Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Those with the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) credential are among the vanguard of lead open source technologists in the industry.There are certain credentials in IT that have been part of the landscape for so long that they would be conspicuous by their absence if retired. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) is one of those certs that feels like it’s always been there. One place we never have to look to hard to find it is the upper echelon of each new Salary Survey 75 (No. 26 this year) list to roll off the digital presses.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for RHCE holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $128,750
Median Annual Salary: $126,670
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 8.3 percent
Very Satisfied: 33.3 percent
Satisfied: 41.7 percent
Not Very Satisfied: [No responses]
Not At All Satisfied: 16.7 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $45,900
Median Annual Salary: $32,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 9.5 percent
Very Satisfied: 14.3 percent
Satisfied: 28.6 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 38.1 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 9.5 percent

The largest single body of RHCE holders who responded to the survey is made up of U.S. residents (34.3 percent), but RHCE is clearly a global credential. There are 18 other countries represented in our results: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, India, Italy, Nepal, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

Nearly all of those we heard from are men (97 percent of those surveyed), which is hardly without precedent, but less common outside certain IT sectors such as cybersecurity and software development. On the other hand, RHCE bucks the norm somewhat in that most of the our respondents are relatively young: 75 percent of those surveyed are either between the ages of 19 and 24 (6.1 percent), between the ages of 25 and 34 (27.3 percent), or between the ages of 35 and 44 (42.4 percent). The outliers are the 12.4 percent of respondents between the ages of 45 and 54, and the 11.8 percent between the ages of 55 and 64.

More than 60 percent of RHCE holders who responded to the survey are college graduates. The highest level of formal education completed for most is either a bachelor’s degree (33.4 percent of those surveyed) or master’s degree (24.2 percent), with a handful who have either a professional degree (3 percent) or an associate’s (two-year) degree (6.1 percent). Everyone else either entered the workforce with nothing more than a high school diploma (12.1 percent of respondents), or completed some level of post-high school technical training (21.2 percent).

Full-time employment among RHCE holders surveyed is a potent 94.3 percent, with 2.6 percent of respondents currently in school and the remaining 3.1 percent on sabbatical. Among those currently on the job, a little less than a third (27.3 percent of respondents) have a regular 40-hour work week, while 45.5 percent work between 41 and 50 hours per week, 18.1 percent work more than 50 hours per week, and 9.1 percent are at the office between 31 and 39 hours per week.

In terms of workplace standing, most RHCE holders are either senior specialists (54.8 percent of those surveyed), specialists (19 percent) or rank-and-file employees (16.7 percent). The handful of upper-tier RHCE holders are either managers (4.8 percent of respondents), directors (2.6 percent), or executives (2.1 percent).

When it comes to direct workplace experience, there’s a fairly even distribution. There are some greenhorns out there, with 38.1 percent of those surveyed having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 month) and 2 years (16.7 percent), or between 3 years and 5 years (21.4 percent).  Everyone else, however, has been plying their certified skills for either between 6 and 8 years (19 percent of respondents), between 9 and 10 years (7.1 percent), or more than 10 years (35.7 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of RHCE holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:

At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification: 
Several times a day: 50 percent
Several times a week: 31 percent
Several times a month: 7.1 percent
Occasionally: 7.1 percent
Rarely: 4.8 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 26.2 percent
Agree: 50 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 11.9 percent
Disagree: 9.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.4 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 35.7 percent
Agree: 47.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 9.5 percent
Disagree: 2.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 4.8 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 38.2 percent
Agree: 45.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.2 percent
Disagree: 2.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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CertMag Staff


Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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