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Am I under paid?

By danwest58 ·
First of I would like to say I love the IT field. I enjoy the work day in and day out; I also like to fix problems that require brain power to work through. But I am having a lot of problems right now outside of work due to the fact how little I feel I am being paid.


I am an Independent contractor working for a company on one of their contracts. I work on site about 40 to 50 hours per week. I take care of 25 locations on the east cost some 150 users all together. I also take care of 2 servers 1 remotely the other in this office. I am making right now 21500 per year and I know I only have my A+ certification but that?s mainly because I can?t afford anything right now and have problems paying bills that I have. Also when I use my car for work I only get 25 cents per mile for reimbursement and no benefits at all. I live near buffalo NY, I know it?s a lower income area but still what I am making I am really having problem making it.

Anyone got any suggestions to help me out. Maybe how I can talk to someone about getting more money. I want to stay in the IT field but I don?t want to have to pay someone to keep working. Some advice please

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I feel your pain

by jdmercha In reply to Am I under paid?

I too am un underpaid IT worker in NY. The problem is if you don't take the 21500 there are 50 other IT workers who will. Where I work we have a job opening that has less responsibility than yours and pays the same 21500. But we have gotton over 100 applications for the position. Half of those people have college degrees.

Find a way to get back to school. Apply for a job at a University. Any job, as long as it comes with free tuition. And move out of NY.

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sorry to hear it, really

by Oz_Media In reply to Am I under paid?

I am not going to pad this with rainbows and lollipops but I will be tsraight up.

For what you do, a few years back you would have been considered underpaid. At this point in time, MOST newer admins are finding the same issues,EVERYONE has a cert these days and IT jobs are losing thier elite status and becoming just another job.

the question you need to ask is, do you think you could make more money somewhere else utilizing another skill?

I know I can make more money as a F/T air care certified mechanic again, but it beats you up and I can't see a healthy life ahead if I stay in the industry, so it's a sideline.

I also get a fair residual icome from working in the music industry, but it still doesn't top my IT salary.

when I got sick of working for nothing, I went out on my own and got VERY lucky and ended up making more at home than I could at work, not a sure thing to persue though, a major risk and I DID get lucky.

All in all, if you work for somebody else you will always feel underpaid. I know guys that make a few hundred thousand a year that are AlWAYS bitching about how much money they make the boss and how little they earn for themselves.

I know first hand that it's hard living check to check because I've done it, for several years I couldn't pay anything off completely and just chiped away at bills while sinking father down the hole. It's reality mate and sorry but even if your employer boosted you a few hundred bucks a month you would STILL be in the same boat, believe it or not.

Work on reducing your expenditures to meet your salary, it's easier than doing it the other way around. I know what you're thinking "easy for him to say! He doesn't understand the position I am in". Yes I do, believe me I do and it is easier said then done, but there's only ONE person that can help you out, yourself. Tacky I know, but true.

I would go to the boss and just be straight up.
"I know you are paying me a FAIR wage but I am just finding it really hard to get by, it is effecting my work, my attitude and these expnses are like a cloud over me all the time, it seems I can't keep up yet alone get ahead."

Most bosses appreciate a straight up employee and will work to make things better for you. Explain that you would like to further your training and yet cannot afford to, you are feeling caught between a rock and a hard place even though you are happy to at least be employed by a good company.

I went that route on one occasion against a tightwad who everyone said is like getting blood from a stone. He was MORE than happy to give a SMALL (and I mean SMALL) raise (a good start) and then offered me other ways to earn some extra money within the company from business generated online, launching new products and gaining a bit from online referrals etc.

So if I was you and judging by the honesty of your post, I would go to the boss with the same informtion you provided here. You love your job, you love the compnay, you love being in IT and are happy to have found work when so many with greater certs are still looking for work. You just need a BIT of a boost to keep your head above water, and you will work on getting your expenses down a bit.

Best of luck to you, keep us posted on how things transpire for you and keep your chin up. Remember, in a country with many unemployed QUALIFIED IT staff, you have a job.

