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 question about salary using SQL Server
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joe2324
Starting Member

3 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2012 :  12:25:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, I'm new to the forum and had a question about salary and i'm hoping someone could let me know if i'm being somewhat compensated for the work I do.




background: Live in North NJ, been with the same company for over 8 yrs. Graduated college in 2003, started at an entry customer service position at company XYZ at a very low rate and worked way up. Sadly, I'm making $20.85 an hour, but I get OT and OnCall pay so its not too bad. For the past 4 yrs, I've been working in Business Intelligence/MIS doing reporting database reporting, development and analysis. I've been so terrified to leave my company because I'm afraid of whats out there and i'm afraid I'm too comfortable right now. My company is great and everyone work with is great, but I know i'm a little bit underpaid right now. Nobody on my team got a raise last yr either.



Here is an overview:



Skills

T-SQL, ORacle Pl/SqL - writing simple to complex queries in t-sql and pl/sql

Visual Studio 2005/2008 - developing simple/complex reports with subscriptions, parameters etc..

developing scorecards to measure and analyze metrics

Experience using report manager

SSRS/SSIS

Some experience using excel VBA

Some experience using Cognos and Hyperion report development

Responsible for working with all departments in report development

robvolk
Most Valuable Yak

USA
15655 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2012 :  18:43:50  Show Profile  Visit robvolk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For the tri-state area I'd say that's quite low. However, I'm not a local and it's possible the market supports that. I can tell you that it's piss-poor for the Atlanta market. I'd suggest checking the job boards like Dice/Monster/Careerbuilder and talking to local recruiters. It never hurts to find out what's available and what they pay, even if you don't want to move.

Having a relationship with recruiters also never hurts, although the desperate ones can be a pain in the ass. If there's a local SQL user group you should stop in to a few meetings, there are likely to be recruiters there and you can have a low-pressure talk with them (don't give them your contact info if you don't want to...just ask questions.)

My personal experience has been that staying too long at a company isn't a sustainable career move. I got comfortable, my skills stagnated, and I had the same experience you did with salary, raises and OT. Once I left I advanced in every area beyond my wildest dreams. I've just attended the PASS Summit in Seattle as a speaker, and have spoken at over a dozen SQL Saturdays this year alone. That was not possible had I stayed at my previous job.

Regardless of what you do, learn more. Visual Studio and SQL Server are up to 2012, and the BI stack is significantly enhanced. Attend user meetings. If you're a PASS member, buy the Summit videos for this year and last. They are underpriced for whatever they cost. (your user group may even have copies you can borrow and watch, or they may give them away at meetings). Go to SQLSaturday.com and look for upcoming events, there's one in Boston in April I think. They are free and are the best free SQL Server training you can get. PASS also has virtual chapters that do webcasts each month, plus the 24 Hours of PASS webcasts.
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joe2324
Starting Member

3 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2012 :  19:08:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the response Rob. Right now, I am definately too comfortable and the thought of leaving makes me feel uneasy, bur I know its something I need to do. I currently make 43k and it seems like i'm about 30K underpaid in my area after doing research. My current employer will not in any way help me get to that level. The job market is soo tough right now that i'm afraid this is about as good as it is going to get right now.
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robvolk
Most Valuable Yak

USA
15655 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2012 :  19:51:05  Show Profile  Visit robvolk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Keep looking and don't get discouraged. At the same time, don't make it all about money. If you're financially stable then you've nothing to worry about. You don't sound unhappy, so you've got that going for you. Take the approach that you're widening your view and opportunities, even if they don't pan out immediately. Do what you think is best for you, or if you've got a family, for them.

It is incredibly scary to move on from some place you've been at for a long time. It certainly stopped me. Having said that, I've never met anyone in a similar position who wasn't glad they moved on, and very few who hadn't wished they'd done it sooner. You outgrow (comfortable) clothes; you can outgrow a (comfortable) job too.

If this is an option for you, consider moving to a more accommodating market. Salaries vary widely across the country, and if you're young and relatively unattached, moving is as easy as it's ever going to get. If something else comes up that is attractive, be prepared for your current employer to counter, and be prepared to reject it, no matter how good it is. There's a lot of solid advice about never accepting a counteroffer, read up on it. (in short: why did you have to leave for them to offer it?) Also be wary of accepting the first new offer that's better; many employers/recruiters are very persistent and persuasive. You may even find the perfect job that pays less, and it's worth taking.

