Demand for network specialists is booming following a growth in the number of organisations outsourcing their network management and heavy investments by mobile phone operators in their infrastructure.
IT recruitment companies have reported a rise in demand for network specialists with expertise in security, pushing up rates for qualified staff.
"Network security, design and implementation is paying huge amounts. We are seeing bidding wars between top-level network consultants," said Samantha Britnell, business delivery manager at IT recruitment agency DP Connect.
Outsourcing specialists such as EDS and Accenture are recruiting network specialists after taking over network management centres from clients, said DP Connect.
Professionals with Cisco Internetwork qualifications are commanding up to £500 a day, and professionals with network security expertise can earn between £400 and £450 a day.
Nicky Iandoli, director of the permanent recruitment division at Penta Consulting, said, "We are seeing quite a lot of movement in the market, with high salaries."
As reported in Computer Weekly earlier this month, the number of advertised vacancies for network staff has risen by 9% from the start of the year, with demand for network analysts up 27.3%, according to the latest SSL/Computer Weekly Quarterly Survey of Appointments Data and Trends.