Salary Survey Extra: The first 10 years of CompTIA Network+
Posted on
October 21, 2016

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

What do Network+ holders earn?

Last week in this space we conducted a salary experiment of sorts, gauging the earning power of certified individuals over their first 10 years of professional involvement in IT networking. Our point of focus for that exploration was the popular Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing & Switching credential, a point-of-entry cert for many who end up making a career out of networking.

The Network+ credential offered by CompTIA occupies a similar status for many, acting as a gateway both to further involvement networking and to participation in other areas of  IT endeavor. Like CCNA, it teaches a core computing skill and is one of the first certifications encountered by many students and others new to the IT realm.

As noted previously, our recent networking-focused Salary Survey PLUS attracted very robust participation from Cisco-certified individuals, which was one factor that played into last week's experiment. Network+ is also widely held among networking professionals, however, so it seemed like the natural subject for an encore.

Among all CCNA R&S-certified professionals in the United States, the average annual salary is a healthy $72,240. Does that mean that newly-minted credential holders can expect to depart the testing center and walk into a job paying more than $70K? Recalibrating occasionally mistaken expectations is one of the benefits of looking at salary this way.

Here's what we learned:

The First 10 Years of Network+‍

Years of Experience Average Annual Salary Salary Floor * Years of Experience Average Annual Salary Salary Floor *
1 $40,430 $20K-$25K 6 $65,000 $40K-$45K
2 $49,340 $30K-$35K 7 $73,700 $35K-$40K
3 $60,100 $50K-$55K 8 $76,300 $45K-$50K
4 $56,250 $40K-$45K 9 $77,540 $55K-$60K
5 $72,140 $40K-$45K 10 $79,500 $35K-$50K

* Salary Floor refers to the lowest salary range with responses among all correspondingly tenured respondents.

As with CCNA Routing & Switching, there's a clear trend of gradually increased earning power over time. Also as we saw last week, there's something about the combination of certification and the threshold of professional experience at three years that seems to give an added boost to salaries. The trend in salary floor for Network+, however, is more volatile than what we saw with CCNA R&S. Again, however, there's a clear message: Almost everyone starts climbing somewhere near the bottom of the ladders and goes up from there.

HE'LL ACCEPT THE RESULTS IF HE WINS We didn't do one of these last week, likely causing many readers to think (hope?) that we might have done away with the practice entirely. Of course not! The Not-So-Serious Questions are still part of every survey. This is fun, right?

We had a Donald J. Trump question in the networking salary survey, and there seems to be a lot of news about Donald J. Trump right now, so let's roll that one out first. The question to survey respondents was what are each of you planning to do when (we swear we meant "if") The Donald wins the election on Nov. 8? Believe it or not, only some of those surveyed plan on moving to Canada.

Here's how it all shook out:

It's the end of the world as we know it. — 25.0 percent
He'll have plenty of time to finally read the Constitution. — 18.8 percent
Not to worry: Putin will show him the ropes. — 15.5 percent
I'm moving to Canada — 13.8 percent
It's bad, but Congress will keep him in check. — 11.3 percent
Best president since Reagan. Buh-lieve me. — 6.9 percent
I'm wearing a paper bag over my head for the next four years. — 4.1 percent
It's bad, but at least he'll appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court. — 3.8 percent

Original question: After Donald Trump wins "the general" in November: ...

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