Why do networking professionals tend to earn lower salaries than other IT professionals? What can I do to change this in my case, if anything?
Dear Sir or Madam:
According to recent salary surveys to which I have access, it's not necessarily the case that networking professionals earn less, on average, than do professionals in other areas of specialization. The average 2006 salary for IT professionals in the US, according to several sources (including Foote Partners, Redmond Magazine, and Certification Magazine) ranges from the mid-40's to the high 50's. The average network administrator tends to fall somewhere in that range, with numbers climbing in direct proportion to years of experience, degrees completed, and certifications earned. Some specific networking specialties jump quickly above that (CCNA's tend to earn in the 60-70s, those with professional Cisco certs in the 70s-80s, and those with CCIEs above 100K).
The keys to making more money in any area of IT are pretty much the same: more degrees, more experience, more certifications, and the ability to describe a successful track record at work, including communications skills and knowledge necessary to tell others what you know, what you can do, and what kind of value you've added to an organization. Not coincidentally, these are all things you can and probably should do to bring your pay up as a networking IT professional as well.
HTH, and thanks for posting,
This was first published in August 2007