Printer Friendly

THE Journal 2016 salary & job satisfaction survey.

The numbers are in for our first-annual K-12 it salary survey. While budgeting frustrations hamper much of it's work, there's also a sense that the work they're undertaking is important

$63,776: That's the average annual pay for an IT professional of any rank, type of school or district or years of experience in this salary survey. Whether that sounds low to you or high, keep reading. As we've learned from hundreds of K-12 IT people who have shared details of their jobs, there's more to your work than a single number.

Because this is the first year that THE Journal has developed a salary survey, we lack a baseline against which to compare this year's numbers. (That will come next year.) So we hope you'll weigh in to let us know how close to the mark we came for your own salary and the other job measurements covered in this report.

Average Salaries

The average weighted IT salary in K-12 didn't vary much between public and private schools. At $63,824, public schools won by a nose against private schools at $63,634. The median (that point that falls exactly between the highest and lowest salaries) was $60,000 for both types of schools.

The smallest salaries were given out to people who work on a help desk or provide computer support. Their average weighted gross earnings were $41,425. On the opposite end of that spectrum were C-level people--the CIO, CTO, CSO or related titles. The average weighted salary for that group of individuals was $99,045.

In between those two extremes, the three groups with the highest overall average earnings were:

1. Database and business intelligence staff: $76,436

2. Project management: $74,940

3. IT management: $72,993.50

Wide variations showed up in average salaries based not just on job title but also type of school--public versus private. For example, the highest compensated title in our survey was CIO. The average weighted salary for a CIO at a private school came in at $125,000. It was $98,889 in public school systems, a 21 percent difference. Likewise, a project manager in a public district earned a weighted average salary of $81,136; the same role in a private school earned $56,900--30 percent less.

The highest salary reported in our survey was $190,000, earned by an IT director at a public district in Indiana. The lowest salary came in at $15,000, recounted by a computer lab manager in New York and a help desk person in Kentucky, both at elementary schools.

To put those incomes into perspective, the average salary for a network administrator within any industry--not just education--was $79,770, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting for May 2014. If that sounds high to you, keep in mind that the average annual wage for elementary and middle school teachers (arguably the most vital people in any school) in that same reporting period was $57,080. A secondary school teacher earned $59,180 on average. Both of those are less than the reported average in our survey.

Experience and Job Duration

Most respondents (53 percent) have worked in IT for more than 11 years in both public and private schools. A third of people have been on the job between 11 and 20 years. One in 10 has been in IT for two years or less.

Because some individuals have worked at their current schools longer than they've worked in IT, we interpret that to mean that they've taken on IT responsibilities along the way. For example, while 78 percent of individuals have been at their current private schools for between three and 20 years, only 70 percent have been in IT for that same period. In public schools, 73 per cent have worked for the same employer for between three and 20 years; but 69 percent have been in IT for the same duration.

Prospects for Growth

While most people (58 percent) working in private school IT said they expected to get a raise in the next 12 months, it's just the opposite at public schools, where only 45 percent anticipate a bump in pay.

"My salary has been frozen for seven years," noted an IT manager in a public primary and secondary school system in Michigan.

A similar sentiment was expressed by an IT manager in a combined public school system in the south: "No raises in Georgia for the last five-plus years, and furlough days due to budget cuts mean I actually make less than I did four years ago."

Also, respondents were overwhelmingly pessimistic about their prospects for advancement in 2016. Only 5 percent of IT people in public schools and 9 percent in private schools predicted a promotion over the next year.

As a technical support specialist for a public high school in Washington asserted, "The issue with IT jobs in schools is there is no opportunity [for] advancement and no increase in pay without advancement. Thus, I make the same now as I did 20 years ago." On top of that, this IT professional added, staff is supervised "by individuals who have no idea of job scope, detail, tasks or really anything else. [It] makes it very difficult when they do not have any clear vision for hiring, hours, overtime, etc. They just want it all to work, period."

