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Am i being underpaid ?

Last response: in Business Computing
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June 26, 2012 4:53:15 PM

I've been at a helpdesk for a large company for just shy of a couple years. Our duties include resetting passwords, logging trouble tickets to other groups, and basic PC diagnostics (Installing/Updating AIM / Java / Flash / IE). Why our job is pretty straight forward i've been given a few extra projects that make my work a bit harder.

Extra Project A: For instance we use a large ticket system called HP's Service Manager. It's built on HP Speak and Javascript. They asked me to set it up. I have a BS in CIT but focused on networking. havn't taken a programming class in years and I let them know ahead of time. Well over a year later I have sit down and learned Javascript, decoded the weird setup HP had, and maintain it by myself. They would not pay to buy me a HPSM Book, a Javascript book, or to send me to HPSM's training course on this software. HP recommends a group of 2-3 people and 6 months to setup this ticket software. I did it alone and maintain it alone.

Extra Project B: Our helpdesk does not do macro's or complicated functions for excel. If you call with such a request it gets logged to another group who in turn tells you same thing. The ticket bounces around until the user gets frustrated and closes it. I have taken this on. I"m the "Excel Guy". Everything from multiple nested functions to light Visual Basic Coding to meet the demand of these request.

Extra Project C: We do not offer training classes to Access to our employees because we have no one that teaches it. Our trainer has been asking me questions and found out that i'm a little savvy with it and so they have asked me to start teaching Access 2007 Intro Classes. Books arrive Wednesday. I don't even have the software installed on my PC and so far they have not approved for me to get it. They bought some generic training packet for us to go through and for me to answer any questions. I'm studying at home using my time/resources ( I have a copy of Access) to prepare for these 8hr classes.

Extra Project D: Setting up a Virtual Machine for users to link over and run reports using Crystal Reports with our ticket software to Generate weekly reports.


Just to put into reference this ticket system is used by hundreds of employees and if it goes down it's VERY high priority.

This is a company that has numerous plants around the world I just work at the HQ building.

So my question is this, Am I being a bit of a whiner, or has a Simple Tier 1 helpdesk agent been taken advantage of by my company so they wouldn't have to pay other's to do these jobs that are (in my opinion) way beyond what i signed up for?


Should I ask for a raise? Should I tell them to find someone else for these extra projects and let me do the job i signed on for ?


Any Advice / help is greatly appreciated!




More about : underpaid

June 26, 2012 5:12:46 PM

You never mentioned your pay so not sure how we could tell you if your underpaid.

Either way, it sounds like they are taking advantage of you.

June 26, 2012 5:22:02 PM

32k is my annual salary.
Related resources
June 26, 2012 5:36:47 PM

c911darkwolf said:
32k is my annual salary.


For that salary and the tasks that they are pushing it to you, I would say 100% they are taken advantage of you w/o compensating. I am in the same boat at you, c911darkwolf. Paid 32K salary but being assigned numerous of projects on great plains, extensive reporting, doing various reports for others, learn stuffs so that I could teach and trouble-shoot for others, etc outside of my job duties. But because I was lazy in my first several years after high school and didn't have much experiences, I am biting my teeth for now until I get my CPA certification, which I am sitting in for within the next 2 months!

You can certainly try to find better opportunities and remember to put all those projects that you did on your resume and CV.
June 26, 2012 5:38:26 PM

dude! lay down the fist and say enough is enough!

hell even in a call center where i work they will pay you for college courses as long as it is work related within the company (even if you do not work in that part of the company ie i work on the phone right now but i can go take IT courses because we have IT here at work)

I would tell whoever that you need to get compensation/pay raise or you will drop those projects and that they can hire someone else to do them. most times the company will agree to a pay raise rather than paying someone else a similar wage to do that one thing or couple other things.

don't know where you are in the world, but here in ontario canada, if you are taking on new tasks at work that will be constant you can request that you be compensated for the work or you can decline the extra work requested by the employer.

