While Tech Salaries Remain Flat, Annual Dice Salary Survey Reveals Employers Offering Other Incentives to Attract Top Talent

Staff Report

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Salaries for technology professionals in the United States were flat in 2017 with average annual pay of $92,712, a slight 0.7% increase from 2016. The annual salary report from Dice, the leading career platform for technology professionals, mirrors the stagnant wages broadly across the U.S., but finds over the years certain employers have been offering tech talent more motivators and benefits to remain competitive when offering the highest pay isn't an option.

In 2017, a third of tech professionals received a bonus, earning on average $10,254. Average contract rates rose five percent to $72.32 per hour.

While salaries have remained steady, demand for very specific IT skills is driving salaries upward as employers compete to attract hard-to-find talent. Categories where skills outpace the national average include cloud, big data and process management.

Top 10 Highest Paid Tech Skills



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Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)



"There's a perception that the technology field is the Wild West with outsized compensation and lavish perks. While not true across the board, salaries for skills where employers have to compete for a limited supply do come with a premium," said Michael Durney, President and CEO of DHI Group, Inc., parent company of Dice. "This disconnect is partly what creates frustration among employers or tech pros when the recruiting process yields a gap between salary expectations and true market trends."

Real-Time Salary Tools

To solve the pain point of lacking of industry metrics, Dice is launching two new tools leveraging predictive analysis to help tech insiders discover salary estimates based on skills, job titles, years of experience and location in real-time.

The new Dice Salary Calculator allows hiring managers to calculate salaries based on a tailored combination of attributes for use in setting budgets, recruiting for in-scope candidates and offering pay commensurate with experience.

Meanwhile, the Dice Salary Predictor for professionals uses machine learning to estimate salaries based on more than 600,000 data points. Tying together a unique combination of skills, title and location, tech professionals can use the public-facing tool for high level predictions and then log into their Dice profiles to add skills and receive more detailed salary estimates.

"While Dice's annual salary survey is an excellent barometer of average salaries and one-time benchmarks for tech pay across the U.S., our proprietary Salary Predictor Tool provides ongoing deep, custom compensation data based on the varying measures that make tech pros exclusive and in demand," said George McFerran, EVP of Product & Marketing at Dice. "That said, not all employers can compete on pay especially in hot markets like Silicon Valley, Seattle or New York. For those companies who might not be the cool kid on the block, other factors like good benefits, challenging projects and flexible work schedules can be as rewarding as compensation to tech pros."

Motivators > Money?

Employers have increasingly been offering tech professionals incentives beyond salary since Dice began tracking this in its annual report. In 2009, half (53%) of companies offered benefits such as paid trainings, more vacation, flexible work hours or the option to telecommute. Today, that has jumped to 71 percent, a testament to employers using creative recruiting tactics to secure top talent when they may not have the budgets to compete with the other company hiring tech talent across the street.