These IT pros will get the biggest raises this year

Recent reports have been showing that IT salaries are increasing on average across the whole field. But here’s one factor that could affect how much IT pros gain: 

Geographic location.

That’s the message in a recent salary survey released by IT job board

In 2012, average IT salaries rose 5.3% compared to 2011. That include IT pros at all levels, though lower-level tech staff saw the biggest gains, with an average IT salary jump of 8% for technology pros with two or fewer years of experience. Those with 15 or more years of experience weren’t as fortunate, but still saw a 4% gain.

However, a lot of that average gain was heavily influenced by several metro areas that saw double digit increases in IT salaries:

  • Pittsburgh (IT pros there earned 18% more, on average, compared to the previous year)
  • San Diego (13%)
  • St. Louis (13%)
  • Phoenix (12%)
  • Cleveland (11%)
  • Milwaukee (10%)
  • Orlando (10%)

IT pros in other markets saw their pay remain more steady, and a few places even saw a decrease.

Rising IT salaries challenging for managers

While’s Dice’s IT salary report brings good news for tech employees, it’s bad news for IT managers that want to find and keep top IT talent. It’ll continue to get harder and more expensive to do that as competitors offer more money to lure employees away.

Among those who reported earning a higher salary last year, nearly 20% of employees did so by changing employers. And 64% of IT pros are confident they could find a better job this year.

Here are some steps organizations can take to improve IT recruiting and retention:

  • Review compensation plans to make sure they’re in line with the company’s geographic market and the overall IT job market
  • Consider what low- or no-cost benefits can be offered to staff and applicants — for example, flexible scheduling and telecommuting options, and
  • Offer more IT skills training opportunities — that’s one benefit IT pros want from their employers, and it will help companies close critical skills gaps without hiring new staff members.