Up and Down Pay in IT Sector

October 10, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Compensation levels at technology firms are beginning to mirror the turbulent times, a new survey by William M. Mercer finds.

The 2001 Information Technology Association of American (ITAA) Compensation Survey revealed that median total cash compensation for a number of executive positions declined from 2000 to 2001 – generally as a result of smaller annual bonuses.

Head Honchos

Medium total compensation for a CEO in 2001 is $350,000, compared to last year when CEOs were earning  $409,600. Breaking this down, the data shows that the median CEOs base salary was $280,100 in 2000, and fell to $277,500 in 2001

Median total compensation for CFOs remained level between 2000 and 20001 at $200,000 per annum, while base salaries increased from $165,000 in 2000 to $185,000 in 2001.

In contrast, median total compensation for CIOs fell from $203,55 in 2000 to $192,100. However, base salary for CIO’s actually increased from $159,800 to $171,300 according to the survey.

Lower Level

Meanwhile, many lower level employees saw moderate to strong increases in both base pay and total cash compensation, suggesting that shortages in specific talent categories is continuing to drive pay upwards for many positions.

For example, in 2000, median total compensation for application systems analysis and programming managers was $91,800, and this increased to $105,00, largely due to an increase of $7,400 in base salary from one year to the next.

In addition, median total compensation for a LAN administrator was $51,300 in 2000, rising to $54,200 this year, while median total compensation for a senior software development analyst increased to $59,800 from $57,600 in 2000. An intermediate technical writer earned $41,000 last year, and now earns $43,500 in total compensation.


This was not the case for all non-executive positions. Pay was relatively flat or slightly down for a number of more common positions in IT, such as senior project manager, where median total cash compensation of $91,500 in 2000 fell slightly to $90,000 this year, and senior software systems engineer where compensation fell from $70,000 in 2000 versus $69,100 in 2001.

The 2001 ITAA Compensation Survey comprised data from 69 firms, representing a total of 225 geographic locations and over 56,000 IT employees. The survey examines base pay and incentive levels for 104 different jobs in information technology.