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Make Yourself Useful

By Michelle Maisto

Salaries Up More Than 2 Percent

After two years of tech salaries remaining flat, 2011 saw an average increase of more than 2 percent, from $79,384 in 2010 to $81,327.

Bonuses Up 8 Percent

In 2011, reports Dice, the average bonus size rose by 8 percent, to $8,769. Even happier news: 32 percent of tech professionals received bonuses in 2011. By contrast, 29 percent received bonuses in 2010, while 24 percent did in 2009. Need Art

Bonus Givers

The industries most likely to award tech professionals with bonuses were: telecom, hardware, banking, utilities/energy and software.

Follow California

Salaries in California's Silicon Valley have risen, prompting technology professionals in other cities, including Seattle, Houston and Raleigh, to push for salary increases.

Silicon Valley Salaries Up 5 Percent

In 2011, the first time in the Dice Salary Survey's 10-year history, annual tech salaries in Silicon Valley topped six figures. The highest in the nation, they rose 5 percent year-over-year to an average of $104,195 in 2011

California Dreaming

Not only are Silicon Valley tech salaries higher than the national average, bonuses were also "fatter and more frequent" than the national average. The average bonus amount in 2011 was $12,450 and 38 percent of workers in the region reported earning a bonus last year.

Texas On the Rise

Silicon Valley isn't the only place to be. Twelve of the top 20 tech markets saw above-average salary growth, led by Austin, Texas, where wages rose 13 percent to an average $89,419. Number-two city Portland, Oregon, saw an average increase of 12 percent to $82,055, while salaries in number-three Houston increased by 7 percent, to $89,307.

D.C. Highest After Silicon Valley

Washington, D.C., may have taken the number-four spot, with a 12 percent increase in annual salaries, but those salaries - Silicon Valley aside - were the highest of all at $94,317. Other salary-growth areas were Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York, Los Angeles and Raleigh, N.C.

Follow the Acronyms

Skills commanding the highest salaries, with above-average annual growth, found the study, were advanced business application programming (ABAP), with an average salary of $109,157. Other top-earning skills were: service oriented architecture (SOA) software, extract, transform and load (ETL) and Weblogic.

Make Yourself Useful

The fifth most lucrative skill was java database connectivity (JDBC), unified modeling language, JBoss and WebSphere. The push, said Dice Managing Director Alice Hill, is toward enterprise java, as well as "a continuation of the trends we've seen toward tech professionals helping their companies gain more insight into their cost structures, customer behavior and emerging trends."

This article was originally published on 01-26-2012