I would look in to worker extra duties and compensation for your location and see what you can do about it.
June 26, 2012 5:49:03 PM

If you have a BS in IT and are working at a Level 1 Help Desk you're getting hosed. Polish up your resume and start looking. You should be *managing* one, not a line worker. Other employers will look favorably on your initiative and ability to take on complicated tasks.
June 26, 2012 5:50:26 PM

well i'm a bit relieved to hear that i'm not just being lazy/grumper about it. I guess now I just need to make good timing to sit down with my employer and request a raise. I think there was a Lifehacker article on that a while back ill see if i can dig it up.

Thanks for easing some of my fears haha.

c911darkwolf

My full qulifications are

A.S. in Computer Information Tech
B.S. in Information Tech
A+ Cert
Fundamentals Cert
Cisco (local college based) Cert
June 26, 2012 6:12:13 PM

I'm assuming 32k gross?

If so, then I would ask for more.

I was tier 1 for 3 years, and made just a little more than you are. BUT I had a ton of duties. I was a jack of all trades really. Desktop support, phone installs/configuration (PBX not IP), networking support (wired and wireless), running data/phone lines, printer maintenance/support (all in-house), fax machines, terminating RJ11 and RJ45, imaging new workstations, office moves, A/V support (be amazed how they jack up 7k dollar projectors in the conference rooms), and 24/7 on-call rotation (one week a month roughly).

All of that on top of my normal helpdesk duties. Entering tickets, answering phones, delegating tickets, tracking IT equipment purchases, documentation, remote support... blah blah blah.

I closed about 3000 tickets a year alone. I was burned out. I left because I feel I learned everything I could in that position, and there was no way I was getting a raise outside of the measly 2-3% cost-of-living annual increase. And even that wasn't certain each year.

So I lucked into a tier 2, Network Admin position, with a different company and i'm loving it. I'm more specialized in one area, getting way better pay for it, learning new stuff, and no longer running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

My advice is try and get more pay, if not, start looking for Tier 2 or higher positions.
June 26, 2012 6:30:27 PM

I think that the only way you are going to get more pay from these guys is to apply for a higher position within the company (get promoted). If you have no loyalty to the company you should either apply to an IT company or start your own business. Corporations that do not specialize in IT usually put some kind of cap on Tier 1 Help Desk support. $32k is on the high end for Tier 1. This is no slam on your abilities or passion. Its just a fact of life that there are more applicants than positions available in the Tier 1 world...
June 26, 2012 6:54:52 PM

As everyone has been saying, you're being used.
BUT...before you ask for a raise, keep in mind that jobs are very hard to find right now, in many places. Do not walk, or threaten to do so, until/unless you have another job lined up FIRST.
Next, do some research. Add up the salaries of people who do all of the things you've been asked to do. Multiply them by the percentage of the time you spend on them. Multiply that by the number of hours you're working per week, divided by 40. Include your time at home in your weekly hours. While you will likely be outraged by the discrepancy, keep in mind that people are often expected to wear multiple hats on the job.
The fact that they have not even paid for materials directly related to your job duties does not bode well. If you line up another job, you should probably just plan on a move. To stay, you should insist in a large increase and/or a meaningful bonus for the work you've already done. Typical "Help Desk" doesn't pay all that well, but "Good Help Desk" pays better, and there's all the programming-related tasks you are performing, PLUS the initiative to be doing them. Depending on the direction you take, you may be worth $60K, and even as a "jack of all trades" in a smaller shop, I cannot imagine it being less than $45K. Good luck. Keep in mind that I am not a recruiter, so be sure to do your own research!

