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It’s no secret that IT is exploding. By 2019, the non-profit information security advocacy group ISACA predicts a global shortage of two million cyber security professionals alone.

Given this scarcity, it’s no surprise that the salaries for IT professionals are skyrocketing, but the size of that jump might be more than you expect. Salaries for software developers and information security analysts increased 17 percent and 18 percent respectively since 2013 while compensation for computer systems analysts rose a whopping 21 percent.

So what does this mean for IT? In this examination of Robert Half’s 2018 Technology & IT Salary Guide, we’ll be exploring areas of growth, examining average salaries, and reviewing other information that’s essential for anyone thinking of getting into IT.

Counteract Inexperience with Quick Learning

As the world shifts towards automation, the need for talented IT professionals is far outstripping the supply. That’s why companies have become willing to hire professionals with less experience but who are motivated to learn quickly. With technology evolving faster than ever, employers are also looking for new hires who can stay on top of technology in their own time. That means passion is a big selling point. On the flip side, those with skills and techniques related to cloud technology, open source practices, mobile development, big data, cyber security, and other new technologies will definitely be given preference in hiring.


CCNA Cisco Certifications
Source: Robert Half 2018 Technology & IT Salary Guide


Expanding IT Industries

Though the need for IT is rising everywhere, the three industries with the biggest demand are healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing.

  • Healthcare—Big innovations are needed to improve patient care by modernizing healthcare operations.
  • Financial services—In the wake of the Equifax breach, this shouldn’t be surprising. Both big data and information security initiatives drive the need for pros in this industry.
  • Manufacturing —While manufacturing has been slow to adapt, things are changing quickly with the trend toward automation.

The most in-demand job roles include:

IT Salaries for 2018

In Robert Half’s extensive salary guide, they break down the numbers for what people in the 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th percentile will make. Which percentile an individual falls into is decided by things like level of experience, special skills/expertise, job complexity, location, and other such factors. When looking at these charts for yourself, it’s important to remember that the 50th percentile represents the midpoint. For more information on using the salary guide, check out the video below. [pexyoutube pex_attr_src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Iqk4RX6MEQ”][/pexyoutube] When you examine the chart, you can see that IT salaries top out with executive positions such as the Chief Information Officer ($170,750 – $245,500), Chief Technology Officer ($145,000 – $248,000), and Chief Security Officer ($143,250 – $241,000). While that’s the highest of the high, it’s still worth noting that many of the salary ranges for IT roles easily reach over $100,000 including specialties and years of experience. Here are just a few high paying jobs in technical services, networking, and security.

Technical Services, Help Desk, & Technical Support

As you can see from the chart below, these positions represent the lower end of the salary range in IT. However, with the midpoint salary range for most positions around or over $50,000, it’s still much more than a living wage. While salaries start in the $30,000 to $40,000 range, they quickly move to $50,000 – $60,000 as they get more and more specialized. This is especially true for systems administrators and systems engineers.

Position Title

25th Percentile

50th Percentile

75th Percentile

95th Percentile

Help Desk Tier 1

$32,000

$38,000

$45,500

$54,000

Help Desk Tier 2

$38,000

$45,000

$54,000

$63,750

Help Desk Tier 3

$48,500

$57,500

$69,000

$81,500

Desktop Support Analyst

$50,500

$60,000

$72,000

$85,000

Systems Administrator

$67,250

$80,000

$96,000

$113,500

Manager

$80,750

$96,000

$115,250

$136,000

Systems Engineer

$85,000

$101,000

$121,250

$143,250

When you’re looking to get into IT for the first time, it’s important to have a base of knowledge to draw upon. Our Computer User Support Specialist program combines popular ITIL and CompTIA training programs necessary to develop the skills you’ll need for entry-level IT.

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Networking/Telecommunications

Network Administrators are listed as one of the most in-demand positions for 2018, so it should be no surprise their salaries range from $70,000 to $120,000, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Many higher level network positions such as Network Engineers, Managers, or Wireless Network Engineers start around $90,000 to $100,000 and can go as high as the $150,000 to $160,000 range.

