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Are you a techie looking for higher salaries? Head for Australia

Paul Smith (MIS FINANCIAL REVIEW) | April 27, 2010
Skills shortage pushes up IT salaries

SYDNEY, 27 APRIL 2010 - A survey by Australia's largest technology recruiter has found that salaries in Perth have skyrocketed this year, and a worsening skills shortages on the east coast is pushing up salaries in NSW, the ACT, Victoria and Queensland.

In its survey of more than 50 IT job categories, Peoplebank Australia found that more than 40 per cent of job categories in Perth had experienced salary or contract rate rises in the past three months.

Pay rises along the east coast were more common for contract positions than permanent roles.

The number of technology jobs coming on to the market has gone through the roof.

"Steady growth in the number of roles available turned into strong growth in March - giving us a marked increase in the number of roles on our books in the first quarter of 2010," Peoplebank's acting chief executive, Jeff Knowles, said.

"For instance, in Victoria alone, the number of jobs available has probably grown by 100 per cent in the past three months."

Mr Knowles said the market had come full circle since last year, with skilled job seekers holding all the cards.

Most candidates had several job offers from which to choose and, with higher rates on the horizon, contractors were seeing less reason to sign on for permanent roles.

"We have had cases of losing candidates while an employer prevaricates about making a job offer - so we are advising employers to act quickly to secure the strong candidates with in-demand skill sets such as Java, .NET and ERP skills," he said.

In Sydney and Melbourne, Peoplebank found core systems upgrade projects in the financial services sector were absorbing IT skills, but there was also broadening demand across the industry for project managers and professionals with Java and .NET skills.

In Queensland, average salaries had increased most notably for senior technical IT consultants to A$95,000 from $70,000 in November.

In South Australia, there had been a marked increase in demand for helpdesk and desktop support roles.

The skills shortage was most apparent in Perth, thanks to growing demand from the resources sector and from financial services, manufacturing and other sectors that support Western Australia's resources industry.

The survey found pay scales for senior IT managers in Perth had risen by almost 10 per cent to $120,000 since November, while salaries for senior business analysts had risen by more than 15 per cent to $105,000 over the same period.

The average salary for a chief information officer in Perth had risen from $200,000 to $240,000.

"Peoplebank is already fielding calls from many such workers, and we are acutely aware that it won't take much of a pay increase to tempt many of them from their current, permanent roles," Mr Knowles said.

"Many IT workers have not had a pay review for at least 12 or 18 months, and so what companies do now to reward... their IT staff will be a key component in each worker's decision to commit to a business or move to another job."


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