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The Almighty Buck

IT Salary Comparisons Worldwide 741

Posted by Cliff
from the resources-for-the-job-market-wanderer dept.
What's the going rate for a geek in today's high paced IT world? Both Bagpiper and Johnath are about to enter different sectors of the job market, and would like some references on salaries in various computer-related areas, both in the US and abroad. Interested to see what the starting salary for your average coder is in North Carolina? How about Germany? Click below for more.

Bagpiper asks: "The combination of a recent /. comment, as well as my wife's desire to live overseas, started my pondering about what my pay (mid-Atlantic US software/firmware engineer w/ 9 yrs exp.) would compare to that of a similar job in another country? Several sources tell me what I'd be making in The Valley or Seattle, but none tell me what I'd make if I moved to Ireland, or to Germany, or to Taiwan (you get the idea)? A related question is what kind of standard of living would I expect in another country on the expected salary? (And just in case my current employers or headhunters see this, I'm not currently looking! I'm just curious."

and this from Johnath: ""The more I look at places like monster.com (and it's Canadian Counterpart) the more I see "Salary: TBD" or "Please submit salary expectations with your resume and cover letter" or other equally vague phrases. As someone in the last year or two of his university education, this gets a little disturbing since I can't really tell what my salary expectations are without some reference for comparison. Normally, I'd get that by looking at the job postings themselves, but of course, they've all taken to being painfully cryptic. So what I want to know is - what's a geek cost these days? What kind of money do Slashdotters make in the various Computing and IT related fields.

What are the broader ranges - do network guys/gals get paid more than code monkeys? How does the pay of the web design team compare to the network admin that keeps the site running (and if they're the same person, how much better is the pay?"

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IT Salary Comparisons Worldwide

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you have experience and want to travel, you could try contracting. The market in Europe is bouyant at the moment - especially for Java, CORBA and database people.

    You can look for anything between $50 and $130 an hour. As a contractor you need to incorporate and then you are responsible for your own pay/taxes etc. Get legal advice on this.

    Standard of living varies across Europe, as does facilities etc. London is an expensive place to live, Brussels is a good place for transient living (flats rented by the day, good restaurants etc) etc etc

    A good place to look for work is www.jobserve.com

    The downsides of contracting? You can be isolated from the main life of the company you work for, you have to deal with agents who are often the scum of the earth and you can't really take a sneaky sick day or holiday without suffering cash flow qualms.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    When I started this job ("Technical Support") last year, I started on 11.5kgbp. That's since gone up to just over 12k due to a Union strike threat (cost of living etc)


    This was considered 'good' by my friends & family - I'm 19 now (was 18 when I started), have next-to-no formal qualifications (a single A-Level in Computing), and my only work experience was being a system builder/tech guy for a small (4-person) computer shop.
    (Incidentally, I was on just over 6k at the computer shop - I was getting raped big-time. My friends doing part-time shelf-stacking were getting more ph than I was. But I couldn't ask for any more because the shop wasn't doing too well, and in fact ended up closing down making me redundant. Anyway.)
    Since that though, my job has changed a lot - I'm now 'Internet [DNS, Firewall, router etc] and E-mail [Exchange] Administrator and Tech Support", plus network maint, some netware and unix admin stuff, plus I get to flex my C muscles every now and then for a project.
    I've got a feeling that I should be on more than 12k.
    My employer has paid for me to do the MS Exchange MCP course, and I paid for the exam, and is currently paying for a BSc Computing evening course too, which kinda ties me down.

    This is the 'lower end' of the scale, I think. As far as I can tell, my wage started off about right for my age & exp and the job type, but hasn't grown at the same rates.
    I know people my age in other (skilled) careers that don't earn as much as me, though, so I can't be too badly off..
    (ramble ramble. Not AC, but feel uneasy giving out salary details in a public forum..)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Salaries in the UK vary by region.
    In the City typical rates are:

    Graduate (fresh from college): £27k + package
    3-5 years App Developer : £30 - £40k + package
    5 years+ App Development/PM: £50 - £80k + package
    5 years+ (Management - lose skills) : £60 - £150k + package

    ===============
    Contract Rates:
    ===============
    Network Analysts : £20 - £40 ph
    Sybase DBA : £50 - £80 ph (£90 - £155k pa)
    OO/C++/Java/CORBA + Business Knowledge £50 - £90 ph (£90 - £160k pa)
    Web Dev : £20 - £80 ph (depending on experience).
    VB/Delphi : £40 - £60 ph : (£75 - £115k pa)
    Project Manager : £70 - £100 ph (£130 - £190k pa)

    Use 1.56 as an exchange rate for US$

    We're about to get stuffed by a wonderful piece of legislation called IR35, which disadvantages contractors (more tax to pay).

    Cost of living in London:
    2 bed flat (purchase) £100 - £200k (ok you can go more expensive if you want)
    Equiv. £400 - £800 per month
    Renting - expect approx £1000 per month for a nice flat.
    Shopping Bill (for two) : £60 - £100 per week.
    Eating out : £6 (MacDonalds) - £500. You can get a nice meal for two with good wine for about £60 - £100.
    Travel : £65 per month for a zone 2 pass - if you go further out rent goes down (generally) proportionatly

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...stock options. Some companies offer options up front, in lieu of a higher salary.

    And, some companies offer it in lieu of pay. You might want to think twice about that. I've been screwed 4 (yes, FOUR!) times already working for companies for stock options. By taking options as a replacement for pitiful pay, or in one case as entire pay, I've gotten screwed. I was paid almost 150K/year in Comp-U-Card stock. The problem was that I couldn't sell it before 750 days had past. In that time, they merged with another company and became Cendant. Before I could sell the stock, it went from $80+ per share down to almost $12 per share. I watched 85% of my pay for a 25 month period simply dissappear. So fellow slashdotters, pay attention to the minimum time you have to keep the stock you are offered. Often times, it's an eternity relative to how long the company has been around.

    I've also been screwed on further stock sale-outs. If you read the fine-print, you'll notice that typically the employees will own at most 1-10% of a company. One company I worked for dump 8% of the company stock as a bonus to 5 executives. They sold their stock quickly, and my stock was suddenly worth less than half of what it was before. It's simple supply and demand. You own N shares out of M outstanding. If the company decides to create more M, then your N is worth less. (that' worth {space} less, not worthless).

    I don't know if this goes without saying, but never take stock in a private company as payment unless you really trust the majority ownership. I've been screwed-out twice that way. There is no SEC and a set of laws to protect your ownership. In both cases, the majority owners voted to sell the company to themselves for $1. I was left with nothing, except lawsuits because the old company didn't pay all of thier outstanding bills.

    Rather than trying to win the lottery with stock options, you might want to ask for something different, like health insurance or a dental or vision plan. From a college electrical engineering alumni meeting I attended, we had an anonymous survey passed around. All of us graduated from 1977-81 in EE. Of those, only about 30% were still in the engineering field (sad!). Of those that were, not a single one, who didn't work for the governement, had what they considered good health insurance.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    In Montreal, right out from the university,
    graduates start at $40K and above. I know a good
    student that was offered $50K.

    Taxes are high, but they are not 50%. If you
    do $40K, you will probably keep $28K in your pockets. Lets not forget that the 50% tax
    rate applies only on the extra dollar you earn
    after a certain level (somewhere around $55K
    $60K)

    And Canadians do not go to the States because
    of lower taxes. This is the biggest lies of all.
    What you gain in taxes in the US, you lose it
    in living cost. People go to the States because
    the are paid in $US which is around 50%
    worth more than $CDN. Also, they go south
    because of the adventure. They want to
    try something new.

    Personnaly, I am considering a contract either
    in Florida or Paris. Adventure has a big part
    in my decision.

    If it was only for taxes, I would be working
    in Ottawa. But Montreal is too much fun to
    leave for Ottawa, and many Montreal programers
    have the same feeling. I never heard of anybody
    moving because of taxes.


    Regards,
    Hans Deragon
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Currently starting salaries in HK for a programmer are around US$16K to US$20K per year. However they go up fast. At 9 years of experience it's unlikely you will be working as a programmer, more likely you will be an SA or manager. If you're reasonably good you could be earning between US$50K to US$100K per year. The range is pretty large and depends on what kind of company and position you have. Small/Medium sized local companies pay at the low end, larger multinationals tend to pay at the higher end. Problem is the cost of living is real high. Forget about living on your own on the starting salary. Rent alone could cost between US$12K to US$25K per year, depending on location and size. And that is at the low- to middle of the market! If you think you're a Yuppie prepare to pay US$50K per year for rent for an upper-middle class area.
  • Mine cost me nothing, though I'd guess that she probably got somewhere in the neighborhood of $14,000 from the company I got placed at. Unfortunately the headhunter I dealt with has since retired. I got lucky with finding her however, I used to get a lot of calls from headhunters that annoyed me. She called me up and said 'so are you tired of working for *name of CEO* yet?' Instantly I knew that she had done enough research to understand why I'd want to leave.
  • I have two years of full-time experience. 1 1/2 as a SysAd, 1/2 as a software engineer. I work near Philly and currently make around $70K + stock options + education + good medical, etc. Of course the first job I got out of school paid less than I would've liked and was utterly horrible to work in, but it taught me a lot of the things to watch for in future employment. Now I'm exceedingly happy in my job, have enough variety in my job to keep it interesting and the pay, while not amazing, pays the bills nicely. I really suggest finding a GOOD headhunter. While it's hard to find a good one, I found one that I described what I liked about my last job, what I didn't, and she quickly found me a bevy of positions to choose from all of which were well-suited to my desires.
  • by Xtian (246)
    What? In the midwest starting sysadmins make $40K? I wish.

    Here's a handy little perspective for you: I work for a univeristy (UW Madison to be precise - the biggest in the state and one of the Big 10 in the US) and I have 9 years of experience (1st job was to setup a bunch of SPARC1 and 2 boxes in 1990.) Since then I've worked for various university departments, small businesses, and large businesses (including fortune 500.)

    Let me tell you: the universities don't compensate well at all. I get about $40K. Sad huh? For 9 years of experience?

    Why in god's name would I work for anybody for that low rate? Well, money-wise, what you do is ofcourse, contract directly on the side. There I charge $63/hour. That works fine, but it takes the effort of having to find customers and manage your own business. The university though is the most chill work environment you could possibly have - access to equipment and knowledge like you wouldn't believe, and comes with an amazing benefits package that is topped by few private companies.

    Thats not to say university enviroments don't have pressure. Let me assure you, when dealing with the technical details of moving a decent-sized mainframe database to a unix-based client-server environment, there's plenty of pressure. But thats the stuff we sysadmins and project managers love, eh?

    I suppose you could find that type of work environment in smaller cutting-edge geek-shops where they know how to take care of us types... but those are in short supply here in the mid-west.

  • by Xtian (246)
    Well, thats it then: city size. Madison being only 200K people, of which the UW contributes atleast 60K people, does make Madison severely wage depressed. I didn't think it was that bad though.

    Time to move to Chicago. :)

  • Is it possible/easy for US citizens to get IT jobs in Canada? I think it would be a cool (no pun intended) place to live.

    I recently visited a friend in Edmonton, who payed $450CDN/month for a nice apartment in downtown.
  • Hi,

    How easy would it be for an American programmer (UNIX/Perl/C++/PHP) to get a visa for a job in a Latin American country?

    I'd *really* like to live there a while to improve my Spanish. About any where in Central or South America or Mexico would be fine.

    Of course, if you're down there and need someone, you can drop me a line... micah@myhome.net... :-)
  • I read an article *somewhere*, I think it might have been the NY Times, that said the poverty line in SV was $60K a year. They mentioned businessmen sleeping/living in homeless shelters because they couldn't afford housing yet had what people where I live would consider disgustingly high-paying jobs. It really, really does depend where you live. That's why I take anything anyone says about how much they make with a big heaping teaspoonful of salt, as should everyone.

    - A.P. (who makes enough, even as a student)
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • by hjw (802)
    Quite a lot of people are coming to Ireland from the UK to work at the moment. Salaries are slightly higher here, but tax cripples that down to a lower net income.

    I think standard of living and quality of life
    have to be looked at. Britain is a highly industrialised nation with a huge population.

    Ireland is an extremely underpopulated country with lots of cheap land.

    Many people come to Ireland to work outside of Dublin. They can buy land a build a house for half the price in the UK and have quite a high 'quality' of life.

    But maybe it's only for the tree hugging hippie type.
  • Ditto for the Portland, OR area as well...

    It's easier to find an IT job around here paying $15/hr or better than it is to find a job at McDonalds....

    But don't come up here, heh.. I'm too busy liquidating the IT sector myself to deal with any competition. :)

    -Erik-
  • It all depends on where you live.

    For instance, a decent perl jockey here in Portland, OR, can make anywhere from $30-$60/hr (more often than not salary).

    However, less than 100 miles away in Salem, OR, I was working as Tech Support making minimum wage (that ended quickly), and the sysadmin there (who is a contributer to both the kernel and gzip) was making $12/hr.

    Moral of the story? He moved to SV, I moved to portland. The more demand for IT the higher the wage.

    SO MOVE SOMEWHERE WITH A LOT OF PIPING AND ELECTRIC COMPANIES. :)

    -Erik-
  • When I moved from NC to France (Paris) back in '95 I got about the same salary, low-40s. But the US was coming out of a slump and being a native english speaker helps in France.

    I got a small raise when I moved from France to the Alps (Grenoble), but that was because they needed a liason to the US ASAP. But the dollar was stronger, so I was making less than $40k. Don't exchange rates suck?

    I moved back to North Carolina at the start of the year, and nearly doubled my previous salary.

    Not only is the software industry booming in the US, France has can't-fire laws, so companies are less likely to want to hire. They just outsource everything, so there is less pressure for salaries to go up.

    In defense of France, the cash is lower, but there are a lot more perks. 5+ weeks of vacation, cheeper medical bills (at least for the routine stuff), nicer day care system, etc, etc. Don't let cash alone regulate your life.

    If anyone is interested in France, starting (fresh out) salaries in the Alps last year were about 150kf ($30k). A few years of experience and you'll be upto 180-200kf ($38-40k). There are too many folks who want to work in the Alps. If you are interested in Paris, add 50% or so to those numbers. Then remember the cost of living too. Paris is expensive.

    Avoid SSIIs (service companies & contract shops) as they want low ball salaries. I guess that's true everywhere.
  • Salaries also depend on location of course - working in Munich will pay a lot better than working in Essen. Of course, living in Munich is a lot more expensive as well...

    It should be noted that a single person can expect to pay about 50% of his gross income in taxes and social security. Married couples can pool and split their income for taxation, non-working partners are covered by most social security services for free, and there is a choice of tax credits or direct support for children. Social security includes fairly good medical support, unemployment insurance, and a retirement income that may or may not be sufficient to live on in the future.

    Salaries are for a fixed amount of time (35-40 hours per week, with 40 hours being more common in IT-related branches), more work is paid separatly.

    Also included are about 28-30 days of paid vacation (plus a lot of religous and national holidays).

  • VB/SQL/DBA in NY financial institution = $100K + bonuses.

    And I'm quitting my job, so if anyone is interested...
  • The first blank on your questionaire is GPA and major and you dropped out of school yourself to start this business? You've got to be kidding. Seriously though, this is probably the most important thing the article misses. Salaries really depend a lot of your GPA and education.
  • well its not as bad as Sweden - there you get hit badly by taxes and the Beers mega-expensive too :-(
  • Not so bad. I started at my company 8 years ago, in shipping & receiving, at roughly $11k/yr - it was a software company. I had dropped out of Art school due to lack of funds. I ressurected my old, forgotten love of computers from High School, and learned DOS and Netware, and graduated to testing hardware (we bundled some hardware with our products), and from there to Tech Support, where I got a raise up to $22k. Now I'm a senior Tech Support rep, and am making $65k, plus 401k, excellent health insurance, and other goodies, plus I have vested stock options worth in excess of a quarter million $ US. Probably worth half a million this time next year if current trends continue. Doesn't matter much to me, that's all icing on the cake.
    Not bad for an art school dropout.
    Though my company has been merged and squished and bought several times, and I ended up moving 2000 miles to keep my job (and those stock options), I'm still working for the same company, and definately not locked into a 5-7% raise structure. (though when I get increases, they're generally in the 2-5% range, the big increases have been from internal promotions).

    I can't help but wonder what some of the coders are making at this company. I've actually spent some time trying to learn C on my own, but I've found that though I was great at self-paced learning in HS, I suck at it now, with family responsibilities competing for my time, so I'm finally going back to school, this time to get an engineering degree.

    I don't know quite whom to thank for this life, but I gotta say, in retrospect, it's been great so far.

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • From a Yank who's been to England (one week training stint).

    Housing:
    The vast majority of US houses built in the 80's are like what you said, far better than their UK counterparts, for the money. But increasingly, new houses in the states are being built on much smaller plots of land. Even very, very large luxurious houses have these tiny tiny yards. Don't bother owning a large dog if you plan on buying a newer house. In California (at least around where I live), generally, older houses don't have basements, or screens on the windows (no bugs out here anyway). In Illinois though (where I came from) you're darn toonin' right you have screens on the windows. Bugs bugs bugs! And when there's no bugs, freezing rain.

    Fuel:
    You poor bastards. That's all I have to say.
    Although, around London, I'd have to say you DO have a fabulous set of alternatives to driving. Best public transportation I've seen ANYWHERE, and I've been to MANY US cities, major and minor. Between the Great Western, and the Underground, you guys have it so nice. Back when I was in Illinois, they had trains and busses from the burbs into Chicago, but they were noisy, uncomfortable, and expensive as hell. Travelling by Great Western train in the London suburbs was luxurious, and pleasant. (what, I'm sure as hell not going to hire a car and hope I don't forget what side of the street to drive on - I nearly got killed several times as a pedestrian! Luckily, your works people are smart and painted "LOOK RIGHT" on the street by all pedestrian crossings - otherwise, I'd likely be dead now).

    People:
    No arguments there - but you can't make a blanket statement about US people. It varies widely by region. It's a big honkin country.

    Computers:
    You poor bastards!

    Health service:
    You poor bastards. Clinton almost had us in a similar mess. Thank goodness that didn't come to pass.

    Other things -
    Food: If you like food, England is NOT a nice place to live. Very little fruit is to be had, meat is often tough and fatty, and overcooked, although vegetables are often good quality. Lots of strange customary foods like blood pudding, and meat pies, etc. Luckily, American culture has somewhat infested the areas I was in, so there was some fallback to what I could eat.

    Beauty:
    I'll agree. England is stark-raving beautiful as a country. It's architecture, and countryside are second to none. It's music and culture are as rich as any in the world. But dentistry is obviously a hundred years behind the US. Not just an "Austin Powers" joke. It's true. BRUSH AND FLOSS DAILY!!!
    But for the hottest chicks anywhere, listen to the Beach Boys song; you gotta come to California. The only problem is, they're a rare commodity in Northern California. SV guys should take weekend raids down to LA and import the hot chicks back to the Bay Area. They're wasted in Hollywood, where beauty can be bought cheaply.


    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • Get a contract in the Philippines from a company here. A friend of a friend has been down there a few years pulling in 60k USD per year (probably more now, he started this a few years ago). Housing and per diem included as well as a few trips back to the states each year.

    A contract job in the Philippines actually sounds like fun. I might be looking into that in a few months.

  • Sorry but you're completely off base with those figures (mostly at the low end) - perhaps if you go right to a merchant bank in London you might hit the top of that scale here, but for the most part a graduate can expect around 14 up to 24 depending on location - the further north you get expect it to be lower (the UK's wonderful north/south divide is alive and well thanks to Maggie!).

    Graduate salaries aside - a good IT worker here can expect to top out about 35-40k (according to the latest offerings in computer weekly - a trade mag) without going contracting. This is because the UK still is stuck in the 1970's with regard to who should get higher pay - management (big bosses can earn silly money here). On the contracting side of things it's much rosier. Expect low end to be around 25/h (although all contractor segments have been badly hit of late with a market slump prior to Y2K) and upper end can be anything really - I've seen/known people charging 100/hour or more for the right skills.

    My advice: Go it alone, either contracting or your own business. IR35 has been killed for a while (do a net search to find out what that's about) and the contract market is looking up again. Also the Chancellor keeps announcing excellent measures for small businesses.
  • Try Scotland's central belt too. We don't have the beer (you have to like Malt Whiskey if you want a good local drink here) but I'd be willing to bet we come close in our wonderful rain factor. My brollie's never been out so much since moving.
  • On the subject of not needing air-con, yes, that's true - you don't need it. It does get hot though. We've just had terrible summers lately. Lest ye forget the summer of 1995 when temperatures in London soared to 40 degrees (and I was stuck in a bedsit in Acton with a window that didn't open).

    I don't mind too much about not using my car (I get the train to work every day) - but really there's little valid alternative yet. Our trains are appalling and expensive. Our buses are better but badly maintained and not nice to travel on. Try another country to see what I mean.

    And what I really take issue with is "you'll get emergency care quickly and free". Free yes. Quickly, no. Not unless you're bleeding to death. My last trip to the ER was a couple of months ago my wife woke up in agony with pain in her severe womb region. I took her to the ER. It took her 4 hours to be seen. For 2 of those hours we were the only people in the ER (this was now about 3am). There were no emergencies that night blocking us - we were simply waiting - and my wife's pain didn't pass all that time (it was an ovarian cyst, for what it's worth). She wasn't given any pain killers until 6am. Nice health service. I have many similar stories but they aren't exactly slashdot fodder.
  • by Matts (1628)
    Maybe it is time to leave the UK? Let's see.

    Maybe, but i doubt it. Just get a good accountant. Most contractor accountants have already figured out the ways around the bill - I know mine has. Need a good accountant? I can recommend mine www.jonesandco.co.uk
  • by Matts (1628) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @03:32AM (#1546806) Homepage
    Here's my perspective on the UK vs the US/Canada (my wife is Canadian and I know a lot of friends out in the US).

    First thing is that salary is really irrelevant - you just can't compare dollars for pounds. I earn much more than some of the Canadian people I know, but they have more. Let's break that down:

    Housing

    The average house in the UK simply pales into comparison with our stateside friends. The problem here being LAND. We don't have much of it. Canadian houses I've seen (and US ones too) have much larger plots, have 3 levels (we don't have basements - at least not in new houses - only in houses > 75 years old), air conditioning, larger rooms, larger garages, and better facilities. UK houses are small, have very little land, and often you're lucky to get a garage. Air con is unheard of in a house. We don't have screens on our windows so expect to enjoy bugs in the summer. And expect to feel cramped - your house will probably be sandwiched on an estate with several hundred others, or in a terrace (OK, so that's not true for everyone, but you get the picture).

    Fuel

    Our govt doesn't like us driving. Current fuel tax is something like 85%. Yes, you read correctly. That makes petrol extortionately expensive compared to the US. And the price also varies vastly throughout the country (e.g. London: 66.9p per litre, A1 road outside of Edinburgh: 81.9p per litre). And there are plans to increase this price to discourage people from driving (eco friendly government - only they dont provide a valid alternative to driving).

    People

    People in London are miserable gits who don't speak to you unless they're drunk and asking for money. People in Yorkshire or Wales will speak to you whether you like it or not. :)

    Seriously though - people here are friendly, but not outwardly friendly. What I mean by that is you shouldn't expect the "customer is always right" attitude you're used to in America. Oh no. Most definitely the salesperson is always right, and by god you'd better not trifle with them. Thankfully this is changing. Slowly. There is one good thing: Salespeople (except car salespeople, but that's another story) don't approach you unless you look approachable. I like this - especially as I have been acosted in Canada by a salesperson in a lingerie store (buying for my wife, not me!) - somewhere I'd rather just be discreet and leave as soon as possible!

    Computers

    This is the worst - and most likely to scare you off. It's got me thinking about leaving for the US or Canada...

    We have no DSL yet (some trials perhaps). We have very little cable internet yet. High speed internet access is a myth here. Unless you live in Guildford apparently. A T1 is about 20k pounds per year. Even ISDN is extortionate. We pay by the minute for internet access - my bill is about 150 pounds per month.

    Health service

    Our health service is free (You pay a small percentage tax from your salary for it). And it SUCKS. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise - if they try to they've either never had a serious illness, or they don't know any better. I've got nothing good to say about the health service here - except that the people who work for it are angels - the quality of the service is not their fault, it's financial. Our NHS doctors work something like 80hrs/week (would you want someone that tired working on you?) and our nurses work longer. I could relay some horror stories about the NHS here but I'll not waste my time.


    OK, now that I've scared you off, I'll say that England is beautiful. It's a stunning country with huge amounts of history and lovely people. For that alone it's worth living here. And the pay rate for IT contractors means you'll have a big house, a nice car, and be able to pay for private health care. You still won't get high speed internet access though :)
  • (* Cheap Shot Alert *)

    Your knowledge of security rules you out of most jobs in the UK, especially Universities, Research Labs, etc.

    I -can- tell you that the figures for salaries covers the private sector. Public sector employees can expect 1/2 of that, if they're lucky. Also, the phenominal VAT that the oh-so-generous Conservative Government left England with eats your pay like nothing else.

    (Translation for Americans: VAT is the UK version of sales tax. When I left England, it was at 17.5%.)

    Oh, also, if you smoke, drink lots, or like to drive large cars, don't bother going to England. Tobacco, alchohol and petrol are taxed through the nose.

    In other words, gross salary (other than being literally gross, in England) isn't everything you need to consider. There's the cost of living, too.

  • Factor into this the superb health care, education, transport infrastructure and the fact that Switzerland is simply the most beautiful place on the planet and I'd work there for free...

    Nick (who can't wait for his mountaineering trip in France/Switzerland/Italy this summer.)

  • I am currently moving jobs so am up-to-date on some of these figures.

    At the moment I work in Sophia Antipolis (06) France and earn 230kF with seven years of expirience.

    I will be moving to Montpellier (34) France and should be getting about 300kF.

    I am a real time / embedded software engineer.

    My CV can be found at perso.wanadoo.fr/david.kerr-munslow if you want further details of where I am at in the scheme of things.

    I second avoiding SS2Is! Though they can be an entry into a company proper - one contracts for a year and then one is made an offer if the company likes you.

    Equally don't get too hung up on money - the cost of living controls how much the money is worth. I am English and find eating is cheaper and better. Car oriented things don't seem so pricey either (petrol/gas is only 6.50 FF/l +/- !!)
  • If you want a short term contract I think that you might want to try an SS2I (contracting company). There certainly seems to be some demand in the Paris region from such companies.

    I think that you might like to be able to get by in French - whilst at work everyone might be able to speak English, outside of work you will need to be able to communicate.

    Appartments are seriously expensive in Paris - walking past agency windows I have seen prices in the region of 5000FF for not very much in the way of an appartment.

    I can't imagine French companies being willing to pay relocation expenses for a contract as short as 6 months. Note that the French holiday system might mean that for the first year you have virtually no holidays.

    However - good luck in trying!

  • I'm a Montrealer in exile in Mountain View (we could get a beer sometime!)

    When I lived on the Plateau (five years ago), it's true that $500 would get you good housing on the Plateau - $300 in Villeray and even less in ParkEx or NDG. (I won't speak of that awful place known as Cote-des-Neiges.) I just went back and found rents were much higher. $800 is a slightly high estimate. I found apts on Rachel between St Laurent and St Denis running in the $700-$900 range. On De Lorimier, it was a couple hundred cheaper. It seems times are good on the Plateau - rents are as high there as in Outremont.

    Cheap housing is still to be found in NDG. Monkland Ave is apparently where poor artists live these days.

    Only people who have attended an English school in Canada, or whose parents or siblings did, can register in English schools in Quebec. (That's not Bill 101 either - it's the same for French schools outside of Quebec. Turns out this silliness is actually in the constitution.) I intended that for the non-Canadians on /., who, if they moved to Montreal, would find it practically impossible to register in an English school. The abolition of the parochial school boards doesn't change that.

    Personally, that doesn't bother me, I'd like to see my kids in French school - I used to date one of the teachers at the Ecole International. Chus ben et bel bilingue, moe'! But, I can see how it might be a turn off for Americans.

    I have a couple more stock disbursements coming, and since company competes directly with Microsoft, I figure the anti-trust case has to do our stock some good. Once I see that cash, and pay off the rest of my debts, I'm going to circulate my CV in Montreal. I figure somebody must be hiring UNIX techs, and I'll take the lower pay. I miss the place too - I spent a week there with my fiancee in September and she fell in love with the place. She hasn't seen it in winter yet, but what's life without some surprises?

    God, I could kill for a smoked meat sandwich with poutine and a brio. I guess it must be lunchtime. :^)
  • You know MS Office? Can you write macros in VB? If so, you are now an experienced VB programmer. Written a web page? You are an experienced web engineer, with a background in cross-browser compliant development. Ever worked in an office with both UNIX and NT? You have experience in highly hetrogenous networked environments.

    Your background isn't in help desks, it's in end-user assistance. SW/HW testing, advanced software technologies, ISP management (how many users? A few thousand maybe? That'll impress them.)

    Use more buzzwords! Use more abbreviations! Remember, you're an engineer!! (I hear all you guys who actually got engineering degrees snickering in the background. So what? None of you are HR people.)

    Operating Systems: MacOS v6-9, Solaris/SunOS 1.x-2.x, Windows3.1, 95 and NT.

    Productivity systems: MS Office, Applix, CorelOffice (name some more - if you've never used them, go to a software store and play with the demos)

    Hardware: Macintosh - 680x0 and PPC-based systems, PC's - 386-Pentium III, Sun SPARC and UltraSPARC. Various high-end computing platforms.

