IT pay on the rise: Who’ll get the biggest raise in 2012?

Compared to other areas, the IT job market is expected to be relatively strong in 2012. But IT professionals with skills and experience in some areas are likely to benefit more than others. So which IT pros are in line for the biggest raises next year?

One group of benefactors will be IT security professionals, according to the latest salary guide from staffing firm Robert Half International.

While IT salaries in general are expected to rise by 3% in 2012, wages for security pros — including data security analysts, network security admins, systems security admins, IS security managers, CSOs and network security engineers — will outpace that figure with a 4.5% increase.

The reasons: an increasingly hostile threat landscape and a move into new areas with significant security concerns, such as cloud computing, Robert Half says.

Moves into new technology areas will also drive up salaries for other IT specialists — including mobile application developers, who will get the biggest pay boost at 9.1%.

The other job titles that will earn their holders the biggest raises in 2012:

  1. Senior web developer — 6.9%
  2. Database developer — 6.9%
  3. Data warehouse analyst — 6.7%
  4. Software engineer — 6.6%
  5. Software developer — 6.5%
  6. Business intelligence analyst — 6.3%
  7. Data architect — 6.2%
  8. Network architect — 6%
  9. Data security analyst — 6%
  10. Web designer — 6%

And as for what skills companies need the most in their IT departments, IT managers surveyed by Robert Half said they’re looking for people with education and experience in:

  1. Network administration (64%)
  2. Database management (51%)
  3. Desktop support (46%)
  4. Windows administration (42%)
  5. Wireless network management (38%)
  6. Web development and design (35%)
  7. Telecommunications support (28%)
  8. Virtualization (25%)
  9. Business intelligence (22%)
  10. ERP implementation (15%)

While those figures are good news for the people working those jobs, things will be more difficult for the IT managers in charge of keeping current employees from jumping ship or trying to fill vacant positions in the IT department.

In fact, just 25% of IT managers surveyed by Robert Half said finding skilled IT professionals wasn’t a challenge for them right now.

What’s the best way to attract and keep qualified IT employees? A competitive salary is important, but it’s not the number one factor. In another survey, IT professionals listed the things that give their job satisfaction the biggest boost:

  1. A boss who gives them autonomy and lets them manage their own projects (70%)
  2. Good salary and benefits (62%)
  3. Opportunities to be trained in new technical skills (61%), and
  4. Flexible schedules (61%).
To read more about Robert Half’s salary guides, click here.