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Storage salaries increase

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Improving economy
In our 2003 Storage survey, the average annual salary showed a respectable gain over what respondents reported averaging in 2002, a time when the IT industry was suffering from the economic slowdown brought on by the dot-com bust in 2001. But the economy has certainly improved since then. This year, Storage's survey respondents had an average salary of $77,545 vs. the $73,829 reported for 2004, more than a 5% gain. Next year, respondents anticipate salary increases to push the average annual salary to a little more than $80,000, approximately a 3% gain.

Storage Professional Profile
Two hundred and fifty people describing themselves

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as storage managers or administrators responded to the 2005 Storage salary survey.

Respondents spend almost half their time on storage. Of that:
  • 30% of their time is spent on primary operations
  • 28% of their time is spent on architecture/planning/design
  • 21% of their time is spent on backup
Almost 80% are responsible for one or more of their company's data centers
Almost 90% manage from one to 10 people
Almost 39% manage 10TB to 99TB; nearly 31% manage 100TB or more
More than half are college graduates; 16% have advanced college degrees, while 23% have some college
More than half have six to 15 years of IT experience; more than one-third have 16 years or more of experience
This optimism may be based on anticipated IT spending in 2006. According to a widely published study by Cambridge, MA-based Forrester Research Inc., more than half of the 922 IT and business managers they surveyed reported IT spending increases of 4.3% on average for 2006. This increase followed smaller increases in Forrester's previous two annual spending surveys.

In upbeat hiring news, the American Electronics Association (AeA) reported that the technology sector added nearly 190,000 jobs between January 2004 and June 2005, bringing the tech jobs total to 5.72 million. The latest results continue a trend of net increases in tech jobs over the past six-, 12- and 18-month timeframes. Based on this data, the AeA concludes that "the high-tech industry has recovered from the bursting of the tech bubble of 2000 to 2001." While technology manufacturers added a modest number of jobs (21,800)--which was the first employment growth in tech manufacturing since 2000--the big growth came from tech services providers, which added 167,000 net jobs over the same time period for a total of 4.36 million jobs, according to the AeA (see "Storage consolidation and opportunity," previous page).

Rackspace Managed Hosting is typical of tech service providers cited by AeA that are adding jobs. "We're growing. We're healthy. We're getting raises and bonuses every year," says the firm's Smykay. Salaries in the IT services industry average $77,703, while industry bonuses averaged a little more than $3,800 this year.

Survey Methodology

The data used in this report was gathered through an e-mail survey conducted in September 2005. The survey was sent to a sampling of Storage subscribers; there were 250 valid responses. Telephone interviews were conducted with selected respondents and others who manage storage.
Smykay and a few other administrators at Rackspace are managing 150TB of EMC storage and Legato backup, and the group is looking to hire more staff. "We're currently interviewing for storage backup positions, but it's hard to find skilled people. We'd like people with some storage knowledge or experience, but we often end up taking system administrators," he says.

This was first published in November 2005

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