Salary Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
Almost everyone gets started in IT by learning the basics about hardware and software. Roughly 25 years ago, that was most of what you needed to know. That's around the time that tech industry association CompTIA launched its still-thriving certification program with the CompTIA A+ certification (No. 64 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) for computer technicians.
There's a lot more to learn about computer technology in 2020, but CompTIA is still handing out A+ credentials, and A+ has become a career cornerstone for many IT professionals who go on to acquire diverse skill sets and work in all sectors of the IT industry.
Here's what the salary picture looks like for A+ holders who responded to the Salary Survey:
All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $79,950
Median Annual Salary: $75,190
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 7.2 percent
Very Satisfied: 16.4 percent
Satisfied: 38.2 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 28.2 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 10 percent
All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $55,960
Median Annual Salary: $52,810
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 16.7 percent
Satisfied: 40 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 26.7 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 16.6 percent
A large majority of the A+ holders who participated in the Salary Survey are U.S. residents (84.6 percent), but we also heard from A+-certified professionals in 17 other countries: Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Mauritius, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Across the IT industry there are considerably more male professionals than female professionals, and CompTIA A+ reflects that skew: only 12.3 percent of the the A+ holders who participated in the survey are women. Most respondents, regardless of gender, are clustered around middle age, with roughly 80 percent of those surveyed either between the ages of 25 and 34 (19.1 percent), between the ages of 35 and 44 (32.2 percent), or between the ages of 45 and 54 (27.8 percent). A handful are young bucks, either age 18 or younger (0.5 percent of respondents) or between the ages of 19 and 24 (2.8 percent), while the rest are old dogs either between the ages of 55 and 64 (14.1 percent) or between the ages of 65 and 74 (3.3 percent).
About 70 percent of A+ holders who responded to the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of formal education completed by most A+ holders is either a bachelor's degree (33.2 percent of those surveyed), associate's degree (22. 1 percent), master's degree (13.6 percent), doctorate (1.2 percent), or professional degree (1.4 percent). The outliers are the 15.8 percent of respondents who topped out at some level of post-high school technical training, the 2.8 percent who exited the realm of formal education after completing high school, the 9.7 percent who are still in school, and the 0.2 percent who had no formal education before entering the workforce.
A strong 92.9 percent of A+ holders who responded to the survey are employed full-time, with 4.5 percent holding part-time jobs, 1 percent who are students, and 1.6 percent out of work. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are at work either for the standard 40 hours per week (44 percent of respondents) or put in between 41 and 50 hours per week (also 44 percent). The rest are either letting work dominate their lives, putting in more than 50 hours per week (7.1 percent of respondents), or laboring under a light load, spending either between 31 and 39 hours per week doing work (3.3 percent), between 20 and 30 hours per week (0.8 percent), or fewer than 20 hours per week (also 0.8 percent).
Many IT jobs don't require all (or even most) work to be done in a company office, but 85 percent of the A+ holders who participated in the survey are still mostly cubicle dwellers, putting in either fewer than 10 hours per week from home (72 percent) or between 10 and 20 hours per week from home (13.5 percent). The rest work from home more regularly, having the freedom to wear sweatpants to work for either between 21 and 30 hours per week (3.3 percent of those surveyed), between 31 and 39 hours per week (2.5 percent), 40 hours per week (5.1 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (3.6 percent).
In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of A+ holders we heard from, 30 percent of those surveyed, are employed at the senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (25.7 percent), rank-and-file employees (22.4 percent), managers (12.8 percent), senior managers (3.7 percent), directors (3.4 percent), or executives (1.9 percent).
A little less than half (46.5 percent) of the A+ holders who responded to the survey are IT veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (19.5 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (also 19.5 percent), between 6 and 8 years (7.8 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (6.7 percent).
Finally, here's the view of A+ holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:
At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification:
Several times a day: 49.5 percent
Several times a week: 20.7 percent
Several times a month: 10.2 percent
Occasionally: 13.9 percent
Rarely: 5.7 percent
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 26.7 percent
Agree: 37.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25.4 percent
Disagree: 7.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.8 percent
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 29.3 percent
Agree: 39.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 20.6 percent
Disagree: 7.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.6 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 24.1 percent
Agree: 36.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 27.6 percent
Disagree: 8.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.7 percent
PAST COMPTIA A+ DEEP FOCUS FEATURES