Edit: Punahou1 has a valid point. If you've been slotted into a "Level 1 Help Desk" position, it may very well be limited in what it can pay. If you do speak to your employer, be sure to emphasize that that isn't who you are, nor what you do. If they don't have a position that is a good match, then offer to help them write the job description, and research what it should pay. If they don't quickly understand that changes need to be made (even if they do not admit to any kind of abuse; never hold your breath on that one), then you know where you stand and can act accordingly. Just don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
June 26, 2012 7:00:04 PM

Thanks again everyone, I am researching now and putting my resume on a couple sites. Careerbuilder/monster/dice.com I'll look around and then try to confront my boss in a professional manner about my pay and/or responsibilities.

You were all a great help to my situation and confidence in a decision.
June 26, 2012 7:13:10 PM

Dude they are screwing you hard i would demand they get right or tell them stick it where the sun don't shine that's bs and you shouldn't let them treat you that way
June 26, 2012 7:23:25 PM


You should be thankful you have a job.

June 26, 2012 8:04:15 PM

If you feel that you are underpaid then you have a number of choices, including applying for jobs elsewhere which give you the recompense that you feel you deserve. Applying for jobs and having interviews may well stir up your current employer - who may sack you - or who may respond in a more positive way. If I was your manager I would certainly talk to you as a valued employee. All in all as you speed so much time at work, if you are not happy then be courageous. Cheers
June 26, 2012 8:46:17 PM

Rumbletum said:
If you feel that you are underpaid then you have a number of choices, including applying for jobs elsewhere which give you the recompense that you feel you deserve. Applying for jobs and having interviews may well stir up your current employer - who may sack you - or who may respond in a more positive way. If I was your manager I would certainly talk to you as a valued employee. All in all as you speed so much time at work, if you are not happy then be courageous. Cheers



Like many of you good advice here.

I think i'll look around the job market it a bit and if i see a good amount of openings id be appropriate for then I will have a sit down with my boss to discuss either a pay raise or my plans to move in the near future. I would very much like to hand these projects off to another person then simply leave with little warning. If they so find that this is offensive and and let me go then I will simply apply for unemployment while i look for a new job since i spend approx $70 a week in gas it won't really be much of a paycut to my family. I hope they are understanding enough and professional enough to not take this the wrong way and will work with me.
June 26, 2012 9:52:58 PM

just to build on what i had mentioned already, I was working in a basic computer store doing sales, console and phone repairs, etc. but what really made me leave the job was that the owner had been putting so much extra duties onto us without a raise or compensation of any sort. not only was i taking in inventory, helping customers, updated website and stock, cleaning the floors shelves etc. I was also posting listings on ebay for the boss and dealing with personal issues like car tickets and BS like that, "because he spoke bad english" was his excuse.

i was only getting paid 50 cents above minimum wage, and he wasnt even paying me overtime until i had to get labour board into the situation.

So like many have said, if they refuse to increase pay, just search for new jobs, i was luckily offered my old job back at a call center at i which i now work again making more than the computer store, and have way more oppurtunity to go up and heck get school paid for :D 

Keep your chin up and good luck, you definitaly have the qualifications for a good position, just keep at it!
June 26, 2012 9:55:44 PM

c911darkwolf said:
If they so find that this is offensive and and let me go then I will simply apply for unemployment while i look for a new job since i spend approx $70 a week in gas it won't really be much of a paycut to my family.


if that is the case be sure to look into getting what you can out of them, if they let you go do to that reason alone, just go after them for settlement if your government in area allows it. that would not be probable cause to fire someone here without a better reason and can get severance pay usually up to 3 months depending.
June 26, 2012 10:00:41 PM

Personally this is what I would do as I agree they are taking advantage of you.

1.) Polish resume and go find another place to work.
2.) Get an offer from that place
3.) Go into your managers office early in the morning and layout what you want and why. Don't mention other offers.
4.) Provide documentation just as you did here as to what supports your desire.
5.) Advise them you need their response by the end of the day.
6.) Have your resignation letter ready and if they do not respond appropriately hand it to him.

June 26, 2012 10:01:01 PM

Unfortunately I think you will have to go somewhere else to get paid what it sounds like you are worth. Fortunately I think you can do that if you find a decent company to work for in your area.
June 26, 2012 10:10:37 PM

I'm in a somewhat similar boat in a closely related field, so I think I'll share my brief story.

