Storage salaries edge up


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Beyond salary

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A big salary is nice, but other things are also important. While these issues aren't revealed directly in the survey data, they are no less real.

Take Mike Haske, vice president of technology at Bank-Annapolis in Annapolis, Maryland. Haske is a one-man IT department for this bank with multiple branch offices. He handles systems and storage, and recently centralized backup for each branch using replication back to his central storage array.

"I could make more money if I went further away, but that is not what it's about. I have a four-mile commute. I can get home to see my daughter for lunch if I want to. It's really a quality of life thing," he says.

"The public sector can't compete on price," adds Hap Cluff, director of IT for the City of Norfolk, VA. He recently advertised an IT customer service position and was surprised to get more than 50 applications, mainly from hard-core IT people. In lieu of salary, Cluff can offer a less-pressured work environment, short commutes, sane hours and a generally better quality of life.

Bonuses and raises
In addition to salary, some storage professionals receive bonuses as part of their total compensation package. Almost half of the survey's respondents said they expect to receive an average bonus of $5,000 in 2004, almost $900 more than the 2003 survey respondents. Approximately half of the respondents reported no bonus at all in 2003 and 2004. This year's respondents estimate their bonuses will increase by almost 10% next year to $5,445.

By industry, the financial services area experienced the largest bonuses--almost $9,000 on average--followed by utilities at $6,650 and IT services with almost $6,000 (see Question 7). By region, New England did the best, averaging a bonus of $10,468, vs. the Mid-Atlantic's $7,750.

Stock options are another form of compensation; 17.5% of respondents report stock options as part of their compensation package, about the same as last year.

"We're seeing variable compensation becoming a more important part of the storage package," says Datalink's Westling; his company offers a bonus tied to the success of the business.

Many respondents reported receiving raises this year. "People here usually get between 2.5% and 5% for annual raises. I got 5% last year and 5% this year," says the senior systems engineer at an aerospace defense contractor. He received his raise because he possesses some highly sought-after storage area network (SAN) and EMC skills.

"I did not get a raise, but all my people got raises, about 5% on average," reports Outcome Sciences' Collins. This year's raises were the first in several years, he adds. The company also offers stock options and pays a small annual bonus, which didn't change much from prior years. The company's compensation, Collins believes, is typical for the biotech industry.

Chuck McQuade, storage specialist and a member of the CIRT Architecture team at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, didn't get a raise either. "Raises really depend on the state legislature. We get one about every five years," he estimates.

Overall, the money is starting to flow. "We got a raise this year, but we hadn't gotten any for a few years before," says a storage architect at a Fortune 100 company based in Pennsylvania.

Question 7

This was first published in December 2004

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