Tech Salaries in 2022: Why the Six Figure Pay Makes Techies Feel Underpaid - Spiceworks (2023)

The average tech salary in 2022 hit the six figure mark for the first time in 17 years, yet nearly half (47.8%) still feel they’re underpaid, as per a study by Dice – Tech Salary ReportOpens a new window . Forced digitization and work from home fueled the need for hiring tech talent for which organizations were willing to pay a little more, resulting in the average tech worker’s salary to reach $104,566 in the U.S. — a 6.9% increase since 2020, the report found.

Our study The 2022 State of IT Opens a new window hints at the fact that the new remote environment could lead to increased competition for tech talent. While the work from home trend has ignited the rise in tech salaries, the underlying sentiment of feeling underpaid has not been addressed. According to Art Zeile, CEO of Dice, there is a gap between what benefits techies want and what they receive, presenting an opportunity to better understand this all-important group of professionals and to build environments where they will thrive. So, here’s a peek at the factors contributing to IT talent feeling underpaid and what to do about it:

See More: 6 Women in Tech on How To Close the Gender Pay Gap in the Industry

Factors Contributing To Techies Feeling Underpaid at Work

According to an analysis released by CompTIAOpens a new window in July 2021, tech hiring was on a growth path as technology companies added 10,500 workers in June and 80,600 through the first half of 2021. The trend revealed that the demand for tech workers will continue to boom in the next couple of years, allowing companies to offer astronomical salaries.

In February this year, Amazon confirmedOpens a new window that it will double the maximum base salary to $350,000 for corporate and tech employees, from $160,000 previously in the need to remain competitive to attract top tech talent. This unprecedented recruiting environment has led to companies and businesses pitching eye-catching compensation packages in an effort to woo tech talent,” explained Stephanie LovellOpens a new window , head of marketing at Hirect, a chat-based hiring app.

According to the Dice report, the top tech positions that will be in demand in 2022 in the U.S. as per the highest salaries included IT management ($151,983), software developer ($120,204), database administrator ($111,362), and UX/UI designer ($101,260).

Other roles such as web developer and computer programmer will continue to see growth due to an increased demand for cloud computing and cloud migrations in organizations.

10 In-Demand Tech Positions in 2022 by Salary in USA

PositionAverage Salary in the USA
IT management$151,983
Software developer$120,204
Database administrator$111,362
UX/UI designer$101,260
Web developer$98,912
Computer/mainframe programmer$97,320
Systems analyst$93,278
Systems administrator$88,642
Data analyst$84,779
Technical Support Engineer$77,169

Source: Dice Tech Salary Report 2022

In Europe, the demand for salaries for the position of head of IT (€110,000 – 140,000), software developer (€60,000 – 95,000), and data engineer (€60,000 – 90,000) will dramatically increase, according to the Brightwater survey on IT Salary 2022Opens a new window . The fast-moving tech landscape in the EU is expected to draw the demand for cybersecurity specialists (€50,000 – 80,000) and DevOps engineers (€60,000 – 90,000), the report added.

10 In-Demand Tech Positions in 2022 by Salary in Europe

PositionAverage Salary in Europe
Head of IT€110,000 – 140,000
Business Analyst€70,000 – 90,000
Project Manager€80,000 – 100,000
Product Manager€80,000 – 100,000
Software Developer€60,000 – 95,000
Data Engineer€60,000 – 90,000
Cyber Security Specialist€50,000 – 80,000
DevOps Engineer€60,000 – 90,000
Infrastructure Engineer€50,000 – 80,000
Level 2 Support€45,000 – 60,000

Source: Brightwater Salary Survey IT 2022

Despite the average salary for tech workers breaking six figures in 2022, many IT and tech professionals still feel underpaid.

According to hiring experts, the most significant factor contributing to this feeling is likely the long and extra work hours of the existing IT staff, which makes them feel burdened.