I'm a software engineer, have a bachelor's degree and expert level proficiency with C++. Economy was in the shitter when I graduated, and in this field it seems that nobody is willing to take a chance on building up new talent. So, when I did finally get an offer, I accepted even though it wasn't where I wanted to work and the salary was about 15% lower than I wanted. Was able to talk them up a bit on salary, but still, it's not that great.

Fast forward a few years and my salary is increasing at a snail's pace. My development lead has, on several occasions, referred to me as invaluable and told my supervisor that I accomplish more in any given week than most of the rest of the team combined. I pick up an average of two new languages a year, and have solved problems that have been in the code literally for years.

Despite consistently outperforming the majority of my coworkers (many of which are paid much better than I am), my supervisor refuses to promote me. I perform all the duties of a SWE II, but get paid like a SWE I. Difference in salary is pretty huge, about 40%-50%, since SWE I is an entry level position. Told my supervisor I wasn't happy and was looking to move to a new location in a different team, so he throws me a hefty stock bonus to keep me around, only it vests over four years (means I get nothing if I leave).

So, I posted my resume on Monster, and boy what a difference from when I was a recent grad. I had six calls in as many months before landing my current job. Now I get that many calls a day. Being flown up to Redmond by a company that will not be named (it's considered pretty unprofessional) to interview for a senior developer position on Friday. Salary is almost triple my current pay, plus a five figure signing bonus and way better benefits and vacation.

If you're good at what you do, you can find a new job, even in this economy. It can't hurt to look, unless your boss is the king of the douches and fires you when he finds your resume on Monster. You can always apply directly, though. They'll want to talk to your supervisor, of course, but it's literally illegal for him to say disparaging things about you (worst they can do is simply state the date of your employment and say nothing nice), and by then it's too late for him to screw you.
June 27, 2012 1:59:08 AM

I can't really tell you straight up whether you are being under paid, that really is simply a matter of you to know if you are or not, and is subjective on so many fronts depending upon your location, experience, training, duties, and such.

However, I do feel it's your right to petition for more responsibility, a better position, and better compensation if you so choose, as an employee of a company that is your right if you so choose and if they don't see it that way then you shouldn't be working for them.

I would strongly advise you, however, not to go in and start "making demands." Even if that's not the way it may come across, some of the suggestions made above will definitely come across that way, and there's very few people who like to be told of demands. No matter if you have a valid case or not, your employer will not really see it as positive initiative if you just state you are needing a raise because you're doing your job and then some.

What I might recommend is do some research. As others have stated here, it doesn't hurt to feel out the market a bit and see if you can get your resume in for a couple other places for consideration to get an idea what others are paying for the type of position or work you are currently doing. I'd be careful of this, however. If your current employer finds that you are scoping out another job, they may use that as a reason to terminate your position.

Next, do some research into what positions and work can be done in your own company as well to get you the job and the pay you are interested in. Discuss with your supervisor and employer that you are interested in moving up the chain. Remind them that you have successfully completed several tasks that are well beyond the standard daily requirements of your position, so that should stand itself as proof of your capabilities to handle more responsibility.

I would take this one step further, though, and do research more into what you have personally done, just like you are describing of these additional tasks you have completed. Document what you have done. Document the information and projects you have worked on, the tasks you have handled. Put it into statistical information that can be related to the rest of the business and how you help to improve the company. For instance, if you alone were able to configure this HP ticketing system, but it was suggested to have a group of two to three people set it up, then how much did you save them on labor costs to have the software done by yourself instead of two or three people? As you take on more tasks beyond your written job description, you're basically "overflowing" into a sort of part-time assistant administrator or technician. What would it cost the company to have someone like this, doing the tasks you have been doing, and thus money you have saved them?

Basically, if you can demonstrate in a positive way, and not in just stating demands, how you have helped to save the company money and how having you onboard and increasing your responsibilities also helps to grow the business and their profits, then you have made the most promising petition for a raise you possibly can.
July 2, 2012 7:53:46 PM

**Update**

I decided to wait to after i teach the class to bring up my wages. I really want this on my resume as it's my 3rd technical class i've taught. I found out (someone let me know by accident) that this is saving them from hiring a outside trainer at the tune of about $4k.
July 3, 2012 1:00:10 AM

Your case for more pay is compelling, but that doesn't mean you'll get it. Make sure you have another job lined up before making any demands, no matter how justified.
July 3, 2012 1:14:58 AM

^+1 find something at least as good before you make some demands. Many large companies will not reach into their pockets unless you force their hand - sad, but if they can get away with it they will.
-Bruce
July 3, 2012 1:31:09 AM

try turning the network off for a day ... you'll find out how valuable you are to the company
July 3, 2012 2:01:38 AM

It really depends on where you are (in the U.S.?) In silicon valley where I work, 1st level engineers (i.e. jr. helpdesk and NOC people) probably are at $50-60k. In the midwest, it wouldn't surprise me if it was half that. In China and India, it's like a fifth of that. Part of that is cost of living. Part of that is the competition for talent.

I've been a sysadmin for about 13 years. I've made a couple moves over that time, each time to improve my situation. My advice is get an offer first. Preferably several. If you want to stay and you think you have a real future (and it might not be possible given budgets and the asshattery they've already put you through), ask for a counter offer. But in my opinion, you should leave. That company doesn't sound particularly well run, nor do they seem to be financially stable (or they're overly tight fisted with money). They don't seem to be willing to make investments in personnel. That's pretty short sighted. Once you feel like you've been taken advantage of like that, you will never have the same pride of working there.

Another piece of advice and it sounds easier said than done (but really, it's not that hard if you're in the right place)... Go work for a tech company. Don't work in the IT department of a non-tech company. Look for a Tier 1 job at a Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple or Facebook. They're out there and their recruiters are hurting for real talent. And they realize the value of techs and pay accordingly. I know how important my NOC and helpdesk guys are.. Some lawyer will just think of you as "the laptop guy". Put it this way, when a Tier 1 guy gets hired at my company, they're asked to stay in the position for 2 years because my company knows they won't stay tier 1 forever. they'll get better and other departments will want their experience and ability. I know several tier 1 and 2 NOC guys that after 2 years moved to tier 4 engineer jobs in other departments that start around $100k. Because they were good, and they could hit the ground running since they knew how stuff worked.

Don't worry, no one in tech these days works forever at the same company anymore. Most people change jobs every 5 years or less.
July 3, 2012 2:30:21 AM

^+1.
July 3, 2012 1:16:47 PM

As I stated before, I am a tech company owner, but I live in a very rural part of the US. I wish so much that we had the availability of skilled help around here for me to hire someone. So far I have had two of my very close friends working part time to help in my growing business, but both of them will be leaving very shortly. Around here, there just isn't anyone reliable or knowledgeable to hire for help.

So that means there must be other companies, no matter where you are really, that are in the same kind of boat. Everyone is looking for the best talent to improve their company. If you aren't pleased with what they are doing to you, then I'd suggest looking elsewhere. Yes, you can do research and ask about getting a better pay and better position, but in the end if they are bulldozing you currently, what is to say they won't just do the same thing still even after you move up in position?
July 7, 2012 5:30:37 PM

Look for another job while trying to get CCNA cert. The company will want you to do more than what they are paying you to do. If you don't speak up they are going to walk all over you.
July 9, 2012 1:00:05 PM

Thanks for the advice, I was sort of shocked at how much I was saving the company and I hope that it provides good justification for a raise. I am sending my resume out to a few places looking for a couple bites before I commit to a asking for a raise. Thanks everyone for such great advice.

I live in Kentucky btw.
July 9, 2012 1:41:42 PM

^ They have electricity and computers there?