In spite of the woes, it should be noted that by and large this isn't a group looking for greener pastures. In public schools 81 percent of people expect to stay put for the next 12 months; in private schools the count is even higher--86 percent.

"Things are very tight and understaffed; so while demand is high, that is not translating into more jobs, more pay or [a] better work environment," asserted a project manager in a public high school in Iowa. "On the flip side, I have a job, make decent money; and there is not much threat of a lay-off; so that is good."

It may be that most people are staying put because they're fairly satisfied with the outlook for the future of IT in K-12. At public school systems, 56 percent of respondents said they expected either "healthy" or "unbridled" growth. Those in private schools are even more hopeful. There, 67 percent indicated they expect growth. A scant 7 percent of people from both kinds of schools foresaw a slow decline or "doom" in their futures.

Overall, those who earned less than the average IT salary were inclined to be a tad more optimistic about the future than those who earned more than the average salary; 62 percent of the former group forecast growth; for the latter group, the count was 56 percent. However, those earning $100,000 or higher were the most optimistic; 66 percent expected healthy or rampant growth.

Job Satisfaction

Nearly eight in 10 people (79 percent) reported feeling satisfied or very satisfied "overall" with their IT jobs in K-12. The highest points of satisfaction, in order, are these:

1. Co-workers (81 percent);

2. Physical comfort (77 percent);

3. Commute (72 percent);

4. Supervisor (71 percent)

5. Working hours (67 percent);

6. Equipment (65 percent); and

7. Benefits (64 percent).

Most people also were fairly happy with the top bosses; 54 percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the administrators or executives running their school or district operations.

"Enjoy coming to work every day!" declared a project manager in a public combined school system in Massachusetts.

But into every life a little rain must fall. For IT folks in K-12, the drizzle showed up in two areas; salary and department budgets. Thirty-one percent of respondents reported feeling unsatisfied or very unsatisfied with their salaries; 35 percent expressed the same feelings about the IT budget.

Budgetary restrictions are a continual source of vexation for an IT director in a public district in Iowa: "Technology budgets continue to be cut, but demands for integration continue to be pushed. I am forced to maintain more and more technology with less and less help. So the low priority items never get done."

"I love what I do, although I wish I could do more," noted another IT director in a combined public school system in Michigan. "The way we are funded, it doesn't leave much for being able to meet the state and federal requirements in addition to doing all that we need to do to just stay current."

IT as a Calling

Many respondents to the salary survey expressed frustration at having to tackle too much with too few resources. Summarized one media specialist at a public high school in California, "Bandwidth inadequate, [Internet service provider] not investing in solving access issues, admin and teachers not using tech tools to capacity, low skills, no money to train staff or invest in more bandwidth [or] better computers for students."

But underlying those sentiments was also a measure of recognition that the struggle was worthwhile and must continue for the sake of the kids IT serves.

As a trainer in a North Carolina public high school summarized, "Biggest issue is determining where to spend limited funds to keep our students competitive."

"It's not for the money!" added a technology associate for a public elementary school in Florida. "We will never make the salary that is offered in the private sector. For those of us who are here long-term, it is a calling to work in public education."

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's education group and editorin-chief of THE Journal. Reach him at dnagel@ 1105media.com.

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

FIGURE 1

AVERAGE SALARIES

Average IT salaries in public and private
schools are neck and neck.

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT
SALARY?

                   SALARY

PUBLIC             $63,823
PRIVATE            $63,634
WEIGHTED AVERAGE   $63,776

Salaries weighted by institution type

FIGURE 2

INDIVIDUAL SALARIES WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT SALARY?

