Skip to content

Get The Latest IT Salary Benchmarks for 2024 in Crimson's Salary Survey

As a new year rolls in, many of us take the opportunity to review and regroup. If you’re an employee, you might be considering where you are at with your career and evaluating your satisfaction within your role. 

If you’re an employer, you might be thinking about how to help propel your team forward in the new year – or you might be anticipating a handful of employees reconsidering their employment options. 

In either case, it’s well worth knowing what the IT jobs market currently looks like so you can accurately benchmark financial compensation for roles. This way, you can ensure you are paying – or being paid – your real worth. 

And Crimson’s 2024 Salary Survey aims to help you do just that. It’s a yearly, free, and impartial survey that reports the going ranges of salaries and contractor rates across 42 major IT job functions; and our 2024 edition is available now! 


About Our Research 

As a specialist IT recruitment agency, we are perfectly positioned to report on the market’s comings and goings. Our report blends extensive market research and knowledge with data from the positions we have helped to fill throughout the past 12 months. 

Looking for your next role? Submit your CV here. 

Looking to hire in the next 3 months? Request a free role review here. 


A Look Back at 2023 

Before we look to the future, let’s start with a few observations from the last 365 days. 

Employer Demand was the Primary Market Driver 

Between 2020 and 2022, the job market started to be quite strongly driven by candidates. However, given 2023’s economic turbulence, organisations started having to cut costs – not least evidenced by the withering big tech layoffs that struck early last year. 

With both employers and employees feeling the economic pinch, employee retention became a focus for many. Remuneration for senior leaders plateaued somewhat, and our teams noticed a rise in senior techies moving to interim and contract roles – feeding companies’ need for flexible, short-term support to meet project demands. 


Candidate Expectations Remained High 

However, candidates aren’t letting their grip on the talent market go easily! Candidate expectations remained high compared to pre-2020 levels, prioritising professional development and progression; flexibility; job security; and work-life balance - as well as remuneration, of course.  

Return-to-office mandates became a major bone of contention amongst many, and larger organisations tended to make more stringent demands than smaller ones. Note that positions requiring only 1-2 days in the office were able to hire 27% more women than those with a full five-day mandate – illustrating that rules around job flexibility have a very real impact on a workplace’s equality and diversity. 


Skills Shortages Showed Signs of Easing 

As companies started tightening their belts, hiring naturally decreased, potentially reducing the impact of the well-reported tech skills shortages. According to Nash Squared’s 2023 Digital Leadership Report (DLR), only 54% of tech leaders felt that skills shortages had harmed their ability to keep up with the pace of change – a drop from 70% in 2022. 


Data Diving: Plunging into the 2024 Salary Survey 

By and large, things have remained the same as they were in 2023, and there are no changes to contractors’ rates at all. However, there have been a few interesting changes in a few interesting places. 

Perhaps one of the most compelling developments is an increase to the highest possible rates for Cyber Analysts (increased by £10k), Security Architects (increased by £10k), and Enterprise Architects (increased by £5k). This is a somewhat understandable predicament, as our research shows demand for talent in these spaces is going from strength to strength. 

The going permanent rates for CTOs, CIOs, and IT Directors have also adjusted to incorporate the growing importance of tech-focused, executive level leadership. 

Get the Full Figures - Download the Salary Survey Now! 


2024 IT Talent Trends: Observations and Suggestions from Our Experts 

Though changes to this year’s data may be relatively small compared to last year, the circumstances certainly aren’t. What do our experts think about the IT job market over the next 12 months? Let’s explore some of the points our team made in this year’s Salary Survey: 


Employers Must Consider Total Compensation to Remain Competitive 

On one hand, we can see some potential green shoots of economic growth and a reduction in inflation on the horizon. But on the other hand, UK households’ real disposable income is expected to be 3.5% lower in 2024-25 than before the pandemic – potentially only bouncing back to 2019 levels by 2027-28. 

