Having a healthy “snack bracket” in IT, also referred to as your annual salary, can certainly give you basic sustenance to stay with a company and contribute. Like with all industries, IT salaries do vary depending on the position, geographical location, and the talent that you bring to the table. Clearly, the employer is interested in getting the maximum output from you, and you certainly deserve to be rewarded fairly for your efforts.
Going into to job interview, without knowing the average starting salary, may put you at a significant negotiation disadvantage that may result in you being placed in an undesirable snack bracket.
Do your own research
When applying for a job, do your own research to get to know the industry and find out what is the average job salary in the city where you plan to work. To get started, you can check out a couple of reliable sources of information that do not ask for your contact information.
In the United States, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides median salary information for Computer & Information Technology professionals in its Occupational Outlook Handbook highlighting ten occupations that you can start to explore. For the occupations that are not shown on the summary page, Data for Occupations Not Covered In Detail, provides further search capabilities for more specific roles. The site also has a searchable feature by State.
In Canada, the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada gives an overview of the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) sector in its report Canadian ICT Sector Profile 2020. The report gives aggregated information on salaries, education, employment, research and development, exports, revenues, GDP contribution, and industry structure.
More detail salary information can be obtained from Stats Canada, based on National Occupation Codes (NOCs), which are also very important if planning to submit an application to immigrate to Canada. Several IT related NOCs are listed below with median hourly wages for 2021 in Toronto, Canada using the Government of Canada’s Job Bank portal. You may also wish to quickly find your own NOC, job title, and skill type for further research.
|Occupation||NOC||Median Hourly Wage 2021|
|Computer and information systems managers||0213||$52.66|
|Information systems analysts and consultants||2171||$41.60|
|Database analysts and data administrators||2172||$40.00|
|Software engineers and designers||2173||$46.15|
|Computer programmers and interactive media developers||2174||$40.00|
|Web designers and developers||2175||$31.72|
|Computer network technicians||2281||$35.00|
|User support technicians||2282||$30.00|
|Information systems testing technicians||2283||$32.21|
Explore professional research
Your own research should be supplemented with other sources to verify your findings and expand your knowledge. IT professional associations and industry research companies provide reports on IT salaries and industry trends. Here are several that are definitely worth exploring:
|CompTIA||Salary calculator based on IT occupations in the USA|
|TechNation||Available IT jobs and median salaries in Canada|
|Robert Half USA||Employment trends and projected starting salaries, Canada, USA.|
|Robert Half Canada||Employment trends and projected starting salaries, Canada, USA.|
|Dice||Salaries, industry trends, USA.|
Spending a bit of time to do your own research on salaries will broaden your perspective on what is going on in the IT industry and will give you insight as to what you can expect to be paid. Both are useful for landing your job and being paid fairly.
Furthermore, professional research and reports should reaffirm your findings, provide more in-depth information, and highlight important job-related factors that you may not have considered during a salary search such job satisfaction and benefits. Clearly, your overall research will not be wasted and will pay off well beyond the salary snack bracket!
About the Author
Dr. Predrag Pešikan an electrical engineer and business professional with management and leadership experience in both public and private higher education sector. He has served in executive roles as CIO, VP-IT, and Dean, and recently led the development of industry relevant programs including AI, Cybersecurity, and IoT. His research interest is in IT, leadership, and profitability of tech startups.
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