Sorry, couldn't help it. I'm from Arkansas and largely illiterate so I can say that, right?
July 9, 2012 2:16:31 PM

c911darkwolf said:
32k is my annual salary.


I didnt even need to see this to know you were being taken advantage of. Happens all the time especially with the economy still in the toilet. This happens a lot with people in T1 positions. Why hire/pay a T2/T3 guy when they can get people like you to do it? Unfortunately your kinda screwed because they will never pay you properly. Your best bet is to do as they said and find another job, request that your current employer exceed that offer (dont settle for the same), and chances are you will turn in your resignation and start working for a better company. Help desk positions are great to get some solid experience under your belt, but are only good for 1-3 years. Especially if you have qualifications like you have.
July 9, 2012 2:24:08 PM

J_E_D_70 said:
^ They have electricity and computers there?

Sorry, couldn't help it. I'm from Arkansas and largely illiterate so I can say that, right?



haha, I use to work for Verizon Customer care way back, and after telling them i'm from Ky was asked.

"really? Do people wear shoes there?"

My reply was generally

"Not really, just sandals and combat boots depending on the weather.."


@Darkoutlaw - Some suspicious activity at work is shifting me towards wanting to swtich jobs quickly. I have 2 interviews lined up this week and i'm hoping they are fruitful. I had a Technical trainer look over my resume and give me some tips.


Thanks again for the great responses guys!
July 9, 2012 4:02:07 PM

Congrats on your interviews, hope they go well.

To elaborate on my story from above, I actually just landed an awesome new job, and will be starting at the end of the month. My supervisor didn't even try to make a counter offer, was basically a "don't let the door hit you on the way out" kind of thing. Fine by me, it's time for a change of scenery anyway.
July 9, 2012 4:23:19 PM

@Willard

Grats! I hope to join you in the newly employed/better off line of achievements :) 
July 9, 2012 4:46:44 PM

Hi c911darkwolf,
I'm a SM programmer and hopefully I don't get only 32k gross.

I think the main reason that you don't get more... it's because you basicly doing a technician job. As long your title remain "technician" they won't give you more... because you SHOULDN'T doing SM maintenance and programmation.

I remind you that a SM licence cost a lot! So if they can't paid you correctly you shouldn't do it FOR FREE.

As reference I give you a link for SM programmer average salary.
http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/jobs/uk/servicecenter.do
http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/jobs/uk/service%20manager....
(I don't live in UK... it's just a reference)
I think the average should be 50k$US (in US) as full edge SM programmer.

You don't have all the correct training about SM modules, but you should be able to enter somewhere as "junior SM programmer" over 36k+ with a good promotion at each year!

All depend on what you want to do.
July 9, 2012 5:48:33 PM

Unless you are "REALY" indispensible to the company, getting that raise may only be temporary - until they can find another "sucker" to replace you.

Have been there - A number of years ago, I finally told my boss I was way Underpaid and implied I was ready to walk. Got the raise. I was let go about 6 years later, Not because of asking for the raise, the contracts took a nose dive and the project I was on was cancelled - They even kept me on for an extra year so That I could "retire" (age 62).That was in 2004.
Mid 2008 I got a call and they asked me if I would come back causal time (@ old salary) so I did - something to do. In early 2010 I asked for a raise, but didn't push it and it never materialized. So Jan 2012, I again asked for a raise, a little stronger emphasis. Received 41 % and promoted to Senior Engineer (From Senior technician) and more hours. Most Companies here will NOT promote to Engineer UNLESS you have an EE, which I don't. Its ego related / job classifications. BUT I could walk (Draw military retirement and Social Security). Still at $85K I'm underpaid, But like the job, Hours are OK (average about 30 Hrs/week), and pretty much set when I come in and leave. And almost 70 - can't complain. (PS They are having a hard time just finding a "understudy" for me)

