If your paycheck seems a little heftier this year, you're not alone among other storage professionals. IT staff members who spend at least a portion of their time working with storage reported an average salary of $80,892 for 2006 -- about 4.3% more than last year -- according to Storage magazine's annual Storage Salary Survey (see "About the survey" and "Average salary over the past four years, on this page").
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That raise is right in line with national IT-wide statistics, and represents a modest jump in the mostly flat salaries over the past three years. "The mean national salary for storage administrators with a SAN specialty was $80,500," says David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners LLC, a New Canaan, Conn.-based research firm that focuses on IT skills and compensation. "SAN people are on our hot list right now," he adds.
Whether the slight spike represents the beginning of an upward trend in storage salaries remains to be seen, but industry experts see storage as one of the most in-demand IT sectors.
As we've seen in previous surveys, salaries vary depending on industry, location, company size, storage capacity managed and management responsibilities. The range of salaries reported underscores those variations, with a low annual compensation of $27,480 and a top end of $207,000. But overall, the news is good across the board. Storage employment and compensation may not be so bound to economic factors as they are to the tremendous storage growth most companies are experiencing and the attendant efforts to apply new technologies to rein in that growth. So whether the economy blows hot or cold, it looks like storage expertise will be needed.