Am I being paid enough to be an IT Technician?
I work for a multimillion dollar manufacturing company that machines parts for the jet engine and power generation industries. We are a branch of the main company and are located in Northern Michigan with approximately 200 employees. Our computer environment has approximately 150 computers/laptops, 10 smart phones, 10 printers, etc. For data entry in our production environment, we have custom VBA written code for Excel. We work with over 1,000 parts. There are 2 of us in the IT department, and we share the responsibilities listed below. My primary tasks are:
PC Maintenance - repair machine/printers/phones/etc that need fixing, reinstall operating systems, install software, keep the systems up to date.
Tech support - answer calls and walk ins for anything needed. Permissions set on a shared drives, drivers installed, software installed, printers configured, fixing issues with corporate created programs, etc.
Software development - have created most corporate programs and am in the process of creating various programs for different tasks utilizing VB.net, ASP.net, Classic ASP, SQL, MySQL, MS VBA, etc.
Domain administration with active directory - user account administration, group policies, etc
Server administration - configured / installed / maintain the domain controllers, exchange, financial server (Epicor ERP), WSUS, Vipre, Zenith BDR.
Network configuration - RUCKUS wireless system with 6 Access Points, 7x 48 port-gigabyte switches, and the maintenance associated with that.
I am responsible for helping the IT departments at other facilities integrate our custom programs into their systems if they like what we've made. I usually do this via email, but site visits are sometimes required to work out the details.
I am 26 years old, have been working with computers since I was 12, live in Northern Michigan, do not have a college degree and am making $12.00/hour. Should I be asking for a raise? Move somewhere warmer? I have no idea what people with similar skill sets are making and am curious if I could be making substantially more or if I should be happy with what I have.
Asked By: Packarai - 3/7/2012
1. The days of getting a position in IT without a 4 year degree are gone. If you were to lose this job you would have a difficult time getting another position. You would be relying solely on your experience which is impressive and considerable but if I were you I would want to defend against that possibility. In IT we regularly hope for the best and plan for the worst and you need to do that here just like your life is an IT project you are planning.
2. The small 2 man IT shop you are working in is giving you a very wide range of experiences. They are very impressive, varied and far exceed my own with 15 years in the IT field. In a big shop you would be specializing more and probably have much less breadth of experience. I'm very envious of you...
3. Consider using the situation you have to get your education in order. I would start out with a 2 year AS degree in Computer Science or Computer Information Systems and as soon as that is done transfer the credits into a regular college and take a degree completion program which takes about 14-16 months. This could be done at night and you night even see if your employer will help to shoulder some of the costs. Even if they won't and even if you think it won't make a hoot of difference in your pay you need to get this done ASAP.
4. You could be sitting pretty 3 years from now with a 4 year BS IT related degree and the potential for a $50,000 - $75,000 per year job - all at age 29 and having another 20-35 years that the degree will benefit you.
5. You should be well positioned to get a job elsewhere once you have the degree and with all your experience. Stay where you are until you have your ducks in a row. It is always easiest to get a job while you have a job. Remember that the salary studies show you will earn $1 million more in a lifetime with that 4 year degree.
Answered By: Richard L - 3/7/2012