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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
The latest certification to bask in our Deep Focus spotlight is the PC Pro credential ( No. 75 in this year's Salary Survey 75) offered by training and certification provider TestOut. The PC Pro has the same genetic makeup as CompTIA's A+ credential and, indeed, TestOut's PC Pro training doubles as a CompTIA Approved Quality Content (CAQC) primer for A+ certification.
Starting at the top of the Deep Focus checklist, U.S. IT workers who hold TestOut's PC Pro have an average annual salary of $50,540, with a median annual salary of $40,130. Though popular in the United States, TestOut is a relative newcomer to the international market, so we didn't get any reliable data about non-U.S. certification holders, despite hearing from a tiny handful of PC Pro holders in Canada.
A notable 11.2 percent of PC Pro holders are women, so the male certification population falls slightly below the fairly common 90 percent threshold. That may be accounted for by the fact that the overall PC Pro survey population is relatively young: Slightly more than half of all respondents are age 34 or younger — a notable 5.8 percent are 18 or younger, a group rarely captured in our surveys — and a further 27.1 percent are between the ages of 35 and 44, leaving just 20 percent who are 45 or older.
When it comes to educational attainment, PC Pro holders are comparatively behind the curve. Just 31 percent have either a bachelor's degree (25.1 percent) or master's degree (5.9 percent). Many are currently in school (23.5 percent), and associate's (two-year) degrees are also prevalent (25.9 percent). That leaves 7.8 percent who have yet to ascend higher than a high school diploma, with 11.8 percent who have pursued technical training after high school but to date have not undertaken college studies.
A solid 67 percent of PC Pro holders are employed full-time, with 12.9 percent holding part-time jobs. There's a strong population who are currently students (11.8 percent) and just under 9 percent who do not currently have jobs. The typical work week for most (64 percent) is either a standard 40 hours (37.6 percent), or falls somewhere between 41 and 50 hours (25.9 percent).
Among PC Pro-certified workers, most are either rank-and-file employees (47.1 percent of the total PC Pro survey population) or specialists (31.8 percent). There are considerably fewer upper-echelon jobs, though there are notable contingents of both senior specialists (8.8 percent) and managers (8.7 percent).
The PC Pro crowd is relatively new to the IT realm, with 63.5 percent of all PC Pro holders having worked in a role that directly utilizes their certified skills for between zero years (1-11 months) and 2 years. The next largest group, at 12.9 percent, have been in the game for between 3 and 5 years, while 8.4 percent have been in a PC tech role for between 6 and 8 years, and 4.7 percent have been thus engaged for 9 or 10 years.
There is a contingent of hardy long-timers: 10.5 percent of all PC Pro holders in the survey have been in the industry for more than 10 years.
Finally, here's the view of PC Pro 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: 49.4 percent
Several times a week: 25.5 percent
Several times a month: 6 percent
Occasionally: 11.7 percent
Rarely: 7.4 percent
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly Agree: 27.2 percent
Agree: 34.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 30.5 percent
Disagree: 4.7 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.5 percent
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly Agree: 24.7 percent
Agree: 43.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25.9 percent
Disagree: 2.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.2 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly Agree: 30.6 percent
Agree: 47.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 15.3 percent
Disagree: 3.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.7 percent