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U.S. Tech Salaries Averaged Above Six Figures in 2021

Web developers saw the biggest increase in pay

A man sitting at a desk with two laptops in front of him.

A widespread need for technology professionals drove the average salary for technologists in the U.S. to a record high of $104,566 in 2021, yet nearly half of tech workers feel they are underpaid.

Web developers saw the biggest increase in pay between 2020 and 2021, up on average more than 21.3 percent to $98,912, while the highest salaries went to IT management, whose pay rose 6 percent to average $151,983, according to tech career marketplace Dice's recently released 2022 Tech Salary Report.

More than 7,200 tech professionals completed the survey between Aug. 10 and Oct. 10, 2021.

Despite rising salaries and greater satisfaction with their pay, tech workers don't feel they are adequately compensated for their time: 47.8 percent felt they were underpaid—up nearly 2 percent from 2020.

"With average tech salaries breaking the six-figure mark for the first time in the 17 years we've been conducting this survey, and a revolution in workplace flexibility and wellness well underway, there's never been a better time to be a technologist," said Art Zeile, CEO of Dice. "Organizations are responding to the heightened need for tech talent. However, we're still seeing a gap between what benefits technologists want and what they receive, presenting an opportunity for employers everywhere to better understand this all-important group of professionals and to build environments where they will thrive."

Highest-Growth Positions

In addition to Web developers, the tech occupations that saw the fastest-growing salaries last year included database administrators (up 12.4 percent to $111,362), technical support engineers (up 12.4 percent to $77,169) and data analysts (up 11.5 percent to $84,779). The need to enhance cloud applications and store, clean and analyze data all drove increased salaries, Dice reported.

As more organizations migrate to the cloud, roles that focus on building out company Web properties, such as software developers (up 8 percent to $120,204), will continue to see marked increases.

10 Fastest-Growing Tech Positions by Salary 

OccupationAverage SalariesChange from 2020
Web developer$98,912+21.3%
Database administrator$111,362+12.4%
Technical support engineer$77,169+12.4%
Data analyst$84,779+11.5%
UX/UI designer$101,260+10.1%
Software developer$120,204+8.0%
Computer/mainframe programmer$97,320+6.5%
Systems administrator$88,642+6.2%
IT management $151,983+6.0%
Systems analyst

Source: Dice 2022 Tech Salary Report.

Highlighting the Benefits Gap

Technologists continue to value staple benefits such as paid vacation days, health and dental insurance, paid sick days, remote schedule options, and training and education, the survey showed. However, significant percentages of technologists are also interested in benefits that gained prominence during the pandemic, such as flexible schedules and child/elder care, although these were offered by fewer employers.

"As balance has become increasingly important, technologists are seeking support in making work-from-home work for them, including stipends and child/elder care options," said Michelle Marian, Dice chief marketing officer. "Gaps still exist between what benefits employees find important and what's offered by employers. Employers can work to close their own benefit gaps by working closely with current employees and prospective candidates to learn what matters most to these technologists."

Amazon Raises Salary Cap

In February, Amazon said it was more than doubling its maximum base salary for corporate workers. The e-commerce giant will now cap its base pay for corporate executive and professional staff at $350,000, up from its previous maximum of $160,000, while maintaining its signing bonuses and lucrative stock grants.

"This past year has seen a particularly competitive labor market, and in doing a thorough analysis of various options, weighing the economics of our business and the need to remain competitive for attracting and retaining top talent, we decided to make meaningfully bigger increases to our compensation levels than we do in a typical year," according to an internal memo to Amazon staff, first reported by GeekWire on Feb. 7.

"There is a battle for talent these days, and raising base salaries as a way to lure candidates is, of course, a go-to move by companies who can afford to do it," said Carolyn Kleiman, career expert at

"Historically, job seekers tend to do better, salary-wise, when they switch companies and either maintain a similar role or are able to move up a notch by switching employers," she noted. However, those seeking better opportunities "are looking for more than just a nice salary," Kleiman added. "They want to feel they are getting paid their worth, but they are focused on the work environment, the work itself, the learning and professional opportunities."

Related SHRM Articles:

Highest Pay Increases in Years Won't Match Inflation, SHRM Online, February 2022

Wages and Salaries Up 5% for Private Industry Workers in 2021, Less Than InflationSHRM Online, January 2022

Revised 2022 Salary Increase Budgets Head Toward 4%SHRM Online, December 2021


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