IT wages continue to rise by an average of three to six percent a year, according to the 2007 Hays Information Technology Salary survey -- with IT workers in Queensland and Western Australia starting to command wages as high as their counterparts in Sydney and Melbourne.
The growth in salaries in Perth and Brisbane are attributed to a continuing boom in the mining and resources sector.
The average salary for IT infrastructure workers in Perth rose by 8.7 percent, and the same type of workers in Brisbane earned 8.2 percent more. The average salary for network designers, for example, rose AU$20,000 in Brisbane (to AU$105,000) and AU$15,000 in Perth (to AU$95,000).
Developers in these second-tier cities also saw significant wage increases. Developers in Perth experienced salary rises of 10.7 percent, with a similar 8.4 percent in Brisbane. The average salary for an analyst programmer, for example, rose AU$12,500 in Brisbane (to AU$80,000) and AU$15,000 in Perth (to AU$75,000).
"Rates have increased heavily in both Western Australia and Queensland and the salary gap with Sydney and Melbourne is closing or in some cases not even evident," said a statement released by the IT recruitment company.
The survey also found that IT employers are having to become far more flexible in order to attract skilled staff.
Some 64 percent of employers said they would consider sponsoring candidates from overseas; well up from the 44 percent in the same survey last year. Eighty percent of employers said they needed to adopt a more flexible approach to staffing.
Attracting and maintaining quality staff, said Peter Noblet, regional director of Hays Information Technology, requires as many intangible benefits such as a promise of future potential or flexible work practices as the tangible benefit of a higher salary.
"Whilst still not reaching the heights seen in the late 1990's and early 2000's, there is no denying the market for IT staff is extremely buoyant," said Noblet. "There is a demand for skills with a dearth of supply."