Low-paid tech jobs on the rise in UK

An increasing number of IT workers are finding themselves on the lowest rung of the salary ladder, according to silicon.com research

A growing number of UK technology workers are finding themselves on the lowest rung of the salary ladder, according to exclusive research by ZDNet UK sister site silicon.com.

The 2008 silicon.com Skills Survey reveals that more than a fifth (22 percent) of technology workers now take home less than £25,000, compared to just 14 percent in 2006 and 2007. Almost half (48 percent) of techies earn between £25,001 and £55,000 — a slight drop on last year's result, when 52 percent fell into this earning bracket.

2008's survey also shows IT salaries are spreading more evenly across the pay board, with almost a quarter of IT professionals earning either £25,001 to £40,000, or £40,001 to £55,000; and 13 percent falling into each of the next two wage brackets (£55,001 to £70,000; and £70,001 to £110,000).

In previous years, a greater proportion of IT salaries were concentrated in the lower mid-tier than they are now.

Over the last five years, there has been a gradual decrease in the proportion of IT salaries in the bottom end of the mid-range wage bracket (£25,001 to £40,000). More than a third (35 percent) of IT workers took home a pay cheque of this size back in 2003, compared to just under a quarter (24 percent) now. Conversely, the proportion of high-tier salaries (£70,001 to £110,000) has crept up over the same period, from nine percent back in 2003 to 13 percent now.

Shrinkage in the mid-range wage bracket could reflect a growing UK skills shortage in IT's mid-levels, fuelled by decreasing numbers of IT graduates entering the market, and increased offshoring of junior technology jobs.

The survey also reveals that slightly fewer IT workers are earning the biggest salaries — of over £110,001 — than in recent years, with just five percent on such a wage now, compared to seven percent in 2007 and six percent in 2006.

More than a fifth of UK technology workers now take home less than £25,000


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