Networking pros based in the US can expect higher starting salaries next year, especially those specializing in network security, according to a study released this week by staffing firm Robert Half.
Starting salaries for networking and telecommunications jobs such as network engineers, architects and administrators will increase between 2.9% and 4.5%, according to the Robert Half 2017 Technology Salary Guide. The big bucks, though, will go network security administrators and engineers, who will see salary increases of 5.1% and 5.7% respectively next year, the study shows.
That's not really a surprise, given the increased corporate focus on network security in the wake of so many high-profile security breaches. Security skills are in demand as companies try to stay out of the headlines. The need isn't lost on infrastructure pros. Adding security skills is a top priority for many infrastructure pros, according to the InformationWeek US IT Salary Survey.
While the Robert Half study paints a rosy picture for the future, the InformationWeek salary survey showed that media salaries for networking and data center professionals actually dipped this year.
Overall, starting salaries for US-based IT pros are expected to rise an average of 3.8% next year, according to the Robert Half study. In addition to network security admins and engineers, other roles that will see salary increase of 5% or more in 2017 include data scientists, software engineers, and database developers.
Here's how networking salaries will look next year nationwide and the percentage increase from 2016, according to Robert Half:
- Network architect $125,000 - $183,000 (4.4%)
- Network manager $102,250 - $153,000 (3.4%)
- Network engineer $99,000 - $146,250 (4.5%)
- Wireless network engineer $113,250 - $158,000 (4.5%)
- Network administrator $78,000 - $117,750 (4.0%)
- Pre-sales engineer/technical engineer $ 92,250 - $140,000 (3.9%)
- Telecommunications manager $ 90,000 - $130,000 (3%)
- Telecommunications specialist $ 63,000 - $ 98,000 (2.9%)
In these positions, those with Cisco network administration skills will boost their salaries 7% according to the salary guide. Linux/Unix administration skills and VoIP skills also are valuable, boosting salaries 7% and 5% respectively.
Then on the security side, which is a separate classification in the study, Robert Half estimates these 2017 salaries on a national basis as:
- Network security administrator $107,750 - $155,250 (5.1%)
- Network security engineer $115,500 - $162,500 (5.7%)
Those with Check Point firewall administration skills can expect to add 6% to their salary while being a Certified Information Systems Security Professional can bump a security pro's pay up 6%, the study said.
To compile its annual salary guide, Robert Half collects information from its specialized recruiters. The study is based on job searches, negotiations and placements managed by the firm's recruiting managers, and on Robert Half's ongoing executive surveys.