Is this a reasonable salary & hourly (Service/Help Desk Tier 2)

SocomSocom Member Posts: 48 ■■■□□□□□□□
Certs: MCDST, MCSA (Server Admin 2003), A+, Sec+
Net+ & MCTS + MCITP (Windows 7) within two weeks

Sharp troubleshooting skills and extensive familiarity with windows


1.5 Years Service Desk, Tier 2
Troubleshooting, creating exchange and AD objects/accounts + assigning permissions/groups. Hardware diagnostics & re-imaging.

3 Years Freelance
Troubleshooting & Setting up domain controllers w/ AD, DNS, DHCP, Firewalls, and backups. (10-50 employee clients)

Salary $50k + benefits
Hourly $23-25 + benefits
Area: DC Metro Area


  • ChitownjediChitownjedi Member Posts: 578 ■■■■■□□□□□
    In Chicago, I'd be looking to get $58,000 minimum with those credentials. (Especially once the MCITP is gotten 60+)
  • puertorico1985puertorico1985 Member Posts: 205
    That sounds like a reasonable salary to me. At one point in my career, I had similar certs and experience and I was able to talk up to 45k. Keep in mind, that I live in GA, so you should adjust that salary to the area you live in.
  • MSP-ITMSP-IT Member Posts: 752 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Not in DC, no. In most other places, I would say that would be on the acceptable low end, but being in DC, I think it just pushed that bottom boundary.
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    No way would I do that for 23-25 an hour with your experience and certs in that area. I live in Denver and tier 2 positions with less experience go for 28 an hour easily. I'd probably aim for at least 60k if the cost of living is higher there.
  • RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Member Posts: 1,104
    I don't see the problem with that salary, your MCSA is outdated. I could see you justifying more if you were up to date, say MCSA 2008 or 2012 and then of course MCITP 2008/2012

    Not sure the MCITP Windows 7 does much for you as a Sys Admin..seems more Desktop focused. I think it's right on, one indicator is the way you composed your experience.

    "Setting up DC's, AD, DHCP, DNS"...what does that mean? You promoted a few servers to DC's, installed the roles and that's it? Also, clients of 10-50 are small so I would ask you if you ever designed and or implemented a DFS or ADFS solution what is your experience with RODC's, reasons for them etc?

    Was this work performed with Server 2003? Server 2008? SBS 2003? SBS 2012? Any VMware exposure? If so, what? Exposure to any storage solutions (i.e. Dell, EMC, NetApp)? If so, iSCSI or FiberChannel?

    Details, they are important.
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

    Think of the 2:00 a.m. test—if you were awakened in the
    middle of the night because of a network problem and had to figure out the
    traffic flows in your network while you were half asleep, could you do it?
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    True, the devil is in the details. Your list this seems pretty average and I can't tell the extent of your knowledge/experience on those subjects. Setting up all that stuff is pretty simple in small environments and if it hasn't broken then your knowledge would be limited. On top of what RouteMyPacket mentioned, it makes a big difference if you understand AD troubleshooting, specifically issues involving ntdsutil, dcdiag, repadmin, ADSIedit etc.

    Salary doesn't seem out of line: Help Desk Technician Salary in Washington, DC |
  • cowillcowill Member Posts: 93 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Coming from somebody else in the DC area.....I'd say you gotta look at the complete view.....$23-25 Tier 2 Help Desk isnt that bad dependning on what exactly "help desk" is. Are we talking password resets, setting up AD accounts? Or is it, "Help Desk" when you are actually desk side support (Break/fix, re-imaging..virus removal.....swaps...etc)..

    Does it come with the opportunity to get a clearance? How about commute....are you in DC...Bethesda, Reston.....ETC.......times...schedule....I mean you really gotta look at it in totality...

    I mean theres a lot to look at.....DC has a lotta intricate details that play into the salary thing.....DC has a lotta sucky salaries for IT as well..........As many high salaries you have in DC, you have a few bad ones as well.....I know some of you DC guys get the "Dell Certified tech" email every 2-5 weeks for $13 hr AND you HAVE to have WTH.....

    the better question is, why, at this point in your career with those certs and some expierence, do you want to be at a help desk? I've been in IT for about 7 years now and I have half the certs you do in the DC area... Personally, there is only about 2-3 reasons why I would do help desk:

    1. Linux or Security-oriented Help Desk
    2. I just lost my job and need to keep the money coming in

    Other than that, Help Desk with those certs are really selling yourself short.....depending on what type of "help desk" it apologies if I sound condesending or brash......
  • SocomSocom Member Posts: 48 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Landed a job :) help desk because I'm still a little bit away from net admin
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