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Cog-Work

by Bucky Kaufman (MCSD) In reply to sorry to hear it, really

re:
I went out on my own and got VERY lucky and ended up making more at home than I could at work,

----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Amen. Working idependently is *definitely* more profitable than the W2 life if you have the discipline and focus. It requires you to be innovative and self-motivated. Those skills are counter-productive in cog work but well-rewarded as an indy.

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A suggestion

by maxwell edison In reply to Am I under paid?

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You're basically making 10 bucks an hour. Just make the decision to double your salary. Yea, right, you might say. And yes, that's right, is what I would say.

Some points:

Point One: You are, as you say, an independent contractor. Okay, show some independence and set your own rates - say 20 bucks an hour....no, go for the gusto and demand that your time is worth $30 or $40 per hour - OR MORE. (This is, after all, contract work, so you have your own insurance, vacation, social security, etc. to pay.) And forget about the .25 cents per mile nonsense; after a while you'll just be buying a business car and the whole thing will be a write-off.

Point Two: Right now you work 40-50 hours per week. Bump that up to 60 hours for a while, but only give 40 to your current "contract". That will give you 20 additional hours each and every week to make some additional dollars, but at $30 - $40 per hour. And then go out and sell your services. If you can't get anything at the higher rate (which I doubt will happen), then there's no big loss except some of your time.

Point 3: But consider this. You might - just might - be able to sell those hours to a person, a company, an organization, etc. that needs them. And then consider this, if you only sell 20 of those hours per week, you can literally ****-off that "contract" that pays you $10, and you then have more time to make even more money.

Point 4: If you are willing to "****-off" that current contract that only pays you $10, especially because you have proven to be worth more by taking on additional work at a higher rate, you might be surprised to see that they may be willing to "negotiate" - and you'd be in the driver's seat.

Point 5: Hey, you only have to "sell" those extra hours a few at a time. You might find a new client that needs 5-10 per week, then another that needs a dozen, and another that only needs 5, and so on. Before long, you might build-up a client base that takes 20 or more hours per week, but will pay you $40 for each and every hour.

Point 6: You're right, no one said it would be easy.

Point 7: You DON'T think you can do it? Okay, you're right.

Point 8: You DO think you can do it? Okay, you're right.

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By the way. . . .

by maxwell edison In reply to Am I under paid?

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If you find yourself asking if you are underpaid, you already know the answer.

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Go for it

by jtakiwi In reply to By the way. . . .

I guess I am a hippocrite, but I have done some work on the side for $65 - $75 per hour. I thought, man, this would be the life, making more than twice my normal rate, and picking the clients I want. Then reality; I need the steady paycheck. If you can deal w/ the ups and downs in compensation, you really have little to lose by going it alone. It is amazing what people will pay for a competent technician who can quickly fix their problems. Also, I kept my eyes open for opportunities (true story, took dog to vet. Vet said they couldn't print reciept, I asked why. pc's have virus, tech won't get to it for 2 days. Fixed all three pc's in 60 minutes. Would have taken less time, but they only had dialup, needless to say, I didn't pay the $75 charge for the pooch and he even had me put in a new AV package that netted another $75 for an hour's work). So, the opps are out there, really. You just need to exploit them, do a good job, earn a rep and the sky is the limit. Small businesses are basically ignored in this field and their ownly servie option is the clowns at the local break fix company, so they are always looking for a better, more responsive alternative.

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there are opportunities out there

by gaitedhorse128 In reply to Go for it

I also live in the Buffalo, NY area. I was a sys admin for a company and made a little over 27K a year. I left two years ago; I was getting burned out and I was tired of justifying my job to every new manager that came through the door. We seemed to get a new manager every two years; I was there for 10 years. Anyway, try taking civil service tests. I can send you links to those sites if you like. Email me for the links if you're interested. IT techs can make more money than you're making working in schools, plus the benefits are great and you are pretty much guaranteed raises every year. Going on your own is a great idea; you CAN make a lot of money doing it. Why not try doing some side work to start your own little business while working? If you worked in civil service, the hours aren't as long and may allow you to start on your own part time. This may be a good way for you to test the waters...

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