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IT Compensation Inches Back Up

IT salary and bonus levels last year reached a new peak, surpassing the previous high watermark set in 2001 during the height of the tech boom. The average IT manager made $99,000 and the average staffer $73,000, according to the National IT Salary Survey of more than 10,425 IT professionals by Network Computing and InformationWeek.

Salary growth in 2005 was slow--just 1 percent year over year. But factoring in bonuses, total compensation grew 3 percent for staff and 4 percent for managers. Managers got 8 percent of their total compensation through bonuses, the highest share since 2001.

For IT managers, the job functions that garner the largest comp packages are data mining/data warehouse, HR IT, Web infrastructure, ERP and enterprise application integration.

The lowest-paying positions are in networking, training and IT support, where median pay is 60 percent of that in the top-tier categories. Job titles matter too: IT staff with titles of architect, system architect, sales support engineer and project leader earn the most.

Want to know how your salary compares with that of your peers? Visit the interactive Network Computing Salary Adviser.