Domino pros happy but open to new jobs, survey finds

Domino pros happy but open to new jobs, survey finds

Most Notes and Domino professionals are happy at their jobs, but that does not mean they are not keeping their eyes open for new opportunities.

That is one of the results in a new salary survey of Lotus and Domino professionals by searchDomino.com.

The survey also revealed the average salary for all Notes/Domino job titles is $64,021, with Notes developers saying they make an average of $61,428 and Domino administrators saying they make an average of $60,163. Java developers, in contrast, said they average $77,500 and administrators in the Windows NT and Windows 2000 world said they average $50,451.

Of the 3,270 people who responded to the survey as of April 2, 80% said they while they were happy or at least satisfied in their existing jobs, 80% were looking for a new job.

Economy cited

Those in the community said the high percentage of people looking for a new job indicates a case of restlessness and uncertainty about the economy rather than a major upheaval among Lotus professionals.

"The grass is always greener," said Dan Simmons, a Notes recruiting specialist at Continental Search & Outplacement Inc. in Baltimore, Md., and a searchDomino.com careers expert.

"They may not [actually] change jobs, but they?re looking," he said.

Larry McFeeters, a Domino developer at a major aerospace concern in the Midwest, agrees.

"Things can always be better, even though I am happy here. I'm looking, too, " he said.

At least some of the people who said that they are searching for a new job may be reacting to the state of the current economy, McFeeters said.

"If things are unstable at their current employer, they may have to look around," he said.

Domino and Notes pros are not the only ones looking. Eight-five percent of Windows NT and Windows 2000 professionals who responded to other salary surveys indicated they were looking for a job. The survey of 5,013 people was hosted this month by another techtarget.com site, searchWin2000.

College factor

The survey of Domino and Lotus professionals also found the average salary for a high school graduate in the Notes/Domino field is around $60,000, compared to roughly $66,000 for those with a four-year college degree.

"A four-year degree in the Notes world doesn't make a whole lot of difference," said Audrey Beatty, a Domino administrator at drugstore chain Walgreen Co., in Deerfield, Ill.

She said that experience is more important than education, and Notes/Domino people are harder to find.

Some 70% of the respondents said that certification is important to them, but only 52% said that certification is important to their employers. Most observers agree that this disconnect is fairly simple to explain.

"For most individuals, certification is a way of asserting their mastery of a technology and, in some cases, is a way to gain recognition," said Robert Harris, a Notes developer at telecommunications provider RCN Corp., in Springfield, Va.

"Employers, on the other hand, view certification as important if it helps the bottom line,"he said.

He said there may be discounts or other advantages for consulting firms or other services firms that employ certified Lotus professionals, for example, but that those firms are the exception.

Bill Buxton, a Notes/Domino developer for Miller Heiman Inc. in Reno, Nev., had another viewpoint.

"My employer does not care what my certification is so long as I can do what is asked of me and I am committed to what I do," he said.

Small companies pay more

The survey also found that the smallest companies pay more for Lotus talent than larger ones. This holds true except for the very largest firms with revenues of $1 billion or higher. But for companies with revenues of less than $10 million, the average Notes/Domino salary is $64,000, compared to an average salary of $61,365 in companies with revenue of $500 million to $1 billion.

Simmons said this disparity exists because the smallest companies include local and regional consulting firms with specialties in Notes and Domino.

"The consulting world pays higher" he said.

RCN's Harris said the disparity is due to how larger companies may group a Notes or Domino professional into a class of developers or administrators whose overall market salary range is depressed by less demanding technologies.

For example, he said, when a Notes developer is classified with developers skilled in other technologies where there are more people to fill the demand and thus lower salaries - VB Script or Exchange - it affects the entire group, including Notes professionals.

Other survey findings include:

  • Almost 66% of the respondents rated their current job satisfaction a 3 or 4 out of 5, with 5 being the highest.
  • One-third of the respondents said their job satisfaction is higher, one third lower and one-third the same as last year.
  • Lotus Domino professionals average 50 work hours per week.
  • The Pacific and Northeast pay higher average salaries than other regions of the country. Internationally, Europe pays highest, after the U.S.

The survey is ongoing at SearchDomino.com. To take the survey, or to check out the latest results, point your browser here:

salary survey

Ambrosio is a contributing writer in Marlborough, Mass. Reach her atJohanna Ambrosio

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