C-level titles top the list of highest paid IT jobs , and technical support positions dominate the low end of the pay scale, according to new salary data from technology staffing firm Mondo.
CIO  is the highest paid IT role, with a salary range of $195,000 to $230,000, followed by CTO ($145,000 – $208,000); CSO ($145,000 – $208,000); IT security manager with 10+ years of experience ($145,000 – $177,000); software architect ($144,000 – $170,000); and application architect with 10+ years of experience ($136,000 – $185,000).
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Looking ahead to 2014, Mondo predicts a spike in demand for HTML5 developers with salaries to range from $97,000 to $135,000.
[2013 Job Watch: Top 11 metro areas for tech jobs ]
Starting salaries for tech pros in the United States are on the rise, says Michael Kirven, founder and CEO of Mondo. “The trends that I’m seeing today are very, very optimistic,” Kirven says. Midway through 2013, “the rate of IT hiring and the rate of IT salaries is accelerating” compared to the first half of the year, he says.
There’s strong demand for tech pros with expertise in areas such as mobile, big data, cloud computing, and user experience, and that demand is in turn driving salary increases. (See related story: Tech talent wars spill into marketing .)
“Everybody wants big data business analysts. Not database developers or programmers, but business analysts — people who can look at a big data architecture and help translate how that would be valuable to the business,” Kirven says.
Another role that’s in high demand is user interface analyst, with expertise in optimizing the user experience. “Everybody wants those skill sets — marketing departments, IT departments, you name it, across every single vertical,” Kirven says.
Mondo singled out a number of jobs that saw big pay gains, percentage-wise, in 2013. The largest increase in base compensation went to seasoned IT security managers (from $90,000 in 2012 to $145,000 in 2013) and systems analysts (from $65,000 to $83,000).
Other big gains went to data analysts (base salaries increased 18.3% from $60,000 to $71,000); Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) engineers (18% increase from $100,000 to $118,000); senior help desk staffers (15.4% increase from $65,000 to $75,000 for candidates with 7-10 years of experience); technical writers (14.3% increase from $70,000 to $80,000); and Android developers (8.3% increase from $120,000 to $130,000).
[CEO pay: Cash, stock awards, perks add up to big pay packages ]
At the other end of the spectrum, Mondo identified IT roles with the lowest salaries: help desk staffer with 1-3 years of experience ($40,000 – $65,000); hardware technician ($43,000 – $70,000); help desk staffer with 3-5 years of experience ($55,000 – $74,000); desktop virtualization specialist ($55,000 – $70,000); desktop support analyst ($70,000 – $90,000); and system administrator with 1-5 years of experience ($71,000 – $120,000).
In a separate study, Robert Half Technology (RHT) reports that 12% of U.S. CIOs plan to expand their IT teams in the third quarter of 2013 (compared to 14% in the previous quarter). In addition, 56% plan to hire for open IT roles, 26% expect to put hiring plans on hold, and 6% plan to reduce their IT staff in the third quarter.
RHT also asked about CIOs’ confidence levels: 85% reported that they’re somewhat or very confident about their companies’ prospects for growth in the third quarter, and 63% feel somewhat or very confident in their firm’s third-quarter investment in IT projects.
Ann Bednarz covers IT careers, outsourcing and Internet culture for Network World. Follow Ann on Twitter at @annbednarz  and reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org [