Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on F5 Certified Technology Specialist (F5-CTS) GTM

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Do you have an F5 CTS BIG-IP GTM credential? Actually, you don't anymore, even if you did. Now it's an F5 CTS BIG-IP DNS credential.When most people hear “F5,” they perhaps think first of the widely-used scale for determining the intensity of a tornado — F5 is the highest rating. Unlike the disruption and devastation found in the aftermath of an F5 tornado, however, F5 Networks is all about ensuring reliability, predictability, and security.

The Seattle-based company offers certification in its various technologies, including the BIG-IP platform that supports many of its solutions. One of the BIG-IP credentials is F5 Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) BIG-IP GTM (No. 22 on this year’s Salary Survey 75 list) … except that it’s not that, anymore. The credential has undergone a name change from BIG-IP GTM (Global Traffic Manager) to BIG-IP DNS (Domain Name System). So to be current, we’re going to call it that, too, for the rest of this article.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for F5-CTS BIG-IP DNS holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $130,000
Median Annual Salary: $130,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 8.2 percent
Very Satisfied: 27.3 percent
Satisfied: 54.5 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 10 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $77,660
Median Annual Salary: $68,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 5.2 percent
Very Satisfied: 15.8 percent
Satisfied: 57.9 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 11.1 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 10 percent

The largest single body of F5-CTS BIG-IP DNS holders in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (34.4 percent of those surveyed), though by a much smaller margin than is typically the case. We also heard from certified individuals in 12 other countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, France, Italy, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Most F5-CTS BIG-IP DNS holders who responded to the survey are men (93.1 percent), though we did hear from a handful of women. Most of the time when we do these Deep Focus pieces, no more than a third (or so) of respondents will be from a single age group. In this case, however, 58.6 percent of respondents are between the ages of 35 and 44, with a further 34 percent either between the ages of 25 and 34 (13.8 percent) or between the ages of 45 and 54 (20.7 percent). Just 7 percent of respondents are either younger than 25 (3.8 percent are between the ages of 19 and 24) or older than 54 (3.1 percent are between the ages of 55 and 64). By and large, if you are an F5-CTS BIG-IP DNS holder, then you’re overwhelmingly likely to be somewhere between the ages of 25 and 54.

The highest level of formal education completed by most F5-CTS BIG-IP DNS holders in the survey is either a bachelor’s degree (37.9 percent) or some level of post-secondary-school technical training (34.5 percent). Given that a further 10.7 percent of those surveyed joined the workforce with nothing more than a high-school diploma, F5-CTS BIG-IP DNS is noteworthy for the unusually high number of certification holders who have no link to higher education. Nobody who participated in the survey has a doctorate, though with did hear from a handful who have either a master’s degree (10.3 percent of respondents),  associate’s (two-year) degree (3.2 percent), or professional degree such as a juris doctor (3.4 percent).

Employment among F5-CTS BIG-IP DNS holders is apparently excellent: 100 percent of those surveyed are employed full-time (a rare though not unprecedented Salary Survey finding). Most of those surveyed either have a standard 40-hour work week (34.5 percent of respondents) or are slightly overworked with a weekly schedule of between 41 and 50 hours (41.4 percent). The outliers are those who put in between 31 and 39 hours per week (10.3 percent of those surveyed) and those who put in more than 50 hours per week (13.8 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, F5-CTS BIG-IP DNS holders are almost entirely found at the senior specialist level, home to an unusually robust 81.8 percent of those surveyed. The outliers are the 12.1 percent of respondents who are specialists, the 3.4 percent who are employees, and the 2.7 percent found at the director tier (the only management-level professionals we heard from).

Almost all of the F5-CTS BIG-IP DNS holders who responded to the survey have a least a few years’ grounding in F5 technology. While we did hear from a handful (6 percent of those surveyed) who 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, most are much more F5-fluent: 24.2 percent of respondents have been in such a role for between 3 and 5 years, with the rest checking in either between 6 and 8 years (15.2 percent), between 9 and 10 years (6.4 percent), or at more than 10 years (48.2 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of F5-CTS BIG-IP DNS 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: 51.5 percent
Several times a week: 39.4 percent
Several times a month: [No responses]
Occasionally: 6.1 percent
Rarely: 3 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 48.5 percent
Agree: 40 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 9.1 percent
Disagree: 2.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 27.3 percent
Agree: 33.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 21.2 percent
Disagree: 12.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: 6 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 27.6 percent
Agree: 39.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 24.2 percent
Disagree: 7 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.1 percent

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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.

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