              CIO       DIRECTOR OF      DATABASE
                        INFORMATION    ADMINISTRATOR
                       TECHNOLOGY/IT
                         DIRECTOR

PUBLIC      $98,889       $76,521         $76,436
PRIVATE     $125,000      $74,659           NA
WEIGHTED    $105,469      $76,052         $76,436
  AVERAGE

            PROJECT     IT         SYSTEMS
            MANAGER   MANAGER   ADMINISTRATOR

PUBLIC      $81,136   $66,206      $59,070
PRIVATE     $56,900   $52,500      $62,900
WEIGHTED    $75,029   $62,752      $60,035
  AVERAGE

               NETWORK         WEB      TECHNOLOGY
            ADMINISTRATOR   DEVELOPER    TEACHER

PUBLIC         $57,332       $58,000     $53,103
PRIVATE        562,900         NA        $68,190
WEIGHTED       $58,735       $58,000     $56,905
  AVERAGE

Responses were weighted by institution type.

FIGURE 3

GROUPED SALARIES what is your current salary?

                C-LEVEL         OTHER IT     PROJECT     DEVELOPMENT/
           (CIO/CTO/CSO/CDO)   MANAGEMENT   MANAGEMENT   APPLICATIONS
                                                             STAFF

PUBLIC         $103,114         $73,519      $78,794        $61,000
PRIVATE         $86,967         $71,432      $63,500        $46,143
WEIGHTED        $99,045         $72,994      $74,940        557,256
AVERAGE

            DATABASE/      NETWORK/     INSTRUCTION
            BUSINESSE     DATA CENTER     DESIGN/
           INTELLITENCE   MANAGEMENT    TECHNOLOGY
              STAFF

PUBLIC       $76,436        $55,225       $62,165
PRIVATE         NA          578,333       $70,750
WEIGHTED     $76,436        $61,048       $64,329
AVERAGE

              NETWORK/      WEB/DIGITAL   SYSTEMS
            DATA CENTER/    MEDIA STAFF   ANALYSIS
           SECURITY STAFF

PUBLIC        $60,245         $62,216     $44,667
PRIVATE       $62,227         $48,000     $33,840
WEIGHTED      $60,744         $58,633     541,938
AVERAGE

           TRAINER      HELP DESK/      LIBRARIAN/LIBRARY
                     COMPUTER SUPPORT   MEDIA SPECIALIST/
                                        MEDIA SPECIALIST

PUBLIC     $56,880       $41,776             $57,402
PRIVATE    $50,155       $40,383             $56,000
WEIGHTED   555,185       $41,425             $57,049
AVERAGE

Responses were weighted by institution type.

FIGURE 4

IT EXPERIENCE

Most respondents have been in IT for more than 11 years.

HOW LONG         0-2      3-5      6-10    11-20      21 OR
HAVE YOU        YEARS    YEARS    YEARS    YEARS    MORE YEARS
WORKED IN IT?

PUBLIC          10.18%   16.19%   20.37%   32.64%     20.63%
PRIVATE         11.36%   20.45%   16.67%   32.58%     18.94%
WEIGHTED        10.48%   17.26%   19.43%   32.62%     20.20%
AVERAGE

Responses were weighted by institution type.

FIGURE 5

TIME WITH CURRENT EMPLOYER

Substantial numbers of respondents have worked at their
current schools longer than they've worked in IT, presumably
taking on IT responsibilities along the way.

HOW LONG       0-2      3-5      6-10     11-12    21 OR
HAVE YOU       YEARS    YEARS    YEARS    YEARS    MORE YEARS
BEEN WITH
YOUR PRESENT
EMPLOYER?

PPUBLIC        12.53%   16.97%   20.63%   35.77%   14.10%
PRIVATE        18.94%   24.24%   18.18%   35.61%   3.03%
WEIGHTED       14.15%   18.80%   20.01%   35.73%   11.31%
AVERAGE

Responses were weighted by institution type.

FIGURE 6

PROSPECTS FOR
SALARY GROWTH

A large minority of respondents expect
to receive a pay increase next year.

