Main image of article How Do Tech Professionals Increase Their Pay?

Tech salaries stagnated last year. Despite that trend, many tech professionals managed to secure notably higher compensation, including salary and bonuses. How did they earn those increases, and how can you do the same?

According to the latest edition of Dice’s Tech Salary Report, the average tech salary dipped slightly to $111,193 in 2023, compared to an average salary of $111,348 in 2022. Those tech professionals newer to the industry (i.e., with less than five years of experience) were hit the worst by this stagnation, along with those in mature tech hubs such as Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Boston. Meanwhile, those tech professionals with more experience and specialized skills still enjoyed increases, especially those in up-and-coming tech hubs such as San Antonio and Philadelphia.

So let’s say you’re working in tech and want to boost your chances of landing better pay. What can you do? We have two words for you: “merit increase,” which was cited by 41 percent of respondents as the reason behind their salary bump, up 10 percent from 2022. Here are the other big drivers of bigger paychecks:

However, a handful of factors also depressed tech professionals’ salaries last year, including:

Bottom line: Switching jobs is not always going to result in positive salary growth; our data shows that it is still the most common reason cited for a salary decrease. The second-most-common cause of a salary decrease is a layoff. The percentage of respondents who attribute salary decreases to layoffs increased substantially last year to reach 14 percent, compared with 7 percent in 2022.

How can you maximize your earning potential when switching jobs? Interviewing well is key (along with writing a great resume); if you land an offer, you can do your best to negotiate for additional pay. According to Dice’s Ultimate Guide to Your Tech Career, you should:

  • Show Your Value: Explain how your skills and experience are specialized and can contribute mightily to the company’s bottom line.
  • Stay Flexible: You might not get all of what you want, but you could get a good chunk of it.
  • You Can Negotiate for More Than Money: If the company claims they can’t pay you more, try to open up a discussion about enhanced benefits.
  • Don’t Aim Too high or Low: Shoot at the moon and you’ll miss.

Some tech jobs also tend to pay more than others; if you’ve mastered cutting-edge concepts such as DevSecOps and A.I., you can command notably higher compensation.