C911 - In your case, I think you would be best served in the long run to find a NEW employer.
Don't be afraid to ask about advancement opportunities and benefits such as 401K's and education.
Also, just as they will interview YOU, research the perspective company!!
Also research salaries in the area. There can be a big difference based on location (ie cost of living) and availability of other perspective employees (ie salaries in a “retirement” locality can be considerably lower (ie Large military retirement).
July 9, 2012 6:43:24 PM

Taking into account much of what is being said here. I am living in a small town, and work about 28 miles away in a city thats about 4x bigger. Living in KY our cost of living isn't too high, so something i'm considering is getting a job in TN since i'm sort of close to the border. They have a much higher cost of living and would get me a break on income tax I believe. So trying to expand my options best I can.

Also prepared to take my first Linux Certification next weekend part 1 of 2 to be LPIC-1 Certified. So trying to expand in different directions.


Thanks again for the never ending comments and support guys!
July 9, 2012 8:29:21 PM

So you are not being taken advantage of. Your company clearly has a policy of getting the most and giving the least. Not uncommon in today's work place. You are a party to your situation. As the company demands increased you met those demands without any negotiation of compensation. The real question is are your services worth more than you are getting for them. No issue there yes. It will be hard to get your employer to step up compensation for services that they have been getting for nothing. Even then you will only be getting caught up and for sure you will soon be asked to do even more for no additional pay. Look for a new position. If none are available then you can try to push your compensation to a level more in balance with what you are doing. If you are not happy with the situation (and I can see why you are not) I doubt you will ever be satisfied or happy in that job into the future. Even with a boost in pay the company will not change their ways and it will always be a fight to get what you deserve.
July 10, 2012 2:45:04 PM

Dogsnake said:
Even with a boost in pay the company will not change their ways and it will always be a fight to get what you deserve.

At the same company, this is probably true. Not all companies are like this, though. Smaller companies with tight budgets will tend to need to squeeze the most out of their employees. Surprisingly, the huge mega-corps will treat you better because they can afford to. Training a new hire is expensive, so they want to keep you around. Worker satisfaction is important to morale, and high morale means more effective workers and a higher return on investment. It's not that they care about you more, it's that you're more valuable when you're happy, and it's cheaper to keep you happy than it is to replace you when you leave.

I've worked at companies of all sizes, some with 3-10 employees, and most recently a Fortune 500 company with 47,000 employees. In the small companies, I was expected to fill multiple roles, but with the large one I was considered a specialist. I start my new job at the end of the month with a company that has 25,000 employees, and it's looking like I'll again be wearing only a single hat.

Glassdoor.com is an extremely useful tool to find out what employees of the company think about it. I've not seen a huge range of ratings on companies I've interviewed with, but the reviews themselves can be red flags, especially things like "poor work/life balance" which means they'll work you 60-80 hours a week.
July 13, 2012 9:59:51 AM

Here is some news to kindle the flame, sorta speak.

I currently work in a call center, making gross 25K, so low income, $12/hr not salarie mind you, so i can make more or less depending if im lazy or wanna pick up shifts

i am currently applying to a helpdesk position similar to the OP position, this position is starting $50K and to go up after 3 month evaluation. so i guess that kinda also helps with the question "am i being underpaid"
July 13, 2012 10:49:16 AM

Hi, sounds like they've had you working hard on some intresting Projects. I would say your employer is probably asking alot of you, but from a balanced perspective you could say its adding strings to your bow/on the job training if you like. Maybe ask in a civilised manner if a pay review or bonus is feasible in light of the project work you have been asked to complete.
July 14, 2012 7:21:06 AM

Outlander_04 said:
try turning the network off for a day ... you'll find out how valuable you are to the company


Great advice.
If you want to break into the Prison IT market.
Turning off a network will get you fired, sued and arrested.
I heard about a disgruntled IT guy that got sent to prison for changing the network password to WGACA (what goes around, comes around).

