Average salary for a new mainframe administrator



Average salary for a new mainframe administrator

Postby Unshriven » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:42 am

I work for a large bank and am one of the finalists to become a "mainframe administrator". It's an 18 month process doing the IBM training followed by 8, one month rotations in each specialty i.e. databases, administration etc...

My question is, when I get out of training, what can I expect as an average salary for a new mainframe administrator? I have 15 years of experience in all areas other than this environment. I haven't really be able to get a good range on what a certified administrator would make.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Average salary for a new mainframe administrator

 

Re: Salaries?

Postby dick scherrer » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:06 am

Hello and welcome to the forum,

I have 15 years of experience in all areas other than this environment.
What are "all other areas" and how do you define "this environment"?

Geographically, where is the job site? Are there multiple people from the same organization involved with this training and rotation? Is your organization providing the 18 month training program?

Are there lots of IBM mainframe systems in the area or only a few?

Some organizations publish salary range by salary grade info but most do not. In different areas, there are sometimes surveys that post the results of a salary study. From my experience, those results/statistics tend to be higher than the real salaries.

Best of luck and if you have other questions, someone will try to answer (these kinds of questions are more challenging than purely technical questions :) ).
Hope this helps,
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Re: Average salary for a new mainframe administrator

Postby Unshriven » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:40 am

All other areas mean that I've been a windows system administrator, desktop PC technician, I have my Cisco CCNA, I was a MIS director for a mental health firm, and for the last 7 years I've been involved with data center management (facilities, structured cabling - UTP and fiber - disaster recovery) and such.

The job will be in the Dallas area for one of the world's largest banks. Yes, they are providing the training. They have several mainframes all over the world....DC, London, Singapore as well as many others.

The gist of my question is that I have not been able to find an average salary range for an IBM mainframe administrator. I believe that is because they are much less common than your network engineer, generic server administrator and such.

My hope is that after completing the course, I would be able to move into the 6 figure range. Based on the more detailed information I have provided, any new insights would be welcome. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
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Re: Average salary for a new mainframe administrator

Postby dick scherrer » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:36 am

You're welcome :)

The term "IBM Mainframe Administrator" is not one with which i'm familiar. . . It may be the new "in" term :) For years much of this administration was performed by "system programmers". I guess "system programmer" has fallen from favor.

There are multiple kinds of administration on a typical mainframe and rarely does one person do all of the admin (like on UNIX or Windows environments). There are several complete administration disciplines like Storage Management, Capacity Planning, CICS, Network, Database, Performance Measurement, Operating System, Compilers and Utilities, COOP (Continuation of Operations Plan - i.e. disaster recovery), Security and more. Sometimes some of these responsibilities are combined in a person and sometimes they are their own group of several people.

I have not been able to find an average salary range
The salaries vary greatly depending on the organization and the availability of qualified people. I've seen wildly different salaries around the country and sometimes even within the same organization (which is why so many places insist that people not talk about what they are paid).

I believe that is because they are much less common than your network engineer, generic server administrator and such
Yes, less common and need far more understanding of the system components. Windows servers are meant to be run out of the box by "newbies" - our dentist is also the sysadm for the complex where the office is located. Unfortunately, he does a better job than quite a few Windows-certified people i've seen escorted out as total incompetents.

I believe 6 figures is quite possible in Dallas. Maybe not right away, but surely possible.

FWIW - i've been a migrant data worker since 1986 so i've seen lots of environments and many people are more willing to talk with an outsider.
Hope this helps,
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Re: Average salary for a new mainframe administrator

Postby Unshriven » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:23 am

Actually, IBM mainframe administrator is listed in the "Introduction to Mainframes" book by IBM which I just purchased so I'm not pulling it out of my hat. It may very well be the new "in" term.

One of the reasons my company is doing this is that they are having a hard time finding qualified people. All the mainframe types we have here have been around since they were using papyrus punch cards. Now most are dying or retiring. Consequently, they have decided to promote from within. That's good for me because it's been my experience that to get into mainframes you either have to do it just out of college or be very lucky. We have a LOT of IBM equipment. We still use NCPs and 1" tape... :o

I'm thinking that due to this darth of qualified people I'm hoping to garner a good salary eventually. I won't be able to get a raise for about 3 1/2 years due to training then a 1 year period before I'm elegable. After that, I expect a substancial increase based on the efforts I put in.
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Re: Average salary for a new mainframe administrator

Postby dick scherrer » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:29 am

Howdy,

We still use NCPs and 1" tape..
It is a bank. . . Banks are well known to retain very old technology for a very long time. Sometimes due to only one client that requires that media. . . Sometimes due to an incredible reluctance to change :)

After that, I expect a substancial increase based on the efforts I put in.
IMHO - a very reasonable expectation. If not, you would certainly be able to go to some other organization that needs someone with those qualifications ;)

With "things" as they are just now, having a 3-year program doesn't sound so bad. Another thing this will give you is something even more rare - multi-platform admin experience.

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Re: Average salary for a new mainframe administrator

Postby Unshriven » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:40 am

Yes, the experience and training on someone else's nickle is great. I also like to think that being someone who works on mainframes would put me ahead of the pack in a special catagory. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting an MCSE but telling someone you are a mainframe administrator has a little more pizzaze...
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