Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The RHCSA cert from Red Hat is a gateway to the entire Red Hat certification program.Red Hat (and, by extension, parent company IBM) has an enviable leg up on the entire open source sector of the IT industry. If you’re looking to make your mark in open source, then Red Hat technology is a great place to start, and if you’re looking to embrace Red Hat technology, then Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) — No. 22 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list and the cornerstone of Red Hat’s certification program — is a natural point of entry.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $124,040
Median Annual Salary: $122,190
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 15.4 percent
Very Satisfied: 38.5 percent
Satisfied: 23.1 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 23 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $48,000
Median Annual Salary: $37,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 6.2 percent
Very Satisfied: 6.2 percent
Satisfied: 37.5 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 31.3 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 18.8 percent

The largest single body of RHCSA holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (44.8 percent), but we also heard from credential holders in 14 other countries: Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

All of the RHCSA holders who responded to the survey — a rather rare 100 percent of those surveyed — are men. Most are also fairly established IT professionals, at least to judge by their age. The youngest to participate are the 17.2 percent of those surveyed who are between the ages of 25 and 34, while 72 percent are either between the ages 35 and 44 (41.5 percent) or between the ages of 45 and 54 (31 percent). The age curve tapers down through the pre-retirement spectrum, with the remaining 10.3 percent of respondents all between the ages of 55 and 64.

More than 70 percent of the RHCSA holders who participated in the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of education completed by most RHCSA holders is either a bachelor’s degree (37.9 percent of respondents), master’s degree (31 percent), or associate’s degree (3.4 percent). The outliers are the 10.3 percent of respondents who exited the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training, the 13.8 percent whose highest educational attainment is a high school diploma, and the 3.4 percent who are currently in school.

A solid 96.2 percent of RHCSA holders who responded to the survey are employed full-time, with the remaining 3.3 percent having part-time jobs. Among those who are working full-time, most either put in the standard 40 hours per week (48.3 percent) or are at the office for between 41 and 50 hours per week (38 percent). The rest have a work schedule of either between 31 and 39 hours per week (3.4 percent of respondents) or more than 50 hours per week (10.3 percent).

In the pre-COVID-19 world, roughly 69 percent of RHCSA holders were spending the lion’s share of those hours in a traditional workplace setting, working from home either fewer than 10 hours per week (51.7 percent) or between 10 and 20 hours per week (17.2 percent). The rest were notably more familiar with what has become the norm for many, working from home either between 21 and 30 hours per week (10.3 percent), between 31 and 39 hours per week (7.2 percent), 40 hours per week (7 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (6.6 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of RHCSA holders we heard from (61 percent of respondents) are employed at the senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (13.9 percent), rank-and-file employees (13.6 percent), managers (5.6 percent), senior managers (3.1 percent), or directors (2.8 percent).

A substantial 72.2 percent of the RHCSA holders who participated in 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 3 and 5 years (13.9 percent of respondents), between 6 and 8 years (11.1 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (2.8 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of RHCSA 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: 19.5 percent
Several times a week: 50 percent
Several times a month: 16.7 percent
Occasionally: 8.3 percent
Rarely: 5.5 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 19.5 percent
Agree: 50 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 16.7 percent
Disagree: 8.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.5 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 25 percent
Agree: 33.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 16.7 percent
Disagree: 16.7 percent
Strongly Disagree: 8.3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 22.2 percent
Agree: 47.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 13.9 percent
Disagree: 11.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.6 percent

PAST RHCSA DEEP FOCUS FEATURES

2019

2018

2017

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