He is not thinking it is that funny now.
July 14, 2012 8:02:44 AM

JoeMomma said:
Great advice.
If you want to break into the Prison IT market.
Turning off a network will get you fired, sued and arrested.



This. ^^

Don't threaten or push or do stupid things like that. It will only hurt yourself, badly.
July 17, 2012 2:53:12 PM

Yea 32k is low for your experience and education. I just got my A.A.S in Computer Science and my company made me system, network, and web admin at 32k a year. Granted its a small company, but still. Ask for more, or move on to someplace better.
July 23, 2012 8:52:04 PM

Just wanted to get a Update in here. Looks like i'm making progress the Company is talking with me about making a Full Time Software Developer for the software I have been working on. So I would have a new position created for me.

If i find out more ill let you know everything else is still being negotiated.
July 23, 2012 10:40:16 PM

That would be an ideal situation, assuming you have meaningful input into the process. Perhaps they recognize your value after all. Stranger things have happened.
July 24, 2012 12:36:24 AM

Good luck! Sounds promising.
July 24, 2012 12:41:10 AM

im an intern and get paind 39k a year but you get paid what you can make a company and i guess they think you are not worth as much as we all think
July 24, 2012 1:32:44 AM

c911darkwolf said:
well i'm a bit relieved to hear that i'm not just being lazy/grumper about it. I guess now I just need to make good timing to sit down with my employer and request a raise. I think there was a Lifehacker article on that a while back ill see if i can dig it up.

Thanks for easing some of my fears haha.

c911darkwolf

My full qulifications are

A.S. in Computer Information Tech
B.S. in Information Tech
A+ Cert
Fundamentals Cert
Cisco (local college based) Cert


And therein lies the issue.

Ok this is going to be rough but it's how things work.

#1 Employee's pay is between them and their employer. The employer doesn't owe you a job, nor do you owe them free labor, so it comes down to a negotiation. EVERYONE feels their underpaid, we always overvalue ourselves in these matters. If you believe that you deserve more pay then request a meeting with your manager (whomever signs your time cards) about your compensation. Don't be a hard a$$, just put it out there that you accomplished all these additional projects on top of (I'm assuming) outstanding tier 1 support work. You could work out a small pay raise, a position / responsibility recode that goes with a larger pay raise, or possible some form of performance bonus system. The important part is to communicate that your worth quite a bit more to your employer then what their paying you.

#2 Your qualifications are very low. They scream "entry level". I'll break them down,

College Degree: Of least value of all of them. I know everyone walks around telling you "get a college degree" and you see it as a "requirement" everywhere, but it's mostly ignored. It's used as a measure for experience, a four year degree is considered equivalent of four years of experience. The only time a degree comes into play is middle management positions, they like to see business degree's and MBA's. For technical work their useless for anything other then "experience".

A+: Entry level certification, all this means is that you can be trusted to know the difference between PS/2 and USB. Between IDE and SATA. To be able to actually understand what terms are being used in technical manuals and troubleshooting documentation. This also applies to Net+ / Security+, though some form of security certification has become mandatory in many industry positions now.

Quote:
Fundamentals Cert
Cisco (local college based) Cert

Need more information on exactly what these are. Their full names. A CCNA just means you know what RIP / OSPF / IGRP are and the OSI stack. You can be trusted to do subneting and IP range assignments.

If your serious about vertical career movement then you need to get advanced and senior level certifications. You also need to pick an area of expertise and focus on it, being a generalist doesn't go far beyond tier 1 Custer Service Center (ITIL speak) or Field Service Officer (repair man) work. Pick one of the IT disciplines to get into and focus on becoming an expert in that field, spend as much personal time as possible doing this. Also seek to acquire the ITILv3 foundations certification, it's fast becoming a requirement to hold any form of technical positions.

For your pay, entry level work is $40K USD a year +/- for local Cost of Living adjustments. If your area is a low cost of living then $32K is entirely possible in a small company as a tier 1. That number goes up fast once your step into the advanced technical / engineering world.
!