• United States

Influences on your pay

Jul 26, 20043 mins
Data Center

Responsibility, age, tenure, education – these and other interrelated factors influence how much you make.

The overall elements that determine great pay remain consistent from year to year, as this year’s survey again proves. As your responsibility, hours worked, tenure, age and the size of company increase so does pay (see graphic, below). Likewise, the more formal education a person has, the higher the pay, with certificates not having much effect on the bottom line.

Yet, all of those factors are interrelated. For instance, as job title increases, so does pay – yet so does the number of hours worked per week. Those with higher incomes tend to be responsible for more network servers, have more clients tied to the servers and have more people reporting to them. Income typically rises with tenure, but those with the most tenure also work the longest hours, have more people report to them, are in management, have higher levels of education (yet fewer certifications), are older and work at larger companies. People at larger companies often make more money, but the highest-paid, large-company workers also tend to be older and have more tenure at their current company. Income tends to rise with age, yet older respondents also are more likely to have higher levels of education, be in senior management, have more people report to them, more tenure and work at larger companies.

The survey also shows that men average higher salaries than women, although whether this is a straight matter of unequal pay for equal work is a matter of debate. Ten times more men participated in the survey than women, a fair reflection of how men still far outnumber women in the field. (Of the 3,552 respondents who answered the gender question, 3,202 were men.) With more men working in the field, more of them work at larger companies, are responsible for more servers and hold the highest job titles. For instance, 2.6% of male respondents held CIO/CTO positions, compared with 1% of female respondents.

These factors explain the gender salary gap. As women enter the field in greater numbers, they will be better represented among the top jobs and their salary averages will rise. This, of course, depends on corporate cultures in which women have equal opportunity to be hired for those top positions.

Pay scale factors

While factors such as size of company, gender, age, tenure, education and weekly hours influence pay rates, they are interrelated. Those with the most education also tend to have more tenure, work at bigger companies, work more hours, etc.

Source: 2004 Network World Salary Survey