The average IT salary is continuing to drop, with permanent positions slumping an average of seven per cent in the last six months, according to research from skills analyst TheSkillsMarket.
The average salary of an IT professional now stands at £32,700 in a permanent position and £39 per hour in a contract role - a fall of 8.4 per cent on six months ago.
Systems engineers have seen contracting rates fall 16.8 per cent during the last six months, although salaries for permanent staff in the same role have gained in value - if only by one per cent.
Some salaries are still seeing increases, however: technical support contractors have seen a 12.4 per cent rise in rates to £29.63 per hour compared with six months ago and a one per cent increase in permanent salaries to £31,483.
"Even in a downturn, when companies are forced to cut costs by reducing the number of IT staff, there still remains a real need for people to support their systems," said Alex Charles, director at TheSkillsMarket.
"In fact the need can even increase, as more technical issues tend to arise as a result of a reduction in other technical staff such as programmers.
"There's also less to trim in terms of rates and salaries for support staff, who tend to be the lowest-paid IT professionals," Charles added.
Project managers remain some of the highest paid professionals in the market, despite a drop of 7.5 per cent over the last six months in the role's market value. Project managers now earn an average £46.61 hourly contract rate and £45,865 in a permanent position.
The research also throws up some interesting comparisons between the roles most in demand by employers and the most common skills on offer by candidates.
Although program managers earn the highest salaries of the job roles analysed, the title failed to make it into the top 16 roles in demand.
This could also go some way to explaining why average contract rates for program managers have dropped by 16.4 per cent in the last six months, to £57.55 per hour.
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