Top 10 highest paid IT contracts in 2022

The UK is currently enjoying a jobs boom. And technology is leading that boom, writes Adrian Smith, senior director of operations at Randstad UK.

The following are the contractor roles reaping the benefits – in other words, the top 10 highest paid IT contracts in 2022.    

1. Software Development 

Front end. Back end. Full stack. These have been the big winners in 2022 so far, as more businesses and services have been forced online. 

We’re currently recruiting a senior full-stack engineer to work in Bristol on up to £273 per day. But I’d say the average contractor rate for a Full Stack Web Developer is more like £590 per day -- up about 80 per cent on last year. Epic.

2. Infrastructure-related contracts

More organisations are hiring in the wake of the covid pandemic – and more hiring means more competition to secure talent which drives the cost up.  

Infrastructure Designers are getting around £650 a day now, which is up almost 50 per cent higher than the sort of cash they were getting last year (although 2021, that was a weak comparator!).

3. Business Intelligence

Changes to IR35 regulations have pushed up pay too. 

Day rates across Business Intelligence are up to £500, a £25 increase on last year. 

At the other end of the spectrum, Business Analysts in credit derivatives, electronic trading, and fixed income are commanding £800 a day. That’s close to what a CTO can command.

4. Project managers / BAs 

With the UK experiencing the fastest growth in the G7, there is more project work to do. 

We are currently recruiting for a Business Change Analyst on a contract worth more than £31,500 per year! 

Last year, that role might have been filled by someone on less than £26,000. 

Meanwhile, Project Management Office Analysts are on about £375 a day currently, up about 25 per cent.

5. Cyber

Not only is there a growing probability of cyber-attacks, there’s also an increased awareness of the risk of not having the right people on board.

The pandemic has been a wake-up call. Increasingly, businesses appreciate that there is a commercial risk to having cyber roles unoccupied, leaving the overall organisation exposed. That new appreciation is driving organisations to pay more for contractors to plug gaps. The best Cyber Security Architects are earning £900 a day at the moment - although most contractors are getting more like £750.

6. QA / Testing

Someone in, say, Newcastle can now expect to be paid London QA/Testing rates as they can easily work for a London client remotely. 

The very best A-players in this area are on close to £600 a day -- up between 10 and 15 per cent, although the average is circa £400.

7. DevOps

Clients now need agencies to pay their IT workers PAYE rather than as limited companies! Good old IR35 reform. So this new need is driving up rates. 

DevOps are typically being paid £575 a day at the moment but Lead Development Operations engineers can earn £750.

8. Data Engineers

As digital transformations accelerate, companies are increasingly keen to unlock the power of the treasure trove of data they have. 

Rising demand is pushing up rates. By way of an example, a Junior Data Engineer can currently command £50,000 a year -- that’s close to double the pay time last year, although rises in contracting have been slightly more restrained. Most can expect £550 a day - but Data Integration Specialists and RHCEs will be pocketing more than £800.

9. Data Analysts

In some cases, permanent salaries are increasing, meaning that contractors are expecting more. 

A fortnight ago, we were asked to fill a permanent data analyst vacancy in the City of London on up to £70,000 per year. Inevitably, that is pushing up temp and contractor rates. Contractors are commanding £450 a day -- when they were getting £400 last year.  

10. Architecture

The competition is not just from other businesses. 

We’re currently recruiting for an Enterprise Data Architect to work for a public sector organisation. It’s a remote role with a six-month contract -- the day rate is £600 per day. 

In the private sector, the day rate for an Enterprise Data Architect is about £700, which has risen by more than inflation over the last 12 months.

Search for new IT contract jobs here:

Friday 25th Feb 2022
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Written by Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith is the senior director of operations for recruiter Randstad UK. He has worked for Randstad since 2002 when he joined as a consultant. Educated at Loughborough and the Sorbonne, he enjoys rugby, sailing, and winter sports.


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