Tech Salary Satisfaction
One of the most notable data points in this year’s study is the drop in salary satisfaction for technology professionals. Thirty percent of professionals were either somewhat or very dissatisfied with their salaries in 2022, up from 28% in 2021, and the number of those very satisfied dropped to 20% from 22% in the prior year. Further, nearly half of the technology professionals in our study believe they are underpaid relative to other people with the same occupation/skill level.
Do you think that you are underpaid relative to other people with your same occupation and skill level in your current job?
We are seeing these numbers as the beginning of a shift in your expectations for your compensation, and an identification of the gap that exists between what you want and what you’re getting. Add the numbers above to data from our 2022 Tech Sentiment Report, which showed that tech professionals were not happy with their merit increases during the year (they received 4.8% and expected 5.2%), and you have the clear narrative that you’re feeling underappreciated.
How satisfied are you with the compensation in your current or most recent position?
So, what can you do about it? If you like where you work, make it clear to your manager that your earnings and internal advancement will go hand-in-hand, especially in an environment where high inflation makes every merit increase you receive less valuable. Ask what you can do to gain more responsibility and increased earnings potential. If more money is not available, make a push for other things that would increase your experience at work. While you said compensation was #1 in increasing your engagement at work, you also said that “remote work options,” “more recognition” and “more training and certifications” could move the needle for you.
What would increase your engagement at work?
Some 66% of technology professionals saw their annual income rise year over year, versus 63% in 2021. A mere 6% received a smaller paycheck, versus 8% last year, and 27% reported their income remained the same. With tech unemployment still notably low (and inflation eating into employees’ checks), organizations everywhere are happy to pay more to attract and retain tech-centric employees.
What powered the pay increases? Thirty-one percent of tech professionals enjoyed a merit raise. For 24% of tech professionals, changing employers impacted their take-home pay in a positive way. Smaller percentages boosted their checks via changing their type of work (i.e., consultant vs. permanent position), different clients, a higher billing rate, and so on.
Income Change from One Year Ago
When it comes to paychecks, jumping employers is a double-edged sword, as 35% of tech professionals reported their salary dropped after doing so. Perhaps they were willing to take this decrease for any number of reasons, including better work-life balance or a different office location. Other respondents said their pay dropped after switching clients or contracts (12%), a changed work type (9%), a layoff (7%) or less overtime (6%).
In fact, the tech professionals who took an income hit when they switched employers climbed noticeably (from 29% in 2021 to 35% in 2022), suggesting that many have different considerations than pay when it comes to deciding where to work.
What is the main reason for your salary increase?
What is the main reason for your salary decrease?
The percentage of technology professionals who negotiated their salaries at their new jobs in 2022 was unchanged over 2021. Only 50% negotiated with their new employer, which is low considering how impactful negotiations can be in boosting compensation. According to CNBC, 85% of professionals (including all types of employees, not just tech professionals) who negotiated a counteroffer were successful (meaning they received at least some of what they asked for).
The psychological pressure of the negotiation (and the fear of asking for the session) is often more difficult than the negotiation itself. And yes, there is always the risk that it backfires, although as you can see from the numbers above, that’s a relative rarity. As negotiation requires taking a strong stance, it’s important to understand why you are doing it; if it’s something you feel strongly about and your requests are based both on what’s important to you and any data you have for comparison purposes (Salary.com is a great resource), then it’s almost always worth doing.
There are also ways to make the request and the negotiation itself more effective (it’s a bit of an art form in some ways). Check out these articles from Dice to help you get started: