According to an article published by Dice.com at the end of January, technical professionals saw a 3% growth in salary in 2013, with an average of $87,811 across the US (Silicon Valley boasted the highest paying area with an average of $108,603…of course, have you checked out the cost of living in Silicon Valley lately?). Now, the article does not exactly define just who or what makes up a “tech salary,” but Dice arrived at these numbers thanks to its 2014-2013 Salary Survey of 17,236 “technology professionals.”

According to the survey, tech pros are increasingly dissatisfied with their pay and increased compensation has been the #1 motivator for these professionals since at least 2009. (Hmmm, somebody better tell my HR/career folks who say it is all about culture….maybe, but that culture better pay.)

Other markets above the national average other than Silicon Valley also included LA, NY, Denver, Philly, Atlanta, Austin, and Charlotte. Not surprisingly, Big Data skills ranked highest, with R knowledge being in greatest demand (average of $115,531).

Dice posts a nice interactive U.S. Tech Salaries map that provides an overview of salaries broken down by state, going back to 2005.

So what does this mean for you?

Interestingly, the bulk of the average salary increase came from merit increases and bonuses over the last year, which signals that companies are looking to retain and promote their current talent. It also reflects the lower unemployment rate across the tech sectors. But this isn’t all going to come to tech pros because they “deserve” it. If companies are going to give more, then they are going to want to ensure that the talent they have really is as good as it can be.

Therefore, now more than ever, techies should be learning how to position themselves for promotion and to attract the social recruiting market. Here are some recent posts we’ve published that all help with branding and positioning: