Critical tech skills are in high demand
The tech sector’s average salary increase budget was 4.5% this year, ahead of the national average salary increase budget of 3.6%, according to TAP Network’ 2023 Tech Salary and Total Rewards Survey and Mercer’s CA Compensation Planning Survey respectively.
There have been seismic shifts shaping the technology industry in the past few years and despite widespread layoffs, critical tech skills are in high demand. TAP Network’s 2023 Tech Salary and Total Reward’s Survey sheds light on the tech sector salary growth resulting from these macro-economic conditions.
Full Stack Developers, Software and Application Developers, and DevOps Developers continue to experience upward salary pressure in 2023 as Canadian tech companies find it challenging to recruit for these skills.
Pay for new hires still competitive
New hire pay pressure has reduced compared to 12 months ago, and is now more isolated to high demand roles and senior or specialized positions. However, pay for new hires is still competitive and positioned similarly to those already in their roles. With this continued external pressure, companies are making targeted salary adjustments for existing employees.
The median salary increase for tech sector employees who stayed in the same position two years in a row remained high in 2023 at 7.5%, indicating that Canadian tech companies are still relying on off-cycle pay increases to address retention concerns, counteroffers, market adjustments, and internal equity.
Top 10 Hot Jobs
The top ten jobs with the highest rate of year over year median base salary increases all had increases above 7.5%, with four positions at 10% or greater – DevOps Developer/Engineer (Fully Competent), Accounting Clerk (Senior/Lead), Data Scientist (Intermediate) and UI/UX Designer (Entry).
Top 10 Hot Jobs
Common incumbent (same employees) year over year median base salary increase percent by job
|DevOps Developer/Engineer – Fully Competent||10.5%|
|Accounting Clerk – Senior/Lead||10.3%|
|Data Scientist – Intermediate||10.0%|
|UI/UX Designer – Entry||10.0%|
|Hardware/Electrical Engineer – Entry||9.9%|
|Game Designer – Intermediate||9.6%|
|Accounting Clerk – Intermediate||9.4%|
|Technical Customer Support Representative – Intermediate||8.7%|
|Production – Coordinator – Film||8.7%|
Note: Represents the same organizations participating in the survey two years in row, matching the same employees to the same job year over year. Jobs with less than 10 organizations in the sample were excluded.
Change is Underway
From a tech talent perspective, in the past few years the industry has faced global competition, record annual salary increases, hiring sprees, workforce reductions, heightened turnover, skill gaps, cost-containment, and pay transparency laws to demonstrate fair and equitable pay practices. With multiple external pressures and the changing economic landscape there is a renewed focus on gaining competitive advantage for hiring and retaining tech talent. Reskilling and upskilling are at the forefront of business success and retention.
Upskilling key to career growth—and change
The benefit of upskilling is that it helps take a worker’s talent portfolio to the next level. There is little doubt that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to shake up the Canadian job market in the years to come, and this will encourage many Canadians to consider changing careers. Upskilling is a great way to get started on a new and rewarding career.
It is important to note that there is room for people in tech, even if you don’t have a degree in software engineering. Innovative tech firms rely on business-to-business (B2B) sales professionals to identify customers and provide solutions. A B2B technology sales bootcamp like SalesCamp from Palette Skills is a proven way to build a career with salary growth, competitive benefits, and a better work/life balance.
A Focus on Wellbeing
Work is also being redesigned to make wellbeing a priority in an era of efficiency. Technology companies are paying closer attention to benefits, financial health, and flexible work arrangements. Perquisites and benefits like RRSP matching, paid time off to volunteer, and condensed work weeks are some of the fastest growing benefits in the sector. Both RRSP matching and family leave top-up benefits have steadily grown over the years. Remote and hybrid work arrangements also continue to dominate the sector, and offer competitive advantage.
In the dynamic realm of Canada’s tech industry, the future holds an enormous amount of promise. With soaring salaries, a hunger for critical skills, and a focus on well-being, this sector offers not just jobs, but fulfilling careers. As we survey the technology landscape, we are confident there are opportunities for those ready to embrace innovation and drive the future forward. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer, the tech scene remains a vital zone of opportunity.
About TAP Network’s Tech Sector Salary and Total Rewards Survey
TAP Network’s annual Tech Salary and Total Rewards Survey, produced by Mercer, focuses on the Canadian tech sector, reporting on local and national salaries, total compensation, detailed policy data, and more. Survey participants include start-ups, scale ups and large multinationals representing a broad cross section of subsectors such as software products, AI, clean tech, hardware design and manufacturing, VFX, animation and more. Survey submissions were collected in Spring 2023 and results were published in August 2023.
Learn more about TAP Network’s Tech Sector Salary and Total Rewards Survey here.