Salary Survey 2016: An all-new Salary Survey 75

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The Salary Survey 75 is here!Here we are again, stuck between Christmas and February. Just a few days ago, it was the most wonderful time of the year, and now the whole world is just sort of hanging out and wondering whether it’s ever going to stop snowing. In February, you’ve got the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, and the Oscars, which means that you practically can’t swing your arms without smacking a party.

January is just kind of there, taking up space on the calendar. So that makes now an ideal time for a good pot-stirring conversation about money, right? Now that the Winter Edition of Certification Magazine is spread across the laps of faithful subscribers (or about to pop through on their personal media device of choice), it’s time to start unpacking the results of our annual Salary Survey.

How about a round of applause for the 6,116 certified IT professionals who pitched in over the course of roughly seven weeks at the end of 2016 to get us here? Each of those hardy souls contributed some 20 or 30 minutes of their time and 70-ish questions’ worth of their personal data to help us create a picture of the IT salary landscape in the United States and elsewhere (81 other nations) around the globe.

Some of the more notable data points have already been reported in the aforementioned Winter Edition. (If you aren’t already a print or digital subscriber, then you can go here to subscribe, or just grab a digital copy, or an ink-and-paper single.) We’ll be bringing you all of that and more as 2017 marches forward: Over the next few months, articles with new survey data will be featured each week here at

Our first dramatic reveal, however, is the Big Cheese of the Salary Survey, a survey output that first appeared in 2015 and has quickly become one of our most popular annual disclosures: the Salary Survey 75. People are competitive by nature, and this is a relatively harmless way to compare yourself to the Other Guy and see whose certification is at least potentially more valuable.

(No, we aren’t implying that everyone who has Certification A can expect to make Salary B from Employer C straight out of the testing center. There are many factors that determine salary, and the presence or absence of a particular credential on your résumé is only one of them. It sure is a fun one to talk about, though, right?)

We hope you enjoy looking the numbers over, and we hope that you’ll come back for more. This here is merely the tip of the iceberg. Stick around and you’ll find out a whole lot more in the coming weeks and months. For now, feast your eyes on this:

Salary Survey 75 2016


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CertMag Staff


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.

Posted in Jobs and Salary|


11 thoughts on “Salary Survey 2016: An all-new Salary Survey 75”

  1. This ain’t correct. Reality they pay you $40K less than that chart. Funny to see this chart if you work for the IT industry for a while

    • Arash,

      Sadly we can’t include every cert that respondents possess. We are careful to not make the survey too long, and while We do our best to include as many certs as possible, some certs are too rare, or not enough respondents have the cert to warrant inclusion in the survey’s limited space.

      CCIE is becoming more common and it will surely find its way into future Salary Surveys.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. I find it interesting that not one of the MS Certs breaks the top 50. I’m a Gov’t contractor required to have CompTia SEC+ CE as a job requirement, yet they don’t pay me for that cert. I’m a Sys Admin so they want to make sure I’m MCSA (WIN7 or 10) or MCSE (again, WIN7 or 10) Certified. The HDI ITIL Cert came in at #40, a good Cert I’m sure, but I don’t know anyone with it.

    • Paul,

      We aren’t sure why none of the MS certs cracked the Top 50. Keep in mind that these are numbers that are self-reported. It’s quite possible that some employers do pay more for those certs, but that they just weren’t reported.

      But don’t worry, a guy with your fistful of certs is sure to make what he deserves–eventually.

  3. Unless all US respondants work in 94xxx/95xxx zip codes, I SERIOUSLY question the validity and usefulness of this survey.

    The avearge A+ holder is not making US$80,000+ a year, unless they also hold a few higher-level certs and the methodology of this “survey” is flawed.

    In fact, take the dollar amount of most of these values, and unless you’re in the aforementioned zip-codes, cut it in half to two-thirds and you’ll be much closer to reality.

    • Don’t forget the east coast. Washington DC is also a high salary area. In fact, Northern Virginia has the largest amount of cloud based data centers in the country. Amazon, Google, IBM, Facebook, HP, Microsoft, VMware, Oracle, Red Hat, and many others have a very large presence here. Not to mention the huge presence of government contractors and start up companies. I am a CEH and I make well over the salary listed here. I can also tell you that my salary is not a fluke in this area.

    • Pretty sure the average A+ holder does hold a few higher-level certs. How many of us only have one or two? Most of us are over here treating certifications like Pokemon.

  4. What does this truly measure? Just a single certification perspective…? But what about those people who have more than one security industry certification, e. g. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,… 10? Some people may have many industry certifications, as well as, many vendor specific security product certifications. Then you may want to consider college degrees… but why stop there. How about those who have spent (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40) years working in the security industry. How about cross industry certification, e. g. Information Security, Software Security, Privacy, Physical Security, Executive Protection and much more. Oh, let us not forget specialty applications and their security. We can even take different vertical markets into consideration. How about all 34 natural talents that really high-light your abilities and drive? I caution people to not take a single certification survey report at face value, compensation should not be considered that straight forward (as a single certification) because it is not realistic and does not cover all the variables at play. Let’s not put limits in place here, it caps the value people can actually bring to an organization.

    • That’s a great question. A majority of our salary survey respondents hold two or more certifications, which does present some challenges. We do our best to account for a variety of complicating factors, and present results that are consistent with (and reflective of) individual certifications.

      Certification alone, of course, does not determine salary. There are many other contributing elements, including job title, experience, competencies, and education. The Salary Survey 75 is a snapshot of average salary levels strongly associated with individual certifications.

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