Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on RHCSA

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent 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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.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 is one of the leading open source technology companies in the entire IT industry, and Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) is the cornerstone of its popular certification program. While a steppingstone to greater things, the RHCSA, No.  28 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list, is also enough all on its own to help you pick up a great full-time job.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $120,250
Median Annual Salary: $113,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 40 percent
Very Satisfied: 14 percent
Satisfied: 26.7 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 12.7 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 6.6 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $19,000
Median Annual Salary: $60,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 10 percent
Very Satisfied: 21 percent
Satisfied: 50 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 19 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

The largest single body of RHCSA holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (62.5 percent), but we also heard from credential holders in seven other countries: Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, India, Italy, and Sri Lanka.

Most of the RHCSA holders who responded to the survey are men, though we did hear from a slightly-larger-than-normal contingent of women (12 percent of those surveyed). Our survey population of RHCSA holders is a surprisingly youthful bunch, with 76 percent of respondents either between the ages of 35 and 44 (52 percent) or between the ages 25 and 34 (24 percent). That leaves us 20 percent who are between the ages of 45 and 54, and just 4 percent who are eyeing retirement 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 formal education completed by most RHCSA holders is either a bachelor’s degree (48 percent of respondents), master’s degree (20 percent), or associate’s degree (4 percent). The outliers are the 16 percent of those surveyed who exited the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training, and the 12 percent whose highest educational attainment is a high school diploma.

A solid 96.2 percent of RHCSA holders who participated in the survey are employed full-time, with the remaining 3.8 percent having part-time jobs. Among those who have full-time jobs, most either put in the standard 40 hours per week (40 percent of respondents) or are at the office between 41 and 50 hours per week (48 percent). The rest have a schedule of either between 31 and 39 hours per week (8 percent) or more than 50 hours per week (8 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of RHCSA holders to respond to the survey are senior specialists (43.8 percent of respondents). The rest, in descending order, are either rank-and-file employees (25 percent), specialists (9.4 percent), directors (also (9.4 percent), managers (6.3 percent), senior managers (3.1 percent), or executives (3 percent).

A notable 50 percent of the RHCSA holders we heard from 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 zero years (1 to 11 months) and two years (3.1 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (12.5 percent), between 6 and 8 years (25 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (9.4 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: 46.9 percent
Several times a week: 34.4 percent
Several times a month: 6.3 percent
Occasionally: 12.4 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 37.5 percent
Agree: 40.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 9.3 percent
Disagree: 6.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 6.3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 34.4 percent
Agree: 34.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 18.7 percent
Disagree: 9.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.1 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 31.3 percent
Agree: 34.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 18.8 percent
Disagree: 12.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3 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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