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Temp Jobs That Pay Well: Computer Tech Jobs and More


"Temp jobs" may conjure up visions of low-paying administrative jobs filled by hapless out-of-work actors answering phones for minimum wage, but, if you have hi-tech skills, there are temp jobs that pay well, according to a recent report by High-tech temp workers with skills in hardware engineering, clinical trial administration, database development and computer tech jobs are in big demand, so says a technology employment survey by, a Philadelphia-based outsourcing firm.

The company reportedly analyzed the hourly pay of 5,000 high-tech temps, tabulated the highest wages and created a list of ten temp jobs that pay well. The temping techs who are earning the most cash are technical consultants who design enterprise resource planning databases; they rake in $83 per hour! At the bottom of the list were temporary aerospace engineers, earning $48.41 per hour. Rocket scientists temping?

How does your salary measure up to the temp pay of a rocket scientist?  Find out with our salary survey.

Average Salary for Top Tech Jobs

According to the pay survey, the following jobs are hot in the high-tech temp world: .NET Developer, Aerospace Engineer, Clinical Research Associate, Database Administrator, ETL Developer, Hardware Engineer, Java Developer, Project Manager, SAP Functional Consultant and Technical Consultant.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

What if these temp jobs were to turn into permanent gigs with salaries? According to the PayScale Research Center, here is the average salary for some top tech jobs:

Aerospace Engineer (working for a private company): $75,409

Clinical Research Associate (in Seattle): $59,904

Database Administrator (with 10-19 years of experience): $81,838

Hardware Engineer (in California): $89,963

Project Manager (with 20 or more years of experience): $95,089

Technical Consultant (IT in New York): $76,890

High Tech Jobs On The Rise?

Getting back to the temp report by, it’s interesting to note that the pay info was released while the high-tech industry lobbies in Washington D.C. to increase the number of H-1B visas, which allows skilled foreign workers to be hired by tech firms inside the U.S. In contrast to the survey, some tech workers actually say that wages are stagnant.

Todd Tollefson of the Seattle local of the Communications Workers of America (a union) says, “The reason wages are being depressed are twofold: the outsourcing of jobs to lower-wage countries, and bringing in workers on H-1Bs.” Jared Bernstein, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, says “Wage trends over the last five to six years don’t tend to see tremendous growth.” In response, says it measures the real pay of real high-tech workers (hmm, that method sounds a bit familiar).

Perhaps what’s going on here is that permanent tech jobs are sluggish, but the temp market is indeed heating up. Whether this is good or bad, or is caused by H-1B’s or not, depends on where you stand.

How does your salary compare to high tech temp jobs? The PayScale Salary Calculator is a quick and easy way to compare positions. When you want powerful salary data and comparisons customized for your exact position, be sure to build a complete profile by taking PayScale’s full salary survey. 


Dr. Al Lee

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