Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on CompTIA Network+

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

What is the profile of certified professionals who have CompTIA's Network+ credential?For many certified professionals, the road to a successful career in IT begins with one of the three credentials that form the “holy trinity” of CompTIA certification. With an A+, Security+, or Network+ credential on your résumé, you’ll have taken a significant step both in terms of your overall computer knowledge and your readiness to join the IT workforce.

We’ve already covered the other two in this series, so today we turn to Network+ (No. 67 in this year’s Salary Survey 75). Nearly 90 percent (87.7 percent, to be exact) of Network+-certified survey respondents live and work in the United States, but we did hear from Network+ holders in 18 other countries: Australia, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom

Among Network+ holders in the United States, the average annual salary in 2016 was $87,720, with a median annual salary of $84,690. For those in all other nations, the average annual salary was $67,070, with a median annual salary of $62,500.

Most of those surveyed are men (92.1 percent), though we did here from a small segment of Network+-certified women. While many of the other credentials in this series have skewed older, Network+ holders are fairly even sprinkled across the spectrum. Though we did hear from a bare handful of individuals who are younger than 19 or older than 64, most respondents are somewhere in between. A very modest 4.5 percent of those surveyed are between the ages of 19 and 24, with 22.6 percent between the ages of 25 and 34, 32.3 percent between the ages of 35 and 44, and 26.3 percent between the ages of 45 and 54. Most of the “senior citizens” (12.7 percent of those surveyed) are between the ages of 55 and 64.

The highest level of education attained by most Network+ holders is either a bachelor’s degree (36.5 percent) or master’s degree (28.2 percent), but university education doesn’t predominate to the same extent here as elsewhere. A notable 5.3 percent of those surveyed didn’t go any higher than a high school diploma, while 10.5 percent topped out at non-collegiate technical training, while 13.5 percent rose no further than an associate’s (two-year) degree.

A quite healthy 94 percent of Network+ holders are employed full-time, while most of the rest are either part-time workers (1.5 percent) or unemployed (3 percent). Among those who work full-time, most put in either a standard 40-hour work week (37.2 percent of those surveyed) or work between 41 and 50 hours per week (43.6 percent). The outliers are the 5.3 percent who work between 31 and 39 hours per week, and the hard-driving 8.3 percent who work more than 50 hours per week.

As we so often find, the largest single group of those surveyed are employed at the senior specialist level (32.7 percent of those surveyed) in their respective organizations, but Network+ certification can help you land at all levels of the workplace hierarchy. A smallish 13.2 percent of those surveyed are rank-and-file employees, while 21 percent are specialists, and 15.9 percent are managers. At the top of the heap, 6.4 percent are senior managers, 7.5 percent are directors, and 2.3 percent are executives.

Many Network+ holders (44.7 percent of those surveyed) are seasoned veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes their certified skills for more than 10 years, but not everyone who responded to the survey is an old pro. A notable 17.3 percent have worked in networking for between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years, while 15.4 percent have been in the game for between 3 and 5 years, and an identical tally (15.4 percent) have been thus engaged professionally for between 6 and 8 years.

Finally, here’s the view of Network+ 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: 57.5 percent
Several times a week: 24.8 percent
Several times a month: 9.8 percent
Occasionally: 6.4 percent
Rarely: 1.5 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 38.3 percent
Agree: 39.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.7 percent
Disagree: 3.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.8 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 30.6 percent
Agree: 47.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 16.5 percent
Disagree: 3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.2 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 27.1 percent
Agree: 43.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 22.6 percent
Disagree: 4.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.6 percent

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