Information Technology professionals are better paid in Sydney than Melbourne, with chief information officers in the premier state receiving an extra $40,000, according to a recent report.
Infrastructure and IT managers working in Sydney can expect an additional $10,000 over their counterparts in Melbourne, the Robert Half Technology Asia Pacific report said.
The most lucrative positions, which pulled in more than $200,000 after 15 years' experience, were CIOs as well as managers of IT, business intelligence, e-commerce, infrastructure and development.
However, money wasn't flowing freely across the industry. About a quarter of tech sector professionals had copped pay cuts over the last 12 months, many after being axed and having to accept less-lucrative positions.
Aussies favoured more holidays, opportunities to work away from the office and a good work location, and were prepared to take a pay decrease to get it. They and counterparts in New Zealand also work the least amount of hours in the region.
Outside of these cuts, salaries remained relatively stable in Australia and New Zealand over the last year, with common but modest pay rises of less than 10 per cent across the Asia Pacific, according to the report.
Two thirds of IT shops will begin hiring over the next 12 months, offering enticements to new and existing skilled staff ranging from pay increases to flexible hours and opportunities to work away from the office.
Software-based, project management and leadership skills were highest on the wish list of staff.
Security jobs in demand
IT security professionals are set for a 3 to 5 per cent salary increase over the next 12 months, according to the report.
A report by the company's United States arm placed the current average wage of a chief security officer (at the top of the food chain) between US$107,000 to US$160,000, while a pre-sales engineer (being the lowest paid) received between US$66,000 to US$92,250.
The lowest paid staff will receive the highest percentage pay rise, with CSOs only bumping up their salary by around $4000.
PeopleBank director Peter Acheson said that the pay increases would also apply to Australian IT professionals.
"The market will begin demanding more skilled security professionals as they place more focus on the need for IT security," Acheson said.
He said that the next 12 months will create new positions and better pay packets across the local IT sector.
Hays IT regional director Peter Noblet said that IT security and skilled professionals will be sought after in the next few years.
"But there is a shortage of security candidates. We expect to see businesses examine their security staffing needs carefully and act to secure the depth of talent required in a market that is increasingly becoming skills-short," Noblet said.
"Already we've seen employers that had previously resisted increasing salaries adjust their thinking."
He said that businesses need to shorten the recruitment process to secure top security professionals.
"Those organisations that continue to move too slowly through the recruitment process are losing good candidates to those that act quickly."