    Networking systems: Server administration of: e-mail systems, AppleTalk, NetBIOS, TCP/IP, NFS, FTP and web servers...

    Apply for jobs that you're not qualified for. Apply actively - posting your resume on Monster won't do it.

    Don't push it too much, apply for jobs where you're pretty sure you can acquire the skills you need. Then, with a buzzword compliant resume to get you in the door, tell them at the interview that you're sure you learn quickly and expect to be on the ball in short order. Remember, it's their job to tell you you're not qualified, not yours.

    It took me about a year, going through four jobs, to jump from $8/hr to about $40, and that's most of what I did. Now, at each job, I did actually learn the skills I set out to acquire there. In that year I learned to code and I learned UNIX. By the time I quit a job, I was always qualified for it.
  • My mother and brother live in Winnipeg, but I hate the place - okay, I'm biased. :^)

    Vacation time in Silicon Valley: if you're a contractor (as many are) there is no paid vacation time. Any unpaid time you take off is by negociation between you and your employer. At my company, you get ten paid days off, and a free paid week between Christmas and New Years. Ten paid days is the standard here, plus the official holidays.

    Saskatchewan, ewww! I don't think I could take Newfoundland either, although I gather you can buy a house for under $5000 there.
  • by vlax (1809) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @11:51AM (#1546814)
    I came to the US the first time when I was 9. My father was in graduate school on a student visa. Three years later, he had a Master's and had finished classwork for his PhD when he got a job offer from a public college in New Jersey. We applied for green cards.

    The first year, his university and the college agreed to call his employment part of his PhD training, so he could stay on his student visa and get paid. Legally, they could only do that for a year. The second year, they gave him a loan to cover his salary, and agreed to write it off at the end of the year. I'm pretty sure that's illegal - but hey, who am I to complain. I don't know the details of the loophole they used.

    The third year, about mid way through, we got our green cards. Now, this was a public college, the state dept of Ed was pressuring the INS all the way or it would have taken twice as long. This was in the middle of the Reagan years - the INS was notoriously slow.

    Immigrating to Canada: I expect to go back to Canada with my soon to be wife, and American. I am told it takes about 4 months to process that kind of application and I get to do it through Employment and Immigration Canada rather than Quebec. Quebec only handles economic migration - family unification and refugees are still handled by the feds.

    If you immigrate to Quebec, you have to stay in Quebec until you're a landed immigrant. You can change jobs while you wait - even if you're sponsored I think - but if you spend too much time unemployed, they kick you out.

    Landed status still takes a couple of years. Quebec also usually favours French speaking immigrants, but there are exceptions, especially for those in technology.

    Welcome to Canada! The winters suck, but the rest is worth it.
  • by vlax (1809) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @08:02AM (#1546815)
    In Silicon Valley, relatively inexperienced computer techs can easily pull in over US$60,000 a year. Skilled people can get $100,000 or more with fairly little trouble. (My fiancee who hasn't even finished her BA in German translation makes $53/hr as an intranet contractor here.) Regular empolyees also benifit usually from significant bonuses in stock and options.

    This is certainly a lot of money in an America where median household incomes are about US$38,000/yr and most people have no significant assets. (This is only slightly better than 1979 household medians.)

    However, rent here will kill you. A two bedroom apt on the Peninsula starts at $1500/mo in Mountain View or Sunnyvale and goes up to $3000 in Palo Alto or Menlo Park. Studios start at $1000. Services - like eating in a restaurant - are fairly expensive. Gas is relatively expensive compared to the rest of the US ($1.60 a gallon isn't unheard of). Car insurance can be high. And commuting to work is horrible. There is no public transit worth a damn. Buses and light rail in Santa Clara county cost $1.25, $2.00 in San Mateo or to get over the Dumbarton Bridge, and $1.25 in Alameda. BART and Caltrain cost between $1.10 and $8.00 each way depending on how far you're going.

    Trust me, that high salary doesn't go nearly as far as you might hope, and quality of life suffers in a lot of unexpected ways.

    Entertainment in Silicon Valley: there is none. There are a few movie theatres owned by a quasi-monopoly called Century Theatres. Ticket prices are roughly US$8.50. There is a little bit of high-brow culture in the south bay, but not much and prices are high. San Francisco is better, but you can't drive there very easily and parking is a nightmare. After the first few attempts, you'll stop trying.

    Fry's Electronics is perhaps the most entertaining place in the bay area.

    Cable modems are available in many areas, starting at US$50/mo with US$150 to install. DSL runs around $400 to install, and about $80/mo for decent bandwidth.

    If you work in tech as a regular employee, life, disability and medical insurance is usually included, and usually included a PPO option that is far better than the HMO plans that the peasants get. If you are a contractor, expect to pay a lot for an HMO plan and get poor service.

    Now, Canadian tech incomes are lower, but in general no more than 20 or 30% lower. Usually, a tech job in Canada pays the same number of dollers as a comparable job in the US, but Canadian dollars are worth 23% less.

    Cost of a movie ticket in Montreal is about CAN$10 (US$6.70). Rent on a two bedroom apartment in Montreal on the Plateau (artsy, yuppie area) is about CAN$800 (US$540). Montreal and Toronto offer comprehensive and rapid public transit. In Montreal a ticket costs CAN$1.25 ($US0.85) and a pass cost less that CAN$50/mo. Most Canadian cities offer at the very least comprehensive, regular bus service. In Toronto, as I understand it, prices are higher than in Montreal, and in Ottawa they are lower. Gasoline in Canada is about the same price as in California.

    Quality of life issues: even Winnipeg (Canada's version of hell) has more cultural options than San Jose. Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto compare favourably with many European capitals in this respect. And you can get at least as many channels on cable in Canada as in California.

    Cable modems and DSL in Canada cost about CAN$40/mo (US$27) and are available in nearly all core metropolitan areas. Restaurant prices in Montreal are roughly half (yes, 50%) of Silicon Valley prices.

    Although many Canadians complain about their socialised medical services (and there are some genuine problems), they remain superior to the American HMOs I've had, and you keep your benefits even if unemployed. There is basically no paperwork when you see a physician, and you can see any doctor you choose. Most tech companies offer some form of supplimental medical insurance as a benefit - usually covering prescription and dental care which are outside normal medical coverage.

    Schools in Canada are generally excellent (at least by comparison to the California public school system), and private and religious education is partially or wholly subsidised in most of Canada. Naturally, if you plan to move to Quebec, the only schools you can send your children to are in French - la vie est dure. :^) Except for Ontario, public universities are far less expensive than state schools in the United States, and quality of education is higher than the US average.

    Taxes in Canada are somewhat higher than in the US, but not excessively so for those in middle income brackets. There are fewer convienient loopholes, but equivalents of the IRA and 401k are available. Taxes are considerably lower than in the UK or Ireland. (If you plan to be a billionaire, forget Canada - Bermuda is a much better choice.)

    As I understand it, prices in New York and Boston are comparable to those in Silicon Valley, but Austin, Provo, Boise, Ann Arbor, Chicago and Atlanta (supposedly where the new tech companies are going) are generally much cheaper. I don't know from personal experience - I have lived in some of those places, but only many years ago. In other parts of the US, there are real bargains. A tech income in Omaha, Memphis, Houston or somewhere else well off the beaten track will probably enable you to live like a king, but I can't stand most of those places. If you can, by all means go for it.

    As for me, as soon as my debts are paid off, I'm going back to Canada.
  • I REALLY want a job in the Netherlands. I have been talking to many different firms and found they are either unwilling to talk to someone 6 months before graduation or are 100% Microsoft shops, which means they don't want me nor do I want them. (MAN, ASP is crap. I can't imagine companies focusing on that garbage. ticks me off, php and perl all the way, but anyway..)

    I have had some trouble with finding places to list my resume. Anyone have any experience with European firms and what job sites they look at?

    In a note to firms: I graduate with a BS in CS this May. I have close family ties to the Netherlands and am ready for work in May of 2000. Check out my resume [hope.edu] if you would like to.

  • I just went through all of this same stuff myself being a recent college grad. I pretty much looked at the large consulting companies. It seems that most companies will start coders at $42,000 range with a signing bonus of ~$2000. The is the "middle ground" though. I have seen some start at $55,000 with a $5,000 bonus (in NYC) to salaries as low as $37,500 + $1500 bonus (in RI where the cost of living is a bit lower)

    These figures would be for a entry level job into some type of large consulting company. AS far as startups go, you can probably squeeze more money out of them if you have "mad skills."

    Now salary is very important, but there are also many other factors to look at when choosing a company that will effect your finances. Other important factors are out of pocket expenses for medical, dental and vision. How much will your company match for a 401k plan? How many years until you are vested?? If you go away for business will they pay to put your pets in a kennel?? (It can get expensive!) Is there a profit share/stock option plan. These "fringe" benefits can add up to be a lot of extra money.
  • You're getting screwed. Email me. If you really know your stuff, I can double that /easy/.
  • Email me. Degrees don't mean jack in this day and age.
  • So what's the Irish punt worth these days? I seem to remember it being about $1.40. Those prices seem quite high, but like my wife said, with the weather and prices, it's not much different than Seattle. So are the housing prices somewhat even across the nation or are you just quoting Dublin prices?

    The weather doesn't bother me much. I suppose if I can live where the temps range from -30 to 43C during the year and can be bone dry one year and downright soggy the next, I should be able to handle Ireland. I don't drink, so beer & pubs are not a concern. Extremely non ethnically diverse. Depending on your point of view, that can be good or bad....I personally rather have that than a place where anything and everything becomes a racial issue whether is really is or not.

  • Now there is a joke for you. The upper limit is around $30K for for the IT Manager at a mid sized company ( 50 to 200 employees ).

    Cost of living is higher than in the US since everything costs more. Most things have draconian import duty ( charged on retail value ). fortunately Computer stuff is exempt from import duty so you can save a bundle by buying off EBay etc...