Position Title

25th Percentile

50th Percentile

75th Percentile

95th Percentile

NOC Technician

$51,750

$59,500

$76,000

$97,000

Telecommunications Specialist

$59,000

$70,000

$84,000

$99,250

Network Administrator

$73,250

$87,000

$104,500

$123,250

Telecommunications Manager

$79,000

$94,000

$112,750

$133,000

Network Engineer

$90,000

$107,000

$128,500

$151,750

Network Manager

$93,500

$111,000

$133,000

$157,250

Wireless Network Engineer

$100,000

$119,000

$142,750

$168,750

Network Architect

$112,750

$134,000

$160,750

$190,000

If you’re interested in the networking positions, our Network Support Specialist Program teaches fundamentals, competencies, and qualifications that are necessary to start a career in networking. Through these classes, you’ll learn how to install, configure, run, verify, and troubleshoot medium-sized networks.

Interested in learning more? Click the link below.

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Security

Cyber security is rapidly expanding and in desperate need of more professionals to stay on top of security. The compensation for these roles reflects this high demand. In cyber security, even the jobs in the 25th percentile start around $90,000. With rising concerns about data from the Equifax breaches and others, it makes sense that Network Security Engineers, Data Security Analysts, and Information Systems Security Managers most often make between $115,000 and $160,000.

Position Title

25th Percentile

50th Percentile

75th Percentile

95th Percentile

Network Security Administrator

$92,000

$109,250

$131,000

$155,000

Systems Security Administrator

$92,750

$110,000

$132,000

$156,000

Network Security Engineer

$97,000

$115,000

$138,000

$163,000

Data Security Analyst

$102,000

$121,000

$145,000

$171,500

Information Systems Security Manager

$115,250

$137,000

$164,250

$194,250

With the gap between cyber skills growing wider by the day, the industry provides professionals with unparalleled job security and a world of opportunities. Whether you’re interested in working on securing networks, keeping data safe, or even getting inside the mind of a hacker, cyber provides a variety of great, high-paying options. Interested in learning more about how to build a career path toward cyber security? Click the button below. Learn More!

Perks, Incentives, and More

Most IT positions include generous benefits packages. Here are the most common benefits broken down by the percentage of companies that offer them:

  • Medical Insurance (95%)
  • Dental Insurance (89%)
  • Life insurance (88%)
  • Vision Insurance (81%)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (79%)
  • Disability Insurance (78%)
  • Employee Assistance Programs (65%)
  • Reimbursement for tuition and professional certifications (56%)

Employers also consider a number of other incentives to snag top talent including signing bonuses, health insurance, generous vacation time, and professional development opportunities. As for perks, places often offer flexible work schedules, social events, the option of telecommuting, onsite gym or access to a gym offsite, a compressed schedule, or free/subsidized meals. In addition, employers offer 14 days paid vacation for the first five years of employment and nine paid holidays including floating holidays. Employers also match 3-4 percent of employees’ 401(k) or Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions on average.

Importance of Certifications

Ultimately, the difference in salary comes down to specialization. For IT pros, that means skills and certifications. Both increase the marketability of a professional. Employers may increase salaries between five to ten percent for professionals with sought-after skills and abilities. Some of the most popular certifications, as identified by the Robert Half guide, include CISSP, CCNA, CompTIA A+, and PMP. However, certifications show more than proving a skillset. They also signal to employers that a professional is committed to keeping their skills up to date at all times. With the ever-widening cyber security gap, certifications and willingness to keep on top of the latest updates are becoming more and more of a commodity. Certifications can mean the difference between thousands of dollars in salary. That’s why, at LeaderQuest, we balance by-the-book training that helps people pass their exams with real-world, hands-on experience. This ensures our students can take their learning beyond the classroom and be fully prepared for a brand new career. We understand the pressures of working full-time while still wanting to advance education and earning potential That’s why we offer classes during the day, at night, on campus, or online to meet any schedule and learning style. Ultimately, a certification is a great, cost-effective way to get into the lucrative IT field for the fraction of the cost of a university. With the continuing upward trend in salaries, the IT industry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you’re interested in building a successful career in IT, contact us and we’ll get you set up with one of our expert career advisers. Contact us today and unlock your career’s full potential! Contact Us!