Because of the increasing use of computers and information technology in most businesses, employment for careers in this field is predicted to grow faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Two career options are to work in information technology as a computer IT manager or to become a computer engineer. While these positions share a few traits in common, salaries differ based on training and industry.
Computer IT Manager Salary
Computer and information systems managers plan and direct activities and computer-related research for companies, often working as consultants. The average salary for an IT manager in the United States as of May 2009 is $120,640, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most work either in the industry of computer systems design, earning an average of $130,000 a year, or in the management of companies and enterprises for $123,910 a year. While a bachelor's degree is typically the minimum requirement, many employers prefer IT managers who possess a master's degree.
Higher Salaries: Computer IT
The highest wages for computer IT managers are in the industry of personal services, including consulting, in which managers earn an average annual salary of $153,890. The industries of securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage, other information services and other financial investment activities also pay higher than average at over $145,000 annually. The metropolitan area with the highest pay for computer IT managers is San Jose, California at $166,590 annually, followed by the New York City area at $149,430, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2009.
Computer Software Engineer Salary
Computer software engineers design and develop software and may work in several different industries. A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement, though a master degree is preferred in some situations. Computer software engineers that focus on systems software earn an average of $96,620 in the United States, while those that work with applications earn $90,170. Both are most frequently employed in the industry of computer systems design, in which systems software engineers earn $95,150 and applications software engineers earn $91,130, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2009.
Higher Salaries: Computer Engineers
For applications engineers, the highest wages are in the industry of metal and mineral merchant wholesalers at an average annual salary of $119,760. For systems software engineers, the industry of computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing is the highest paying at $112,020 a year. Applications engineers earn the highest wages in Barnstable Town, Massachusetts at $125,040 annually, while San Jose, California is the highest paying for software engineers at $124,360, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2009.
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Starting Salaries in Computer Engineering
Computer engineers work designing computer hardware like motherboards and hard drives as well as creating the software that operates those computer systems....