Top-paying industries for IT 2010

Not all IT jobs are created equal. According to Computerworld's 2010 Salary Survey, an IT worker in the defense industry, for example, could be earning as much as 4% more than a peer in a similar job in the the retail sector.

The survey showed the top 5 industries for IT pay were defense/aerospace (overall compensation up 2.9%), biotechnology (up 2.2%), government (up 1.8%), education (up 1.4%) and health/medical services (up 1.4%).

The industries that had the biggest decreases in total compensation were mining/agriculture/construction (down 2.5%), wholesale trade (down 2.0%), transportation/logistics (down 1.6%), noncomputer manufacturing (down 1.4%) and retail trade (down 1.0%).

The defense/aerospace industry saw bonuses increase by 19% with a salary increase of 2.2%. Also, in the government sector, bonuses increased by 13% with a salary increase of 1.5%.

The largest average decreases in bonuses were in the industries of mining/agriculture/construction (down 19.0%), banking (down 17.9%), transportation/logistics (down 17.4%), legal/insurance/real estate (down 13.2%), wholesale trade (down 12.9%), telecommunications (down 12.5%) and the retail trade industry (down 10.8%).

Here's a sampling of IT job titles and industries, and corresponding pay for each:

Computer services/consulting

  • IT manager: $102,075
  • Project manager: $98,650
  • Software engineer: $88,964
  • Systems administrator: $76,724
  • Software developer: $76,156
  • Help desk/tech support specialist: $61,354

Education

  • CIO/vice president of IT*: $150,861
  • Director of IT: $95,824
  • IT manager: $70,914
  • Systems administrator: $63,520
  • Network administrator*: $58,384
  • Help desk/tech support specialist: $43,864

Government

  • CIO/vice president of IT*: $134,325
  • Director of IT: $101,997
  • IT manager: $79,613
  • Systems administrator: $77,663
  • Network administrator*: $70,059
  • Help desk/tech support specialist*: $53,439

Legal & insurance

  • CIO/vice president of IT*: $180,137
  • Director of IT*: $119,800
  • Systems architect*: $112,422
  • IT manager: $101,757
  • Programmer/analyst*: $79,052
  • Systems administrator*: $72,996

Health care

  • CIO/vice president of IT: $166,092
  • Director of IT: $107,146
  • IT manager: $87,874
  • Systems analyst*: $74,004
  • Systems administrator*: $68,612
  • Help desk/tech support specialist*: $45,719

Manufacturing

  • CIO/vice president of IT*: $179,269
  • Director of IT: $139,151
  • Project manager: $104,846
  • IT manager: $89,463
  • Network administrator: $58,513
  • Help desk/tech support specialist: $52,624

* More than 15 responses but fewer than 30

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