Salaries rise as storage grows


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Storage Salaries: The bottom line

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Q: Which region pays the most to storage professionals?
A: That would be the Mountain region, according to our survey. At the other end of the regional salary spectrum is the Southeast region, which ranked last.

Q: In which region can storage pros expect the biggest year-end bonuses?
A: Optimists in the Pacific region predicted they would receive a healthy average bonus of $12,719. The New England region, despite being known for Yankee frugality, was a close second at $12,343. Northwest region respondents had the most modest expectations, anticipating an average $2,224 bonus.

Q: Which industry boasts the highest salaries for storage professionals?
A: IT services was most generous, with salaries averaging $94,513. Financial services placed a close second with $93,798.

Q: If you manage more capacity, do you make more money?
A: Once you move past 1 TB, yes. Our survey showed annual salaries of $73,646 for storage pros at shops managing between 1 TB and 9 TB. But the average jumps to $82,666 for those managing between 10 TB and 99 TB. Above 500 TB, the average spiked to $104,441.

Q: Does managing a bigger storage budget translate into a bigger salary?
A: Yes. Those managing budgets of $500,000 or less showed an average salary of $75,327, while respondents overseeing budgets of more than $10 million earned an average annual salary of $126,000.

Q: Do salaries grow as a company's storage expands?
A: Yes. The biggest jump was seen in shops where storage grew by 41% or more last year. Shops that didn't experience any storage growth in 2009 reported an average salary of $82,250; at companies where storage grew by 41% to 50%, the average salary was $91,588.

Q: Do professional certifications pay?
A: Not one, not two, but three certifications in storage can apparently contribute to higher salaries. Respondents without any certifications had an average salary of $85,277, slightly higher than respondents with one or two certifications. But storage pros with three certifications reported an average of $96,053. The sweet spot for certifications was four, with an average salary of $96,400, dipping to $82,858 for five or more certifications.

Q: Are all those years of education truly worth it?
A: Yes, diplomas can really translate into dollars. High school graduates in our survey earned an average of $80,480, while college graduates earned $86,807. Those who earned a Master's degree or a Ph.D. reported an average annual salary of $96,723.

Q: Does dedicated storage experience mean more money?
A: Specialize in storage for more than five years and it starts to pay off. College graduates with three to five years dedicated storage experience earned $88,717; six to 10 years yielded an average of $95,440. More than a decade on the front lines plus a college degree kicks the salary average up to $105,921.


This was first published in December 2009

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