Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on CompTIA Linux+

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Where can CompTIA Linux+ certification take you?Linux is the backbone of the internet, and the internet is where quite a lot of everyone’s business gets transacted in 2018. A solid understanding of the principles and processes of Linux is a great foundation for a lasting career, and one of the most widely recognized and respected Linux credentials is the Linux+ certification offered by tech industry association CompTIA.

If you’re looking to gain a sound working knowledge of the rudiments and building blocks of the OS of champions, then Linux+ is an excellent place to start. Linux+, which landed at No. 55 on this year’s Salary Survey 75 list, is also on the résumé of more than a few generously compensated IT professionals.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $110,380
Median Annual Salary: $104,290
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 15.4 percent
Very Satisfied: 26.9 percent
Satisfied: 50 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 7.7 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

CompTIA-certified individuals come from almost every corner or the planet, but we only heard from a handful of Linux+ holders from outside the United States. Hence, all of the data we’re reporting here comes from U.S. residents only. Most of our Linux+ holders are men (96.2 percent), with female credential holders being only minimally represented. We also didn’t hear from many spring chickens: Nearly 90 percent of respondents are 35 or older, including 43.8 percent who are between the ages of 35 and 44, 25.3 percent who are between the ages of 45 and 54, 15.6 percent who are between the ages of 55 and 64, and even a geezerly 3.1 percent who are between the ages of 65 and 74. The only “kids” in the bunch are the 12.2 percent of respondents who are between the ages of 25 and 34.

Most of the Linux+ holders we heard from climbed the educational ladder at least to the college rungs, with the highest level of education attained being either a bachelor’s degree (37.5 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (25 percent), doctorate (3.1 percent), or associate’s (two-year) degree (12.5 percent). Some other respondents may be about to join those ranks, with 9.4 percent of those surveyed currently in school, while the remaining folks (12.5 percent) got past high school and completed some level of technical training, but did not continue on from there.

Here’s an impressive indicator of how hotly demanded skilled Linux professionals are in the workplace: Every Linux+ holder who responded to the survey — a rare 1oo percent — currently has a full-time job. Not only that, but for most respondents, full-time employment comes with some extra work hours. A mere 2.8 percent of those surveyed work between 31 and 39 hours per week, and only 34.4 percent have a standard 40-hour schedule. The rest are either somewhat overworked with a schedule of between 41 and 50 hours (50 percent of those surveyed), or bearing a heavy load of more than 50 hours per week (12.8 percent).

More than half of all respondents (52.9 percent) are at the senior specialist level, and a further 38 percent are either specialists (29.4 percent) or rank-and-file employees (8.8 percent). We did hear from a handful of management-level Linux+ holders, including 4.4 percent of respondents who are senior managers, 2.4 percent who are directors, and 2.1 percent who are executives.

As you might expect from the heavy skew in our pool of Linux+ holders toward middle age, quite a few of those we heard from are Linux veterans. A solid 58.8 percent of those surveyed have been in role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade, while a further 8.8 percent have been so engaged for between 9 and 10 years. The rest are less seasoned, with 14.7 percent having been in the Linux game for between 6 and 8 years, 11.8 percent for between 3 and 5 years, and 5.9 percent for between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years.

Finally, here’s the view of Linux+ 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: 73.5 percent
Several times a week: 23.5 percent
Several times a month: [No responses]
Occasionally: 3 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 50 percent
Agree: 32.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.7 percent
Disagree: 2.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 41.2 percent
Agree: 41.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 17.6 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 50 percent
Agree: 29.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 20.6 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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