Salary Survey Extra: A deeper look at salary satisfaction, Part 2

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Does IT salary satisfaction increase as salary increases? Let's find out.The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes a visual representation is just more elegant, expressive, or, evocative than even a strong writer could capture in words. It’s also the case, however, that a visual representation can be easier to understand — more readily comprehensible to the eye than paragraph after paragraph of text.

(Don’t even get us started on people who don’t use paragraphs. Have you ever tried to read or refer to an e-mail from someone like that? Use paragraphs, people. Paragraphs are your friend.)

This is a roundabout way of expressing that we’re going to turn the bulk of this week’s feature over to a massive table that we compiled using Salary Survey data about the relative contentment of certified IT professionals as regards their annual income. We examined salary satisfaction from a couple of angles last week in this space.

We’re back this week to consider what probably seems like the most obvious approach. How does salary satisfaction correspond, if at all, to income level? That is to say, are people who have a relatively high annual income figure more likely to be satisfied with that amount than people who have smaller salaries?

It’s not as cut-and-dried as you might think. Yes, people with low salaries are somewhat more likely to express dissatisfaction, and people with high salaries are somewhat more likely to be satisfied. But that doesn’t tell the whole story by any stretch. Essentially, once you get the entry-level salary ranges, people have feelings across the spectrum.

What probably seems like a substantial income to some, isn’t quite enough to really ring the bell for others.

What we’ve done below is cross reference salary and salary satisfaction. At the far right of the table from each listed salary range is the percentage of all survey respondents whose income falls within that range. The percentage figure under each salary satisfaction column is the number of individuals who a) are in that salary bracket, and b) expressed that level of salary satisfaction, as a percentage of all survey respondents.

Clear as mud? Just keep reminding yourself that a picture (or, in this case, a table) is easier to digest than many paragraphs of text, and be glad that we took the time to do it this way. (Because, hoo boy, did it take some time to do it this way.) Oh, and this is just the reckoning for U.S. survey respondents. If we’re feeling really energetic some other week, we’ll do the same for non-U.S. respondents.

Salary Satisfaction Cross Referenced with Annual Income — All U.S. Survey Respondents

Salary / Salary SatisfactionCompletely Satisfied Very Satisfied Satisfied Not Very Satisfied Not At All Satisfied Percentage of all respondents in this salary bracket
Less than $20,000N/AN/AN/AN/A0.4 percent0.4 percent
$20,000 to $24,999N/AN/A0.1 percentN/AN/A0.1 percent
$25,000 to $29,999N/AN/AN/A0.1 percentN/A0.1 percent
$30,000 to $34,999N/AN/A0.1 percent0.3 percent0.1 percent0.5 percent
$35,000 to $39,999N/A0.1 percent0.2 percent0.2 percent0.3 percent0.8 percent
$40,000 to $44,9990.1 percentN/A0.7 percent0.4 percent0.2 percent1.4 percent
$45,000 to $49,9990.1 percentN/A0.4 percent0.5 percent0.3 percent1.3 percent
$50,000 to $54,999N/A0.1 percent0.9 percent1.2 percent0.5 percent2.7 percent
$55,000 to $59,9990.1 percent0.2 percent0.6 percent0.8 percentN/A1.7 percent
$60,000 to $64,999N/A0.6 percent1.3 percent0.5 percent0.3 percent2.7 percent
$65,000 to $69,9990.1 percent0.2 percent0.6 percent1 percent0.2 percent2.1 percent
$70,000 to $74,999N/A0.4 percent1.1 percent1.2 percent0.2 percent2.9 percent
$75,000 to $79,9990.1 percent0.3 percent0.7 percent1.1 percent0.3 percent2.5 percent
$80,000 to $84,9990.2 percent0.3 percent1.5 percent1.2 percent0.3 percent3.5 percent
$85,000 to $89,999N/A0.5 percent1.9 percent0.7 percent0.4 percent3.5 percent
$90,000 to $94,9990.2 percent1.1 percent2.2 percent0.6 percent0.2 percent4.3 percent
$95,000 to $99,9990.2 percent0.9 percent2.4 percent1.1 percentN/A4.6 percent
$100,000 to $109,9990.6 percent2.7 percent6.1 percent2.5 percent0.4 percent12.3 percent
$110,000 to $119,9990.4 percent2.5 percent4.3 percent1.6 percent0.1 percent8.9 percent
$120,000 to $129,9991.2 percent2.5 percent4 percent1.9 percent0.2 percent9.8 percent
$130,000 to $139,9991 percent2.2 percent3.3 percent1.9 percent0.1 percent8.5 percent
$140,000 to $149,9990.8 percent1.5 percent2.9 percent0.5 percent0.1 percent5.8 percent
$150,000 to $159,9990.7 percent2.1 percent3.2 percent0.3 percent0.1 percent6.4 percent
$160,000 to $169,9990.6 percent1.2 percent1.6 percent0.5 percentN/A3.9 percent
$170,000 to $179,9990.3 percent0.5 percent1.1 percentN/AN/A1.9 percent
$180,000 to $189,9990.4 percent0.7 percent0.9 percent0.2 percentN/A2.2 percent
$190,000 to $199,9990.4 percent0.5 percent0.2 percent0.1 percent0.1 percent1.3 percent
$200,000 or more1.2 percent1.4 percent1.2 percent0.1 percentN/A3.9 percent

2017 Salary Data

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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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