Unless you're in dire financial straits, there's no rush. Six months or a year is perfectly fine, as long as you keep at it. The jobs are either out there, or not. Learn more and keep looking.
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sunitabeck
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

5155 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2012 :  07:49:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I second everything Rob said (except the suggestion about relocating from the tri-state area). Being located in the tri-state area, I want to add my perspectives on the local job market.

Although I have not been in the job market for about two years, based on the calls I get, and experiences of my friends, my sense is that the market is very good here, especially in the financial industry.

If commuting to Manhattan is an option for you, there are a lot of jobs in the financial industry there. I am in South Eastern Connecticut (15-20 miles from midtown) and even here, the financial industry permeates everything. I interact with a few vendors who are located across the river from Manhattan, so my sense is that eastern Bergen County has a lot of jobs in financial industry as well.

If you are good at what you do, you should be making at least twice what you are making now and perhaps multiples of that in the tri-state area. You may not get to "multiples" initially, but if you acquire some business domain knowledge so that you can apply your SQL/BI skills in an intelligent manner, you will be a valuable resource. And once you get to that stage, your employer will begin to love you and the way financial industry expresses its love is with money.

If I can just say three things:

a) Best time to look for a job is when you have a job and are gainfully employed. So start looking in a discrete manner - Rob gave you plenty of pointers on how to do that.

b) Be the best at what you do - have an attitude that what you do should be perfect and you want to do it the very best way possible, better than anyone else will or can.

c) Hang around SQL Team and other similar forums, follow the questions being asked and see if you can answer them (even if you don't post the answers initially). I try to answer questions on this forum when I can, mainly because it helps me keep my skills sharp and lets me step outside the narrow subject areas I may be working on.(*)


All the best to you!

PS: I was only kidding - I try to answer questions on the forum to make the world a better place and help my fellow human beings
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TG
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

USA
6059 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2012 :  16:05:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's a real shame the way the "system" works. Unfortunately the best way to advance your (IT) career is to change jobs. It's as if management can't see that replacing a good person will cost them waaay more than what they are paying that person. The only way long-termer can keep up with going rates to aggressively negotiate often. That's fine for a contract person but I don't think that a full time employee should not have to do that.

Back in the ancient times of my parents generation (which would be most of your grandparents generation) it was a normal and good thing to spend your entire career at one company. You'd get fair pay and even a pension.

But because those days are long gone I fully agree to look around. Most of the "quality" people I know didn't know how valuable they were until they moved a couple of times. After a few successes you gain confidence and become a more well rounded developer/dba/whatever.


Be One with the Optimizer
TG
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joe2324
Starting Member

3 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2012 :  17:49:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks everyone for your input, I really appreciate the advice. I've applied to a few jobs online and hopefully something will come out of it. For the tri-state area, I know i'm def not paid very well and my company is only going to give me a 2% raise in March. With everything i'm doing, 43K a year is extremely low. I find myself writing all the sql code, developing the reports, using SSRS to develop the reports, setting up subscriptions and using various other skills. Its getting to be too much and I dont think i'm paid very well. At the very least, I've learned most of these skills at my current job over the last 4 years.

Again, thanks for the input.
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theboyholty
Posting Yak Master

United Kingdom
221 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2012 :  10:48:16  Show Profile  Visit theboyholty's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It may not be much use this as I'm based in the UK, but over here you could be earning £25k-£35k per year (about $40k - $55k at current exchange rate, but its all relative isn't it?) with that skillset.

I would say this though, that people who work their way up in an organisation are often paid less than those who have been brought in especially to do a specific job as their employers know they can get away with paying them less.

There's a global recession, so no-one's getting pay rises (I got 1% this year, my first 'annual raise' for almost 5 years). I find that the only way to get a decent hike, is to change your job which is what I'm doing after this Friday. I get more money, a new challenge and a change of scenery - its good for the career and the soul.

