salary of $69,125, to sixth place with an average salary of $65,421. New England held steady at the number two spot but dropped to sixth place when the numbers were broadened to include salaries across all IT professions.

Bonuses: The average bonus for SearchDatabase.com professionals was 3%, compared with the industry-wide average of 4%.

Job Satisfaction: 18% of respondents said that their job satisfaction had increased in the past 12 months, while 44% gave their job satisfaction rating a thumbs down. 37% reported no change in satisfaction.

Workweek: Workweek isn't nearly as bad for database professionals as software developers. A whopping 80% of respondents reported working 40-50 hours a week, while only 12% worked 51-60 hours. A meager two percent worked more than 60 hours a week. Four percent of respondents clocked fewer than 40 hours a week.

Top 10 Paying Jobs on SearchDatabase.com

  1. Network manager/architect
  2. Data modeler
  3. Technical support manager
  4. Security specialist
  5. Data architect
  6. Internet architect
  7. Software development manager
  8. Project manager/team leader
  9. IS director
  10. Storage manager
SearchNetworking.com
Software development remained on top at SearchNetworking.com for both years, with a salary that jumped from $85,500 to $87,000, reflecting a continued corporate commitment to infrastructural improvement and maintenance. In fact, jobs that involved information management or infrastructural administration did quite well.

For example, storage architects and storage managers appeared in the survey for the first time, in second and fifth places and with average salaries of $82,500 and $72,000 respectively. Security also continued to bring in a hefty paycheck at many companies, reflecting ongoing preoccupation with information security brought on by legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA. This year, the position of security manager jumped from seventh to third place, with an average salary that rose from $70,000 to $75,333.

On the losing side, the position of Web developer fell out of the top ten, from a number two perch last year. Database administrators also suffered a loss, falling from sixth to tenth place, with an average salary that dropped from $70,000 to $63,571.

Regional analysis: Hikers and skiers, rejoice -- the Mountain region was the best place for respondents to the SearchNetworking.com survey to live and work, with a regional average salary of $68,250. It rebounded from the fifth spot the previous year. The next strongest contender was the Mid-Atlantic region with its stronghold of government jobs, which inched up one level from the year before with an average salary of $64,680. This jibes with data from the DICE salary survey, which saw jobs in the D.C. area grow by 66% last year.

Bonuses: The average bonus for SearchNetworking.com professionals was 3%, compared with the industrywide average of 4%.

Job Satisfaction: Job satisfaction is down, another victim of ongoing pressure in the IT job market. 50% of respondents said that their job satisfaction had decreased in the past year, while only 18% said it had improved.

Workweek: 77% of respondents worked 40 to 50 hours a week, while 15% worked 51-60. An unlucky two percent spent more than sixty hours a week at work, no doubt envying the four percent that worked fewer than 40 hours weekly.

Top 10 Paying Jobs on SearchNetworking.com

  1. Software development manager
  2. Storage architect
  3. Security manage
  4. Project manager/team leader
  5. Storage manager
  6. Network manager/architect
  7. IS director
  8. Contractor/consultant
  9. CRM director
  10. Database administrator
For more information:

>> Read the full results of the SearchDatabase.com salary survey.

>> Read the full results of the SearchNetworking.com salary survey.


This was first published in May 2004
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