If you decide to stick with IT for the long haul, in order to move up the corporate ladder and make more money, you might look at the management tract. Although management has been the fastest growing tech category for several years, according to a recent article in InformationWeek, you might try moving into a higher-paying specialty for more prestige and money. According to Yoh, a leading staffing agency for high-tech talent that tracks the pay of thousands of staffers on short- and long-term projects, the average hourly wage for the average technology worker in Q1 2007 was $31.80.

But for those tech workers who specialized, things got a little more lucrative. Here’s a breakdown of some of the highest hourly rates by specialty:

  • .NET Developer: $53.40
  • Database Administrator: $59.80
  • ETL Developer: $66.52
  • Hardware Engineer: $75.68
  • Java Developer: $57.27
  • Project Manager: $60.73
  • SAP Functional Consultant: $76.67
  • Technical Consultant: $83.72

Yoh’s report also indicates that some of the emerging technologies that are fueling tech job growth are Web 2.0, SaaS, and social networking. Technologies with across-industry appeal like RFID and eCTD (Electronic Common Technical Document), are creating openings too.

So should one go out and immediately seek certification in any of these disciplines when and if they should become available? The InformationWeek jury seems to be out on that one. Their surveys indicate that “over the last 12 months, only 6% of staff and 4% of managers received a bonus that was tied to a certification or training. Just 3% of staffers and managers received a “hot skill” premium. Yet certification and education are part of moving into higher-salary jobs.”