Demand for IT professionals in Australia continues

The demand for IT professionals in Australia continues with the market shifting contract preferences to long-term periods (over 6 months). Take note the average annual salary for an IT contractor is now AUD$129,971.

From IT

Shift back to long-term contracts, says ITCRA

Difficult economic conditions have seen redundancies and job losses in many industry sectors, particular manufacturing, but the ICT contracting sector continues to perform well, despite a fall in the number of available contracting roles, significant variations state-by-state and across different industries, and with a shift back to longer-term contracts.

The latest Skills Match Contractor Salary Survey by the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association, ITCRA, shows that there has been a move back to longer-term contracts over the six month period from March to August this year.

According to ITCRA CEO, Julie Mills, the shift back to longer-term contracts may be temporary, with the association’s survey of 1,112 contract placements between March and August showing that the percentage of contracts over one year fluctuated between 5.2 per cent in March and 11.2 per cent in July.

Mills says that, at the same time, the overall number of available roles fell by 15.5 per cent between the second and third quarters of this year, with project manager roles recording the greatest drop, falling 32.2 per cent over the two quarter.

“So while contract lengths grew, the number of available contracts fell, which suggests the ICT industry is cautiously committing to longer-term projects,” Mills observes.

On salaries, the ITCRA survey shows that between March and August, the average annual salary for an ICT contractor was $129,071, while the average hourly rate was $83.46. Rates, however, varied depending on the specific role and company sector.

“For example, ICT contractors working for financial and insurance services companies earned an average of $160,706, while those working for education and training companies earned an average of $118,190.

“Average hourly rates ranged from $22 for technical specialists to $155.83 for consultants,” Mills said.

Analyst programmer roles saw the biggest increase in average pay rates over the last six months, with rates growing by 20 per cent, while average rates for architects grew by 19 per cent and rollout engineer rates grew by 11 per cent.

Conversely, account manager rates dropped by 42 per cent over the six month period, and the average pay for quality assurance managers dropped 27 per cent, while data conversion leads were paid 27 per cent less.

“In the coming quarter, we expect rates for technical roles to continue to rise, while rates for support roles will fall,” Mills said.

ITCRA’s salary survey also identified the best and worst performing roles by state.

Overall, South Australia had the lowest average salaries, with incomes averaging 18.8 per cent lower than the national average for all roles, with Mills revealing that ICT contractors in New South Wales enjoyed the highest levels of remuneration, with incomes 7.8 per cent higher than the national average.

The state-by-state survey, of over 80 ICT roles, uses data collected Australia-wide from reputable recruitment agencies who are members of ITCRA and contributors to the real time data collection. It reveals:

•    In the ACT, web developers earned, on average, 46 per cent below the national average income for this role, while security consultants earned 49 per cent below the national average

•    In NSW, those in technical support roles earned 55 per cent above the average, while systems engineers earned 51 per cent below

•    In both Queensland and Victoria, systems analysts were well remunerated, earning 156 per cent and 132 per cent above the national average respectively. In Queensland, communications specialists earned 39 per cent below the national average for their role, while technical support contractors in Victoria earned 38 per cent less than the national average

•    In South Australia, desktop support and project managers earned six per cent above the national average, while account managers earned 71 per cent less than the national average, and

•    In Western Australia, analysts earned 34 per cent above the national average, while project coordinators earned 34 per cent below

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