2011 IA Salary and Benefits Survey Released

The IA Institute is pleased to present the 2011 IA Institute Salary and Benefits Survey. The 2011 survey was conducted from July to December 2011. Members of the IA Institute, IxDA and sigia-l were invited to participate. A total of 263 responses were collected.

Highlights of the 2011 survey include the following:

Median Salary:

- The top five ranges clustered between USD$60,000 and USD$104,999, representing 51.1% of the total. Using midpoints, the average salary was estimated to be USD$93,204. (Using midpoints is inexact, particularly since the top and bottom ranges do not have identifiable midpoints.) When excluding the top and bottom ranges, the average salary is USD$95,371, or 2.3% higher, than when these ranges are included. Median salary was USD$94,999 both when including and excluding top and bottom ranges.

Freelance Hourly Rates:

- Excluding outliers, the average freelance rate was USD$90.58 88.65, up USD$1.93 over 2010. The median rate was USD$85.00 and the modal rate was USD$90.00, with eight people indicating that rate.


-This year the gender breakdown was 52.7% female and 47.3% male respondents, nearly the same as in 2010.  Average salaries were higher for males at USD$96,227 versus USD$94,608 for females.  Median salary, on the other hand was the same for males and females (USD$94,999).


- The highest level of educational attainment for the majority of respondents is a Master's Degree (56.2%), followed by Bachelor's Degree (35.5%) and Junior College Degree (3.3%).  2.5% have a Doctorate Degree.  94.2% of respondents have at least a Bachelor's Degree. Respondents with a Master's Degree on average earn almost the same as those with Bachelor's Degrees, in fact, this year it was 0.3% less than those with Bachelor's Degrees.  While the number of respondents holding Doctorate Degrees is very low, figures indicate that they earn 31.6% more than those with Master's or Bachelor’s Degrees.

Job Title

- The highest number of respondents by Job Title was User Experience Planner/Designer/Architect (121), followed by Information Architect (56) and Interaction Designer/Architect (20).  We also received responses from 10 User Researchers, 9 Consultants and 7 Usability Engineer/Designers and 7 who indicated Other.  The rest of the titles received fewer than five responses.


- We have found that 82.7% of respondents perform Wireframing/Sitemaps/Process Flows tasks and the same number of respondents, 82.7%, perform Strategic work, while 78.4% do Audience definitions/Persona development and 76.9% perform Interaction Design tasks.  Of these tasks, 9.4% indicated that they do Wireframing/Sitemaps/Process Flows and 6.3% do Interaction Design exclusively.  And only 3.2% perform Audience definitions/Persona development and 2.0% perform Strategic work tasks exclusively.

Many more interesting results are avaialble on region, gender, educational attainment, years experience, job title, tasks, management and benefits. We also have volunteers working on data visualizations that we encourage you to review or add your own.

Read the full results of our 2011 Salary Survey:

or download the PDF:
http://iainstitute.org/documents/research/salary-survey/IA-Institute-Salary-Survey-2011.pdf (340KB)

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