    If you like nice even, warm weather and you should come here though.
  • i only make $8 an hour for doing PC/LAN support and simple system admin tasks
    im up for a raise in two months...but it wont be more than $2 an hour.
    i live in the DC metro area...

    someone kill me. =P
    or give me a better job. PLLEEAASSSE!
  • Goto www.telejob.ch and get a job ...
  • I am a software developer-contractor with $100/hour rate. I am toying with the idea of spending summer in UK, is it possible to get 3-4mo contract there ? If yes, what kind of rate can I expect ? Well, the bottom has pretty much dropped out of the UK contract market at the moment. Mine expires in 3 weeks, and there's almost nothing available. Everyone's waiting until post-Y2K before even considering taking on new contractors. There's a few short term contracts available, and I'll probably have to take one until the market picks up again (which people seem to think will be around March). I even saw a one week contract as a Linux trainer :-) Rates are depressingly low at the moment -- around £40/hour, although I'm hoping they'll pick up again. If you go for financial institutions in the City of London, you're looking more at £55 to £75 per hour. 3-4 month contracts are very common, although you may need to check about work permits and the like.
  • a good IT worker here can expect to top out about 35-40k (according to the latest offerings in computer weekly - a trade mag)

    Ignore the salaries listed there. They usually only list the lower end of the spectrum. You can certainly get 60k+ in the City, and 45k elsewhere in London. I'm not saying it's common, and you need a certain amount of experience to get that sort of money, but it doesn't top out at the 35/40k you're quoting.

  • I find this thread intriguing. Given the typical British reticence to reveal salaries, there are an awful lot of people (including myself) who are quite prepared to tell the world how much they are earning. Is is because we feel safe (i.e., among friends), or is it just that geeks place less emphasis on the importance of salary then the general populace?

    FWIW, I'm currently on £50/hour in London, and am looking for more Unix contract work. I'd consider a permanent position, but not for less than £50,000 a year, and even then, I'd have to think twice about it. I like the freedom of contracting.

  • The going rate in the Netherlands would be about US$39.000 per year. Entered your information on http://www.intermediair.nl/ using the following information:
    - College-degree,
    - >4yrs experience in IT,
    - 31-35 yrs old
    Most of Europe has the same shortage in IT-staff as the US, pushing up the rates.

  • I would love to get a job in France in 6-12 months, possibly in Paris/Ile de France.

    • Do I have to be fluent in French, or can I get through with passive skills? Supposing they are a bit ignorant of English or German.
    • Would companies take over moving expenses from Germany to France?
    • How hard is it to get an appartment and what have I expect to pay?
    • Is there a particular demand for IT people? (in Germany the demand is huge)

  • No. Atlanta is just hot. The real action is in Tulsa, the networking capitol of the US, home to WorldCom and Williams Communications. The cost of living here is extremely low and salaries are quite competative.
  • I will be going to DC this Summer with a salary of $60,000 right out of college. The DC market is very hot.
  • Actually most companies are now having you sign away your brain and various other rights during the hiring process. It doesn't violate the Bill of Rights if you sign your rights away.
    Of course it doesn't help any that all the forms have something along the lines of ("Employment conditional on acceptance of these terms.")
    OTOH a law that outright prohibits people talking about their salaries would probably fall into your above case.

    Vermifax

  • we have better beer!
  • "Please submit salary expectations"

    One thing I would suggest is to never give them your salary expectations. That gives them a leg up on the negotiations. Let them offer you what they think your are worth after interviewing you.

    Personally I don't apply for jobs that say things like "Salary history required to apply". They can take a hike. And if they want to know what I expect I say that salary is negotiable (which ougt to go w/o saying but it is a nice way to put it).
  • You might want to check out Linuxmall in Denver. http://www.linuxmall.com [linuxmall.com] I heard that they are looking for a technical writer.

    Walter

  • A bachelor's is an undergraduate degree. A graduate degree depends on the field, but is generally called a master's or PhD. A polytechnic degree is usually called a technical or associate's degree.
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.
  • Well, thanks for the words of encouragement, at least. :) I didn't mean to say that money was specifically exclusive of happiness, but in general, IT jobs are. Also, northern Virginia (DC area) is a bit more expensive to live in than one would expect, though yeah, I know it doesn't compare to New England.

    Technically I'm under a 1-year noncompete and 2-year IP ownership thing, which is part of how this company controls its employees; they made very strong implications when I was interviewing with them that there wasn't such an agreement, and of course, after spending a few thousand dollars to get my sorry self out here, they give me this very anti-freedom contract to sign - what was I going to do, say "I can't take this job" and be homeless/penniless? It wasn't an option, especially since I had dragged two of my friends out here with me. Fortunately, the contract is phrased in such a way that it's only really valid in Virginia, and if they ever try to take me to court, I'd have a very strong argument that they coerced me into signing it to begin with (which they did; when I was simply dumbfounded by the contract, the company president spent half an hour basically brainwashing me into thinking that the contract was for my good and not the company's - complete bullshit, of course). They also coerced me into taciturnly giving up potential rights to quite a few graphics-related algorithms I developed in college which would have been very useful for them. Fortunately I managed to avoid making it possible for them to claim I'd even thought about any of them at work, which I hadn't.

    Regardless, I think going to grad school is right for me, and your response to my post was very helpful in solidifying that notion. Many thanks. :)
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.

  • Well, the spirit of the IP agreement is so that I don't go in and steal any of their IP and use it for my own gains. Considering I only worked there for three months, and the fact that several college friends and professors can attest to the fact that I developed these algorithms during my college career (and talked at length about them - I was going to write some papers but never got around to it), and, again, the fact I was coerced into signing the contract, I'm not too worried about being able to defend the rights to my own brain.

    I'm leaving Virginia, but I already left the company a couple months ago. It was a small company, however, and they're competent - well, enough to be dangerous, anyway. But again, aside from what I put down on my 'prior inventions' page on the contract (which they simply threw out anyway, part of their coersion tactics), I never divulged any information to them on any algorithms I came up with on my own time, and I made a concsious (and successful) effort to not come up with anything new and useful while working for them.

    As far as which grad school, I don't feel that I really need to go to a university with an extreme specialization in VR or graphics. The university I'm going back to has enough to make me happy; the department is small, but very diverse, but not so diverse that it's incredibly fragmented and spread thin. :)
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.

  • Part of how easy it was to coerce me into taking that particular job was the fact that on the surface it was exactly the kind of job you describe having. The fact it only took me a couple months to realize how inept everyone was and how much brainwashing was going on shows how shallow it was.

    For me, happiness requires an academic setting. It's just the way I am. I meant nothing controversial by my last statement, which was, I believe, originally directed specifically towards academically-minded individuals such as myself. :)
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.

  • Ah, but the first interview was with one of their top technical guys. He's the one who fed me the hacker-owned hacker-operated crap. But I digress. Again. :)

    And I'm in northern Virginia, as I think I said elsewhere. Fairfax. though it looks like I'll be out of here as soon as next Friday.
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.

  • by Pascal Q. Porcupine (4467) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @03:07AM (#1546840) Homepage
    For the on-topic bit: I was suckered out to Virginia for $50k/year fresh out of college, but I've got lots of skill in realtime 3D which this company wanted, but they didn't know how to treat their employees and so I left after a few months.

    For the off-topic bit: I have come to realize that the industry isn't for me. Academia is where I belong. I'm not a mercenary programmer. So of course, after a few months of living relatively large (figuring I'd be gainfully employed for a long time) I'm having my world kinda crash down around me, financially anyway. It doesn't help at all that I incurred some debt in moving out here which I, very stupidly, put off paying back. All in all, I'd have about broken even for the whole experience were it not for the various tech toys I suddenly found myself able to buy... Even though I rationally know that grad school is best for me, and emotionally know it as well, it just doesn't help to have all you mercenary types rubbing my nose in what kinds of salary I'm giving up. :)

    I've never been into computing and programming for the money, except for a brief period of time when I was graduating college and I got suckered into putting off my happiness for the promises of getting to keep doing the cool stuff while also making enough money to live very comfortably. Of course, those promises never panned out, and the company I got hired by turned out to be nothing more than a pair of two-bit swindlers doing whatever they could to control spineless employees who didn't know better and weren't at liberty to leave for a variety of reasons.

    I need to give some advice to academic types who might be reading this thread: which do you prefer, money or happiness?
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.

  • Apparently, the fact that salaries and money matters are usually discussed less openly in Europe, and esp. in France, leads to the job market being less open about it, and the salaries to be actually LESSER. Tax also have something to do with it, but all considered ...

    Working as a sysadmin / developer / head tech. person for a small web company, I make about $40k a year. That's rather good here compared to what's OFFERED usually. Note the emphasis on OFFERED ... that means that if you blindly accept the initial offer on a job interview, you'll get much less than that ... however you're going to be extremely surprised to notice that, as you tell them to "fuck off" and get up to leave, they quickly apologize and timidly ask you to stay and offer something better.

    Also the policy on stock options around here (France) is not exactly clear, and actually the law on it isn't clear.

    Funny story: my cousin, who worked in microelectronics in the valley making good money for 18 months, came back and was looking for a short term job doing web stuff. He went to one service company, they did'nt want to discuss salary on the phone. On the spot they offered him ... $2000 a month! What a joke. He laughed at them and they seemed not to understand! "You're wasting my time", he told them, "don't you have any idea what the market is?" And indeed, he quickly found something much better paid.

  • Here's another question. It seems that in any line of work there's always somebody whose pay, rate of advancement, job security and stability, etc. seem to be not as dependant on how good they are at their job but on stuff like personality, looks, family influence, and other semi-unquantifiables. How much more or less than average is IT subject to this sort of thing?

  • Oh, also, if you smoke, drink lots, or like to drive large cars, don't bother going to England.

    Unless you are aged 18-21 and you live somewhere that doesn't allow under-21s to buy alcohol, tax or no tax. (Although other countries are better still of course.)

    Tobacco is expensive, but I don't think the costs of running a car are much worse than elsewhere in Europe. (IIRC Germany has the most large cars of any European country, the UK is second.)

