Reeling in a bigger salary


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Are you earning enough? Are you paying your staff too much or too little?

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The Storage salary survey was conducted in October 2003. Storage offered thousands of subscribers a confidential questionnaire and received 230 responses. In addition, Storage interviewed people who work in storage, as well as hiring managers and recruiters, to check that the statistical data from the survey reflected the real-world experience of storage professionals.

For storage professionals, answers to these questions have remained buried, lost among more general data about IT salaries. Now, with Storage's first storage salary survey, storage professionals can stop reading between the lines. (See "How we gathered our data".)

The survey reveals that in recent years storage salaries have experienced modest growth. And our survey respondents expect salaries to continue to increase in 2004.

Recruiters and hiring managers, in interviews conducted after the survey, echoed the optimism for increased salaries and increased hiring. The so-called jobless recovery may finally be delivering some jobs.

Still, some things may surprise you: Managing large amounts of storage doesn't always bring you the highest salary. Those who manage 100TB to 500TB earn an average of $94,461 annually--$5,000 more than those managing more than 500TB. (See Figure 2)

Similarly, working for a large company doesn't ensure you are the highest paid. According to our survey, in 2003, people working at companies with 101 to 250 employees pulled the highest salaries, averaging $86,200 annually. That's $5,000 more than those working at companies with greater than 10,000 employees and about $6,000 more than those working at companies with 1,000 to 10,000 employees. (See Figure 3)

But here's the most interesting finding: If you work in a dedicated storage group rather than as part of a systems, network or operations group, you likely will be paid, on average, more--close to $10,000 more. That average reflects the fact that dedicated storage groups, which tend to exist in financial services firms and large companies, have a somewhat elite status (See "Storage groups: the elite"). But storage pays in another way as well. Your salary is likely to increase in direct proportion to the length of your experience managing storage, even more so than it does in relation to your general IT experience.

Both points suggest that storage is, at long last, past Rodney Dangerfield territory and beginning to get some respect.

This was first published in December 2003

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