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Is support the lowest paid field in I.T?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by fatp, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

    Statistics from the IT jobs watch website show that most I.T support jobs including the following:

    " 1st/2nd/3rd line, it/pc tech, depot tech, desktop support analyst, helpdesk/support analyst, network adminstrator, etc"

    are all the lowest paid jobs compared to other jobs in other related i.t fields such as web development, programming (all paradigms), project management, database management/admin, security, business analysis, architecure?

    I understand that you can 'jump' from field to field but is the I.T helpdesk / support field the lowest paid out of all? Some may say you cannot compare the fields as some are interellated but what do the people of certforums think?

    Have people started out in support moved on to other area's or do they mostly slum it out in support. I am not knocking the support field or workers within it as every bsuiness critical organisation needs them (i also work in support) but do people have plans on movin up and on so to speak...
  2. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    I think the key is business skills, employers want techs who have buisiness skills as well as technical knowledge, most of these jobs, unless its for a small company, rely more on the technical aspect.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  3. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    You might also want to take into consideration that the skills for technical personnel is to a large extent some what basic in terms of desktop, network admin and helpdesk roles is concern. Please, note I said "some what":)

    What I mean by this is that there are a lot of technical savy people out there and hey if the money pays the bills and you're into computers then it shouldn't matter so much.

    On the other hand though employers are more keen on people, customer and communication skills in a nutshell know what our business is about and use your technology know how to improve it further. Lastly, there are some senior support engineers and IT consultant roles in the above mentioned jack of all trade roles that make good £££:)
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  4. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    I quite enjoy slumming it out in support :dry

    The wage you earn won't be reflected in the role you are in so much as the industry sector you are in. "support" is also too broad a term to ask if 'support' personnel earn less. Many job roles in IT can be lassooed into the general vagueness of a 'support role'. I take it you mean helpdesk workers.

    Which puts me back to mentioning the industry sector. I earn a healthy wage for the label of first line support; I've seen what others have posted as their wages on CF, and indeed, I appear to earn more than some network administrators, and I definitely earn more than what a lot of industries offer people who are required to do such a complex job as third line. I work in the legal sector.

    Whilst I do not intend on staying in support, I am not 100% sure which area of IT will yet best fit my many, many talents :rolleyes: in the meantime, first line in a medium-sized progressive company is a great place to 'broaden my horizons'.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Depends on your area, and depends on the salary levels at the time. If you're talking about *right now*... Web designers don't make a whole bunch, nor do entry-level help desk techs or PC repair techs. Once you become a network admin, however, you'll likely be doing quite well for yourself.

    Web developers and programmers currently do pretty well right now, even starting out. But this wasn't always the case... read on.

    Security gurus typically get where they are by moving up through the support ranks, then specializing in security. One cannot just start out in security. Similarly, one cannot just start out as a project manager or a DBA or a business analyst or a network architect.

    Umm... you can't really 'jump' easily from field to field. Let's say I decide to be a programmer. I don't really get any special benefits by previously being a network admin... I start out at the bottom, as an entry-level programmer.

    Over time, salary levels change in a given field. For a good while, the overseas outsourcing of programming jobs caused programmer salaries to drop. Now that many companies have brought those jobs back in-house (and since the overseas folks now cost more), programming salaries are back up. So what is feast today might become famine later, and vice versa. This is why we constantly advise that people go into a field they enjoy... not a field that they can earn the most money doing.

    Good techs advance. Mediocre techs and lazy techs don't. Some techs have plans to advance, and other techs don't. It's as simple as that.

    You *can* find good techs doing support... but they typically get their experience and move on. You can also find knowledgeable techs who just got comfortable (or lazy) doing a mindless job, and they enjoy it - hey, if that's what makes them happy, and they can deal with the salary they're making, I'm certainly not going to criticize them for their decision!
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  6. neutralhills

    neutralhills Kilobyte Poster

    Desktop support can be quite profitable if you own your own business. Not so much if you work for someone else.
    Certifications: Lots.
    WIP: Upgrading MS certs
  7. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    You can work extra hours to make more money, like days off and get double time for it.

    I am doing IT techy stuff at the minute along side my normal job (same company) I have kept my salary whick is £18884 but I volunteered to do remote network monitoring and support at the weekends from home and I get double pay for it.

    So if your on a help desk you could ask to do extra shifts and make more than normal.

    So as to is it the lowest paid position, only if you want it to be.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

    some good feedback from mb posted once again, props mate!

    cheers the rest of you, for takin time to write somethin!
  9. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    When I was on 1st line support, I was pushing 55+ hours a week - worked out better than what I'm getting now... but now I only do 37 hours instead (and have a life!) - as GBL said, overtime can help push up the pay and isn't taken into account in the "salary websites/surveys"
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293

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