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Global IT Salaries Hit New High: 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report

‘The top-paying jobs, industries and certifications are associated with high salaries for a reason—those are the skills most coveted and most needed in IT departments,’ Global Knowledge’s report states. ‘Cloud computing jobs generally pay well because cloud skills are in high demand, and decision-makers can’t fill cloud positions quickly enough.’

Compensation for information technology professionals is at its highest levels ever, with annual IT salaries averaging $89,732 globally and $113,639 in the top-earning U.S., according to a new report out Tuesday.

IT professionals are earning $5,000 more on average this year compared to 2018, primarily due to job performance, according to Global Knowledge’s IT Salary and Certifications Report.

Cloud computing professionals earned the highest average salary aside from IT executives, with their compensation nearly 30 percent more than the global IT average, according to the Cary, N.C.-based information technology and professional training company, which this year is releasing results of its 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report survey, conducted for more than a decade, in four parts.

Cloud computing also accounted for four of the 10 top-paying certifications in North America.

“The top-paying jobs, industries and certifications are associated with high salaries for a reason—those are the skills most coveted and most needed in IT departments,” Global Knowledge’s report states. “Cloud computing jobs generally pay well because cloud skills are in high demand, and decision-makers can’t fill cloud positions quickly enough. Specifically, cloud architect is where the big money is—the top two highest-paying certifications in the world revolve around this job role.”

Global Knowledge conducted its survey online in September and November, and received 12,271 responses, of which 54 percent were from the U.S. and Canada.


It pays to live in the U.D., which has the highest average IT salary at $113,639—27 percent higher than the global average salary, according to the Global Knowledge survey.

By region, North American IT professionals earn $109,985 on average—23 percent more than the worldwide average—followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa at $70,445, the Asia-Pacific region at $65,738 and Latin America at $41,465.

There is less of a disparity between the average salaries of U.S. IT decision-makers versus their staffs’ salaries compared to other regions.

U.S. IT decision-makers earn an average of $141,024 annually—37 percent more than the employees they manage. That compares to $82,084 in the Asia-Pacific region (38 percent more), $138,972 for all of North America (40 percent more) and $52,480 in Latin America (44 percent more).

Survey respondents said they are making $5,000 more on average this year than last year, and 42 percent attributed the increase to their job performances in their current roles. Thirty-nine percent of IT professionals said their raises were standard company pay increases. Nine percent of IT professionals attributed their raises to developing new skills that added value and said they made almost an average of $12,000 more.

Fifty percent of IT staff and 56 percent of IT decision-makers earned bonuses. The percentage was highest among Asia-Pacific employees, with more than 60 percent of employees receiving one.

Highest And Lowest Salaries By States

The U.S.’ highest average IT salary of $134,531 was in California, which didn’t make Global Knowledge’s top five last year.

Rounding out this year’s top five were Massachusetts with an average of $131,773, New Jersey at $131,640, Virginia at $129,143 and the District of Columbia at $127,302.

The lowest-paid IT professionals were in Puerto Rico, where they made an average of $59,766, followed by Wyoming at $66,500, North Dakota at $80,808, Montana at $84,570 and Maine at $84,916.

Alaska, which last year had the lowest average IT salary, has seen its annual compensation increase to 31st among all states to $99,993.

Cloud Salaries The Highest

Beside IT executives, cloud computing professionals had the highest paid positions, earning an average of $115,889 per year globally—29 percent more than the global IT average.

Cloud architect and cloud engineer were among the most popular cloud computing roles, according to the survey.

The other top-paid IT roles were IT architecture and design, with an average salary of $98,580, followed by project and program management at $98,344 and cybersecurity at $97,322.

The lowest paid IT position was service desk and IT support, with an average salary of $55,689 globally and $63,245 in North America.

Highest Paid Industries

The aerospace/defense industry has the highest average IT salary globally at $111,456 annually, while system integrators and value-added resellers (VARs) earn the most in North America at $135,204.

“This makes sense since system and VAR integrators charge clients for their time and are generally paid well for the expertise they bring to their clients,” the Global Knowledge report states.

The lowest paid industry globally for IT professionals was telecommunications, with an average annual salary of $74,022, although that figure was at $108,759 for North America.

Certifications Bring Bigger Paychecks

Eighty-five percent of IT professionals surveyed by Global Knowledge had at least one IT certification, with North America being the only region falling below that at 81 percent.

More than half of the survey respondents with a certification earned their most recent one in the last year, and 66 percent said they’re pursuing another certification or plan to this year.

“In all regions, the salaries of certified professionals surpass the salaries of non-certified staff,” the report states. “In North America, certified professionals make 7 percent more than peers with no certifications.”

IT professionals in North America with six or more IT certifications make in excess of $10,000 more than those with only one certification on their resume, according to Global Knowledge. They earn an average of $117,212 annually compared to $104,337 with no certification and $106,780 with one certification.

“With few exceptions, each additional certification earned results in at least a minor salary bump,” the report said. “Certified professionals are better at closing skills gaps, meeting client requirements, being more productive, taking less time to troubleshoot issues and completing projects more quickly.”

Cloud Certifications Are Top Paying

Cloud computing certifications—particularly those awarded by Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud—generate the biggest salaries in all regions, according to the survey, followed by business architecture.

AWS and Google Cloud account for four of the 10 top-paying certifications in North America, while four Citrix Systems certifications were in the top 20.

Global Knowledge cautioned that cross-certification figures prominently when determining salaries, however, and almost 70 percent of survey respondents had more than one certification. In North America, for example, average salaries increased by more than 2 percent with each certification earned.

“The increases are slightly smaller in other regions, but the results follow a similar trend—the more certifications earned, the higher the salary,” the report states.

The five top-paying certifications in North America were the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) cloud architect certification with an average salary of $152,129 reported by survey respondents, followed by ISACA’s certified information security manager certification ($132,919), certified ScrumMaster ($132,903), the AWS certified solutions architect-associate ($130,883) and the AWS certified SysOps administrator-associate ($130,610).

The AWS certified solutions architect-professional topped the global list, with survey respondents holding the certification making an annual average salary of $120,136. The GCP cloud architect certification trailed, with holders making an average annual salary of $118,756.

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