IT Employment

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Are You Paid What You're Worth?

By Your Mom 2.0 ·
In my current position I work as a "generalist". I manage AD with 85 users; handle all of the internal "helpdesk" issues for all software installed on all client PCs; set up and support our ethernet network; perform some administrative tasks on our internal mail server, document retrieval systems, and mainframe; and generally do whatever else is asked by my boss (VP of Information Systems). More or less, if it involves a Windows-based computer or server I'm his "go-to" guy. If something needs to be installed, replaced, upgraded, or fixed I'm the one who does it.

I had a little free time today and googled "compare salaries" and found I make a few thousand $'s lower than most of the sites call the "lowball" amount. Bear in mind I have no certifications or degrees, and everything I've learned has been through experience and online research. Still, I'm able to accomplish what's required. If I don't know how to do whatever it is that needs to be done, I learn how to as I go.

The company president says I definitely deserve a raise but due to low sales the last two quarters it's just not going to happen. And then he drives away in his new company-provided Cadillac. Or maybe he rides away with another VP who is driving a $40,000 SUV, also bought by the company.

Just curious how many of you have tried comparing your salaries and have gotten discouraged by what you found. How does your salary compare to the national averages listed on sites liek and Are these numbers intentionally high so they stir enough dissent to encourage potential customers to buy into their services?

Overall I like my job and the people I work with, but I don't like to feel like I'm not doing my best to provide for my family. Money's not the be-all / end-all as far as job satisfaction goes, but I don't like thinking I am being taken advantage of.

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No but...

by DC Guy In reply to Are You Paid What You're ...

I'm not paid what I'm worth but for the first time since I walked away from my government job I don't go home every night with a knot in my stomach wondering whether I'll still have a job tomorrow, or next Monday, or next year. This is a well-run, family-friendly company. One of the ways they keep expenses low is to skimp a bit on payroll, but the results are worth it.

I've been unemployed for 48 months out of the ten years I've spent in the dogfighting ring known as the Private Sector. It's worth taking a pay cut to avoid that.

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More to this than meets the eye

by amcol In reply to No but...

You are a living example of why you can't do what the original poster, and so many many others, are trying to salaries against whatever benchmark you like and come up with any kind of intelligent analysis.

There's a lot more to compensation than just what's in your paycheck. I suspect that the vast majority of us, when we compare salary alone to what our friends are making, what others in our geography are making, what the industry norms are, what we'd like to be making based on some totally out of context self-evaluation of our own worth, we end up dissatisfied and feeling, as the original poster points out, taken advantage of.

Factor in a few other things, such as: bonus, commission, stock options, vacation and leave policies, health care, job security, company stability, work atmosphere, relationship with boss and peers, type of work, chance for advancement, opportunities for promotion or special assignments, opportunities to travel or attend industry gatherings, work hours, commute time...the list is almost endless.

Compensation has to be taken as a whole conglomeration of pieces and parts if one is to truly have a basis for comparison. There are some things on my list that may not appear to be directly related to compensation, but that's because most people define comp as being a purely monetary issue. To me, compensation is everything that makes up what I take out of my I get compensated for doing what I do. I give, and I get back. The part that I get back is my comp, and there are a lot of forms of comp that are not financial.

Take one thing out of context and it looks bleak. Put everything into context and maybe life's not so bad. Harder analysis to perform, but necessary if one is to make informed judgments.

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Are you in Washington DC? If so can you help?

by bcgreaves In reply to No but...

I am desperately searching for several people who have security clearances and are possibly interested in working on a DOD contract. The clearances are to be at least "secret" and I'm looking for mainly helpdesk, engineering, and admin folks. If you are interested or know anyone with a secret clearance and might be looking for a well paying job working in the Arlington Va. area, please send a copy of their resume to me at My company pays above average from what I know the industry standards are.

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by TonytheTiger In reply to Are You Paid What You're ...

Truly, I'd work here for half the pay, but they keep offerring me raises, and I think it would be quite rude to turn them down :)

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by doug m. In reply to Are You Paid What You're ...

I'd have to say that I'm probably under-paid according to several salary websites. Even my boss admits we should be paid more, but we work for a school district which aren't exactly known for having alot of money. The working conditions are good and I'm learning alot, which someday I'll be able to take somewhere else. The thing about school districts is that you have "contract" positions like teachers, who are guaranteed all sorts of things, and the rest of us are just regular hourly folks. Then there are the administrators (School Supt. etc.) who get paid very well to do very little. It's sort of an "us and them" mentality. We don't get paid for OT but we can get some comp time. We get all sorts of govt. holidays off too, which I didn't get in the private sector. The other post was right about looking at the whole picture. I guess I'm doing ok for not having a degree, just an MCSA. I took the CCNA class and passed, now I have to take the official test and get my Cert.

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Paid what I'm worth? NO!

by 50kilroy In reply to Are You Paid What You're ...

Well, I have over 25 years experience with computers and electronics both from the engineering and field technician sides, but I have no 'paperwork'. The company for which I currently work has been terminating employees on a quarterly basis, usually choosing the non-degree individuals first. I've been passed over so far due to the fact that they are still using a few DOS machines plus I am the only onsite tech who has the skills to recover lost files. The other techs are "windows babies" who have not a clue about computers in general. About the only thing that they will do, other than throw the work at me, is to replace the ailing desktop set and drop it on my desk.
As for salary, I _should_ be making in the mid to high 50K range according to the job responsibilities, the actual pay is in the low 30's.
The IT manager, however, is knocking down over 250K .. verified. I saw one of her pay stubs.., and knows nothing about computers or info technology in general. She is a 'manager' with the attitude that management is management and it's positions that are important, NOT people.
Am I underpaid? You bet that I am. Am I angry about it? You can bet on that too. If I could find a decent job in my town, I would walk today.

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by blitzwing76 In reply to Paid what I'm worth? NO!

I'm sorry to say but in the IT industry it doesn't matter if you have 25 years or 5 years of experience doing technical work. What matters is the skills that employers want. Do you think that just because you have 25 years of DOS experience that an employer should pay you high 50k? I think not. I've seen people like you get picked over with college graduates because they know the latest and greatest. Plus they are not "corrupted" so to speak with how times used to be back when everyone used punch cards and command line interfaces. In IT you must constantly keep your skills up to date and if you're still relying on DOS skills to get you a paycheck then I don't feel sorry for you when you say your underpaid.

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I work for

by Neil Higgins In reply to

A privately contracted company,which does work for the local health authority.When various IT systems go awol,myself and a dozen others go and fix them.This means travelling regionally with mileage allowance,so that I can get from a to b easily (rush hour traffic providing).The people I meet,in the health field,earn quite good salaries,especially the managers,who put my salary to shame.Yet IT is the field I enjoy.It's not what I call work,it's "a holiday with full pay",as my wife seems to think.I work from a centralised location (main office),then when my line manager hands out the daily tasks,off we all go,and do our stuff.I'm just grateful I earn a living wage to pay the bills,etc,and have a little left over for socialising.I have a fulfilling job,and good collegues with no clashing ego's.Although my contract is renewed every 18 months,I've been with the same people for 11 years,so we all must be doing something right for our employers.

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surplus value of labour

by gorman.mi In reply to I work for

It's true, IT does not have a Union to look after us, there is a higher degree of individuals negotiating their own pay rates-
where I work, in Lan admin and overall 'support' the pay rate has not moved much in 10 years...still it is a shade higher than most menial jobs, it is interesting, your clothes are clean and I even get paid one cannot grumble too much.

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