Storage Pays

Thanks to an overall explosion of data, pay for storage professionals is outpacing the average IT ranks.

In the past, before the certifiable explosion of the amount of data thats now being created, storage administrators were often considered only a cut above a shunned stepchild in the data center pecking order.

At large enterprise IT shops, the most experienced or the most talented members of the team are usually charged with keeping the companys main systems and applications up and running, while the less-experienced/talented technicians were given so-called "tier 2"-type assignments, such as storage, backup and data recovery.

They were also the ones who made sure the Iron Mountain truck made its regular pickup of data tapes on time.

Not so anymore. The increasing strategic importance of the services storage professionals render is finally beginning to be reflected in salary ranges, which have moved steadily upward in the last several years.


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According to the 35,573 IT professionals in 197 different countries that participated in the 2006 Certification Magazine Salary Survey, the average IT salary once again is on the rise. The average base IT salary in 2006 was $76,500, up from last years reported $71,100 average base salary.

Heres the good news for storage pros: Breaking out the storage-related certification numbers, researchers find that storage professionals are now earning far over that $76,500 average—theyre making $87,400 per year.

In fact, two specific certifications—Brocade Certified SAN Manager ($112,920) and Brocade Certified SAN Designer ($112,890)—rank as the second- and third-highest paying jobs in the survey.

Certification Magazines 2006 survey indicates that certified storage professionals generally earn anywhere from $72,000 to upwards of $110,000 per year, depending upon their qualifications and years in the field. This is up from $50,000 to $80,000 only seven years ago.

Here are some of the storage categories and average per annum compensation figures in the report:

  • Certified Brocade storage networking: $98,000-$112,000
  • Certified EMC storage professional: $72,000-$93,000
  • Certified IBM Total Storage professional: $85,000
  • Certified HP storage professional: $91,000
  • Certified Veritas storage professional: $81,000
  • Certified Symantec storage professional: $80,000
  • Certified SNIA (Storage Networking Industry of America) storage professional: $93,500

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...