UK IT salaries among highest

UK IT salaries among highest

IT managers are well paid but benefits must be improved

UK technology professionals have the fourth highest salaries in the world, after Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium.

The average wage for an IT manager in the UK is £62,180, compared with £74,150 in Switzerland, £64,750 in Denmark and £63,760 in Belgium, according to a survey by consultant Mercer examining salaries paid by 6,545 companies in
35 different countries.

The US is ranked sixth with an average of £56,550.

There are two main factors in the UK’s strong position. The average is being pushed up by the movement of lower-paid roles offshore. And wages are hiked by London’s pre-eminence as a global financial centre.

But the UK IT industry’s dependence on the City could spell disaster for future job security, according to Philip Virgo, strategic adviser to user group the Institute for the Management of Information Systems.

“Salaries in central London are world class, as they are in Switzerland, Abu Dhabi and New York, because of the predominance of global financial headquarters that are located there,” said Virgo.

“However, if London’s position as the world’s financial services centre is threatened ­ by government or EU legislation for example ­ those top-tier jobs could disappear abroad in three to six months.”

Professional training will be crucial to achieving and maintaining competitive salary levels and high-value roles in the UK, according to Karen Price, chief executive of sector skills council e-Skills UK.

“That we develop people with ever better skills is reflected in their salaries,” she said.

But pay is not the only consideration for recruiting staff, according to Mercer consultant David Conroy.

“Big IT project management roles are in high demand globally, so it is critical for a mature market such as the UK to hold on to them,” he said.

“There will always be an employer that will pay more, so UK firms must not only offer competitive salaries but also career, professional training and lifestyle benefits.”