Salary trends: What's hot, what's not

In our annual TechTarget Salary Survey, two storage-related titles cracked the top ten earners list for the first time.

Although IT management jobs continue to reign as the highest-paying positions across the technology career spectrum, storage-related positions are beginning to make inroads as well, reflecting the continued importance of data management across corporate America. Data has continued its explosive growth at many enterprises, and companies have responded by hiring in sectors that are dedicated to managing and organizing corporate data, particularly in the storage arena.

According to the TechTarget annual Salary Survey, which draws on salary numbers from across the TechTarget family of Web sites, two new entrants into the top 10 list of titles are storage-related. Storage architect, which has leapt from nowhere to score the number three spot, behind only CIOs and Internet architects, reports an average salary of $83,368, and average total compensation of $88,763. The position of storage manager has also appeared on the list for the first time. Coming in at number 8, the job has an average salary of $74,400, with average total compensation coming in at $76,300.

The rising importance of storage-related jobs makes sense, as companies continue to realize the importance of maintaining a solid and reliable infrastructure, and are investing accordingly.

The survey has also been customized for specifically; comparing this year's data with last year's results brings up some interesting insights.

Not surprisingly, information management is a consistent theme across many of the jobs listed in the survey. Data modeler and Internet architect are in the second and third positions, respectively, with an average salary of $90,000 for a data modeler and $84,000 for an Internet architect. Moreover, the appearance of storage architect in the sixth spot reflects the continuing trend at many companies of hiring specifically for storage-related skills. Storage architects make an average salary of $79,516, with an average total compensation of $83,194. In fact, survey respondents fared better salarywise than the overall TechTarget survey respondents, earning an average salary of $70,543, versus an average wage of $64,634.


Interestingly, the Mountain region reports the highest storage-related salaries, even though the West Coast, New York and Boston are generally perceived as the top spots for high salaries. Mountain region folks drew an average salary of $82,333, versus $78,813 for second-place Pacific region, and $76,933 for the Mid-Atlantic.

Bonuses: respondents reported an average bonus of 5% of their salary, compared with an industrywide average of 4%. The maximum bonus reported was 29% of salary.

Work week: respondents like to work, but they don't put in the crazy 80-hour-plus work weeks often associated with computer programming. 81% said that they worked between 40-50 hours a week, while 16% clocked in with 51-60 hours a week. Only 1% were chained to their desks for more than 60 hours weekly.

Experience and education:

A strong educational and work experience pays off for readers, the survey found. Respondents with 21 years of experience, for example, made an average of $94,000, versus $77,000 for those with just nine years of work under their belts. Meanwhile, an advanced degree will add almost $4,600 onto a paycheck, according to the survey: Advanced degree holders made an average annual salary of $79,310, compared with $74,731 for those with a bachelor's degree. Workers with an associate's degree, meanwhile, took home an average of $70,862 yearly.

Gender gap:

The gender gap is alive and well in storage-related jobs. The survey shows that male respondents, on average, make $73,817 annually, while female respondents earn an average salary of only $68,897. Adding in bonuses to compare total compensation only makes things worse: Men received an average total compensation of $77,561, while women made $70,552.

The 10 highest-paying jobs in this year's survey:

    Software development manager
  • Data modeler
  • Internet architect
  • IS manager
  • IS director
  • Storage architect
  • Technical support manager
  • Project manager/team leader
  • Contractor/consultant
  • Security specialist
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