B.C. tech salaries rising faster than ever, HR Tech Group finds

With a dearth of qualified candidates available to fill an ever-expanding number of positions, tech has a reputation for paying its employees well, and according to a new survey, British Columbia’s tech industry is no different.

Now in its 25th year, the HR Tech Group’s latest B.C. tech salary survey discovered that salaries for intermediate technology professionals in the province rose by 5.8 per cent between 2015 and 2016, indicating that companies are growing and making retention a priority, according to the organization, which represents more than 150 mid to large companies across B.C.’s IT, film and visual effects, digital media, clean tech, and life sciences sectors.

That’s more than double the 2.6 per cent national average, HR Tech Group executive director Allison Rutherford told ITBusiness.ca in an email.

“In 25 years of conducting the BC Tech Salary Survey we have not seen such large salary increases,” Rutherford said in a Sept. 21 statement. “This demonstrates what tech companies across the province are experiencing first-hand: there is increasing competition for tech talent in B.C.”

The increased salaries also reflect the industry’s willingness to rise to the occasion, she said, noting that tech salaries for human resources staff – recruiters, HR Managers and HR vice-presidents – also rose significantly, illustrating the sector’s push for improved performance, leadership development, recruitment, and retention practices.

The survey, conducted with support from advisory firm Willis Towers Watson, compiled salary data from 15,904 individuals across 112 companies – including, for the first time, 10 representatives from the visual effects and animation sector which, although technology-driven, ITBusiness.ca does not typically consider part of the tech industry.

Among the tech jobs with the highest salary increases:

  • Product development managers, whose salaries rose by 16.5 per cent;
  • Sales managers, whose salaries rose by 10.5 per cent;
  • Senior animators, whose salaries rose by 7.6 per cent.

On the software development side, B.C.’s junior software developers – programmers with between two and four years of experience – earned an average annual salary of $75,400 last year, up from $73,000 in 2015, while senior software developers with four years of experience or more earned an average of $93,900 annually, an increase of 5.4 per cent from 2015.

In her email to ITBusiness.ca, Rutherford explained that HR Tech Group conducts the survey because with payroll typically being the largest cost a tech company has on its books, it’s important for industry leaders to have a resource that lays out the parameters of what is considered smart spending.

The survey also acts as an indirect tool for tracking the tech industry’s evolution, with the organization adding new jobs every year based on new technologies entering the market – though keeping up with the tech sector’s growth and change over the years can be a significant challenge, she admitted.

A full version of HR Tech Group’s B.C. tech salary survey is available for purchase – at a cost of $2195, plus GST – here.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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