Soaring pay for banking technologists

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It's causing plenty of fuss worldwide, but the US sub-prime effect hasn't yet rippled through to i-banking IT jobs in Australia - or their pay.

Quite the contrary: a leading headhunter suggests the employment market is as strong as ever. Stuart Allen, a consultant with Melbourne based recruiter Adaps, says the competition for IT professionals from non-banking organisations such as Telstra and consulting firms is putting plenty of upward pressure on salaries.

"A project manager is looking at anything from AU$800 to AU$1,300 a day on a contract rate," he says. "Full-time employees can take home between AU$120k and AU$150k base with a seven to 20% bonus."

Recruiter Dudley Levell, Director of Finrecruit, agrees boffins seem to have sidestepped the sub-prime crisis, but warns the bonus season could yet throw up the odd financial googly, but "we won't see this until Q1 next year when bonuses are typically paid."

Right now, however, all indications are that salaries and bonuses for technology whiz-kids will roar ahead. "There are pockets where we have seen significant salary pressure. These include the development space such as Java developers and .NET developers, where individuals need to have business knowledge of equities or fixed income. These people are in short supply and there is high demand," says Levell.

Accordingly, asking prices are through the roof: "A few years ago, a senior Java developer could earn AU$130k annually," said Levell. "This year they are going for AU$160k to AU$165k. It is the i-banks paying the premiums and soaking up these resources."

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