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Spiceworks Report Reveals Lower Pay for IT Workforce

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Spiceworks released its annual "Who is the average IT Pro?" survey. It revealed salary breakdowns, gender differences and general career goals.

Source: Spiceworks \Source: Spiceworks "Who is the IT Pro?" infographicSpiceworks latest "Who is the average IT Pro?" survey results, which queries more than 600 U.S. tech workers, revealed salary breakdowns, gender differences and general goals. The survey includes IT managers, system and network administrators, and help desk technicians among its respondents.

The survey included a battery of questions on respondents' backgrounds, professional histories, and future plans to help the organization develop a sense of who those people are, what they do, and how they feel about their jobs. The company put together an infographic entitled "Who is the IT Pro?" that is worth examining all the way through. Here, I'll hit some of what I think are the most interesting highlights.

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Overall Annual IT Pay, Circa 2016-2017

The image here comes from the infographic and lays out the salary ranges of the surveyed population. Here's how they break down by annual salary/pay:

  • 17% makes less than $35,000
  • 34% makes between $35,000 and $49,999
  • 34% makes between $50,000 and $74,999
  • 10% makes between $75,000 and $99,999
  • Only 3% makes $100,000 or more

The vast majority of IT workers (68 percent, or just over two-thirds) fall between $35,000 and just under $75,000, split evenly across the mid-way point at $50,000. I'm a little surprised to see this median value (of sort) set so low. As a regular consumer of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment numbers and wage data, I had the idea that median wages in IT/Information was more than $60,000 per annum. According to my calculations based on this breakdown, the mean for this distribution is just over $50K ($50,425 or thereabouts). This may come as news to some IT professionals, probably at either end of the continuum, but will no doubt be both excessively familiar and depressing data to those neither at the very beginning or in the final years of their working lives. Let's hope an improving stock market and overall economy can buoy IT workers' wages, along with everybody else's, shall we?

Other Infographic Highlights

  • IT Career Plans: 66% of IT workers plan to stay in the field for the rest of their working lives, but one in three IT pros "did not intentionally pursue a career in IT"
  • Median number of years of job experience by category: 4 years for help desk technicians, 10 for system and network administrators, 15 for IT managers
  • While 41% of IT pros believe they're unfairly paid, men who work in IT make 6% more than women in IT on average
  • Median annual pay by category: $65K for IT managers, $54K for system and network admins, and $40K for help desk technicians
  • IT pros with college degrees make 4% more than IT pros who lack a degree; Enterprise IT pros make 10% more than SMB IT pros
  • IT pros average 18 days off per year in the USA
  • Women in IT are more likely to have a college degree than men: 82% of women versus 69% of men working in IT have college degrees
  • Here's how the IT workforce surveyed breaks down by education: 4% high school or GED, 26% attended college no degree, 27% associate's degree, 38% bachelor's, and 4% master's
  • Top college majors include: CS and related 71%, business 11%, liberal arts 5%, engineering 4%, and four others at 3% or less
  • 83% of IT pros surveyed reported being somewhat stressed at work, while 29% reported being stressed to extremely stressed
  • For more interesting factoids on stress at work by company size and job title, see the Infographic

Survey Take-aways

Overall, things are neither incredibly bad nor incredibly rosy for IT pros. This is very much in keeping with the general state of markets and the economy, which continue in their eighth straight year of improvements since the end of the "Great Recession" in 2010, but at a maddeningly slow if not glacial pace. At least the stress of working in the field isn't a source for major concern, even if pay scales are not quite as robust as most IT pros would like them to be.