Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of both our annual Salary Survey and our smaller Salary Survey PLUS polls. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
This one is a little bit different than some of the Deep Focus pieces that we do. You could say it's less ... focused. That's because Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) is not a single credential in the Oracle Certification program. Rather, it's an entire class of certifications.
We're somewhat limited in conducting our annual Salary Survey by space constraints. And until we develop a better system for letting people identify and select the certifications they hold, we simply can't include every last one of the hundreds of Oracle certifications. So Oracle Certified Professional (No. 55 in this year's survey) is a catch-all that stands in for all of the Oracle certs at the Professional level. (The other levels are Associate, Expert, and Master.) We aren't talking about one credential here — we're addressing all of the credentials at that level.
A majority (54.4 percent) of the OCP-certified individuals who responded to our 2016 Salary Survey live and work in the United States. Oracle has a presence almost anywhere that database technology is used, however, and we heard from OCP holders in 13 other countries: Australia, Austria, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, India, Ireland, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.
Among OCP holders in the United States, the average annual salary in 2016 was $110,630, with a median annual salary of $103,750. For those outside the United States, the average annual salary was $54,160, with a median annual salary of $40,150.
Nearly all of those surveyed are men (95.4 percent), and almost half fall more or less squarely into the midlife crisis age bracket: 47.7 percent of those surveyed are between the ages of 35 and 44. The next largest group of OCP respondents are between the ages of 45 a,d 54 (22.7 percent of those surveyed), with an additional 9.1 percent between the ages of 55 and 64. The remaining 20 percent are considerably more youthful, checking in either between the ages of 25 and 34 (13.6 percent), or between the ages of 19 and 24 (6.9 percent).
The highest level education attained by most OCP holders is either a bachelor's degree (43.2 percent) or master's degree (34.1 percent). If you aren't university-educated, then the most common educational background is (perhaps surprisingly) either a high school diploma (6.8 percent of those surveyed) or some form of non-collegiate technical training (4.5 percent).
A striking 97.7 percent of OCP holders surveyed are employed full-time, with the remaining 2.3 percent unemployed. We didn't hear from any part-timers, students, or workers on sabbatical. Among the nearly 98 percent who work full-time, half are on a standard 40-hours-per-week work schedule, while 27.3 percent of respondents work between 41 and 50 hours per week, and 13.6 percent put in more than 50 hours. A lucky 9 percent — "full"-timers, don't forget — work either between 31 and 39 hours (6.8 percent of respondents) or between 20 and 30 hours (2.3 percent).
Based on our survey, when it comes to organizational hierarchy OCP holders are most likely to be senior specialists (70.5 percent of those surveyed), though there is a notable pocket of managers (11.4 percent) and a surprisingly strong contingent of rank-and-file employees (9.1 percent).
Most of the OCP holders we survey are veteran IT workers: 59 percent have been working in a role that directly utilizes their certified skills for more than 10 years, while an additional 20 percent have been in the game for either between 9 and 10 years (9.1 percent) or between 6 and 8 years (11.4 percent). Moving toward the "newbie" end of the spectrum, 15.9 percent of those surveyed have been in the game for between 3 and 5 years, while 4.5 percent have been answering the call for between zero years (1-11 months) and 2 years.
Finally, here's the view of OCP 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: 45.5 percent
Several times a week: 34.1 percent
Several times a month: 13.6 percent
Occasionally: 6.8 percent
Rarely: [No responses]
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 25 percent
Agree: 54.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 13.6 percent
Disagree: 4.7 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.2 percent
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 20.5 percent
Agree: 40.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 27.8 percent
Disagree: 8.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.9 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 22.7 percent
Agree: 43.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25.6 percent
Disagree: 6.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.3 percent