IT Employment

SMB vs. large corporations: How top IT salaries differ

Janco Associates has just released its mid-year IT compensation survey, and part of what it looks at is how top IT salaries differ in large corporations and small to medium businesses.

Janco Associates has just released its mid-year IT compensation survey, and part of what it looks at is how top IT salaries differ in large corporations and small to medium businesses.

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How much do salaries differ for the top positions in IT if you work for a small or medium business versus a large corporation? The short answer is a lot.

Janco Associates has just released its mid-year IT compensation study. Part of the study focuses on six-figure IT salaries and how they differ depending on the size of the organization.

Janco divides the data into six categories:

  • IT Leaders - Large firms
  • Mid-management - Large firms
  • Staff positions - Large firms
  • IT management - SMBs
  • Mid-management - SMBs
  • IT staff - SMBs

(A business with 100 or fewer employees is generally considered small, while one with 101-999 employees is considered to be medium-sized. I asked Janco about its criteria for this distinction, and they said that large companies are companies whose gross revenues are equal to or greater than $500 MM. Mid-sized companies are companies whose gross revenues are less than $500 MM.)

Here's how the six-figure salaries for IT staff in large corporations differed from their counterparts in SMBs:

Large corporations SMBs
Programmer/analyst $172,089 $129,641
Senior Network Specialist $165,013 $146,562
Disaster Recovery Coordinator $152,696 $102,598
Software Engineer $135,279 $171,374
Database Specialist $124,791 $125,631
Systems Support Specialist $103,848 $108,685

It's interesting that the software engineer and system support specialists actually make more money in the smaller organizations.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

44 comments
fourcadm
fourcadm

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J.D. Keith
J.D. Keith

Systems Support Specialist @ over 100 Grand???? I want that job!! I agree with the calls for this thread to come down!!!

kheywood
kheywood

Having not seen the survey questions, I suspect the survey may mislead. You may find that the "systems specialist" is doing the jobs of IT management, system architect and database admin too. Large companies compartmentalize functions. One body does one function (or subset). In a small company, you might even find that the company owner is also the IT guy. In my small company, the IT guy also is marketing director and production consultant. So, it all depends upon how the survey is structured, what questions were asked and how the responses were interpreted. There are definitely other factors in the SMB numbers.

AhJune
AhJune

agree.... "software engineer and system support specialists actually make more money in the smaller organizations" :)

vprashar
vprashar

This is very misleading. I hope they are off, because they seem way too high!!!!

jxe07
jxe07

There will always be someone making more than others. One must be realistic and ask: How many hours aweek?, many, many are not your standard 37.5 or 40 hrs aweek. I signed on with a company that stated: "around 48 hrs per week" but reality was 65-70, I was salaried, but that really blew a hole in my hourly rate, if one thought it was based on 40 hrs.

joshfutch
joshfutch

Woo...way too high from the industry average. Can you actually earn USD 8,654 per month as a Systems Support Specialist?

kemp62881
kemp62881

I think Toni Bowers was under a deadline to get something posted and came up with this. There has to be more substance than this to make this some kind of official report. Who was polled, how many were polled, where was the poll taken? C'mon - where can I interview to be a professional blogger for Tech Republic?

ITIL Citizen
ITIL Citizen

Anyone in their right mind knows this is a joke. These figures are totally inaccurate and in my opinion, Techrepublic should be embarrassed to post such bunk on their site. You are not providing any useful information here, you are only creating confusion and depressing people by making them think they may be underpaid. Give us a break!

AlphaW
AlphaW

I know a recruiter in the NYC area, and for very specialized positions you can get $125-150k but that is the exception not the norm. And that is in a high cost of living area. In fact the companies are always trying to low ball everyone.

Tim Heard
Tim Heard

Even keeping in mind that we're looking at top IT salaries, the numbers are misleading to the point that they're meaningless. A common problem with such surveys is that everyone has a different idea of what the title means. Additionally, the data is simply capturing the top salaries, and makes no distinction between costs of living from city to city. It may be that all of these figures are taken from New York City or some other market in which the salaries are blown out of proportion due to the high cost of living. I'm not sure what Janco's agenda was when releasing these figures, but all they have done is stir the pot and get people agitated about their own salaries.

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

There's no way that's an average or even a median. Someone pulled those numbers out of his ass. An IT pro would have to try hard to even get 1/3 of that salary these days with a market glutted with talent and H1B's invading and depressing salaries. Janco must be in cahoots with college CS programs trying to lure unsuspecting "victims" into going into a dead-end profession with the promise of six-figure salaries. That ship has sailed and got sunk after 9/11. I'm still trying to find a life-raft!!!

tungstendiadem
tungstendiadem

I am graduating with honors shortly with a BS in IT emphasizing DBA. I need work. Any leads? SMB or Large Corporation I am not too particular, yet.

LdyontheNet
LdyontheNet

You need to add an additional column for non-profit organizations. I doubt if anyone in an IT position in a non profit organization is making that kind of money.

rmlounsbury
rmlounsbury

The median income for a System Administrator in Portland, OR. is $60,000 a year. Yet according to this a system support specialist makes 6-digits. Am I missing something? I seriously need a raise if this is accurate!

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

http://www.e-janco.com/salary.htm Given the spread of cities listed, I wonder if the survey details how many firms from each city were surveyed....since that could have a significant impact on the overall average (10 firms from San Fran vs. 2 from Des Moines would probably skew the results higher than a true national average where all things are equalized).

techtalk
techtalk

is there a link to the rest of the figures?

