Survey shows average UK storage salary rose by 4.3% in 2010

The 2011 UK storage salary shows pay has risen by 4.3% since 2009 and that those in the north east and the manufacturing sector are best rewarded.

By Antony Adshead, UK Bureau Chief

The average UK storage salary rose by 4.3% between 2009 and 2010 to £50,594, and remuneration in storage is set to rise by 3.6% in 2011 to an expected yearly gross of £52,401.

But, despite rising storage salaries you'll have to work harder for your money -- 62% of storage professionals say they have seen an increase in storage capacity of greater than 20%.

Those are some of the findings of the 2011 salary survey, which interviewed 352 UK storage professionals about their pay and benefits late last year.In our 2008 salary survey the best-paid region for storage professionals was London. In the current survey the highest-paying region is the north east, with an average of respondents' salaries working out at £59,714.

That somewhat surprising result means there are clearly good storage jobs in the north east but suggests the figure has been pushed upward by a relatively small number of well-paid respondents (5% of the total).

The next three most well-remunerated regions cover the capital and Thames Valley and are more in keeping with expectations. Comprising 55% of all respondents, outer London (£57,959), southern England (£54,166) and inner London (£52,993) show the kind of robust average salary levels that should be expected for the UK's most populous and economically dynamic regions.

Storage salaries by region

North east


Outer London


Northern Ireland


Southern England


East Midlands


Inner London


South west






West Midlands


North west


When we conducted this survey in 2008, the utilities and financial services sectors were the most remunerative industry verticals for storage professionals to work in. In 2010 the top sector for storage pay is manufacturing (£58,160) with financial services in second place (£57,607). IT services is next in line with an average salary of £53,237.

Here also, it is likely that the top sectoral figure is pushed upward by a small number of well-paid people answering the survey. The number of people in manufacturing who responded is 3.5% compared with a whopping 51% from IT services and financial services.

Storage salaries by industry sector



Financial services


IT services




Public sector












Of those we surveyed, the best-remunerated are consultants, averaging £55,831 per annum, with IT directors/managers close behind at £55,490. Understandably, lagging somewhat behind in pay terms are the storage managers/admins, who average £42,817.

The survey also found that stress is taking its toll, with nearly two thirds (64%) of survey respondents saying they want to get out of storage altogether. When we asked those who took the survey what they least liked about their jobs, many commented on insufficient pay, long hours and lack of staff numbers to get the job done. On the upside, however, many also commented on positive aspects of their employment such as the challenges and wide variety of tasks in their jobs.

The best place to be in an organisation in terms of storage pay is the systems group (£51,949) while dedicated storage groups come second (£50,977). The worst place for a storage professional to be is the networking group, where storage salaries average £36,625. That said, it is only a minority (8%) of respondents who work in a networking group, while the overwhelming bulk (77%) work from systems and dedicated storage groups, where it seems storage is a more valued sphere of responsibility.

The amount of terabytes managed by a storage professional tends to correlate with salary. Those who manage less than 1 TB average £40,066, while dealing with between 1 TB and 9 TB will net £43,400 and between 10 TB and 49 TB will see you earn an average of £47,837. That trend continues into the hundreds of terabytes, where those managing between 100 TB and 250 TB receive an average of £54,361 and those handling more than 250 TB gain £64,613 per annum. Those whose businesses have witnessed the biggest increases in storage capacity also tend to be the better paid.

The number of years working in storage is also reflected in average salaries, with a generally upward trend as experience increases. Those with between three and five years in storage clocked up an average remuneration of £48,045 in 2010, between six and 10 years saw an average of £51,821 while those with more than 10 years gained £68,272 per annum.

Salaries also tend to rise according to educational attainment. The most well paid storage professionals in the UK hold post-graduate qualifications (£56,761), and those with bachelors degrees earn £52,294 a year.

Storage salaries by educational attainment

Post-grad qualifications


Bachelors degree


A-level/vocational qualifications




There's no simple relationship between vendor certifications held and salaries attained. Those with one vendor certification earn an average of £46,896, which rises to £53,078 for those with two. Get one more, however, and the average salary plunges to £36,631. The average salary for those with five or more certifications is £79,500. That said, the bulk of respondents (66%) have no vendor certifications at all and earn on average £49,086 so it's quite possible to have a successful storage career without any such qualifications. Those with five or more vendor certifications and earning high salaries are mostly consultants plus some IT directors/managers and gaining certification may reflect the needs of the business of external consultancy.

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