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Tech salaries up a record 8% in 2015, survey finds

January 27 2016

Average US technology salaries rose 7.7% in 2015 to $96,370, according to a salary survey released today by job board operator Dice Holdings Inc. This the biggest year-over-year increase since the annual survey launched more than ten years ago.

Thirty-seven percent of tech professionals reported receiving a bonus last year, unchanged from 2014. However, the average bonus in 2015 rose 7% year over year to $10,194.

Contract workers saw hourly compensation rise 5% to $70.26 per hour. Tech contractors working in industrial/chemical, professional services, healthcare and utilities/energy segments were paid higher than overall tech contract rates.

More than half, 62%, of technology professionals earned higher salaries in 2015, with 38% receiving a merit increase and 10% receiving an internal promotion. Another 23% of professionals reported their rise in salary was a result of changing employers.

Tech salaries in seven metro areas reached six-figures for the first time since the survey began. Already posting average salaries over $100,000, tech pros in Silicon Valley were again the highest paid in the country. Minneapolis, which is not traditionally-recognized as a tech city, also made the list. The top metros by salary and year-over-year increase are:

  1. Silicon Valley: $118,242, +5.0%
  2. New York: $106,263, +11.2%
  3. Los Angeles: $105,091, +10.2%
  4. Boston: $103,675, +6.6%
  5. Seattle: $103,309, +3.9%
  6. Baltimore/Washington DC: $102,873, +4.6%
  7. Minneapolis: + $100,379, 9.3%

Big data and cloud continued to dominate the skills which earn the highest paychecks in 2015. Newcomers such as HANA, OpenStack, CloudStack and Puppet appeared in the top 10 highest paid skills for the first time:

  1. HANA: $154,749
  2. Cassandra: $147,811
  3. Cloudera: $142,835
  4. PAAS: $140,894
  5. OpenStack: $138,579
  6. CloudStack: $138,095
  7. Chef: $136,850
  8. Pig: $132,850
  9. MapReduce: $131,563
  10. Puppet: $131,121

“The competition for tech talent today is undeniable. Demand for skilled talent and low unemployment rates for tech professionals aren’t making the hiring landscape any easier,” said Dice President Bob Melk. “Employers realize offering competitive pay is a necessity. What’s promising is the tech industry recognizes the need to fill open seats as well as to reward tech talent for their hard work.”

The Dice salary survey was administered online with 16,301 employed technology professionals responding between Oct. 6 and Nov. 25, 2015.

Dice operates career websites for information technology, engineering, financial services and other professionals.

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