Survey Projects 2015 technology company salary adjustments will average slightly more than 3.0%

Report also covers data on HR practices and flexible benefits

By Steven A. Rosenthal, Vice President, Compensation and Commercial Practice

KnowledgeBank Inc. has finalized the results of its comprehensive 2014-2015 Total Compensation Survey of Mid-Atlantic Technology Companies. The findings show employer expenses continue to rise for compensation and benefits, but at a modest rate.

The size of average actual salary adjustments increased to 3.0% from last year’s 2.2% actual average, and continues well below the 4.2% average increase in 2008.  For 2015, survey participants projected a slight uptick with an average salary adjustment rate of 3.3%.  This was the first year in several that the actual average increase was greater than the projected increase. In addition, the trend of companies granting salary increases based on performance continued to rise; In 2014, 68% of  the participating companies salary increases were merit increases (vs 63% in 2013) and only 1% of the participants stated salary increases were based solely on cost of living (vs.7% last year).

The survey is co-sponsored as a member service by regional technology councils and other membership-based organizations that serve the technology sector in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. KnowledgeBank, Inc., of Ashburn, VA, is a leading provider of human capital management, organizational effectiveness, training, human resource management and consulting services to the commercial, nonprofit and government sectors.

The survey collected data from 75 firms with total employment of 6,122 in the Mid Atlantic Region and incumbent pay data for 2,062 employees. The survey respondent median revenue was $6.1 million and the median staff size was 38 employees, and 80% of the companies had annual revenue of less than $20 million, reflecting a comprehensive set of total compensation and human resource data for primarily privately-held small- to medium-sized firms.

“Overall survey participation this year increased from last year, and we continue to receive feedback from participants that the compensation and benefits data collected is unique, particularly for small to mid-size firms” said Steve Rosenthal, Vice President, Compensation and Commercial Practice for KnowledgeBank. “We continue to enhance the survey each year, without fundamentally changing the core focus of providing critical pay data for technology jobs.”

Benchmark Job Information

The 2014-2015 summary report provides data on base salary, cash incentive, and total cash compensation for 44 key positions; with data provided for companies with revenue of less than $10 million, companies with revenue between $10 and $49 million, and companies with revenue greater than $50 million, and in total.


The five most popular jobs benchmarked this year (and the average salary reported) were:

  1. Sr. Research Associate – $103,500
  2. Program/Project Manager – $117,500
  3. Research Associate – $72,600
  4. Senior Engineer – $107,300
  5. Senior Software Developer/Engineer – $108,500


Executive Incentives

Executives are provided the opportunity for annual bonuses in 57% of the responding companies, 33% of the firms provide executives stock options, and 31% of the firms provide them with annual incentives. The number of companies providing short term incentives increased from last year, while stock options grants increased and restricted stock remained about the same as last year. These and other short and long term incentive awards that are offered to employees appear in the survey by employee level.


Benefits and Flexible HR Policies

Nearly all survey participants (99%) provide health care coverage for employees and/or families, and cost sharing between the employer and employee slightly decreased for employees.  In 2014, employees contributed 19% of the total cost for single coverage (vs. 20% in 2013) and 35% of the total cost for family coverage (vs. 38% in 2013).

Other common benefits provided to 80% or more of full-time employees include 401(k) retirement savings, dental care, and prescription drug coverage. Additional employee benefit plan practices are contained in the survey report.

The survey findings also revealed that responding companies embrace flexible human resource practices in a challenging marketplace to recruit and retain staff: 83% encourage casual dress, 79% provide flexible work schedules, 64% provide special recognition awards, and 64% provide telecommuting. The complete list of HR Practices is in the report.

In addition, this year’s survey reported an increase in the percentage of companies contributing to their employees’ 401(k) plan to 82% (from 74% last year). In addition the survey reports on health care plans (including new questions on the Affordable Care Act), waiting periods, paid time off and traditional leave packages, company paid holidays and wellness benefits.

A copy of the summary report is available for purchase at for $400.


About KnowledgeBank

KnowledgeBank, based in Ashburn Virginia, is a leading provider of human capital management, organizational effectiveness and learning solutions to organizations in the commercial, nonprofit and government sectors. Our clients include small and emerging growth technology companies, middle-market and Fortune 500 firms, Federal agencies, state and local governments and nonprofit organizations. We specialize in services that cover the entire spectrum of human capital management and organizational effectiveness to include compensation and rewards systems, benefit program design and analysis, recruitment and selection, performance management, strategic planning, organizational and personnel assessment, change management and transformation, human resource management, training and employee development, executive and career coaching and mentoring, leadership development, workforce planning and survey design and administration.

©2020 PACT All Rights Reserved