What salary should I look for?

brianglbriangl Posts: 184Member ■■■□□□□□□□
I suspended my job search while I was attending the Cisco Networking Academy. I have started looking again. What salary should I be looking for with the certs that I have; A+, Net+, MCP (Windows XP) and CCNA? I live in Maryland.

I sent my resume to a job ad. Someone actually emailed me asking what my salary requirements are.

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned
    What sort of experience and formal education do you have?
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Posts: 1,480Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Do some looking around in your region at jobs with similar job descriptions and see if they post a salary range. You could also check out salary.com although I have never really found that to be fairly accurate, tends to always be on the high side for my area.

    If you have professional (on the job) experience, and/or a degree you will have a higher value than an individual with a handful of certifications. I would also suggest doing a quick search on these forums for "salary negotiation" and "salary requirements" as there are some decent threads that highlight this issue and offer good advice. Generally though, you don't want to start out too low since most employers will typically shoot an offer out a bit lower than what you give them as your expectations and you'll have to negotiate back up.

    While I wouldn't give yourself away, I would also consider this. If you do not have any prior experience working in IT, or have very little - then I personally place a higher weight to the experience than I do the money I'll be making. Meaning I would take a job that might not be the very best pay - but would allow me to get by, while gaining extremely valuable experience.
  • brianglbriangl Posts: 184Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    dynamik wrote: »
    What sort of experience and formal education do you have?

    I have a lot of work experience, not IT related.

    I’m not currently working in anything remotely related to IT. I’ve been here five years. Before that I worked for a network installation company for about 5 months, running cable, installing end user systems and Ethernet switches. I did volunteer work for a couple of months building computers while going to school for my A+.

    Post high school formal education; community college, 65 credits, no degree - music, computer programming, gen. ed. classes, all a long time ago. A few years ago, tech school for A+. Recently, community college for Cisco Net Academy, 9 credits.

    Other than things I teach myself IT and non-IT, that’s it.
  • PaperclipPaperclip Posts: 59Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Construct your resume in such a way so as to highlight the network installation and volunteer PC building.

    Even with the CCNA, you may need to be willing to start off in desktop support.

    Can't really speak to the salary, there'll be a big gap depending on where in MD. Check some desktop support jobs in the precise area to get an average.
  • brianglbriangl Posts: 184Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Do some looking around in your region at jobs with similar job descriptions and see if they post a salary range.
    I really don't know how to do that. It seems like most jobs are asking for way too much experience. I have gotten to the point where I will answer almost any ad though and just let them decide.

    Without knowing what this type of job should pay, I just told the guy I was looking for something in the mid 30's.
    Paperclip wrote: »
    Even with the CCNA, you may need to be willing to start off in desktop support.

    I don't have a problem with starting out doing desktop support. I kind of figured that's where I would start. I just don't want to be sitting around taking a lot of phone calls though. That would drive me crazy real fast. I am much more of a hands on type and hate sedentary work.

    As for part of Maryland, the job I got the reply from is in Baltimore.
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Posts: 1,480Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    briangl wrote: »
    I really don't know how to do that. It seems like most jobs are asking for way too much experience. I have gotten to the point where I will answer almost any ad though and just let them decide.

    Most employers always put down their ideal criteria they would desire in an employee, often times they don't get that so I wouldn't let it scare you away from applying.

    briangl wrote: »
    I don't have a problem with starting out doing desktop support. I kind of figured that's where I would start. I just don't want to be sitting around taking a lot of phone calls though. That would drive me crazy real fast. I am much more of a hands on type and hate sedentary work.

    That's the downside to helpdesk jobs, but it's unfortunately something that most people in the industry have to start at for some time at least. The best thing you could do if you get a role working helpdesk and desire to move up is to continue to express your interest in technology and keep up with your studies and certifications. I would also show interest as they arise in assisting some of the network/system administration staffers with tasks, just show a genuine interest in it and you'll be noticed. If an opening within the organization opens up that's a step above a helpdesk role, you'll have a good foot in the door for it.
  • KasorKasor Posts: 912Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Since you do not have real working experience. You really dont' have much to bargain about the salary. Take whatever that is right on the position. I'm sure you find those information from the website.
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
  • Bert McGertBert McGert Posts: 122Member
    I'd suggest going and interviewing with any and all IT temp/placement agencies in your area. You won't be getting a high paycheck, but you'll be getting real-world experience to start logging on your resume.

    If you've got the work-ethic, personality, and professionalism, you'll find yourself getting hired permanently sooner rather than later. Learning the technology is easy... companies can find tech guys a dime a dozen, but a lot of the time they don't do much other than making people want to hit them. "Common sense" is not very common.

    Pay your dues and put in the work to gain experience. If you can make a good impression, you've got 90% of the battle won.
  • brianglbriangl Posts: 184Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you all, good advice.

    I am certainly willing to start at a salary that meets current living expenses. I am just trying to make sure I am not cheating myself out of money by asking too low if they were planning on paying more. I know it's a maxim that who ever states an amount first looses. I think I have a habit of letting people take advantage of me in that respect. I guess ultimately, I will just have to figure it out for myself.
  • BradleyHUBradleyHU Posts: 912Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    your salary requirement should be dependent upon the amount of work experience you have, and also the nature of the position too. Network/Sys Admin pays more than say Desktop Support....and also it depends on the area you live in also.

    lol @ Bert using MF Doom as his avi....
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