IT industry salaries rise 7.5% in 2011

Salaries for IT professionals have risen by 7.5% to reach an average wage of over £46,000 in 2011...

Salaries for IT professionals have risen 7.5% in the past year, according to research.

Research from recruitment firm Greythorn suggests salaries rose by 7.5% to reach an average wage of over £46,000 in 2011, up from £42,800 in 2010.

The survey of 580 IT professionals also showed over half (56%) of professionals were paid an average bonus of 19% in 2011, accounting for a pay-out of over £9.4bn across the IT industry.

"Many companies have had to increase headcount in their technological departments as the recovery continues," said Paul Winchester, managing director of Greythorn,

"Technology services were among the hardest hit during the recession but companies are now realising that unless these departments are properly staffed, they face expensive efficiency deficits, which hold back growth."

Winchester suggested that salary increases reflect the need to "fork out" for experienced and talented staff rather than simply paying employees more as a result of longer working hours.

The research revealed average working hours only increased 0.3% to 36.9 hours per week over the 12-month period.

The survey also found 33% of employees believe their organisation will reduce headcount in the next 12 months with 41% expecting staff numbers to increase.

"Professionals worried about their prospects in the coming year should remember that the market for talented people is booming. If you aren't feeling confident about the future of your current role, it might pay big dividends to consider your options elsewhere," said Winchester.

Recent research by Kew Associates shows a strong correlation between IT spending and organisations' headcount over the past 15 years.

Kris Wicka, managing director at Kew Associates, said UK IT expenditure has been very strongly driven by the number of people employed in the whole economy since the organisation started tracking quarterly IT spend growth in 1996. This suggests IT budgets are unlikely to pick up until the job market recovers.

A study of 50 IT roles and 7,000 advertised positions in the first quarter of 2011 by IT recruitment firm CV Screen showed the average salary for permanent IT professionals in the UK was £38,946, up 5% on the same period in 2010.

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