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AU tech sector salaries growing - and so is employee turnover

09 Dec 2019

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) says that the average salary in the Australian IT sector will continue to grow in 2020, but staff will also continue to leave the workforce or find roles elsewhere if organisations don’t address employee turnover.

The Aon Survey of Salaries & Remuneration Packaging Remuneration Report noted that it’s critical to retain key staff members, particularly as the years tick over.

“High rates of staff attrition are a concern for the industry and employers should be focused on implementing strategies to extend the average tenure of their employees,” says AIIA CEO Ron Gauci.

“Staying informed of market movements is critical to ensure companies’ reward strategies are meeting business needs whilst minimising costs. The money spent on a remuneration report subscription can be made back many times over in savings through optimising total reward spend and retaining key talent.”

The report notes that January and February are one of the best times of the year to look for long-term, full-time employment, and the months where many companies receive updated budgets and sales forecasts.

Early forecasts for 2020 expect salaries to grow at 2%, a 0.4% fall on the previous Report, indicating some conservatism given the tightening economic environment.

With salaries for technology roles outperforming most industries, IT remains one of the highest remunerated sectors in Australia. Salary growth is expected to continue and will be largely driven by skill shortages, especially in areas such as data and software development, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence (AI).

“We expect more IT professionals to receive a pay rise in 2020 than last year, but the rate of salary increase is likely to be slightly less. In new industries such as robotics, vehicle automation and cybersecurity, skill shortages will continue to be an issue, especially in the growing area of AI,” says Gauci.

The report also notes that AI will create new industries and new jobs.

“According to the Government’s AI technology roadmap, digital technologies including AI will potentially be worth AU$315 billion to the Australian economy by 2028 and AI could be worth AU$22.17 trillion to the global economy by 2030,” says the AIIA.

The Australian information, communications and technology sector employs 663,000 workers in fields related to AI. Demand for specialists is strong and the number of people employed in this area is expected to grow to 758,700 by 2023, at a rate of 20,000 additional workers per year.

Software and applications programmers are likely to experience very strong future growth in salaries and lower unemployment compared to the overall labour market with an annual before-tax salary of $104,156 compared to the average non-tech related worker of $73,112.