The results of an exclusive SearchDomino.com survey show that the average pay for Notes and Domino professionals has barely budged in two years. This year's average salary of $64,884 mirrors the $64,021 that SearchDomino.com readers reported in a 2001 online study.
On average, systems administrators currently make $64,080, network administrators earn $54,688, programmers take in $57,740, senior programmers receive $78,133, and IS managers make $77,000.
The survey of more than 800 SearchDomino.com readers found that contractors and consultants are compensated the best, with a yearly salary of $90,742.
Static salaries aren't really news to Andrew Kelly, systems analyst at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla. He hasn't received a raise in two years. Despite overseeing 14,500 Notes users, spearheading an ongoing migration to ND6 and being a Principal Certified Lotus Professional (PCLP) in Notes/Domino 5, his annual salary was among the lowest reported in the survey -- largely because he holds a public sector position, he said.
Kelly said he thrives on "good ol' job satisfaction," although a new boss' interest in switching over to Microsoft Exchange might force him to look elsewhere for work.
"I believe in what I'm doing and that's in Domino," Kelly said. "It's solid software, and it's a winner in our organization. I'm more likely to stay with it than with my job."
The study found that 41% of Notes and Domino professionals are less satisfied with their jobs today than they were one year ago. Only 19% said their satisfaction had increased. The rest said it hadn't changed.
Still, when asked to rate their job satisfaction from 1 (not satisfied) to 5 (very satisfied), slightly more than half said their level of satisfaction was either a 4 or a 5. Perhaps that's due in part to the slumping economy. When times are tough, some Domino pros are just happy to have work.
Lotus Notes administrator Craig Fogus, whose group at Fairfield, Ohio-based Ohio Casualty Group manages 3,000 desktops, called the current Domino job market "shaky."
Fogus, who holds a PCLP in Notes/Domino 5 and is a Certified Lotus Professional (CLP) in ND6, was happy to get a pay raise this year. "Under the circumstances, I'm not going to complain," he said.
But Fogus' work extends beyond the time he puts in at the office. He runs a Domino test server at home and is considering learning new skills to improve his career outlook.
Sixty-five percent of the survey respondents said they work between 40 and 50 hours per week. Thirty-two percent said they work fewer than 40 hours, and only 2% said they work more than 50 hours. The results are comparable to the 2001 SearchDomino.com study, which also found workers logging an average of about 50 hours per week.
The research also found little difference in what developers working in different languages earn. For instance, those who identified themselves as having significant experience in LotusScript average $65,476, while those with Java expertise earn $66,083.
Steve Cooper, project systems manager at PB Power, a Newcastle upon Tyne, England-based engineering consultancy, spends most of his day doing development work. He said he was able to increase his salary by taking on additional management responsibilities.
"My personal compensation has increased, but not as a result of my [Domino] development skills," said Cooper, who oversees a small group of programmers. He's looking to add one or two new coders to the team but said his company would only pay $30,000 to $45,000 for an entry-level developer.
"It's tough to find good people in our salary range, but it's getting easier," he said.
The survey found that certifications don't give Domino professionals much of a boost in pay. CLPs earn $63,456, slightly less than the overall average salary. Those holding a PCLP, the highest Domino certification, take in $68,314.
Barbara Bowen, manager of worldwide professional certification programs for IBM Lotus, said that being certified can hike salaries as much as 20%, depending on the certification. She called storage and security certifications today's hottest tickets.
"It's clear that multiple certifications are what's paying off," Bowen said. "If [workers] are just learning Domino, they need to be seeking out another area of certification."
Kelly got no extra money when he earned his certification; Fogus received a $100 bonus for each certification he got.
A 2002 study by Baltimore-based researcher Prometric, which was sponsored by IBM and other technology vendors, found that the value of certifications may lie more in preserving jobs than spiking salaries.
"Preparing for and achieving certification can result in a confidence boost, as well as perceptions of credibility and competence among colleagues and clients -- key means of surviving in an intensely competitive marketplace," the Prometric study said.
SearchDomino.com readers can create a custom report on the salary survey. It will help them identify how factors like geography, company size and individual skills affect pay.
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