As for being comfortable in your current position, its not neccessarily a good thing (from my point of view) but that depends on your personality. I'd say that if you've been there for 8 years, its probably time for a change.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.mannyroadend.co.uk A Bury FC supporters website and forum
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RickD
Slow But Sure Yak Herding Master

United Kingdom
3608 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2012 :  07:30:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
theboyholty - It really depends where and what markets you go for int he UK. In London, you could be earning anywhere between £35k and £75k, depending on industry and experience.

I contract and get calls all the time, I have seen rates soar over the last year or so, so its all looking good if you have loads of experience.
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babloo
Starting Member

USA
35 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2012 :  10:46:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You have a good experience and knowledge. All you need a is to find a place where you make 6 figures.. The only place that can give you 6 figures is HEALTHCARE!.. look for hospitals near you and start applying as either Systems Analyst or Developer or Business Intelligence Analyst...

Best of luck!!!....

Babloo!!...
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babloo
Starting Member

USA
35 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2012 :  10:50:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If not 6 figures then it will be pretty close.
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robvolk
Most Valuable Yak

USA
15655 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2012 :  12:12:04  Show Profile  Visit robvolk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
The only place that can give you 6 figures is HEALTHCARE
Ummmm, no.

Experience and problem-solving skills give you 6 figures. The industry, field or market are secondary at best.
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babloo
Starting Member

USA
35 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2012 :  13:52:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I mean I did'nt really mean in that sense that only HealthCare will pay 6 figures but what I meant was if you get a job in HealthCare they usually pay alot higher than normal industry and better job security.

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visakh16
Very Important crosS Applying yaK Herder

India
52309 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2012 :  14:11:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by babloo

I mean I did'nt really mean in that sense that only HealthCare will pay 6 figures but what I meant was if you get a job in HealthCare they usually pay alot higher than normal industry and better job security.




Nope...it still depends on your expertise and has no relationship to domain. I used to work for healthcare and used to get good pay. But there were other friends of mine who were also on same sector but not getting decent pay. It all depends on your level of experience in field and also your expertise in technology

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SQL Server MVP
http://visakhm.blogspot.com/

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RickD
Slow But Sure Yak Herding Master

United Kingdom
3608 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2013 :  04:21:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by babloo

I mean I did'nt really mean in that sense that only HealthCare will pay 6 figures but what I meant was if you get a job in HealthCare they usually pay alot higher than normal industry and better job security.





I guess this also depends on which country you are in. Healthcare is public sector here in the UK and is the most boring, frustrating and one of the lowest paid sectors.
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sodeep
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

USA
7174 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2013 :  14:09:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Exactly. It depends on other factors as well. Over here in NorthEast, Senior/Principal SQL Production DBA/Developers gets good pay around 100-140K.But If you compare housing price,tax and living standards..I guess its whole lot easier/cheaper to move to southern part even with less pay.

Edited by - sodeep on 01/07/2013 14:11:27
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Lumbago
Norsk Yak Master

Norway
3271 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2013 :  03:50:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry for coming in so late...

But it's really weird to read about this, I always get surprised when I read about salaries in other countries. We have one of the highest costs of living here in norway so the numbers aren't exactly comparable but for a senior business intelligence developer here you could expect around 600-750k NOK which with the current exrate is about 110-140k USD, which in turn is a litttle less than twice the salary of a state employed nurse.

- Lumbago
My blog-> http://thefirstsql.com
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JaybeeSQL
Posting Yak Master

112 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2013 :  10:51:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RickD

quote:
Originally posted by babloo

I mean I did'nt really mean in that sense that only HealthCare will pay 6 figures but what I meant was if you get a job in HealthCare they usually pay alot higher than normal industry and better job security.





I guess this also depends on which country you are in. Healthcare is public sector here in the UK and is the most boring, frustrating and one of the lowest paid sectors.




Not all healthcare here in the UK is govermmental/local authority, although I agree with the boring and sometimes frustrating part, I myself contract into the NHS, yet I'm on quite a bit more our unfortunate colleague over in New Jersey. I do not consider myself a particularly skilled guy, so pretty much only come on here to ask questions, not answer them.

Our profession requires a tremendous amount of expertise and we deserve a lot more than some of the numbers I'm seeing bandied about here.
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