Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on AXELOS ITIL Foundation

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.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 ITIL Foundation credential is the first step on what can be a highly productive IT journey.The new age of ITIL began with the launch of ITIL 4 last year. So this is the first time that we’ll be reporting AXELOS ITIL Foundation Salary Survey data (ITIL Foundation landed at No. 47 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) from a survey conducted after ITIL 4 became the standard.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for ITIL Foundation holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $103,000
Median Annual Salary: $93,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 5.5 percent
Very Satisfied: 21.6 percent
Satisfied: 42.3 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 22.5 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 8.1 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $52,420
Median Annual Salary: $42,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 1.6 percent
Very Satisfied: 11 percent
Satisfied: 32 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 39.8 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 15.6 percent

The ITIL framework has worldwide adoption, so while 53.6 percent of ITIL Foundation holders who participated in the survey live and work in the United States, it’s no surprise that we also heard from credential holders in 34 different countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela.

Men outnumber women across the board in the IT industry, but the disparity is notably smaller here: 17.9 percent of ITIL Foundation holders who responded to the survey are women.  More in keeping with prevailing IT trends, most ITIL Foundation holders are solidly middle-aged, either between the ages of 35 and 44 (39.6 percent) or between the ages of 45 and 54 (30.9 percent). There are outliers at both ends of the ages spectrum, with roughly 20 percent of those surveyed either between the ages of 19 and 24 (1.4 percent) or between the ages 25 and 34 (18.4 percent), and the remaining 9.7 percent between the ages of 55 and 64.

Close to 85 percent of the ITIL foundation holders who responded to the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of formal education completed by most ITIL Foundation holders is either a bachelor’s degree (43.6 percent), master’s degree (24.6 percent), associate’s degree (12.6 percent), doctorate (1.4 percent), or professional degree (2.4 percent). That leaves the roughly 11 percent of respondents who never set foot across the threshold of an ivy tower, either topping out with some form of post-high school technical training (7.2 percent) or exiting the realm of formal education after completing high school (3.4 percent), and the 4.8 percent of those surveyed who are currently in school.

All but a tiny fraction of the ITIL Foundation holders we heard from are employed full-time — 97.1 percent of respondents — with 1.9 percent holding part-time employment, and 1 percent out of work altogether. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are at work either for the standard 40 hours per week (35.3 percent of those surveyed) or put in between 41 and 50 hours per week (49.3 percent). The rest are either working super hard, putting in more than 50 hours per week (9.1 percent of respondents), or are getting off easy, putting in either between 31 and 39 hours per week (4.3 percent), between 20 and 30 hours per week (1 percent), or fewer than 20 hours per week (1 percent).

IT employment often comes with the flexibility of doing some amount of work from home, but that’s not widely true among ITIL Foundation holders: 61.4 percent work from home fewer than 10 hours per week, and a further 18.2 percent check in from home between 10 and 20 hours per week. That leaves just roughly 20 percent of those surveyed who enjoy the freedom of sweatpants for more than half the work week, working from home for either between 21 and 30 hours per week (4.6 percent), between 31 and 39 hours per week (4.6 percent), 40 hours per week (5.6 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (5.6 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of ITIL Foundation holders who participated in the survey, 38.3 percent of those surveyed, are employed at that senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either managers (16.4 percent), specialists (14 percent), senior managers (11.9 percent), rank-and-file employees (11.4 percent), or directors (8 percent).

Almost exactly half (50.3 percent) of the ITIL Foundation holders who responded to the survey are IT veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (12.9 percent), between 3 and 5 years (15.4 percent), between 3 and 5 years (10.4 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (11 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of ITIL Foundation 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: 51.3 percent
Several times a week: 21.4 percent
Several times a month: 12.4 percent
Occasionally: 10.9 percent
Rarely: 4 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 28 percent
Agree: 44.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 18.9 percent
Disagree: 7.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.5 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 25.9 percent
Agree: 47.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 13.9 percent
Disagree: 8.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 4 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 26.9 percent
Agree: 34.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 26.3 percent
Disagree: 8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 4 percent

PAST ITIL FOUNDATION DEEP FOCUS FEATURES

2019

2018

2017

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