Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IT Jobs 2016: Biggest Salary Increases

  • {image 1}

    The tech industry has been going strong, and that is expected to continue for next year as IT unemployment shrinks even further, salaries inch higher, and increased technology initiatives create exciting career opportunities.

    Along with the traditional upgrades and migration projects that were always a staple of IT, businesses are investing in new capabilities and expanding tech beyond the IT department at a rapid rate, making technology pros -- and networking pros in particular -- indispensable.

    That demand means IT practitioners can look forward to higher pay. In fact, a recent report from Robert Half Technology found that starting salaries for the tech positions it tracks will increase an average of 5.3% in 2016.

    Experienced tech professionals in hot areas such as security, big data and mobility may find it easy to find a higher paying position, especially in industries like financial services, healthcare, managed services, telecommunications and hospitality. And because these burgeoning technologies all put a greater load on the network, technologists in networking roles are benefiting as well.

    The US Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees, predicting employment of computer network architects to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, outpacing the average for all occupations. The Bureau cites the growth and maintenance of wireless and mobile networks as well as the expansion of healthcare information technology as major factors leading to increased opportunities.

    In the following slides, we count down the job titles in the networking field that will enjoy the biggest increases, according to Robert Half's 2016 Salary Guide. Of course, geographic location, industry, and other factors may play a large part in actual pay. If you'd like to see the salary range for your specific title in your area, check out Robert Half's interactive salary calculator.

    (Image: Cimmerian/iStockphoto)

  • Telecommunications manager

    $88,500 - $125,000
    4.4% increase

    Telecom managers should expect a 4.4% increase in salary on average, due to the relentless demand for connectivity and speed in communication, robust growth in devices and services, and system updates needed for network convergence. In addition to evaluating equipment vendors and service providers, these IT pros may oversee a team of analysts and technicians, must manage the telecommunications budget and analyze spending, and supervise telecommunications systems upgrades, improvements and long-range strategy.

  • Information technology manager

    $105,750 - $159,000
    4.9% increase

    IT managers are critical to organizations for both their technical knowledge and business acumen, ranking high for potential salary increases at 4.9%. In addition to understanding the broader goals of the business, IT managers must provide leadership for the entire IT team, delegate and manage projects to ensure goals are met, developing and monitor performance standards, and offer guidance for designing and implementing new projects.

  • Network security administrator

    $103,250 - $147,000
    5.3% increase

    Security skills are in great demand, especially in the network. That means network security admins can look forward to an average 5.3% raise in 2016. This role in the IT department performs important functions like implementing network security policies and procedures, administering and maintaining firewalls, managing and updating malware prevention systems, performing intrusion detection analysis, and keeping up with alerts and advisories to ensure necessary network security updates, patches and preventive measures are in place.

  • Network architect

    $120,000 - $175,000
    5.3% increase

    The network architect is one of the most highly skilled IT professionals, and today's architect must not only understand routers, switches, and other network hardware, but branch into cloud infrastructure and emerging technologies like SDN. Networking certifications from vendors are sometimes a prerequisite, as well as excellent communication and analytical skills. In addition to planning, designing and upgrading network installations, network architects are often responsible for troubleshooting network and application performance, ensuring data protection and backup systems are in place, and recommending upgrades or enhancements to leverage network infrastructure.

  • Systems engineer

    $85,000 - $124,000
    5.7% increase

    Systems engineers can look forward to an average 5.7% increase in 2016, and those with virtualization skills or experience managing the convergence of networking, systems and data storage could command even more. In addition to in-depth technical knowledge of an organization's software and hardware, systems engineers need advanced analytical, troubleshooting and design skills.

  • Network engineer

    $96,000 - $138,750
    5.7% increase

    As networks become increasingly complex and dispersed, network engineers must have knowledge of a growing range of networking hardware and software. These IT pros will enjoy an average increase of 5.7%, with the potential for much more for those holding advanced certifications such as the CCIE. Network engineers generally build, test and manage data, voice and video networks. They are often responsible for secure transfer data between multiple locations over internal and external networks, and must interface frequently with vendors, clients, and carriers.

  • Network administrator

    $76,250 - $112,000
    6.4% increase

    Network administrators will also enjoy healthy raises in 2016, with gains of 6.4% expected. These IT professionals are indispensable for smooth LAN and WAN operations, as well as troubleshooting errors and bottlenecks. Admins also implement network software and hardware upgrades, and administer network security, antivirus and spam control.

  • Network security engineer

    $110,250 - $152,750
    6.7% increase

    Network security engineers come in even higher on the list than administrators, and can look forward to average raises of 6.7% next year. These engineers are critical for translating security policies and procedures into technical architectures. They also spend their time analyzing performance, identifying areas of concern and formulating action plans, as well as maintaining documentation of network configurations and processes.

  • Wireless network engineer

    $108,750 - $150,750
    9.7% increase

    The highest increase in starting salary of all IT jobs in Robert Half's salary guide -- at a whopping 9.7% -- is the role of wireless network engineer. Why are these professionals in such great demand? The general push toward wireless offices and the growth of mobile applications, which requires testing mobile apps in a wireless environment, help explain the jump in pay. This trend is bound to continue as wireless and mobile networks grow and must support quickly increasing traffic loads.