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At a time when so many new storage technologies are coming onto the scene with promises of providing new efficiencies and value, companies are apparently willing to pay for knowledge, whether it was acquired in the classroom on or the ground. Salaries rose steadily for respondents as their years of experience stacked up. For rookies with one to five years of experience, the average annual rate of pay was $55,625; with six to 10 years of experience, salaries jumped to $77,242; those with 11 to 15 years of experience earned an average of $80,849; 16 to 20 years garnered an average of $95,830 -- and veterans with 20-plus years of experience averaged $118,455.
There was a fairly direct line between education and salary this year; in the past, our annual surveys have offered a glimpse into the real-world scenarios where companies are far more concerned with paying for skills than diplomas. While that may often be the case, this year's survey showed salaries climbing steadily alongside the number of school years. (The one exception was junior college. Junior college graduates didn't fare better than those who chose not to return to the classroom after high school.)
|Click here to get a PDF of the Average 2010 Salary as it Relates to Education chart.|
The average rate of pay among respondents holding high school diplomas was $79,136, while college graduates earned $94,259. And the cost of completing some college coursework but not receiving a full four-year degree also looks like a good investment; those who had some college experience averaged a bit less at $91,902. As they do every year, advanced degrees proved their worth: $117,140 was the annual average salary for those holding a Master's or Ph.D. degree.
When storage experience is combined with advanced degrees, the payoff is significant. A Master's degree combined with more than a decade of storage-specific experience yielded an annual average salary of $172,990.
One respondent, a storage administrator for a New England university with approximately 30 TB of data storage, said he started out as a desktop administrator, and was promoted through the ranks to become a server administrator before working on storage the last three years. "The big thing for us right now is tiering," he said. "We use NetApp storage and we don't have a good way to move the data around based on its usage, so we wind up with some disks that are really busy and some that aren't." Understanding and redesigning storage systems is work experience that he knows will be valuable in his current job and possibly others.
|Click here to get a PDF of the Average 2010 Salary Based on Terabytes Managed chart.|
"I'm pretty new to the field," he explained, "so I might be at the low end of the salary range, but I'm looking at this like a great experience."
BIO: Ellen O'Brien is the site editor for SearchStorage.com.
This was first published in December 2010