Tech Paychecks Dip

Wages for high-tech workers remain steady in 2005, but they’re lower today than last year at this time, according to a report by job-placement specialist Yoh.

According to the quarterly report by the Philadelphia-based recruiting company’s Yoh Index of Technology Wages, paychecks have dropped 1.2 percent from the second quarter of 2004 to the second quarter of 2005. There’s been minimal gains and drops throughout the first and second quarters in 2005 translating to steady, or flat, wage rates for the year so far.

Yoh tracks information from the paychecks of its roughly 5,000 contractors and consultants in specific realms of expertise, pooling the information in monthly cycles to come up with their averages. The company also tracks wages in the aerospace, telecommunications, and scientific communities for other wage indices.

Tech hiring has been on a steady climb since 2001 but has not resulted in big wage increases, said Jim Lanzalotto, Yoh vice president of strategy and marketing, despite the unemployment rate being at its lowest since 2001.

”There is good growth for real good technical people with strong technology skills and domain knowledge, but the overall market is not as robust when it comes to pricing or wages,” he said. “It’s like any other supply and demand environment where the supply is tightening and the demand is increasing but has not yet resulted in robust increases in wages.”

There are some areas of expertise in the high-tech world that are seeing big demand, Lanzalotto said. Those in particular include clinical researchers and programmers who specialize in .NET and building enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, especially ERP developers who can leverage legacy systems.

Following are some of the jobs and hourly wages Yoh has tracked among its base of contractors and consultants:

  • Applications development – $54.52
  • Clinical data manager – $45.06
  • Clinical research associate – $41.42
  • ASP.NET – $50.92
  • C#.NET – $52.09
  • C/C++ – $49.97
  • Oracle DBA – $53.81
  • SQL DBA – $47.53
  • Java developer – $52.59

The highest rate, however, comes from the hardware side of the IT industry. Last year job-placement firms pegged network security specialists as a highly sought-after commodity. That perception holds today, as Yoh ranks them as the highest wage earners, at $65.01 per hour, among those listed in the report.

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