With the talent shortage, many IT professionals are putting in extra work hours and expected to have higher outputs than they normally would. This extra work without a bigger reward can cause people to feel underpaid and therefore, undervalued, Christina GialleliOpens a new window , director of people operations, Epignosis, an e-learning solutions platform told Toolbox.

To add to these factors, many companies are offering inflated salaries in today’s labor market. As a result, veteran workers feel underpaid because their salaries aren’t stacking up, Gialleli pointed.

“If a worker receives an offer that surpasses their current base, or learns of friends and colleagues accepting new roles with astronomical salaries, it’s natural they’d feel undervalued or undercompensated.” – Stephanie Lovell, head of marketing at Hirect.

Another factor responsible for data and technology professionals to feel underpaid is the complexity of data management. “The volume and diversity of new data is making processes more complicated and about half of data users we surveyed attribute their burnout to the constant pressure and stress that comes with this increased complexity,” Matthew ScullionOpens a new window , founder and CEO, Matillion, told Toolbox.

“Monotonous, labor-intensive data preparation tasks take up much of their time and energy, keeping them from the interesting and value-adding work that excites them and helps them advance professionally,” Scullion added.

See More:

How To Attract Talent Without High Tech Salaries in 2022

As per the Dice report, pay isn’t everything for technology and IT workers, when looking for a job. As much as techies value the staple benefits such as paid vacation days, health insurance, paid sick days and other benefits, there is a significant interest in new benefits such as flexible schedules and child care, the survey said. So, what can companies do to attract IT talent if they can’t compete for salary?

According to a recent survey from TalentLMS and WorkableOpens a new window , two of the top reasons tech employees think of quitting their job other than salary are lack of opportunities for career progression and lack of flexibility in working hours. “Companies must offer and promote these benefits to capture job seekers’ attention,” Gialleli noted.

“A direct consequence of the pandemic is the increasing importance of flexibility. The realization that work can be done from anywhere opened many employment options without constraints, and employees want to be able to decide where and when they work. Offering flexibility will also be a draw for talent.” – Christina Gialleli, director of people operations, Epignosis

Another reason that tech employees expect more than a large paycheck is the ability to feel proud of their company, experts said. “Fostering a strong company culture is critical. Leaders should establish a culture founded on transparency, openness, and support. When this is done well, tech workers will feel comfortable speaking their minds,” Lovell explained.

According to Scullion, when increasing salary is not an option, companies can focus on “turning IT teams into builders rather than fixers.” Creating an environment where tech employees feel valued and challenged adds value to the business as well. “Mundane tasks can be automated. Low-code/no-code tools can further streamline work. This has two benefits: It allows tech workers to focus on projects that require expertise, thought, and a human touch. And, it enables more tech workers to get past the rush to tackle data and get it analytics-ready,” Scullion said.

See More: Top In-Demand IT Skills In 2022: The Experts’ Edit

Going Beyond High Tech Salaries in 2022

Lovell added that to attract and retain high-quality engineers, companies must give workers autonomy. “Employees want to feel that they have ownership over what they are working on. Creating an environment where employees can grow and thrive, while being compensated fairly or above market rate will be valuable in supporting retention,” she told Toolbox.

Several reports confirm that getting a big fat paycheck isn’t the only thing that motivates tech workers to feel valued. These findings are also an indicator of what the tech sector can do to create an impact in their techies’ lives.

“Freeing up tech workers’ time to do the interesting, value-adding work is an important workplace differentiator. By allowing more employees across the organization to work with low or no-code tools, IT staff and techies have more time to spend on strategic and technical initiatives that create impact and a competitive edge.” – Matthew Scullion, Founder and CEO, Matillion

It’s vital to remember that remote and hybrid work environments are here to stay. Ensuring that tech workers get to balance their work and personal life is the key to addressing the sentiment of feeling undervalued and underpaid.

How does your company attract talent by going beyond high tech salaries? Comment below or let us know onLinkedInOpens a new window ,TwitterOpens a new window , orFacebookOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!


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