2016 Salary Survey: 10 Best-Paying IT Jobs

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Median base annual salary for IT workers was flat this year, according to the results of the InformationWeek 2016 US IT Salary Survey. Still, certain roles - including architect, project leader, and security specialist - are commanding much higher median salaries than other roles. See if you're in one of the 10 best-paying IT staff positions - and how your total compensation stacks up.

The average IT staffer has been in the profession for 19 years and at his current company for seven years, feels relatively secure about his present job, and is generally satisfied with his salary. (And, yes, in case you're wondering, the average IT staffer is most likely male). This is the profile we can draw from the InformationWeek 2016 US IT Salary Survey.

Median base annual salary for IT workers was flat this year at $88,000, while median total compensation for 2016 (including any bonuses or other direct cash payments) was $91,000, down 1.1% over the prior year. Still, certain roles – including architect, project leader, and security specialist – are commanding a much higher median compensation. We're highlighting the 10 best-paying IT staff positions here.

But first, let's talk about how we arrived at this information. The compensation data presented here is drawn from information provided by 1,535 US IT staffers responding to our survey. In addition to IT staff, we also received responses to our survey from 1,390 IT managers.

[ How do you keep your best workers happy? Read 5 IT Talent, Staffing Fails To Avoid. ]

In total, we received 450 survey responses from women in IT staff or management roles, and 2,475 responses from men in IT staff or management roles.

For the purposes of this article, we're focusing on responses received from IT staffers, and will cover management roles in an upcoming article.

Beyond salary, perks offered to IT staffers are pretty minimal. The majority of respondents (79%) said their company offers health insurance, and 72% said their company offers a 401k match program. When asked what types of noncash and indirect cash rewards they expect to receive in the next 12 months, 33% of respondents said they expect a company-paid smartphone, 24% said they expect tuition reimbursement, and 21% expect reimbursement for certifications. Only 2% of respondents said they expect to receive day care or day care subsidies.

When it comes to skillsets, the top five responses among IT staffers had little to do with technological know-how. IT staff respondents identified the following five skills as most critical to their jobs (multiple responses were allowed):

Yet, when asked what training they would find most valuable in developing their careers, the overwhelming majority of respondents (79%) cited technology-specific training and 49% cited certification courses (multiple responses were allowed). Only 14% of respondents said project management training would be valuable for their career development, and only 7% cited people-management skills training.

Read on to find out which 10 IT staff positions received the highest media total compensation in 2016. Once you've reviewed our list, share your own experiences with us in the comments section below. Are you working in one of these hot jobs? Are you looking to make a career move to earn more? What's your IT employment outlook for 2017?

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