Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on TestOut Network Pro

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

TestOut's Network Pro credential is a great stepping stone to greater things in the IT networking realm.Computer networks are essential to the modern world and, given the push to connect everything — literally, every thing — to the Internet of Things, networking is a career growth home run. If you’re looking for a solid point of entry, the TestOut Network Pro credential (No. 73 on this year’s Salary Survey 75 List) is a great way to lay the foundation for a long and successful career.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $64,360
Median Annual Salary: $52,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 5.5 percent
Very Satisfied: 22 percent
Satisfied: 28.1 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 33.6 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 10.8 percent

There are Network Pro holders who don’t live and work in the United States, but we didn’t hear from enough of them to provide non-U.S. salary data. Among U.S. credential holders, most are men (88.4 percent of those surveyed), though the 11.6 percent who are women constitutes a mildly better-than-average showing.

There a roughly even split among Network Pro holders who are, at least in terms of age, relative newcomers to the networking world, and those who might be termed mid-career professionals. The youngest of the young are the 5.1 percent of those surveyed who are 18 or younger, with 6 percent between the ages of 19 and 24, and 33.3 percent between the ages of 25 and 34. The rest are either between the ages of 35 and 44 (38.9 percent) or between the ages of 45 and 54 (16.7 percent).

The highest level of formal education completed by most Network Pro holders is either an associate’s (two-year) degree (44.4 percent of those surveyed) or bachelor’s degree (33.6 percent). The outliers are 11.1 percent of respondents who completed some level of technical training but did not attend college, the 5.6 percent who are currently in school, and 5.3 percent who have earned a master’s degree.

Full-time employment among Network Pro holders is just a shade lower than 70 percent, with 15.4 percent currently full-time students, 8.5 percent at work in part-time roles, and 6.9 percent currently unemployed. Among those who have full-time jobs, most (61.1 percent) have a standard 40-hour work week, with 27.8 percent on the job between 41 and 50 hours per week, and 11.1 percent at work between 31 and 39 hours per week.

In terms of organizational standing, most Network Pro holders surveyed are either rank-and-file employees (50 percent of those surveyed), specialists (23.1 percent), or managers (19.2 percent). The outliers are the 3.5 percent currently employed at the senior managers level, and the 4.2 percent who are senior specialists.

Exactly half of the Network Pro holders who participated in the survey are relative newcomers to the IT networking realm, having 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. The rest have been plying their certified skills for between 3 and 5 years (26.9 percent), between 6 and 8 years (3.9 percent), between 9 and 10 years (7.7 percent), or more than a decade (11.5 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of Network Pro 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: 42.3 percent
Several times a week: 23.1 percent
Several times a month: 15.4 percent
Occasionally: 15.4 percent
Rarely: 3.8 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 19.3 percent
Agree: 50 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 23.1 percent
Disagree: 3.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.8 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 34.6 percent
Agree: 50 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 15.4 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 26.9 percent
Agree: 46.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 26.9 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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CertMag Staff

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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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