The average wages for temporary jobs in technical fields rose by approximately 4.4 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, reaching an average of $32.50 per hour, according to the Yoh Index of Technology Wages. This represents the most significant rise in six years.
The growth appears to have been fueled by a jump in demand and corresponding wages for engineering professionals in the commercial aviation industry. The rise might have extended further, but declining volumes and wages for technically related temporary positions in the federal government remained flat or declined, possibly due to the impact of the budget sequestration.
Another limiting factor may have been the state of the healthcare industry, where demand was uncharacteristically flat in the first half of 2013, which could reflect the industry’s preparations for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rollout.
So what can we expect for temporary wages in 2014?
The wages for degreed and certified professionals in aviation will likely hold steady, shoring up along with wages in other technical fields after the civilian labor force contracted by 347,000 last December.
Healthcare, on the other hand, could see temporary wages climb as demand for technology professionals rises to meet the challenges of implementing and adhering to the ACA.
Demand may also be particularly strong for software developers and database designers, with Washington, D.C. serving as the epicenter. Two-thirds of IT job postings related to the ACA fall within a 100-mile radius of the nation’s capital.
Temporary workers in the video game industry too could potentially see a rise in wages in the coming months after both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One took off over the holidays. With their success, look for the first blockbusters to emerge for these systems.
They could come not only from the established studios behind some of the industry’s biggest franchises, but even from smaller unknown studios breaking into the industry. All of these studios, however, will need to rapidly source and hire the talent to get their titles to market.