  • ... Compared to Silly Valley. I am currently looking at houses in the Valley from DC and I am doing all that I can to get my new boss to let me tele-commute. They could pay me less and fly me out there weekly for less than I would want to live out there and it looks like that is what they are going to do.

    ... Now if I could just get them to hire the entire team out here...

    Anyway, Salary is the topic so: I have the best of both worlds. I am getting a Silly Valley salary and live near DC. Out far enough that the cost of living is reasonable but close enough to be able to enjoy the ammenities of a large city.

    Suburbia RULES!!

    Summary: $80-100k or somewhere in between.
  • Factor into this the superb health care, education, transport infrastructure and the fact that Switzerland is simply the most beautiful place on the planet and I'd work there for free...

    Well, where does the money come from to buy ski-passes?

    But seriously, Switzerland is one of the countries that is quite serious about not letting just about anybody into the country "for good".

    Fine if you come skiing, fine if you come and deliver some (big) machine and need to fine-tune it for a week. Not fine if you want to come and just work for a Swiss company, and see how long you can stay.

    Roger.
  • by Psiren (6145)
    I would have said a little more than that. I started on 16K, straight from Uni. Although I have a fair amount of experience in Unix. Maybe a Windows only techie wouldn't get quite so much. Not sure myself, as I never looked at any non-Unix jobs ;)
  • by cswiii (11061) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @02:38AM (#1546859)
    ...stock options. Some companies offer options up front, in lieu of a higher salary. Granted, this is a gamble in a lot of cases, but with a competitive IT field and a raging stock market, it's nonetheless becoming more and more prevalent.
  • That's about right for Canada. I've mostly seen between $38k and $48k CAD.

    But salary's only a part of your compensation. Comparing benefits packages is much more difficult. What do their retirement benefits look like? Stock options? Discounted stock?

    /peter
  • Warning: Chances are that if the company doesn't have you interview with one of their technical people (ie: one of your future co-workers) then you don't want to work for them.

    This usually says one of two things about a company. A) they don't want you talking to that level because you'd somehow figure out how crappy it is to work there, or B) they aren't clueful enough to have the people who know what you are talking about interview you. You know the old joke about "I don't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member." Well, not quite that bad, but I don't want to belong to any company that would summarily give me a job without a little scrutiny. It's a sure sign that I'm going to be working with a few incompetent people.

    Anyway, if you get to talk to these people then it's important for you to find out about working conditions. At some point I started approaching the situation as me interviewing them rather than vice versa. In addition to learning about the company and working environment it will also put you in a position of confidence.

    Good luck in your search,
    -Paul

    P.S.: I also live and work in VA. (Northern VA to be exact) Fortunately, I've been able to consistently find work that I enjoy doing and still get paid big money. I even have time to spend it. (Sometimes I wish I didn't. :) )
  • "Looking through all your comments I find this quite surprising. I thought that you guys/gals in the US were all on $80-$100K, but it seems that that isn't the case. It makes me feel slightly happier about my situation here in the UK."

    Don't forget that this is a big country. Cost of living and salaries vary everywhere. For the record I live in Northern Virginia and it is quite typical to find programmers making between $80-$100k.

    However, in June I just paid $300,000 for a house here. Don't get me wrong, this is a big house. But if I moved out to South Dakota or something I probably couldn't buy a house for that much if I wanted to. I doubt they make them big enough; the cost of living there is much lower. They also don't make as much though.

    What I would be interested in seeing is a national or global chart of ratios of cost of living vs. average income. This would be very telling.

    For example, supposedly Fairfax County, VA and Orange County, CA keep swapping places for highest average income. However, based on my limited research, the cost of living here in Fairface County is much lower.

    The ratios would be very telling.
    -Paul
  • This is the Salary Calculator [homefair.com] that Money magazine links to in their tools section. It works pretty well. Helps to compute the "real" dollar amount of that large salary offer with relo is worth....

    Caveat: I've found that it

    1. Underestimates the cost of living in CT.
    2. Typically doesn't take into account major differences in state taxes (eg. no income tax in TX or WA).
    3. Can't predict intangibles (like generally not needing a car if you live in Boston, NY, or Chicago).

    So, YMMV. But at least it's a start :)







    This is my opinion and my opinion only. Incidentally, IANAL.

  • You are getting screwed. Starting sysadmins here in the midwest (a moderate to low cost of living area) are getting at least $40k. Experienced sysadmins are getting $50k-$65k. Sysadmin managers are getting $60-$75k.

    Given what you are doing, you should be making at least double what you currently are.

  • What? In the midwest starting sysadmins make $40K? I wish.

    Yep, around here they do. In Chicago they make more, but the cost of living is closer to east coast levels. The cost of living around here is probably fairly similar to Madison.

    I work for a univeristy

    Here is your mistake. Universities pay poorly. It is very difficult to make decent money in a college town due to the glut of people who will work for dirt. I used to work for a university (about 30 miles from where I live now), about 10 years ago, I then lived for a short time in the SF bay area, when I came back to the midwest I moved to a larger non-university town where I basically doubled what I was making at the University. In the past 10 years I have tripled my income as one would expect with experience.

    (UW Madison to be precise - the biggest in the state and one of the Big 10 in the US)

    A friend of mine who lives in Milwaukee makes considerably higher than that as a sysadmin with similar years of experience to yours. I should ask him what entry level people are making where he works.

    The university though is the most chill work environment you could possibly have - access to equipment and knowledge like you wouldn't believe, and comes with an amazing benefits package that is topped by few private companies.

    The benefits at universities are only good if they will give you a full time job. When I worked for a university, I worked full time hours, but wasn't considered full time, and I got no benefits at all. In fact that had a lot to do with my decision to get the hell out of there.

    I've worked at small, mid sized and currently work for a large (Fortune 100 sized) company. Access to equipment and knowledge is good at a university, but don't knock the private sector until you've tried it.

    A friend of mine still works as a sysadmin at the same university I used to work for. He has been there for over 10 years now, and he makes only about 1/2 what I do. I've tried to get him to move down here, because I could easily find a job for him making considerably more than what he gets now, but he won't budge. Its kinda sad, because he has a degree in Com Sci with a 3.9 something GPA. I never finished college, and I make twice the money.

    I suppose you could find that type of work environment in smaller cutting-edge geek-shops where they know how to take care of us types... but those are in short supply here in the mid-west.

    Not around here they aren't. Lots of opportunities here in that sort of shop. Lots of opportunities in general, as unemployment around here is currently at record low levels (like 2.5% or something). I recently turned down a C/C++ programmer job that paid in the 60's.

    I think you'd find the situation similar in other midwestern cities like Minneapolis, Kansas City, Omaha, etc.

  • The town I live in is only about 300K people, however the only colleges here are a small private university and some even smaller private colleges, so they have no noticeable impact on the wage situation, especially since none of them are technically orriented and they turn out very few Com Sci students.

    Another bad thing about Madison (which is also true of the town I live in, unfortunately) is that it is the state capitol. The state governments pay poorly also, albiet in general not any worse than a public university does. Luckily the town I live in is really mostly dominated by insurance and financial companies as far as the job market goes.

    As for moving to Chicago, you would see dramatically better salaries there, but as I noted before, the cost of living in the Chicagoland area is nearly as high as the east coast. If you can hack the weather, I'd consider the twin cities instead, or for warmer weather I'd look at Kansas City, Omaha or perhaps even St Louis.

    For the sake of not appearing biased and the fact that if you like Madison, you'd probably be bored to death here, I am not recommending the town I live in. :-)

  • For the non-merkins here, let me add another angle to the discussion.

    Canadian immigration procedures seem to be a lot faster, more predictable, and more fair than the US ones.

    Using mainstream cases (employment-based, no "exceptional performance" or other "fast" special cases in US green card process) I have the following (Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer or a statistician or an immigration specialist, other than about my own case. If you find important errors in the information below do a good deed and let us all know, and please talk to a lawyer before you act):

    US green card: Best case start-to-finish is 2 years, assuming you've got that much left in your H-1B to go for consular processing. If you go for adjustment of status right now you'll be in a black hole for an unknown number of years. The INS has stopped processing employment based AOS since last March or so. Remember that during GC processing, you must stay with the sponsoring employer.

    Canadian PR: My lawyer claims 5-6 months if no interview is required, 11-12 if an interview is required. Very interested to hear about other peoples' experiences. When applying as an independent immigrant there's no "sponsoring employer".

    US GC: Employment-based GC means you make a commitment to stay with sponsoring employer "indefinitely". That means that at the time you get the green card you have that intention, although obviously unexpected changes in circumstances would explain you leaving your sponsoring employer. Again, see a lawyer. But don't think that your company's HR and your boss don't know about this one.

    Canadian PR: You're a free agent as soon as you land. Some restrictions do apply re: Quebec vs. non-Quebec residence and you do need to continue to be a professional geek if that's what you promised you'd be. But you wouldn't have a problem with that, would you? Again, see a lawyer for real legal advice.

    It was a hard decision and I do love the Bay Area, but I've had it with being an (admittedly well-paid) indentured servant. Freedom is indeed worth quite a bit of money, so if all goes well, next year, Hello Vancouver (or Toronto).

    Comments most definitely welcome, especially from Canadians offering free advice :-)
  • Advice to geeks, especially ones who haven't been in the job market for very long: Be careful not to reduce a job opportunity's value down to a dollar figure. Geeks seem to overlook this and then complain about how much their job sucks, but based on the ravenous job market, there's really no excuse other than inertia. If you're looking now, make sure you consider the qualitative properties of a job.

    If you look back a few weeks you will see a story about working in a tech sweatshop [slashdot.org]. Bear that in mind when looking at employers. You can get a big salary and lots of options but it may not be worth it if you are expected to work 80 hours a week. Or, you may be expected to be on call 24/7, which is a hell of a lot more than the 45-55 hours which are typical of the industry. Asking what happens salary wise when you work 100 hours in a week can be very eye-opening. I got an answer from one employer of "nothing, you are expected to do a job, however long that takes." And guess what the hours looked like...