DO YOU ANTICIPATE RECEIVING
A RAISE WITHIN THE NEXT 12
MONTHS?

                    YES       NO

PUBLIC             45.17%   54.83%
PRIVATE            57.58%   42.42%
WEIGHTED AVERAGE   48.30%   51.70%

Salaries weighted by institution type

FIGURE 7

PROMOTIONS

Respondents were overwhelmingly
pessimistic about their prospects for
advancement in 2016.

DO YOU ANTICIPATE RECEIVING
A PROMOTION WITHIN THE NEXT
12 MONTHS?

                    YES      NO

PUBLIC             4.70%   95.30%
PRIVATE            9.09%   90.91%
WEIGHTED AVERAGE   5.81%   94.19%

Salaries weighted by institution type

FIGURE 8

TURNOVER

Most IT workers in K-12 expect to stay put for the
next 12 months.

DO YOU EXPECT TO LEAVE YOUR CURRENT
EMPLOYER WITHIN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?

                    YES       10

PUBLIC             18.80%   81.20%
PRIVATE            14.39%   85.61%
WEIGHTED AVERAGE   17.69%   82.31%

Salaries weighted by Institution type

FIGURE 9

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

WHAT IS YOUR    UNBRIDLED     HEALTHY   CONTINUED
OUTLOOK FOR     GROWTH AND    GROWTH    STABILITY
THE FUTURE OF   OPPORTUNITY
IT IN K-12
EDUCATION?

PUBLIC          10.97%        45.43%    35.51%
PRIVATE         16.67%        50.76%    28.79%
WEIGHTED        12.40%        46.77%    33.82%
AVERAGE

WHAT IS YOUR    SLOW DECLINE   DOOM IN THE
OUTLOOK FOR                    NEAR FUTURE
THE FUTURE OF
IT IN K-12
EDUCATION?

PUBLIC          7.05%          1.04%
PRIVATE         3.03%          0.76%
WEIGHTED        6.04%          0.97%
AVERAGE

Responses were weighted by institution type.

FIGURE 10

JOB SATISFACTION

Departmental budgets and salary were the sorest points
for our survey respondents.

PLEASE INDICATE YOUR LEVEL OF SATISFACTION
WITH YOUR CURRENT JOB.

                    VERY        SATISFIED   NEWTRAL
                    SATISFIED

OVERALL             24.15%      54.55%      13.09%
SALARY              9.14%       36.18%      23.92%
BENEFITS            19.85%      44.62%      21.54%
HOURS               22.16%      45.17%      17.69%
SUPERVISOR          35.94%      35.12%      15.73%
TOP BRASS           19.88%      34.15%      27.40%
CO-WORKERS          29.08%      51.97%      13.87%
PHYSICAL            0.2923      0.4758      17.35%
  COMFORT
EQUIPMENT           21.03%      43.72%      20.82%
YOUR DEPARTMENT'S   12.11%      29.05%      23.45%
  BUDGET
COMMUTE             41.19%      30.98%      15.28%

                    UNSATISFIED   VERY
                                  UNSATISFIED

OVERALL             6.05%         2.15%
SALARY              23.16%        7.60%
BENEFITS            10.29%        3.70%
HOURS               11.68%        3.31%
SUPERVISOR          7.58%         5.63%
TOP BRASS           10.95%        7.62%
CO-WORKERS          3.13%         1.96%
PHYSICAL            4.29%         1.56%
  COMFORT
EQUIPMENT           11.89%        2.54%
YOUR DEPARTMENT'S   24.03%        11.36%
  BUDGET
COMMUTE             6.66%         5.89%

Responses were weighted by institution type.


----------

Please note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.
COPYRIGHT 2016 1105 Media, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Nagel, David; Schaffhauser, Dian
Publication:T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2016
Words:2505
Previous Article:Work with wireless: delivering wireless access that meets the needs of your students and teachers calls for savvy vendor selection.
Next Article:Methodology.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters