Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Becoming an Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate will plug you into the world of mapping and spatial analytics.It was the existential philosopher and geolocation specialist Clint Black who observed that, “Wherever you go, there you are.” That may be good enough for country music and Life’s Little Instruction Book, but the founders of Esri and developers of its signature ArcGIS mapping and spatial analytics software had a bolder and more situationally precise vision.

Certification can help you ascend to that higher plane of intersectional observation. Among Esri’s numerous credentials, the Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate (No. 72 on this year’s Salary Survey 75 list) verifies middle-tier familiarity with ArcGIS, so this one is for professionals who are already a few steps down the road with Esri.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $78,970
Median Annual Salary: $80,380
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 6.5 percent
Satisfied: 47.1 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 41.2 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 5.3 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $51,670
Median Annual Salary: $49,380
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 4.7 percent
Very Satisfied: 5.8 percent
Satisfied: 57.9 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 26.4 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 5.3 percent

The largest single body of Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate holders who responded to the survey is made up of U.S. residents (47.2 percent). Everyone else who checked in is from one of 12 other countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, India, Kuwait, New Zealand, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, and Spain.

Women tend to be scarce in IT professions, but not in this case: an almost jaw-dropping 30.5 percent of Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate holders who participated in the Salary Survey are women. In addition to being far more gender-diverse than the norm, the group of Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate holders we heard from is also somewhat younger than the norm. There’s a tiny contingent, 2.8 percent of those surveyed, between the ages of 19 and 24, and then 44.5 percent who are between the ages of 25 and 34, with a further 27.8 percent between the ages of 35 and 44. The rest are either between the ages of 45 and 54 (22.2 percent of those surveyed) or between the ages of 55 and 64 (2.7 percent).

If you’re looking to jump into the Esri certification realm, then your odds of success are almost certain to be improved by a college degree. The highest level of formal education completed by nearly 95 percent of Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate holders is either a master’s degree (52.8 percent of those surveyed) or a bachelor’s degree (41.7 percent). The outliers are the 5.5 percent of respondents who have never gone higher than some level of  post-high school technical training.

For the second week in a row, the Deep Focus series has coincidentally landed on another certification with 100 percent full-time employment among all survey respondents. Not a single Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate holder who participated in the Salary Survey is out of work, on sabbatical, employed part-time, etc. Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate holders tend to be at work either for the standard 40 hours per week (30.6 percent of those surveyed) or for between 41 and 50 hours per week (55.6 percent). The outliers are the 8.3 percent of respondents who work between 31 and 39 hours per week, and the 5.5 percent who put in more than 50 hours per week.

In terms of workplace standing, most Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate holders are either specialists (33.5 percent of those surveyed) or senior specialists (38.4 percent), along with notable contingents of both managers (10 percent) and rank-and-file employees (10.5 percent). The rest are either in a director position (2.5 percent of respondents) or senior managers (5.1 percent).

The respondents profiled in these Deep Focus pieces tend to be heavily familiar with topics addressed in their branch of certification, but there’s a much wider range of experience among Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate holders. Only 10.3 percent of respondents have worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years, but 23.1 percent have been thus engaged for between 3 and 5 years, and 17.9 percent have been cooking with peanut oil (so to speak) for between 6 years and 8 years. The distribution curb dips down to 12.8 percent of respondents who have been working plying their certified skills for between 9 and 10 years, before climbing back up to 35.9 percent who have done so for more than a decade.

Finally, here’s the view of Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate 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: 56.4 percent
Several times a week: 10.3 percent
Several times a month: 12.8 percent
Occasionally: 17.9 percent
Rarely: 2.6 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 18.2 percent
Agree: 30.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 35.9 percent
Disagree: 5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 10.2 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 25.6 percent
Agree: 23.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 30.8 percent
Disagree: 15.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.1 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 20.5 percent
Agree: 31.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 22.5 percent
Disagree: 10.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 15.1 percent

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