A Career In IT
By Diane Turner
The average salary for an IT can vary greatly based on the nature of the work that these individuals perform. In general, IT or information technology specialists are employed to assist businesses or organizations with the upkeep of their computer equipment and software. They will be asked to evaluate the current systems, perform maintenance on these systems and troubleshoot different pieces of equipment when things go wrong.
In many areas, specialists will be asked to help keep up the communication networks for these organizations by addressing issues as they occur. It is essential for IT professionals to address issues as they arise because every minute that the network is malfunctioning the office may not be able to perform other duties. The average salary of an ITwill vary based on whether or not they are asked to perform these duties over the phone, through the network itself, via email or in person. It will also vary based on the amount of expertise they have in the field.
IT specialists will work in a variety of environments. They may work directly with an organization, assist with home office repair or work in a help desk setting that answers questions about a specific piece of software or hardware. Some may be asked to travel to their clients while others can expect their clients to bring in the piece of hardware that is not functioning properly. Most IT specialists will work a standard 9-5 office schedule. However, those that provide network management to clients in distant settings may need to be available 24 hours a day to address potential issues.
The salary for an IT is also directly tied to the amount of education and training they have in the field. While there are no specific educational requirements for these positions, these individuals are encouraged to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as information science, computer science or engineering. Call centers or less technical positions may not require extensive computer knowledge. In addition to a professional education, IT personnel will need to earn training while on the job. The training period typically lasts around 3 months, though more complex jobs may require additional work. Those that can prove that they are able to handle more advanced technological issues are more likely to earn career advancement than those that stick to the basics.
IT Average Salary
The IT average salary is $46,260. The average IT salarywill be altered based on a variety of factors. The prime influences on these individual’s earning potential is the level of experience they have in the field and the specific certifications they have earned so they can work on more advanced systems within the field.
IT Salary Factors and Influences
One of the most influential things that will impact the average salary of an ITis the industry where these individuals are employed. Areas that have a higher budget can expect to pay a great deal more for their service than those that are trying to get more from their IT staff on a budget. Note the top paying industries for those in the IT industry:
Other Investment Pools and Funds Average Salary: $72,670
Postal Service Average Salary: $69,720
Amusement Parks and Arcades Average Salary: $68,590
Oil and Gas Extraction Average Salary: $66,400
Natural Gas Distribution Average Salary: $66,020
These industries will require individuals to have a very specific education that will require them to address specific issues in the field. The salary of an IT in these fields may be tied to the training they have or their ability to keep up specific equipment that the industry requires to perform their various activities. To compare, note how the salaries change for those that have the highest employment levels for IT specialists.
Computer Systems Design and Related Services Average Salary: $53,630
Management of Companies and Enterprises Average Salary: $52,510
Elementary and Secondary Schools Average Salary: $46,040
Professional and Commercial Equipment/Supply Merchant Wholesalers Average Salary: $55,050
Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools Average Salary: $47,950
The salary for an IT in these areas is much lower than those with more specialized equipment that will need tending to. Individuals working in these industries will be expected to maintain a very specific type of computer system that will be used throughout the area where they are employed. These individuals tend to need less training and expertise in order to perform their duties, so they will not have as much of a competitive edge if they would like to move into another industry. Those that take the time to earn additional certifications or advance their education can expect to earn more than these averages.
IT Salary Compared To Related Fields
IT personnel can earn a great deal more depending on their position within a company, but in general they tend to earn lower salaries than others with similar training.
Average Salary for an IT: $46,260
Average Salary for Computer Systems Analysts: $77,740
Average Salary for Customer Service Representatives: $30,460
Average Salary for Information Security Analysts/Web Developers: $75,660
Average Salary for Database Administrators: $73,490
As you can see, IT specialists are on the lower end of the spectrum. Much of this is due to the fact that these individuals typically have less of an educational background than those in more advanced fields. Those that make a point of earning a degree or additional training can expect to earn much more than the average.
IT Salary by State
The salary IT specialists can expect to earn a more competitive salary based on the areas where they are employed. States that have a more technologically advanced industries available tend to have more competitive salaries for their IT staff. To illustrate this concept, note the salaries in the highest paying states:
IT salary in District of Colombia: $64,080
IT salary in Connecticut: $62,570
IT salary in Massachusetts: $60,880
IT salary in California: $59,050
IT salary in Colorado:$57,140
As you can see, these states tend to offer salaries that are significantly higher than the national average. These states offer positions that are more technologically advanced, and also tend to have high concentrations of schools or universities that will have a very large network of computers that will need to be maintained. To further illustrate this point, note the IT salary by statein areas that have the highest concentration of IT employees in the country.
