Main image of article You're Probably Not Getting a Raise

Dice’s Salary Survey shows that tech pro salary levels in the United States are plateauing. Another new study suggests that's not an anomaly; that huge raise you wanted might not be on the way.

PayScale reports that employers won’t be offering meaningful pay bumps; that’s causing concern among companies about retaining talent. Almost 60 percent of employers who responded to PayScale’s study are “very concerned” about retention, but 73 percent say the average wage increase in 2018 will be three percent or less – not enough to keep some highly motivated (and highly skilled) employees around.

Some employers are supplementing salary with bonuses. PayScale says employers offering bonuses to incentivize talent rose three percent (to 67 percent) over last year. Hiring bonuses also jumped; some 34 percent of employers now say they’re offering sign-on payments, up from 27 percent the previous year.

You might think these findings are alarming enough that employers would want to adjust their compensation structure. Nope. PayScale also reports that, while 85 percent of managers feel confident they can justify employee pay, only 37 percent of organizations share that confidence. Furthermore, the number of employers offering spot bonuses is down seven percent. Pay equity for women and minorities are noted as being “top of mind, but not top of the to-do list” for employers, too.

PayScale’s findings echo much of what we unearthed in Dice's Salary Survey; some 36 percent of respondents reported any bump in salary came via merit raise, while 23 percent said it was because they jumped ship for another company. Around 63 percent of tech pros who plan to leave their current roles said they’ll do so for higher pay. Only one-third reported receiving a bonus (though the average bonus was $10,254).

There’s no concise explanation for this trend. Employers are simply throttling salaries across the board, and tech pros are starting to feel the pinch.

Silver linings exist, though. Employers report they’re offering more perks in lieu of better pay. For tech pros, it’s possible to negotiate a bit more time off, better revenue sharing, or even the ability to work remotely instead of haggling for a few more dollars. Similarly, there are some jobs you might best avoid, as they’re simply not paying tech pros well.

It may also be advantageous to look for a job in a different market. Some tech hubs you haven’t considered might have jobs that pay much more, especially if you’re familiar with tech in a field popular in those metro areas.