IT Operations

Tech salaries stagnated for the first time in nearly two decades in 2022, according to survey

Dice CEO Art Zeile says tech salaries barely budged during an “aberrational year” in the industry.
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Francis Scialabba

· 3 min read

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Pay growth throughout the tech sector hit a speed bump in 2023, according to the latest edition of Dice’s annual Tech Salary Report. Workers aren’t particularly happy about it, either.

According to Dice, the survey of over 6,100 respondents found the average tech salary stood at $111,193 in 2023—down $155 from 2022. Meanwhile, the number of tech professionals who reported a pay cut doubled year over year to 12%, and the percentage who reported being either somewhat or very dissatisfied with their salaries grew from 30% to 35%.

Dice CEO Art Zeile told IT Brew that in 19 years of conducting the survey, this was the first year salary growth was flat.

“It has generally been such that the supply/demand imbalance of technology workers in the United States has created wage inflation, an increase in compensation every single year,” Zeile said. While usually Dice observes salaries increase at around 3–4% annually, he added, a variety of factors including high inflation and major tech layoffs in 2023 contributed to “an aberrational year coming out of the pandemic.”

Roles seeing the biggest pay cuts included DevOps engineers, product managers, management information system (MIS) managers, and principal software engineers.

In lieu of salary increases, some firms apparently upped their bonuses. While the percentage of tech workers who received a bonus in 2023 was around that in 2022 (just under 40%), nearly one-half of them received more year over year. The average bonus grew from $13,794 to $15,011.

Still, only 49% of respondents working at tech firms (which Dice defines as offering digital electronics, software, and/or internet and ecommerce services) reported satisfaction with their salaries. Compare that to the 34% of satisfied tech professionals who work in other sectors.

That might explain why Dice also found 93% of tech professionals are either actively looking for new jobs or interested in new opportunities, suggesting 2024 may be a year of high turnover. Zeile told IT Brew he expects salaries to résumé growing, and noted certain skills in tech still saw significant growth in pay last year.

“It’s still a very, very tight market, and for certain skills, that is even tighter,” Zeile said.

Systems administrators got an 11.2% boost, which Zeile told IT Brew reflected growing awareness at many companies that a large number of workers may never return to the office. They were followed by software developers, program analysts/managers, help desk technicians, and .NET developers.

The top-paying roles overall tended to be related to data, networking, and cloud, reflecting enterprises’ growing needs to build out their analytics operations and infrastructure. Compensation growth in those jobs also tracks with the overall trend of enterprises pivoting (or planning to pivot) to tools like machine learning and AI, according to Zeile.

Many of the 2023 layoffs appeared to be “companies that are kind of reshuffling their priorities,” Zeile said. “A lot of them are based on the notion that AI is going to be a very important trend for the future.”

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to cloud computing, IT Brew covers the latest trends shaping business tech in our 4x weekly newsletter, virtual events with industry experts, and digital guides.