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Pay rises in the IT sector have staged a recovery over the past year and are now outstripping price inflation for the first time since the economy hit a brick wall in late 2008. Figures from XpertHR’s Computer Staff Salary Survey for June 2012 show that basic salaries had increased by an average 3.1% over the previous 12 months. Including bonuses, take-home pay rose by 3.7%.

XpertHR has published the UK’s most comprehensive and reliable IT pay survey over a 40-year period. The most recent findings, covering nearly 60,000 IT professionals and managers in 209 companies, are summarised in this article.

Figures from the survey show that pay rises took a sharp downturn in 2008 and stabilised during 2011 but are now on their way up once again, particularly in inner London, where the City effect has seen a sharp recovery in bonus payouts. IT professionals in post at the date of the survey who had not changed roles in the previous 12 months received, on average, a 3.1% increase in basic salary (or 2.7% increase taking into account both basic pay and bonuses).

This recovery in IT salaries is not reflected in any similar recovery in pay increases for other groups of employees, other than in highly specialist roles such as actuarial professionals. It also shows IT professionals benefiting despite problems with the wider economy, with UK GDP shrinking for three consecutive quarters in late 2011 and through the first half of 2012 and the country in a technical recession.

Graduates entering the IT profession can be confident that if they have the right skills to offer, they are likely to find plenty of career opportunities. Those who succeed in getting a first foot on the career ladder can look forward to progressing in due course from modest levels of reward to what are relatively good salaries in comparison with many other careers. And when the economic recovery begins to increase demand for people with IT skills, they will have the experience and expertise to take them on to bigger and better things.

In addition to their basic pay, IT staff enjoy a range of other benefits from their employment: most could expect to begin employment with 25 days’ paid holiday per year plus bank holidays (rising with service to 30 days) and at least 85% of entry level staff could find themselves in roles that qualify for overtime payments.

Despite a downturn this year, most employers of IT staff continue to report difficulties recruiting the right people. Having the right skills can also have a substantial impact on pay levels. The key skill areas required, especially at junior levels are:

  • JCL; RPG400; Visual Basic
  • MS.NET
  • DB2; Data Warehousing; MS SQL Server MS
  • SMS
  • DEC-VMS; Apple
  • Cisco; Voice IP; CICS; TCP/IP
  • SAP; Oracle-CRM
  • Prince2; Business Objects.

The XpertHR Computer Staff Salary Survey is only available to participating companies on a subscription basis. For further information visit

Job level Average basic salary
Trainee £17,482
Junior Analyst £22,900
Analyst £30,866
Senior Analyst £39,910
Project Manager £47,178
Department Manager £66,166
IT Function Head £79,926
IT Managers £98,529
IT Director £131,911

Source: Computer Staff Salary, June 2012, XpertHR.

About the Author

  • About Mark Crail: Mark Crail is Content Director at XpertHR.

Mark Crail

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