Editor's Note: Are you in the money?

If you're not earning at least $65,000 per year, you might want to ask yourself why. That is, if you take the figures from the latest salary survey as gospel.

In fact, the median salary of all IT professionals is $68,000 according to the 1999 APESMA salary report, conducted on behalf of the ACS. Even more impressive, the median total package (which includes base salary, leave loading, superannuation, cars, fringe benefits tax and performance pay) is $81,842. But like all statistical reports, the use of "overall medians" can appear vague.

From a more IT-specific perspective, the 2000 plus ACS members surveyed contributed to a more thorough breakdown of statistics.

The median base salary for IT professionals in consulting sits around the $78,000 mark, while those in IT management averaged at about $75,000. However, our friends in programming don't seem to fare as profitably. In fact, the report concluded that from those surveyed, the average base salary for the analyst/programmer rates at about $55,000 per year. But take heart. In comparison with other industries, the average Joe on the street has a base salary of around $38K.

However, if you take a look at the tables on page 14, in particular the ‘Upper Decile" column, you will soon realise that it's a different ball game for other IT professionals. For instance, the Upper Decile of those surveyed in consulting listed $130,000 a year, while IT management in the higher group rated $118,000. Now, that's something to aim for. Meanwhile, our mates in programming hopped up to $75,00 in the higher salary group.

Indeed, the IT industry does reward. And according to experts, it's likely to get better. As many of you wind down on Y2K activities, budgets will finally be free of immediate millennium concerns. What will be left is a lot of room to tackle the backlog of IT projects just waiting to take off.

Of course, finding the right people with the right skills mix will make the world of difference in pay packets. Writing your own salary ticket could be a few skills-sets away.

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