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Top 10 Highest Paid UK IT Contract Roles

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The Top 10 Highest Paid IT Contract Roles in the UK from Freestyle Accountants

Contracting in the IT industry has the potential to be very lucrative but it is also continuously evolving with products, skill sets and job roles quickly becoming outdated relative to other industries. Despite the demand for IT contractors, there are many who struggle to realise their potential because they fail to keep up with emerging trends and shifts in the technology industry. The only way to get ahead as an IT contractor and secure yourself the highest paid contractor roles is to keep up with the game and stay relevant!

In this article we will look at the current top 10 highest paid IT contract roles and the skills that employers in 2015 are looking for in the candidates to fulfil these contracts. We will also look at the current trend in terms of where to look for these opportunities.

So let’s start by looking at the most lucrative IT contracts. What are the top 10 highest paid IT contractor roles in the UK currently and what could you expect as a daily rate?

At the end of last year (December 2014), the Top Ten IT contracts by daily rate were as follows:-

Rank Skill Average Daily Rate
1 Head of Architecture £850
2 Programme Director £750
3 IT Director £750
4 SAP Programme Manager £700
5 Head of Security £700
6 Head of Business Analysis £700
7 Chief Technology Officer £650
8 Senior Oracle Consultant £650
9 Senior Murex Developer £650
10 Security Advisor £640

* Source – Contractor UK Website

The actual daily rate will vary depending upon the level of your skills and experience as a contractor, together with other influencing factors that may be at play such as the location of the contract, company budget and how the economic climate is affecting demand for your skills at the time but the table above gives a good indication of the way that IT contractor roles are ranked for payment purposes.

Understanding the demand for these and other IT roles in 2015

With the economic recovery looking increasingly secure, many businesses entered 2015 with growth at the forefront of their minds, brought about by a level of confidence that has been absent for many years. However, the REC’s JobsOutlook January 2015 survey found that 35% of businesses were running with “no spare capacity” to take on additional work without increasing their workforce. This compares to only 25% of businesses reporting the same position at the beginning of 2014 – an encouraging outlook for IT Contractors.

Which IT skills are currently in demand the most?

The Top Ten IT contracting skills by current demand are as follows;-

Rank Skill Average Daily Rate
1 Analyst £370
2 SQL £380
3 Java £450
4 Oracle £420
5 Project Manager £420
6 .NET £375
7 Linux £400
8 C# £390
9 Architect £500
10 SAP £450

* Source – Contractor UK Website

They also suggest that other sought after skills include Business Intelligence, Development, Business Analysis and E-Commerce and that those IT contractors who can offer expertise in these areas will be extremely well placed candidates.

Emerging IT Contracting Skills

There are also a number of emerging IT contracting skills in 2015. They are as follows:

Skill Average Daily Rate
Sharepoint 2013 £400
Scala £530
NoSQL £450
Sass £375
Cyber Security £500
Big Data £500
PaaS £450
Cucumber £400
Groovy £500
Apple iOS £370

* Source – Contractor UK Website

So what are the reasons behind the current high demand for these skills?

Below is a list of just some of the reasons for the current demand for the aforementioned skills. It is not comprehensive but is enough to remind us that the world of business and technology is ever-changing, constantly bringing about new opportunities, challenges and threats.

  1. A continued mass migration of businesses to Cloud
  2. Recent high profile hacking by cyber criminals
  3. The potential to leverage greater returns from big data
  4. The explosion of the mobile and desktop application market in recent years
  5. Virtualization
  6. The increasing complexity of organisations

Contract opportunities and where to look for them

The REC’s JobsOutlook January 2015 survey report also highlighted that almost 50% of the businesses that took part in the survey would be looking to agency-supplied personnel between April and December 2015 to enable them to meet increased demand for their products or services, with “access to short term skills” being the driver behind this decision. For contractors in a core contracting discipline such as IT, this mind-set is forging a fruitful year, where contract opportunities are plentiful and elevated daily rates are achievable for those who keep their skills up to date as a skills crisis in the UK begins to take hold. However, there seems to be a clear message here as to where contractors should be looking to source their next contract, that message being that those who are not already using a recruitment agency should seriously consider doing so.

The top earning IT professionals are the ones who stay abreast of changes and continuously evaluate and grow their skill set to meet predicted demand. The world is changing at a faster pace than ever before and staying ahead of the technology curve will always benefit the prepared IT Contractor.

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