Alas, salaries are going to remain largely the same, with no change in sight for fresh hires. Ravio data reveals that 59% of European tech companies have no plans to increase new hire salaries in the next six months. After all, companies aren’t immune to rising costs either.

According to the Digital Leadership Report, half of tech leaders anticipate an increase in IT hiring in 2024. But given the current market conditions, and while we are all trying to do more with less, it becomes difficult to hire new, keen talent, and retain your incumbent team members. 

As a result, our team are increasingly seeing employers experiment with how they compensate employees, offering perks like flexible working; performance bonuses; discounts on products and services; professional development schemes; career progression; and health benefits. The aim here, of course, is to make life better for employees without resorting to mere monetary compensation, increasing your competitiveness as an employer without huge monetary outlay. 

This fits in well with candidates’ need for more flexibility, recognition, and progression from their employers. Our advice? Don’t shy away from talking about employee engagement with your team – find out what they need from you as their employer. Feedback from exit interviews is particularly crucial to making any workplace more appealing. 


An Increased Focus on Outsourcing Recruitment 

During 2022 and in early 2023, some of Crimson’s clients decided to switch to in-house recruitment as a cost-saving measure. However, the majority of these employers have since returned to outsourcing. 

Why? Well, outsourcing much of the hiring provides considerable time savings. And as employers’ talent teams increasingly need to focus on time-consuming factors like employee engagement, assessing the full suite of employee benefits, professional development, training, and retention, moving the hiring part of the equation to an expert outsider (like Crimson) makes more sense than ever. 


IT Board Representation Has Increased Since 2017 

Leaders championing the IT cause at board level has surged since 2017, with 68% of CIOs/IT Directors now rubbing shoulders with their board level peers. This is a welcome trend, as including tech leaders at executive level drives competitive advantage, adoption of new technologies, and benefits talent retention and attraction. 

Our CIO Search Practice Director, Ian Mckeand, points out that nonprofits and public sector organisations have been noticeably more active in this area. 

This year’s Salary Survey also includes a few tantalising bits of bonus content, not least 12 strategies for cultivating and essential digital appetite within the board/executive committee. Well worth a read. 


Skills-Based Hiring on the Rise 

According to recent LinkedIn research, skills-based hiring; where candidates are assessed on aptitude, knowledge, and potential rather than strictly on qualifications and sector background; is on the rise. 

In an industry that has been so recently buffeted by skills shortages, we see this as a good thing, and a trend that will continue in 2024 and beyond. The notion of finding a perfect “cookie-cutter” candidate for tech-related roles nowadays (especially one with highly specific experience) is an unrealistic one. The more we are able to tap into the latent abilities of knowledgeable individuals considering a move into tech - or a lateral move around the sector - the better. 


A Salary Jump for Practical Experts - in Line with Demand 

And finally, let’s loop back to that rate rise for permanent hire Cyber Analysts, Security Architects, and Enterprise Architects. This links in nicely with our predictions for the 6 most in-demand roles for 2024, which include Cyber Security Analysts and IT architects. 

In 2023’s edition of the Nash Squared Digital Leadership Report, cybersecurity is no longer among the top three most scarce skills. In line with this, our recruiters have noted an uptick in organisations hiring cyber security professionals - which might hint that this particular part of the industry is maturing as cyber risks become more of a commonplace risk of simply doing business. 


And There’s More! 

The 2024 edition of the Salary Survey provides access to a number of helpful resources for both employers and employees too! Talent teams will want to check out our expert guidance around writing effective job ads, tips to master the art of onboarding, and our exclusive 10-step guide to diverse tech sector recruitment. 

The tech leader candidates and employees reading may be more drawn to our guide to creating a standout IT sector CV, 8 strategies for board engagement, and 12 tips for encouraging board-level digital interest. 

Download the 2024 IT Salary Survey Now! 

But there’s more! That’s just an abridged, whistle-stop tour of the full data and observations. 

Whether you want to benchmark your salary against the industry or you’re an employer seeking to increase job retention and competitiveness, this report has something for you. 

Get Instant Access to the Data Now!