Regardless of what you do, who you do it for and where you do it, the perks are getting less perky each year. The trend -- not just in storage or IT -- is to
Foote refers to those salary premiums as "skills pay." For example, positions for noncertified SAN specialists are "paying between 10% and 14% of base pay as a premium," he says. He adds that the people who get "adjustments to pay based on their skills" are "usually people whose titles don't match what they do."Stock options—once a symbol of the get-rich-quick Internet boom -- are increasingly rare for storage professionals. This year, only 17.5% of respondents say they get options as part of their compensation package; this is the lowest percentage reported in the four years we've conducted this survey.
The bonus picture looks a little brighter, although some compensation experts say bonuses, like stock options, are on the endangered species list. But more than three times as many respondents (60%) expect bonuses of some amount vs. those receiving stock options. In this year's survey, respondents received an average bonus of $6,139 last year, more than $600 higher than what last year's survey takers said they expected for 2005. This year's group is also optimistic about 2006 bonuses, estimating an average year-end windfall of $7,561.
PharmaCare's Bartels credits his company's annual bonuses of about 8% to 11% for helping to retain storage staff. "We have a very low turnover," Bartels says, "and I would hazard to guess it's because of the healthcare business and the bonus plan."
Storage professionals plying their trade in the transportation/travel and hospitality industry were most optimistic, with their expectations set for an average bonus of $13,750 this year (see "Anticipated 2006 bonus by industry"). Among other industry sector workers, those most likely to see bonus checks are in IT services, financial services, healthcare/pharmaceuticals, utilities and manufacturing; if you work in government/ nonprofit, media/publishing, education and construction, you're least likely to get a bonus in 2006.
Geography also appears to play a role in determining the likelihood and size of bonuses. On a regional basis, respondents' anticipated bonuses for this year range from $11,063 in the Southwest to a far more modest $1,438 in the Mountain region. When viewed year over year, the only consistent factor is that Mountain region storage professionals reported the lowest bonus expectations for both 2005 and 2006 -- maybe living and working in the shadow of the Rockies could be considered bonus enough.
This was first published in November 2006