Want an IT salary increase? Try a different industry

As recent reports have shown, IT salary varies a lot based on specific skills and types of jobs. But an IT pro’s industry of choice also has a big impact on wages. 

While most categories of tech workers can expect to see an IT salary increase in 2013, the biggest raises will be handed out to professionals skilled in areas such as:

  • Mobile development (They’ll see a bump of 9%, according to a recent Robert Half report)
  • Wireless network engineering (8%), and
  • Web development (7%).

Industry is another important factor that will affect the size of an IT salary increase. That’s especially the case for IT managers, CIOs and other senior IT employees, according to TechTarget’s recent IT Salary Survey 2012.

In fact, wages for C-level IT leaders can vary by as much as 80% across different industries. Among the 778 senior IT leaders in 22 industries surveyed, salaries ranged from a high of $146,000 for those in manufacturing to a low of $80,991 in education.

Best and worst industries for IT salary

IT salary levels vary in general depending on industry, and in the highest-paying areas the gap between senior leaders and general staff is typically wider, according to TechTarget.

When considering all employment levels, these are the best industries in terms of IT salary:

  1. Computer and data processing and consulting ($120,000)
  2. Non-IT business services and consulting ($113,000)
  3. Finance ($112,000)
  4. IT-related manufacturing ($110,000)
  5. Value-added resellers and dealers ($100,000)
  6. Telecommunications and communications carriers ($100,000)
  7. Research and development ($99,000)

And the industries with the lowest IT salaries:

  1. Education ($76,000)
  2. Non-profits and trade associations ($80,000)
  3. Automotive and transportation ($83,000)
  4. Government ($84,000)
  5. Construction, mining and agriculture ($87,000)
  6. Non-IT retail and wholesale ($88,000)
  7. Health care ($88,000)

Although health care IT workers receive among the lowest IT salary on average, tech experts still say the industry is worth a look for job seekers and professionals considering a new field.

The reason: Due to increasing of electronic health records and other IT systems, healthcare organizations are currently struggling to find IT pros, making health IT one of the sectors with the most jobs available.