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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
At the end of 2021, Sony Music Entertainment paid $550 million to purchase the entire musical catalog of rock star Bruce Springsteen. A chunk of that hefty sum no doubt flowed more or less directly into Springsteen’s coffers, likey almost doubling his reported overall net worth of $500 million (as of mid-2021) and providing further illustration of the time-honored maxim that the Boss gets the big checks.
Your own lowercase-B-boss probably gets a nice payday as well, though perhaps not quite that nice. Although who are we to judge? Your boss could be L.A. Clippers owner (and former Microsoft CEO) Steve Ballmer, in which case Bruce Springsteen might be the featured performer at the next company Christmas party. Maybe not, though, because Ballmer is a professional sports owner and the closest thing Bruce Springteen has ever done to taking an interest in sports is to play the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIII.
Well, yeah, he sort of sings about baseball in "Glory Days," so ... maybe he has a favorite MLB team? We digress.
The point is that every business has its own pecking order, ofttimes more commonly referred to as an "org chart," and everyone involved in a given business knows at least approximately where they stand. (Some businesses are more specific about such things than others.) Wherever a given individual ranks, it’s a good bet that the people below them earn less, the people at their level earn about the same, and the people above them earn more.
Each year when we fire up the Salary Survey, we ask a number of questions that help us get a sense of who, exactly, is responding to us. One of the basic ones asks survey participants to pick a title that roughly corresponds to where they stand on whatever the org chart looks like where they work. More succinctly, the question might be expressed as "What’s your employment tier?"
This week, we’re looking at data from the 2022 Salary Survey to draw out a number that corresponds to each of those employment tiers. What could a relatively seasoned certified IT professional — roughly 60 percent of our 2022 survey respondents have worked in IT for at least a full decade — expect to earn at each of these respective tiers?
We already looked at the respective standings among U.S. IT professionals, so the list below references only certified IT professionals who live in non-U.S. countries. Here’s what we learned:
Employment Tier: Average Salary of 2022 Survey Respondents at This Tier (Percentage of All Respondents at This Tier)
Executive: $90,800 (4.0 percent)
Director: $98,830 (7.3 percent)
Senior Manager: $80,460 (14.7 percent)
Manager: $69,360 (17.4 percent)
Senior Specialist: $71,030 (34.7 percent)
Specialist: $59,090 (13.4 percent)
Employee: $38,170 (8.6 percent)
Much as was the case among U.S. certified IT professionals, we can see here that almost exactly two-thirds of Salary Survey respondents fall into three different tiers: specialist, senior specialist, and manager. It’s much more rare to hear from rank-and-file IT workers. About the same number of respondents hail from the “director” tier as from the “employee” tier.
It’s also true here, as among U.S. workers, that managers tend to make a bit less than senior specialists, while the salary number for executives falls a bit below the earnings of directors.