IT Salary Tracker: Certified Professionals (MCSE)

Certified professionals (MCSE): see how much demand there is for your skills, and find out what you can command for salaries and contract rates.

Microsoft finally responded to the uproar over MCSE NT 4.0 upgrade deadline last week, moving it from December 31, 2000 to February 28, 2001. This will reduce the panic felt by countless overburdened IT pros, but it's important to note that the deadline for MCSEs to upgrade to Windows 2000 has not changed. As the time pressure increases, so do the wages earned by the MCSE certified. A recent study published in Certification Magazine indicated that those who pursue the MCSE can expect an average post-certification salary increase of 12%.

Pros holding the MCSE certification now make an overall average salary of $69,000 per year, and an average contract rate of $46 per hour, according to dice.com, EarthWeb's online job board for IT professionals. Nineteen percent of available jobs requiring an MCSE are for LAN/Network administrator positions, making it the most common job type for individuals holding the certification. Other top job types include systems administrators (15%) and customer/tech support (12%). Regionally, salaries are highest in Silicon Valley, at $77,000 per year, and contract rates are highest in New York, at $72 per hour. Los Angeles had more jobs of this type than other metro areas, with 17% of the total.

Averages are based on 169 listings on dice.com, with cities and job types bearing fewer than 10 listings excluded from mention.. Data came from available jobs listed during November 2000. Results are based on averages or totals from the following information: salary, job type, job skills, and location.

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Highest salary by city (average): Silicon Valley, $77,000 per year
Highest contract rate by city (average): New York, $72 per hour
Most jobs by city (average): Los Angeles, 17%
Most jobs by type (average): LAN/Network administrators