IT salary survey: Australians earn $82,507

The average annual salary of an Australian IT professional is currently $82,507, according to an extensive survey of the sector recently conducted by ZDNet.com.au.
Written by Renai LeMay, Contributor

The average annual salary of an Australian IT professional is currently $82,507, according to an extensive survey of the sector recently conducted by ZDNet.com.au.


The Australian IT Salary and Skills report 2008, used an online quiz to ask 2,426 local technology workers questions about their salary, skills, education level and job function, producing a profile of the nation's IT workforce that unearthed some surprises.

According to the survey's results, Australian IT professionals tend to earn more than their counterparts in other professions. However, the figure varied greatly, with those in particular industries, working for specific employers and with differing levels of education taking home vastly different levels of pay.

For example, the salary found that Australian IT workers in the legal and finance sectors had the highest average annual salary: $91,290, while public sector workers earned $76,769 on average.

Those working for companies with more than 1,000 staff tended to earn more, with an average salary of $91,457, compared with $77,294 for those working in companies with less than 100 staff. Medium-sized companies were in the medium bracket. "Generally speaking, the larger the company, the higher the salary," the survey findings stated.

It may come as no surprise that in terms of job function, IT managers with more than 10 years' worth of experience earned the most, with an average salary of $106,203, while the worst-paid IT professionals were support staff with less than five years' experience: they picked up just $46,712 on average.

Education level also played a strong role: those with vocational training earned the least on average, while those with postgraduate qualifications pulled in higher wages. Contractors and consultants earned higher wages than full-time workers, except for support contractors, who earned less.

The survey also tackled the question of what specific skills would get IT professionals ahead in the salary game compared with others.

Of those surveyed 44 per cent held at least one professional certification, with Microsoft's Certified Professional (MCP) being the most popular option at 30.5 per cent, much higher than the next top ranked, Cisco's Certified Network Associate (CCNA), which 17.4 per cent of respondents had.

Novell, IBM and Sun Microsystems certifications were further down the list.

Ultimately ZDNet.com.au's salary survey paints a picture of an Australian IT industry that has relatively high skill sets and salaries, compared with other sectors. The image of the poorly paid and vengeful systems administrator huddled in their cubicle is an archaic one: today's IT professionals are likely to have a few more coins jingling in their well-heeled pockets.

Click here to take part in the survey and download the full report.

Average annual salary by job function and industry

Job Function Industry Overall
Government, Education and Health (GEH) IT, Web & Telecom (ITWT) Legal and Finance (LF) Media, Marketing and Sales (non-IT) (MMS) Manufacturing, Services and Others (non-IT) (MSO)
IT Management $95,234 $105,646 $104,875 $97,617 $95,212 $101,343
Project Management $76,676 $89,118 $88,873 $86,742 $80,361 $85,894
Systems Development $76,809 $76,602 $90,697 $70,509 $70,451 $76,745
Communications $67,375 $73,847 $72,386 $66,521 $71,603 $71,571
Support $57,259 $57,488 $56,684 $52,461 $64,466 $58,376
Other IT professionals $71,062 $86,948 $118,999 $60,179 $69,357 $81,981
Overall $76,769 $83,853 $91,290 $78,337 $78,814 $82,507
Number of respondents 331 1,339 237 145 374 2,426
% of respondents 13.6% 55.2% 9.8% 6.0% 15.4% 100%
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