    Also, what about knowledge management? Are you doing the same work that has been done before by co-workers? How will you find someone who has done what you are doing? Yeah, trailblazing is fun and all, but rediscovering known bugs isn't especially fun. Also, there should be KM from you to the rest of the organization. Being the main tech go-to guy is dangerous. If you are so important, will they ever let you take a vacation and leave you alone? The geeky analogy is clustering - you don't want to be a single point of failure or the pointy-haired ones will never want to let you out of their sight, much less out of town for a week. Will you be working on Xmas eve, New year's eve? Will you get yelled at if you take a 75 minute lunch?

    What is the technology environment? Just because you like *nix doesn't mean your boss does. Will you be forced to use something you don't want to? What is the email environment? Who makes these decisions and how binding are they on the individual? Will you be forced to run Win98 and Outlook just because the MS Exchange sales pitch to the IT manager was slick? How developed is the company intranet? What if you have something useful to post - what is the process for getting your info out there?

    If you are looking at a startup, what is the non-stock risk factor? For example, is the current boss going to be replaced by a "real CEO" (answer: almost certainly). What will this CEO's vision be, if any? Will the office move to an inconvenient location? Will you be sure to get a paycheck every time, on time? Are they hiring so fast that a few (or a lot of) a-holes are bound to get in as well? Will they be identified and fired, or will they become your boss?

    Ask about things like how project deadlines are set. There needs to be a process - "whenever I need it done by" isn't going to be very fair to you. You should be involved in the process of setting deadlines, or else it's always going to be based on when they want it done (yesterday), not when it is feasible to do.

    Consider the commute. If you can take public transportation, that may mean that you can sell your car and save $hundreds a month, or at least you can get back productive time (laptop or magazine on the subway / bus). Plus, sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour each way is a serious pain in the butt, and it doesn't ever really get better unless you move.

    If you ever want to go make friends, find/retain a significant other, and see your family, think about more than just the cash and options.


    Shameless plug: I like to think I have found a great employer [viant.com] who pays market rate *and* has a great culture, and particularly has a core value of life balance. E-mail me if you are interested - jamie.flournoy@viant.com [mailto]. Include a resume if you want, of course :)
  • Canada is a pretty large place so you'd better watch those blanket statements about salaries in Canada. Here in the Nation's capitol (Ottawa, not Toronto), starting salaries coming out of University are around the $40k mark - it can be higher or lower depending on the company and the skill set/experience you have.

    However, if you were to move to Nova Scotia, you're probably looking at $30k starting out.. but again, you have to look at the cost of living/lifestyle differences.

    I'd have to honestly say that the choice to live in Canada is mostly a lifestyle choice. After taxes, that $40k salary will work out to just over $20k.. which is still quite a bit to live on in Canada.. however, the high taxes are also one one of the main reasons Canadians head south of the border.

    I recently spent a lot of time in the Silicon Valley where everyone seems to be approaching the $100k (US) mark, but no one can afford to live a decent life (what I consider a decent life) unless they're a millionaire, so.. what's the point?

    (all the $ values I listed above are Canadian dollars unless I specified otherwise..)

  • Network Support Analyst £25k (=US$41K)
    Network Manager £35k (=US$57.4K)

    For a database on average salarys this [jobworld.co.uk] is an useful resource - UK only though...

    Incidentally I am currently looking for alternative employment in the London area. Experience of LAN/WAN connectivity using Cisco Router and Switch equipment. Good NT experience. Experience of UNIX systems. Firewall Experience and general network security knowledge. Any offers?
  • Looking through all your comments I find this quite surprising. I thought that you guys/gals in the US were all on $80-$100K, but it seems that that isn't the case. It makes me feel slightly happier about my situation here in the UK.

    As for people suggesting that a graduate start of £14K is adequate, beware, especially if you are travelling down to London to start your new job. If we say you can spend 33% of your post-tax salary on rent then you will most likely be living under the charing-cross bridge with the tramps. The cost of Living in London is high, especially if you want to have a life! :)

    I didn't get a degree and I started on £14k in 1995, in Surrey, on the border of South London, thankfully I've worked out of that situation to double the value and soon hope to be earning even more for my worth.

    If an employer only offers to pay IT staff £14k then he: (a) will probably be going bust within the year, (b) will make a mint, whether it is (a) or (b) completely depends on whether he can sucker accept his measly £14k offer.

    Someone mentioned the junk-IT staff that we have in most companies. Yes, they do exist, and they probably cause more problems than they solve - (I had one who disabled User access to our domain controllers today, and nobody was able to login) - but, for some, unknown reason, the managers (or suits) actually seem to like them - usually they have better social and communication skills than the gurus that have championed the tech departments for years.

    Our Telephone staff earn £14 or so here, and all they do is answer the telephones!

    In short, don't let the side down, get what you're worth and don't settle for less, otherwise you will be devaluing our skills and I won't be best pleased!!! :)
  • If you're willing to work contract, you can make a lot more than that in Canada. I started at $40/hr right out of University (although I did have 2-3 years of work experience already). And really, any coder worth their beans can do my job. I'm just building web applications using DB2 and server side JavaScript.

    By the way, $40/hr is the minimum that you should ask for (in Toronto). I was asked how much I wanted, and I said $40. That's what I got, no questions asked... Makes me think I should have said 50 or 60 and haggled with them a bit :)
  • Your friend made the mistake to start at 2/3 of a normal salary I think.

    There is an arti cle [computerwoche.de] in the German IT-Newspaper Computerwoche [computerwoche.de] about German IT salaries. From my experience as an IT Consultant the salaries in that paper seem to be quite low, though.

    A typical post-degree starter salary is 75kDM per year.
    A junior consultant with some experience gets about 90kDM.

    Please keep in mind that we have very high income taxes in Germany. We have progessive taxation (the percentage grows with the income), up to 53% for a high income.

    The IT center of Germany is just around München (English speaking people like to mis-spell that "Munich"). For IT people in finance, Frankfurt (we call it "Bankfurt" somtimes) is the place. Smaller IT cities are Hamburg and Bremen in the north, a little bit in the Hannover area. More and more service companies are moving to Berlin now, thus there are some jobs there.

    A very good starting point for searching job adverts (sorry, all in German) are the pages of the newspaper DIE ZEIT [jobs.zeit.de]. They use a crawler to collect information from many other job sites. They have a page for international [jobs.zeit.de] jobs too.

  • by _J_ (30559) <jasonlives@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @02:36AM (#1546934) Journal
    In my experience starting salaries tend to be around $40K CDN - or about $27K American. That's for any type of coding. Of course, rates rise with experience

    Anybody want to offer more?:)

    J:)
  • Pick a small company in a non-computer related, slow-paced sector. Forgot getting a degree and get lots of experience instead. For preference, get some experience of the business first. Sticking with one company for as long as you can bear it helps as you can acquire seniority simply by being there.

    While it might not be the sexiest work around BEING the IT department is kinda fun. Finding a small, successful company and filling that role can be a lot of fun (with the right company). There is little specialization (for me at least) but I do DBs, network sec./arch., web stuff, support (blech), and like davey said "fix pretty much anything with a plug."

    They are also rather dependent on you so when you walk in after a year and ask for a 70% pay hike, they give in happily. :-)
  • by smalltalker (41026) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @02:52AM (#1546951) Homepage
    The site I always use first to determine going rates is Janet Ruhl's Realrates.com [realrates.com]. It has rates (both contract and salary) anonymously submitted, can can be searched by all the expected criteria, including location. And although most positions are US/Canada, it does have some elsewhere in the wolrd. The state/country code seems to want an excamation point before country codes (e.g. !UK, !DE, !AU).

    I'd also encourage folks to contribute their current rates - kind of like open source for salary information!

  • I'm not sure what the IT situation is in Orlando, though I haven't heard much good about Florida. Are you committed to staying in Florida, or are you willing to relocate? Northern Virginia isn't too far away, and seems to need people.

    You do mention working in college computer labs. Is this a big college town? That seems to be the kiss of death for salary, since your competition is hungry college students who need beer and pizza money.

    You mentioned certifications, but didn't list any of the three and four letter acronyms that resume reading software and PHB's like, you know, CNA, CNE, MCP, MCSE. Do you have those, have you considered working for those?

    How about networking? Do you belong to any local users groups, where you can meet someone who can get you in?

    How about getting a BS? Some companies have the luxury of throwing all non-BS/BA resumes in the trash, especially if they're older/more conservative, or the labor market is tight. Tying this together with my company, some divisions won't look at you without a four year degree, others will start you at $30k+ if you know computers and are willing to work on the hotline. If you didn't know which division to apply to, you're shooting yourself in the foot.

    Hope this helps.

    George
  • You are getting screwed, but you probably already knew that.

    Beyond that, I've always found contracts that don't allow you to discuss your salary to be a big red flag. Every company I've ever seen that included that sort of clause has not impressed me. Think about it...why would they stipulate that? It's almost a sort of security by obscurity...and we know how well that works.

    Let me guess, they also have some stupid (and probably invalid/illegal) non-compete clause as well, right?

    --GnrcMan--
  • The salary for you first geek job is not terribly important...you won't be keeping it for long...:)

    The industry is such that they only way to get ahead is to change jobs frequently your first five years or so. Otherwise you get locked into a 5-7% raise structure, and never get anywhere.

    So, forget salary, and try to land something that will expose you to skills in growing areas you can market later. The value of someone with even a year experience is so much greater than that of a college kid...that is when you want to start thinking about the dollar signs.

  • The bay area is the only place I know you will actually make lots of cash, quickly. If you leave the USA, you may be disappointed. As an Australian I can tell you that salaries there allow you to live comfortably, but only because the cost of living is much lower - and you won't be much better off than say, a plumber or a successful shopkeeper. If you see a Porsche boxster in Australia, I'd put my money on the driver being in real estate or finance. I think in the bay area the cost of living is about double, but my salary is about triple - and if you're prepared to live out of the city you can save a lot of money fast, and of course we all know what stock and options can do. In Germany I understand from talking to engineers there that the situation is similar.

