Salary Survey Extra: Do men or women have higher IT salaries?
Posted on
February 27, 2020

Salary Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Are men and women equal in the eyes of IT employers? One indicator would be to determine who gets higher IT salaries.

Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in straight sets in the most famous of the three tennis matches to be organized and promoted using the moniker Battle of the Sexes, claiming a winner-take-all $100,000 cash prize. Despite centuries of working side-by-side with men, however, women around the world, by and large, rarely outearn their male counterparts by such impressive margins.

That persistent pay gap is as deeply embedded in the IT industry as anywhere else. Past Salary Surveys have shown, and our newest data confirms, that male workers are, at least monetarily, substantially more valued then their female counterparts. Men get higher IT salaries than women.

Among the slightly more than 85 percent of U.S. survey respondents who are men, the average annual salary in 2019 was $106,760. For women, who accounted for nearly 15 percent of all U.S. responses, the comparable figure is $80,380. Among certified IT professionals in the United States then, women on average earned roughly 25 percent less than men.

The income inequality is even more stark outside the United States, where female certified IT professionals earned, on average, about 31 percent less than men in 2019. The 86.7 percent of non-U.S. survey respondents who are men had an average annual salary of $52,950 last year, compared to just $36,380 for women.

We also looked at the gender income gap generationally. Are men and women unequally compensated across the generational spectrum? We divided workers into three groups by age, looking at the young (age 34 and younger), the middle-aged (between the ages of 35 and 54), and the pre-retirement crowd (age 55 and older). Here's what we found:


Age Average Annual Salary (Men) Percentage of all male respondents in this age bracket Average Annual Salary (Women) Percentage of all female respondents in this age bracket
34 and younger $80,390 19.8 percent $69,470 23.8 percent
35 to 54 $113,160 59.1 percent $83,860 55.8 percent
55 and older $113,580 21.1 percent $83,400 20.4 percent

2019 Salary Data

There's unequal pay for men and women across all three generation of workers, though the gap is much larger among older workers. Men earn 14.4 percent more on average than women among workers 34 and younger, but the disparity shoots up 25.9 percent among workers ages 35 to 54, and is almost 27 percent among workers ages 55 and older.


Age Average Annual Salary (Men) Percentage of all male respondents in this age bracket Average Annual Salary (Women) Percentage of all female respondents in this age bracket
34 and younger $32,930 36.5 percent $27,460 57.3 percent
35 to 54 $62,980 56.7 percent $44,240 38 percent
55 and older $76,510 6.8 percent $84,820 4.7 percent

2019 Salary Data

Outside the United States, earnings for women are actually outpacing those of men at the end of the career timeline. Men are doing significantly better, however, during the early and middle years. Also of note here is that a much higher percentage of female respondents are in the youngest generation than is the case among men. Both inside the United States and around the globe, it would appear, male certified IT professionals are heavily concentrated in that middle generation, between the ages of 35 and 54.

About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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