NSW has the edge over Victoria in the IT salary department

More reasons why Sydney is better than Melbourne?

Experience pays. And if you are an IT Director/CIO, Program Manager or Enterprise Architect, then quite handsomely so, according to a new report issued by an IT recruiter.

Those professions stand at the top of the IT salary table. And it gets better if you live in NSW, with salaries higher there compared to Victorian counterparts in equivalent roles.

According to the Ambition Market Trends and Salaries Report for Winter 2008, released on Monday, an IT director/CIO in NSW with three-plus years experience can expect a base salary of $200-$300,000 compared to $180-$260,000 in Victoria. Enterprise Architects can expect $140-$180,000 north of the border while down south they earn only $125-$165,000. Program Managers follow a similar trend: $150-$200,000 compared to $140-$180,000.

The maximum salary for those in the same role, but with only one to two years experience is noticeably less. For example, an IT director/CIO in NSW will expect a base of $150-$170,000 and in Victoria $140-$160,000. Inexperienced Program Managers can expect $130-$140,000 in both states.

Overall, salaries for IT professionals are higher across the board for those living in NSW. Ambition only surveys two technology recruitment markets - Sydney and Melbourne.

"The market in Sydney is a lot more competitive," explained Andy Cross, managing director of Ambition Finance. "Whether that will continue is an unknown."

He said a lot of that competitiveness has come about in the past year and is driven largely by the financial services sector.

"Investment banks using significant bonuses as an attraction for candidates was actually pushing up those remuneration packages," he said. "I suspect we will see an evening out over the next six months."

According to Cross, the market this year, largely due to economic factors, has softened a little compared to a year ago.

"The first half of last year was quite aggressive chasing talent. We were having candidates who were put up for positions for $70-$80,000 and clients were coming back and offering them $100,000. More than once I heard clients say- 'we just don't want them looking around in six months'. So they were a lot freer to throw the money around to get good talent on board.

"But the second part of last year was a plateau and now market confidence is not shaky, but a bit more cautious."

Because of this caution, Cross said salary levels have leveled off for the time being.

Ambition Technology's figures are pulled from vacancies it monitors, placements made and market intelligence from market research conducted with candidate and clients. A full list of salaries can be found Ambiton Winter Report.

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