    Benefits offered will be different. In some countries there is a real health system, and instead of offering HBO/PPO plans you will get a car + fuel provided. While there may be tax benefits to joining a private health scheme, most people don't as it's not really necessary. Australia has compulsory employer-funded superannuation, so don't worry about 401k deductions either. Four weeks is the standard vacation per year.

    Finally, I don't think you will get options in many countries. I have never heard of anyone getting options as an engineer in Australia, and the Germans tell me it is also unheard of.

    One possibility I have heard of is to contract in the UK. Figures of around 80 pounds per hour (BTW, this '#' means HASH, not POUND - I want to slap anyone who says "pound define") were mentioned to me when I looked into it. That's a lot of money, but living in London will cost you a packet too. No benefits as a contractor of course, and no holidays either.

    The biggest thing you have to worry about is your visa/passport situation. I assume you have already looked into that and have a short list of countries that you can move to/work in? If you haven't then do that first, the USA isn't the only country with restrictions.

    AND make sure you know what is like to work in some other place. I'm sitting at my bay area desk in tracksuit pants, with free brewed coffee and a free bagel. I have a 21" monitor and a nice fast laptop. Free cell phone. Card access to the building, any time. FAST internet! Freedom to manage my own computing resources. Flexible hours. Work from home. My current project is something I suggested, and I like it.

    Contrast this with the Australian experience... tailored pants & shirt at all times. 15" monitor and Pentium 66. No phone, no expenses, no after hours access, strictly 9-5. Adversarial management. SLOW internet - possibly with some kind of net nanny installed. NO software other than that approved by the half-educated empire-building IT manager allowed! And they wonder why all the programmers are leaving.
  • Hi,

    First the gross salary is just a little part of the equation. You also have to look at the cost of life.

    For example, in Silicon Valey, you will get a high salary, but you have to pay >500k for a decent house. In other part of the world you will get lower salary, but the cost of life is much lower. So in fact you can make a better living elsewhere.

    Now to answer your question, in Montreal the mean salary for someone who is just out of the University is 40,000$CAN.

    For people with 5 years of experience it can go from 50K to 90K ($CAN). This is relative to what technologies you have experience with and how aggressive you are when negociating your salary.

  • Housing prices:
    Toronto: 300,000
    Vancouver: 500,000
    Saskatoon: 60,000
    Calgary: 180,000

    :-) The prairies may suck, but they are cheap to live in.
    ---
  • by Mannix (72561) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @04:02AM (#1547013)
    The Big Company Myth...

    Big Companies DON'T necessarily pay you more!

    If your fresh out of University, expect Fl.3500, even at the Big Companies. They usually have a 2 year new recruits program like "Young Proffessional" at CapGemini. Be very careful to enter this program. Unless you're really good, they'll keep you at that level for the two years. Always negotiate!!! They'll usually bump up the amount with a several hundred guilders. Also negotiate the (size of the) company car.

    If you apply for a position at a big company and you want to earn more, try to enter via a contact who works there, or apply for a specific position. Don't enter the new recruits program!

    Small companies will pay more than big companies for experiene, because there's bigger demand and they need to keep you. It also invloves less negotiation. Maybe in the long run you're better of at a big company, but that's something to decide on an individual basis.

    Good Luck !
  • by joost (87285) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @02:56AM (#1547060) Homepage
    In Holland, you can expect at least fl. 3500 (before taxes) per month if you're fresh out of shool. That's about $1750. Getting a cellphone and notebook is usually no problem.

    If you start working at a big company, you can expect fl 5000 (US$ 2500) per month plus a company car. But you'd have to conform to that company (might be hard for die-hard geeks - they tend to love Microsoft).

    If you're thirty (-something) and have lots of experience, and don't mind working hard, fl 8500 or more is usually no problem. In Holland, that kind of salary will buy you anything you want. It's about 3 times average.

    Big management positions (IT, IS, ITIL management) start at fl 150k/year plus all the usual bonusses.

    Remember that healthcare is standard and LOTS cheaper than in the US (that goes for all European countries).

    Most salaries grow 10% per year, but this can vary as well. 20% increases are starting to become more common.

    Salaries are lower in remote parts of the country (provinces like Limburg or Friesland).

    And there's the occasional bonus, some companies will give you up to fl 20.000,- (before taxes) (US$ 10,000) if you stay with them for a year. But those companies are often quite clueless (they think Windows NT is the *only* server OS in the world. And your job will most probably doing VB/ASP stuff, so you don't want that anyway ;).
  • As a luser-support martyr (ISP Tech Support, lately in documentation), the going rate seems to be $20-30K to start (with annual / promotional increases, of course), higher in major metropolitan areas (the Valley, SF, NYC, Boston, &c).

    Top-notch coders seem to be able to command $80K and up (six figures isn't uncommon. . . makes me wish I knew PERL!)

    As with every job, having experience means you can command greater compensation. After two-plus years on the job, I've conditioned my employer to add some intangibles to the job environment: tolerance to eccentricity, a certain level of buy-in to new ideas, &c.

    Just remember that the full package isn't just the bottom line on your W-2, there are health insurance, 401(k), profit sharing, and any number of other forms of additional compensation to factor in. Ask at the interview what kind of total compensation the company offers, and what kinf of tenure / vesting structure exists. Some companies give health insurance after 90 days, the potential for 401(k) after 6 months, and start vesting in various things after one, three, or five years, depending. There is so much variance with these that it never hurts to ask.

    For example, my company offers discounted memberships (payroll-deductible) to the local health & wellness center and free/discounted service to employees. This doesn't show up on my pay stub every other Friday, but is worth probably $40 a month.

    Just remember: no amount of financial compensation will make up for a job you don't enjoy. I can speak from experience that a good job atmosphere with interesting and enjoyable work to do makes a smaller paycheck more attractive than becoming a psychotic stress-monkey at a job that makes your gut clench the instant the alarm clock goes off in the morning.

    Anyone looking to hire a slightly freaky tech writer?

    Rafe
    V^^^^V
  • I work for consulting company, so I asked my recruiters what the ranges are today. Here's what they gave me:

    NT Admin : $55 - 70K

    UNIX Admin $65 - 85K

    Oracle DBA : $65 - 120K

    HTML Developer $40 - 65K

    C/C++ Programmer $50 - 110K

    Java Programmer $65 - 120K (very much in demand)

    Network Admin : $55 - 80K

    Network Design : $70 - 100K

    VB Programmer $45 - 80K

    PERL Programmer $45 - 75K

    Project Manager $60 - 120K

    Again, the range compensates for experience, and combination of skills (ie, Unix Admin with some Oracle and C knowledge would be at the 80K level) This is for full-time salaried employees. Independents or hourly types can expect anywhere from a 15-35% premium over those. These salaries are fairly valid for the Boston,DC,Phila. NYC command about 15%-30% more due to cost of living for North Jersey and NYC.

    Hope this helps...


  • Well it just makes sense to most Americans, myself included. When you have competition to drive it, it's gotta get better in order to
    compete!





    No. It's gotta get more profitable to compete. A lot of people confuse "better" with "more profitable". How can I make my hospital more profitable? Charge more. Pay the doctors less. Cut corners. Only treat rich patients who can afford to pay. Get good deals from the drug companies by recommending their treatments. Open a lot of hospitals, get a monopoly and then hike prices. Does this sound like a certain software company?

    Now I'm not knocking private health care (my company is kind enough to provide it for me free) but common healthcare should be free to all members of society at a good level.

    Adam.
  • I live in London, UK, but have worked for some time in Paris, France.

    When I moved from Paris to London, I nearly doubled my salary. I left behind me a highly concentrated urban chaos, its traffic jams, non smiling people, and a very polluted city.

    However, I oversaw the following facts :

    I had left a badly paid job in a service consultancy company for a highly pay job in an investment bank,

    the GBP is currently quite high compared to the Euro,

    health service in France is free and doesn't suck (in fact I got so scared by the low quality of equipment and service in the UK that I go to France when I need to see a doctor !),

    Paris is a real city, London is nothing else than a very small center with very large suburbs,

    London hasn't got many movie theaters (at least compared to Paris)

    I pay USD 1100 per month for a studio here in London - the same would give me a 2 bedroom flat in the center of Paris (althought the Paris market is waking up now after a ten years slump...)

    transport infrastructure in the UK is a shame - roads are in bad conditions, the Tube (London subway) a nightmare and as for the trains, well, now there's an accident every few months. On the opposite, France hosts the most advanced train system in the world with high speed trains (they hold the world speed record), good highways, and the Paris subway (they call it the Metro) is efficient and inexpensive (but how dirty !!)

    UK credit cards still don't use smart cards - smart cards have been widely used in France for nearly 20 years!

    French law forces the employer to give 5 weeks holidays, and to pay minimum 50% of everyone's daily expenses (transport and lunch),

    UK IR taxes are much higher than French ones (but in France, they have stupidly high hidden charges no one understands, so I guess it's the same),

    net connexions in Paris are thru cable or ADSL - I use a 56K modem in London...


    Altogether, I know that life is much better in Paris than in London - except for the Parisians. Londonners are nice and friendly if compared to Parisians. And no one speaks english in France ! (in fact they do but why should they make an effort ?)

  • This is a very typical tactic.. Currently the IT and IS field is flooded with "junk" employees. (All of you know what I mean!) and the employer having just went through 3 MCSE people for the IS department and fired them or let them go because they were worthless will be a bit gun shy.

    Michigan generally get's you $35K to $50K but then the cost of living is dirt cheap compared to california.. A $150K home is in some areas here are beautiful and huge homes. while the same price range in the valley get's you a shed with no door.

    If you call a place or email them, and ask what is the range they are looking at so you wont waste your or their time, will not tell you what they will pay DO NOT APPLY THERE!


    it isnt worth the time to get through the process to the offer and they say, "Great Mr.X.. We want you to work here for $25,450.00 with no benifits" you just wasted a week or more for these idiots.

"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments

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