Salaries increase as demand heats up for IT skills

Salaries increase as demand heats up for IT skills

Pay rises across many Australian cities were evident in some IT roles such as project architects, programmers and related technicians

Project architects, programmers and related technicians are some of the hotly contested IT skills that have experienced salary increases so far this year, according to a new survey.

The Peoplebank quarterly Salary Survey, indicated that despite a slow start to hiring, pay rises were evident in some of the 50 IT roles it tracks across Australia’s main cities.

In Sydney, the market saw pay rises of less than 10 percent for .NET, J2EE, business analysts, testing specialists, infrastructure architect contractors and security architect professionals. According to the survey, the salary for a permanent senior business analyst in Sydney was sitting at $110,000 in August last year, but this has now jumped to $120,000.

Demand for contract roles in Melbourne was strengthening ahead of permanent roles, reflecting the overall number of positions available, as well as observations that employers are retaining contractors for longer periods. Turnover in contract staff fell by around 5 per cent. The market saw pay rises in several areas including enterprise architects, applications architects, service delivery managers, and a range of support infrastructure administration positions.

In a statement, Peoplebank CEO, Peter Acheson, said the overall national trend was positive, but each state has been impacted by major issues, affecting IT hiring patterns.

For example, the Queensland floods temporarily shut down the state’s economy, and the rebuilding effort would drive Government investment for some time, Acheson said.

“On the other hand, the resources sector remains buoyant, while Queensland-based businesses have – in a remarkable display of resilience – hired large numbers of contractors to help restore their operations in February. As a result, there have been pay rises for Project Architects, programmers and related technicians,” he said.

“By contrast, markets in Victoria and NSW started their 2011 projects later than usual, especially in the banking and utilities sectors. Several large companies had extended their December-January planning periods into February.”

The Queensland Government has understandably diverted its investment in IT projects towards urgent infrastructure repairs. This – combined with business focusing on rebuilding projects – will serve to constrain demand for IT workers in coming months, which will ease pressure on pay rates. However, the survey showed a senior project manager in Brisbane should be earning $130,000, a jump from $120,000, in April last year.

Acheson said there was stronger demand for IT contractors from the medium-sized and smaller enterprises across Victoria and NSW.

“The net result is that the traditional peak in hiring that we usually see in January, won’t be fully evident until March or even April. Over the period, we saw pay rises in specialist areas in both cities,” he said.

In South Australia, senior workers with specialist ERP skills, applications development and support infrastructure administration, had experienced pay rises. Salaries for permanent roles in Canberra have remained steady, but it still experienced pay rises in the contractor sector – particularly for developers with specialist skills. Salaries were also set to rise for senior change managers, database developers, testers and service desk operators.

“The market is confident that there will be ongoing investment in IT, which will underpin a strong jobs market in 2011,” he said.

Acheson predicts that while there is a shortage of skills in specialist areas, and expects that throughout 2011 the market will continue to tilt in favour of candidates.

“However, the good news for many employers is that – even if it’s not terribly easy – it will be possible to source good candidates for IT roles throughout this year and early into 2012,” Acheson said.

In Adelaide there have been pay rises in several areas: including in the contract sector, for developers including business analyst, .NET, J2EE and test professionals; senior SAP and Oracle professionals and applications development managers.

In Perth, the number of available roles had grown significantly, especially with contract placements, which has grown by around 20 per cent in the past quarter, the survey indicated. Pay rises of up to 15 per cent have been observed in in-demand areas including for business analysts, enterprise architects, solutions architects, program managers and help desk managers and PC/desktop support professionals.

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Tags OracleSAPpeoplebankPeoplebank Quarterly IT&T Salary IndexSalary and Job Trends

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