Last year turned out to be a good one for technology employees in the United States, as average salaries for those employees jumped 5.3 percent to $85,619, according to a Dice Holdings Inc. salary survey. The 2012 figures were the largest increase in a decade for such employees recorded by Dice.
According to the survey's report, 36 percent of respondents indicated company actions like merit or companywide raises and internal promotions as the cause for the increase in compensation. Likewise, 19 percent of respondents cited changing jobs as the reason for their salary's increase.
The survey shows that the salary increases are coming at a time when employers are doing more to retain and motivate their employees through things like more interesting or challenging assignments and the ability to telecommute.
Rising pay and more flexibility may be due to the high level of competition for top tech talent. Sixty-four percent of respondents feel confident they could find a new favorable position in 2013, the report states.
"Employers are recognizing and adjusting to the reality of a tight market," said Scot Melland, Dice's chairman, president and CEO. "The fact is you either pay to recruit or pay to retain and these days. At least for technology teams, companies are doing both."
The average salary for tech employees with two years or less experience increased 8 percent to $46,315. This is the first increase for such employees in three years, according to Dice. And for the first time, according to the survey, tech workers with at least 15 years' experience earned a six-figure salary of $103,012.
There were seven markets across the country where the average salary for tech employees increased by a double-digit percentage, according to the report. Tech professionals in the Pittsburgh market experienced an 18 percent increase in salary, the highest in any market. Tech workers in San Diego and St. Louis saw their salary increase by 13 percent, whereas Phoenix and Cleveland-based workers saw 12 and 11 percent gains, respectively. Salaries for Orlando and Milwaukee-based tech employees rose by roughly 10 percent last year, rounding off the group of seven markets with double-digit percentage increases.
Despite the significant gains made in other markets, tech professionals in Silicon Valley still earn the highest average salary in the industry at $101,278.
Max Mihelich is Workforce's editorial intern. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.