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Salaries rise as storage grows

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Storage professionals in many industries managed to see pay increases last year even as company closings and layoffs sent some looking for new jobs. As data grows, so does the need for dedicated storage professionals, according to our annual Salary Survey.

By Ellen O'Brien and Rachel Kossman

The average annual salary for storage professionals jumped approximately 3.5% in 2009 and respondents expect it to grow another 3.8% in 2010, according to our annual Storage magazine Salary Survey. In a year of layoffs and losses, recessions and rebounds, our annual survey found that storage professionals across many vertical industries and geographic regions managed to secure pay increases.

The average annual salary reported this year by our 363 respondents was $85,869 vs. the $82,915 they said they earned in 2008. For 2010, these same respondents predict they'll earn an average annual salary of $89,065.

Many of those surveyed reported accepting new jobs in 2009 that didn't include a raise, and placing greater value on job security and benefits. Indeed, the average 2009 salary reported by this year's respondents was slightly lower than the $86,573 average salary reported by those who participated in our 2008 Salary Survey.

Storage professionals who responded to our survey reported longer days, stricter budgets and fewer staff as a result of the economic chill that has tied up businesses from Florida to Canada.

"The

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headcount freeze is on," said Jean Veronneau, director of storage at Manulife Financial Corp., a financial services company based in Toronto. "You don't demand things the way you used to."

At age 60, Veronneau is a storage enthusiast with 15 years of experience dedicated solely to storage technology. "I'm not going into anything else," he said. "One [reason] is that I'm very good at it, and two is that I enjoy it."

Veronneau is among the many former private consultants and contractors who jumped at a full-time job when it became available during shaky economic times a couple of years ago.

"I took a hit," he said. "I took a cut compared to some of my contracting [income] but there was a challenge. I was going to be an architect for a new EMC solution when I started here. We started out with a contract, which was great, and then they offered me a full-time job."

This was first published in December 2009

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