IT salaries to change little in 2002

First the bad news: the average Canadian IT worker’s salary won’t undergo the same growth in 2002 that it did in previous years. The good news? Despite the slowdown in the economy, salaries aren’t expected to drop.

In fact, salaries for information technology professionals will remain virtually unchanged in 2002, according to figures released today by Menlo Park, Calif.-based RHI Consulting. According to its 2002 Salary Guide, starting salaries in Canada are projected to increase by an average of 0.1 per cent in 2002, down from and 8.3 per cent increase forecasted this time last year.

The annual salary survey is based on an analysis of thousands of job orders managed by the RHI’s Canadian offices. “Information technology salary levels have stabilized due to the downturn in the economy and high unemployment in the high-tech industry,” said Stephen Mill, regional manager of RHI Consulting, in a prepared press statement. “Candidates who possess specific technical expertise and well-rounded interpersonal skills continue to be in demand and can expect to see an increase in starting compensation next year.”

Security professionals will see the greatest starting salary increase of any job category, with base compensation predicted to rise by 2.6 per cent. The job titles with the largest anticipated rise in base compensation are e-commerce analyst and help desk specialist, which should see increases of 3.7 per cent in average starting salary compared to 2001. Starting salaries for database developers and systems auditors should also rise an average of 3.3 per cent, according to RHI.

While overall gains in starting salary are moderate compared to last year’s projections, some specialty areas should still see increases based on strong demand, RHI concluded. The report also found that: