Salaries, Satisfaction Up Among Microsoft IT Pros

It was a good year to work in IT at Microsoft, according to a new salary survey.

Average overall salary is up for Microsoft IT professionals, according to Redmond Magazines 2006 Salary Survey, released Sept. 12.

Salaries showed an increase of 3.3 percent from the 2005 survey. While this years numbers are a downturn from the 12 percent jump seen in 2004, it does show a continued recovery from the mere .3 percent increase in salaries in 2003, when the field was affected by outsourcing threats and an economy not fully recovered from the recession.

Breaking $70,901, IT professional salaries surpass the U.S. overall workforce average salary of $63,210, according to the Labor Departments June wage report.

Average salaries within IT depend on title. Help desk/user support specialists averaged $47,775; Webmasters averaged $66,827; database administrators averaged $79,936; and non-supervisory programming project leads averaged $90,000.

Among Microsoft-certified base salaries, the range was even wider. While MCITP: SQL Server-certified workers averaged $125,000, MCTS: SQL Server-certified pros averaged $91,500. Microsoft Certified Architects had average salaries of $42,500.

Overall, respondents reported an average salary increase over the last year of $4,307, but nearly one-fifth reported no increase at all. Thirty-six percent said that adding a Microsoft Certification to their training had no impact on their salaries, while 43 percent said it did, most often in less than a 10 percent increase in salary.

Fifty-four percent responded that their companies paid for additional training, while 35 percent said that they paid themselves. The remainder expressed that additional training was paid for jointly between their employers and themselves.

Those who had doctoral-level educations averaged the most income, at $95,735, followed by four-year college degrees ($73,158), masters degrees ($70,376) and two-year colleges ($60,041).

/zimages/3/28571.gifStudy: Skills shortage boosts salaries. Click here to read more.

Respondents with no college degree but who had attended some college, with an average income of $66,029, raked in more than IT pros with a two-year degree.

Self-employed IT professionals averaged a salary of $69,248.

Forty-three percent of respondents reported that their company intended to hire more IT pros in the coming year.

Ratings for satisfaction with compensation and other salary adjustments came in at 4.25 out of 5, up from last years 4.09.

Ninety percent of respondents said they intended to still work in IT in five years, up four percentage points from last year.

While 93 percent of respondents said outsourcing had no impact on their jobs, slightly less (91 percent) predicted the same for the next year.

/zimages/3/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on IT management from