Salary Survey Extra: More data about salary satisfaction, Part 1
Posted on
March 31, 2022

Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The philosopher and social scientist Sir Michael Philip Jagger once documented a series of observations about the overall concept of satisfaction. Jagger found that satisfaction was not more achievable whether he was driving in his car or watching his TV. Despite doing this, or affixing his signature to that, or even explaining to a youthful female that he was on a losing streak, satisfaction did not increase.

Quantifying or achieving overall satisfaction can be similarly elusive when it comes to IT employment. It's a little easier, on the other hand, to isolate one element of employment and measure whether or not one is getting what one wants. Like, for example, am I satisfied with my salary? IT workers as a whole, of course, tend to have good reason to be satisfied with their salaries, and many of them are.

As noted in our January issue, 73 percent of certified IT pros who participated in our most recent Salary Survey are either completely satisfied with their compensation (11.5 percent), very satisfied (25.3 percent), or at least satisfied (36.2 percent). The rest were either not very satisfied (22.4 percent of those surveyed) or not at all satisfied (4.6 percent).

If we look beyond the black-or-white breakdown — 73 percent = some level of yea vs. 27 percent = some level of nay — however, there are some interesting ways to further dissect salary satisfaction. For example:

All U.S. Respondents
Completely Satisfied — 14.1 percent
Very Satisfied — 29.9 percent
Satisfied — 34.5 percent
Not very satisfied — 18.3 percent
Not At All Satisfied — 3.2 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Completely Satisfied — 7.6 percent
Very Satisfied — 18.2 percent
Satisfied — 38.9 percent
Not very satisfied — 28.8 percent
Not At All Satisfied — 6.5 percent

Whether you live and work in the United States or find yourself elsewhere in the world, there’s a fair-to-decent chance that you’re happy with what you earn, but maybe not thrilled. On the other hand, U.S. workers are more likely to be excessively satisfied, while those outside the United States are more likely to see themselves as being paid less than they deserve.

You might also argue that certified IT professionals who are nearing the end of their working years are likely to have larger salaries than younger workers and therefore be more satisfied. We can look at that as well:

All U.S. Respondents

Age / Salary Satisfaction Completely Satisfied Very Satisfied Satisfied Not Very Satisfied Not At All Satisfied Percentage of all respondents in this age group
18 or younger N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
19 to 24 34.4 percent 24.1 percent 17.5 percent 17 percent 7 percent 1.5 percent
25 to 34 13.7 percent 29.8 percent 32.2 percent 21.7 percent 2.6 percent 23.2 percent
35 to 44 14.3 percent 32 percent 32.9 percent 18.8 percent 2 percent 33.4 percent
45 to 54 15.5 percent 29.5 percent 35.5 percent 14.7 percent 4.8 percent 25.4 percent
55 to 64 10.3 percent 28.2 percent 39.3 percent 18.2 percent 4 percent 14.2 percent
65 to 74 11.3 percent 15.9 percent 50 percent 20.5 percent 2.3 percent 2.2 percent
75 or older N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

2022 Survey Data

So there are a couple of small zigs where zags might be expected. The percentage of survey participants who are wholly satisfied with their salaries, for example, is unexpectedly strong among workers between the ages of 19 and 34. On the whole, however, the basic supposition that people tend to be more satisfied with their earning power as they get older (and hence more experienced and eligible for higher pay) is borne out among U.S. tech workers.

All Non-U.S. Respondents

Age / Salary Satisfaction Completely Satisfied Very Satisfied Satisfied Not Very Satisfied Not At All Satisfied Percentage of all respondents in this age group
18 or younger N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
19 to 24 18.8 percent 12.5 percent 18.8 percent 40.5 percent 9.4 percent 2.5 percent
25 to 34 6.9 percent 17 percent 39.4 percent 26.9 percent 9.8 percent 26.5 percent
35 to 44 8.2 percent 20 percent 34.8 percent 30.3 percent 6.7 percent 38.7 percent
45 to 54 5.1 percent 16.9 percent 43.9 percent 31.1 percent 3 percent 23.5 percent
55 to 64 10.6 percent 18.1 percent 51.1 percent 17 percent 3.2 percent 7.4 percent
65 to 74 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
75 or older N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

2022 Survey Data

When it comes to being Not Very Satisfied and Not At All Satisfied, the younger workers here are much more frustrated than their U.S. counterparts. And actually, there’s a strong core of Not Very Satisfied workers at every age level here. High levels of satisfaction, where they do exist, are generally most prominent among the older workers, just as in the United States. Youth and beauty, it would seem, still hasn’t cracked the code on how to defeat old age and treachery.

There are a handful of other ways the would be interesting to slice things up here, so we’ll probably have more to say about this topic in at least one future Salary Survey Extra installment. Stay tuned.

About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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