U.S. starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase an average of 3.7% next year, according to data from Robert Half. That number jumps to 5.6% in the tech industry, which is expected to see the largest gains among all the fields researched:
- Technology: 5.6%
- Accounting and Fianace: 3.4%
- Creative and Marketing: 3.3%
- Administrative and Office Support: 3.3%
- Legal: 2.7%
At the top of the heap, based on percentage gains are pre-sales/technical engineers, who can expect an 8.4% increase in starting salaries, Robert Half reports. Typical duties for this position include: participating in customer presentations as the technical expert; determining technical requirements to meet client goals and acting as the liaison between the firm’s sales/business development and engineering groups; responding to RFIs or RFPs from current or potential customers with technical details of proposed solutions; coordinating the transition between pre-sales specifications and implementation engineering upon the awarding of contracts.
2013: $76, 250 - $107,750
Mobile Applications Developer
Demand for people who can develop mobile apps remains strong, and companies are willing to pay a premium. Typical duties, as defined by Robert Half, include: coding, testing, debugging, documenting and monitoring mobile applications; interacting with different departments within the organization regarding new deployments; contributing to the development of project schedules and workflow; and recommending changes and enhancements to applications.
2014: $100,000 – $144,000
Wanted: detail-oriented professionals with strong problem-solving capabilities, analytical expertise and communication skills. Software developers typically perform these duties: coding, testing and debugging programs according to computer engineering specifications; modifying, expanding and updating applications; communicating with a team that includes analysts, engineers and quality assurance testers in order to coordinate and document application development and testing; and developing software prototypes.
Candidates for a software engineer position should have broad information systems experience, says Robert Half. The firm describes these typical duties: designing and creating engineering specifications for software programs and applications; working with quality assurance to develop software test plans; collaborating with hardware engineers to assess and test hardware and software interaction; implementing a specific development methodology; and documenting software specifications.
Business Intelligence Analyst
In the era of big data, analytic talent is coveted. A business intelligence analyst is expected to perform these typical duties: designing and developing enterprise-wide data analysis and reporting solutions; reviewing and analyzing data from multiple internal and external sources; communicating analysis results and making recommendations to senior management; and developing data cleansing rules.
A data architect brings analytical and creative skills to the table, along with in-depth knowledge of data systems and database methodology, design and modeling, says Robert Half. Typical duties include: understanding and evaluating business requirements and translating them into specific database solutions; creating data design models, database architecture and data repository design; working with the systems and database administration staff to implement, coordinate and maintain enterprise-wide data architecture; providing leadership in establishing and documenting data standards; and creating and testing database prototypes. Net increase expected 7.2%.
2013: $104,250 – $143,500
According to Robert Half, the ability to understand applications from both a technical perspective and a business point of view is essential for a developer/programmer analyst. Typical duties include: analyzing business application requirements for functional areas such as finance, manufacturing, marketing or human resources; writing code, testing and debugging software applications; recommending system changes and enhancements; and documenting software specifications and training users. Net increase expected 7.1%.
Wireless Network Engineer
Among the network specialties, the position expected to get the largest percentage raise (7%) is wireless network engineer. Typical duties include: researching, designing and implementing wireless networks, including all engineering specifications and resource requirements for network hardware and software; making recommendations for wireless network optimization, additions and upgrades to meet business requirements; conducting and documenting RF coverage and site surveys; and documenting network infrastructure and design.
Robert Half also expects network engineers to receive sizable raises in the 6.9% range. Typical duties include: engineering enterprise data, voice and video networks; establishing and operating network test facilities; maintaining a secure transfer of data to multiple locations via internal and external networks; working with vendors, clients, carriers and technical staff on network implementation, optimization and ongoing management; providing high-level support and technical expertise in networking technology, including LAN/WAN hardware, hubs, bridges and routers.
ERP technical developers need to quickly identify technical problems in ERP applications, assess their potential impacts, and help design solutions, says Robert Half. Typical duties include: performing analysis, design, coding, data migration and testing for ERP production and development environments; implementing ERP enhancements to support changes in business processes; providing ERP application support; and working with various business teams to gather requirements and support business processes. Net increase expected 6.8%.
Another network-related position in line for a sizable raise is network architect with Net increase expected to be 6.8%. As defined by Robert Half, the role is responsible for: assessing business and applications requirements for corporate data and voice networks; planning, designing and upgrading network installation projects; establishing and maintaining backup, version-control and viral defense systems; troubleshooting network architecture and making recommendations for system fixes and enhancements; and making recommendations for leveraging network installations and reducing operational costs.
2014: $109,250 – $156,500
2013: $102,250 – $146,500
Information Systems Security Manager
One security-focused title showed up among the 12 IT jobs getting the biggest raises: information systems security manager. Expected to command a 6.8% raise in 2014, the position call for: providing leadership, guidance and training to information systems security personnel; reviewing, implementing, updating and documenting companywide information security policies and procedures; managing security audits, vulnerability and threat assessments and directing responses to network or system intrusions; ensuring fulfillment of legal and contractual information security and privacy mandates, including providing executive management with compliance reports and audit findings; and preventing and detecting intrusion.
2014: $115,250 – $160,000
2013: $108,000 – $149,750