Salary in District of Colombia: $64,080
Salary in Colorado: $57,140
Salary in Vermont: $48,230
Salary in Virginia: $55,520
Salary in Utah: $46,260
As you can see, there is a bit of overlap with the states that offer more competitive salaries. However, additional states on this list tend to have a high level of corporate opportunities. These areas will require more security and network dependence for their networks, which is increasing the need for a larger staff of IT personnel. However, as the number of people employed in this industry increases, the average salary of an IT dips due to the increased competition in the industry. To compare this point, note the salaries for states that have the highest employment levels for IT staff.
Salary for California: $59,050
Salary for Texas: $53,770
Salary for New York: $55,740
Salary for Florida: $44,470
Salary for Pennsylvania: $48,460
The IT average salary in these areas is much closer to the national average than those in the other categories. There is a much higher level of competition in these areas due to the larger populations and the higher population for those working in the industry. Those that do not have a great deal of technical training or those that have not earned a professional education cannot expect to earn a salary that is as competitive as those that have taken the time to make these advancements, and that is reflected in the statistics for these areas.
IT Types of Salaries
IT Project Manager I: Average Salary: $73,042
Project managers are responsible for coordinating projects within the IT department. They will oversee any aspect of these projects from the deadlines, responsibilities and the progress of the project. Reports on the progress of the project will be prepared and submitted to upper management personnel. This position requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field as well as 2-4 years of experience in an IT position.
IT Project Manager II: Average Salary:
Upper level project coordinators will help to coordinate and complete projects in the information technology department. They will oversee these projects, assign responsibilities to other members of this team and report to upper management. They will coordinate any responsibilities necessary with other departments such as the vendors or other groups within the company. This position requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field as well as 4-6 years of experience in the field.
IT Project Manager III:Average Salary: $98,487
Top level project managers will take prime responsibility for coordinating and seeing projects completed. They will work directly with the vendors, team members and other departments within the company to ensure that the projects meets the specifications for all involved. They will meet directly with management to report on the status of the project. They will ensure that all set deadlines and responsibilities are being met, and organize new goals to help the members of their team succeed. This position requires a bachelor’s degree and at least 7 years of experience in the field.
IT Project Coordinator: Average Salary: $90,081
Project coordinators will make sure that any resources dedicated to a specific project are being appropriately utilized. They will compile all status reports and manage meetings to identify any potential issues so they can be resolved. Coordinators will organize project activities and ensure that members of the team are documenting their efforts appropriately. This position will require a bachelor’s degree as well as at least five years of experience in a related field.
IT Vendor Relationship Manager: Average Salary: $113,225
These individuals will be responsible for outsourcing the IT department. They will select vendors and negotiate appropriate contracts that outline the level of service agreements for each. They will handle any issues with these contracts or vendors as they arise. They will also be responsible for setting the budget for these projects. These individuals will need a bachelor’s degree as well as a minimum of 7 years of experience in the field.
ITQuality Assurance Manager:Average Salary: $97,377
These managers will implement policies that guarantee IT quality assurance practices. They will manage a group of analysts that will test, validate and evaluate any initiatives by the IT department. They will identify issues with the service or software so they can be better addressed and eliminated. This position requires a bachelor’s degree as well as 7 years of experience in an appropriate field.
History of ITs
The information technology field is relatively new. Originally industries that implemented computer technology employed a single operator who would store any data from this department on a magnetic tape. They would then store these tapes in physical files throughout the building. As resources became more readily available, the storage of these files became simplified. Today many IT departments do not keep physical field of their work at all, but keep digital copies of any necessary documents. As the level of computing technology has also expanded, IT personnel have sought out additional training to better manage the needs of these departments. Many members of this profession will seek out specific certifications so they can specialize in a specific type of computing.
IT Salary Outlook – Conclusion
The average IT salary is expected to remain steady in the next ten years with the industry seeing as much as 18 percent growth during this time period. As businesses continue to upgrade and rely on their computer systems and software it will be necessary to employ a support staff that can maintain these systems properly. These individuals will need to be capable of managing increasingly complex software programs and equipment in order to remain competitive in the industry.
The salary of an IT for lower tech support nobs such as call centers is expected to drop as more and more companies outsource these positions to countries that have a lower base wage. Lower wage areas of the United States are seeing an increase in the availability of these positions, but the wages are not seeing an increase. The amount of jobs available for those that have earned a bachelor’s degree or those with an advanced technological background is much more favorable as is the opportunities available for these individuals to advance to better paying careers within the industry.