Career

What Are The Hourly Rates For IT Contractors?

Looking for a high-paying career in IT? The best contractor rates are for business intelligence consultants, project managers and accounting systems developers. However, there’s a shift towards more full-time employees in some areas, so it might not be the path to riches you anticipate.

Picture by Teemu Mäntynen

The SkillsMatch Contractor Salary Survey conducted by the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA) analyses the rates paid for contract placements in the first three months of this year. Demand for contractors has been rising in some areas recently, but that isn’t necessarily reflected in a massive change in hourly rates. Those have gone up an average of just 0.4 per cent to $87.09 an hour, though there is considerable variation between roles.

ITCRA CEO Julie Mills predicts that pressure on government to use fewer contractors may see changes in the market. “We’ve seen an increased focus in the media recently on the Government’s use of contractors and the high wages they command,” she said in a release announcing the study. “This means that, once again, Governments in all jurisdictions will be under pressure to justify the number of contractors engaged and the rates paid which may lead to a change in the structure of the contracting market. We may also see the average contract length grow as a way to reduce the apparent cost per contract

In the table below, we’ve listed the typical hourly rates measured by ITCRA for a range of IT contractor roles and skills, and indicated whether the role is high demand (HD) or high supply (HS). Clearly, for high supply roles you’ll have less chance of negotiating a better rate, and more senior skills in an area attract higher rates (full-blown project managers get more than those working in a lower project management role, for instance). You can sort any of the columns on the list by clicking on the headers.

That’s almost enough to make me regret not pursuing a career in business intelligence. Almost, but not quite.

Do those numbers match up with your own experience? Share your insights in the comments.

ITCRA Skillsmatch

Evolve is a weekly column at Lifehacker looking at trends and technologies IT workers need to know about to stay employed and improve their careers.