VikingCoder
VikingCoder

Geez, I can tell you that in the Midwest, ain't nobody making that kind of money... regardless of the size of the business.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I've never heard of ANYONE in IT, unless you were an executive, making that much money. It just doesn't happen...

rackerman
rackerman

Take the time to read the actual Janco survey. I did and found what I believe to be the real issue (Janco CEO points this out). We get so much information, much of which is allowed because of advertising consideration, editorial allowances etc., that is slanted toward a product/service, or industry pundant viewpoint. I think this happens so much that the real facts get obliterated. I thought that Janco clearly went out of their way in the survey to point this out. The facts are bleaker than what the IT industry wants to believe. These facts are based on more than just a few 100 random surveys, so the data is there to support the facts. Anyway I'm rambling but you get the point.

cclermont
cclermont

Most of the people reading this are really not seeing the information posted here the "Top IT" salaries. Think about it...who is at the top? CIO's VP's and directors thats who make that kind of money. Want to make that kind of money get into management not IT. Unfortunately it takes years to get to that level of management, not to mention a whole new meaning to headaches...

rmlounsbury
rmlounsbury

Great point Tim. The article would have been more helpful if Janco had put in more detail about location, title definition, etc...

Bebedo
Bebedo

Without any disclosure or reference to the source of her data I would be skeptical. But seeing the numbers she used means she's completely lost any credibility. No one makes that kind of money for the positions posted. And large companies did not get to be large companies by paying such exhorbitant sums. For the "real" average salary for your area, check out MSN Careers or Monster.com.

drewcollier
drewcollier

I don't think anyone in IT in any organization is making that kind of money, except the execs.

toni.bowers_b
toni.bowers_b

I'm wondering if the discrepancy is due to the fact that they consider an SMB any company that makes less than $500 million per year. That's a pretty darn profitable small company!

pwoodctfl
pwoodctfl

Thanks for finding the data that supports this article. The top jobs that this report refers to are VP and Director slots, where the salary of the VP of IT should be compared to the salary of the VP of Finance, not to the salaries of his/her suborinates. No suprise that the salaries are inflated at the executive suite level.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

I was reading the Janco website, and it seems as though one of the areas they specialize in is "Ability to add, change and eliminate IT operations thru an effective design and implementation of a structured IT Infrastructure for both networks and data centers". Would seem to me that by driving up the supposed average salaries for certain positions, they'd be in a better position to market their services. As such, I wouldn't put too much stock in their survey findings. But that is just me, and I'm somewhat jaded. :)

rackerman
rackerman

I suppose this is a good way to get a blog thread going. These numbers are the exception to what's really happening out there - either SMB or Large company.

jrosewicz
jrosewicz

Yeah you can almost divide those figures by 3 to come up with salaries here in the Midwest. But then of course my puny salary can also buy me a nice house and moderate acreage for what some coastal residents pay for a studio apartment.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Wages here a smidge higher than in the midwest. Not that it means much. I'm paying about 3x-5x what you are in housing, but slightly less in food.....

rick
rick

Maybe the people that make these salaries don't have time to read TR...they are too busy working. (or brown nosing maybe)

mcarpenter25
mcarpenter25

The reality is, no matter what the average is for an IT professional's salary, a company will pay you what they think you're worth. We've all seen the job postings for an MCSE with a BS in IT, 8-10 years of experience, who can also do telecomm work, fix copiers, and make coffee for $16 an hour (USD). Then another listing just below that, for an MCP with 2-4 year of experience to do desktop work and some servers for $40 an hour (USD). Where is the line drawn? Does the line exist? It always seems as though we never have a leg to stand on when it comes to negotiating salaries. And employers offerings are usually unrealistic.

Satish_kamath
Satish_kamath

Ageed completely..Even after converting ? to $ it still does not work out.

toni.bowers_b
toni.bowers_b

These how the top IT salaries (those that are six figures and above) break down in large vs. small and medium sized companies.

fjdumagat
fjdumagat

I'm a software engineer in one of the largest ATM maker in the world and yet i only recieve less than $500 a month....Oh so unfair!, world of slavery and underpaid, somebody save me!

mikeg3
mikeg3

The few times I've been privy to other people's salaries I've usually come away shocked what they're getting paid. Although my data is relatively old, and things may have changed a lot since then, up until a few years ago it wasn't at all uncommon for good, experienced to command in excess of $100k, especially on mission-critical work such as public-facing database apps, "specialty" apps (like for the legal or medical professions), and other positions that required unique combinations of skill, education, and experience. I do believe that outsourcing has made a huge difference in what companies are willing to pay today. A lot of offshore providers promise low-cost developers with little or no overhead (benefits, training, etc.). Personally I don't believe that outsourcing really saves anything for the client company, but IT departments continue falling for the promise of cheap development over and over again.

M.W.H.
M.W.H.

There is a huge difference between $500 million in revenue vs $500 million in profits. How can you post this stuff if you don't know the difference? Take this thread down Toni.

rmlounsbury
rmlounsbury

Maybe. I consider my company a SMB and I believe we generate about $35 million in annual profits.

jmcguire
jmcguire

These are self-serving numbers that support Janco's interests

tpacey
tpacey

one has to wonder what other articles are posted for what appears to be the sole purpose of seeing how many people are reading, or maybe getting us to go to sponsored links while we are here to see REAL salary surveys?

pwoodctfl
pwoodctfl

I am glad that I am not the only one who has the "In my dreams" reaction to these numbers. Maybe one person....with exceptionally rare skills....in a management position....in a corporation with very deep pockets....gets this type of money. It overstates typical salaries by 20-30%

rackerman
rackerman

Perhaps. I would hope this isn't the case as from time to time there are some good discussion topics. I would hope that TR would "keep it clean"

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