The 10 U.S. cities with the highest IT salaries -- and 10 more on the move

Silicon Valley techies still earn the most, but employers in Pittsburgh, San Diego, and St. Louis are dangling more dollars

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Pittsburgh ups the IT salary ante
While IT salaries in Silicon Valley, New York, Chicago, and Austin have remained relatively flat, employers in such cities as Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and San Diego have loosened the purse strings considerably to lure IT talent.

"This recovery has been particularly hard for employers in nontraditional tech markets if they want to grow their staff," Melland said. "With mobility down, the pool of available talent isn't as deep, which pushes salaries up and makes companies scramble to come up with creative solutions."

Following are the cities boasting the highest year-over-year salary increases for techies. Bear in mind that the average pay boost nationwide was around 5 percent. Also consider that living expenses are considerably higher in places like Silicon Valley and New York, making some these salary increases all the more significant.

  • First up, Pittsburgh, where IT pros earn an average of $76,207, up an impressive 18.1 percent compared to a year ago.
  • Second is San Diego, where the average salary increased by 13.4 percent to $97,328
  • In third is St. Louis, where IT workers rake in $81,245 on average, a 13.3 percent boost over last year.
  • Phoenix takes the No. 4 spot for the highest average pay increase, up 11.5 percent to $83,607
  • Coming in at fifth: Cleveland, where IT pros now take home $75,773 on average, an increase of 10.6 percent.
  • The No. 6 spot goes to Orlando, where the average salary has jumped by 10.1 percent to $81,583
  • Milwaukee holds seventh place with an average year-over-year pay increase of 9.7 percent, pushing the mean salary for techies to $81,670.
  • Minneapolis, where IT workers earn an average of $88,375, 9.4 percent more than they did at the end of 2011, takes eighth place.
  • Portlandian IT pros saw their average pay swell by 8.8 percent to $89,291.
  • In 10th place is Columbus, where the average salary grew by 8.2 percent to $82,831.

One last chunk of data from the report: Techies with big data chops, such as skills in Hadoop, NoSQL, and MongoDB, tend to earn north of $100,000 per year, considerably more than those who focus on technologies associated with mobile (around $80,000) and cloud computing (around $90,000), according to Dice. According to a separate salary report from research company Janco, IT positions focused on quality control, records management, and data center operations are also hot.

"Tech professionals who analyze large data streams and strategically impact the overall business goals of a firm have an opportunity to write their own ticket," said Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com. "The message to employers? If you have a talented data team, hold on tight or learn the consequences of a lift-out."

This story, "The 10 U.S. cities with the highest IT salaries -- and 10 more on the move," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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