Announcing the 2023 Data Professional Salary Survey Results.

Salary
8 Comments

Are your peers being paid more this year? Are they switching job roles? Are they planning on leaving their companies? To find out, I run a salary survey every year for folks in the database industry. Download the raw data here and slice & dice ’em to see what’s important to you.

Salaries are on the rise again this year:

If I filter the data for just the United States, they’re on the rise too:

And if I filter the data for just DBAs, the job title I’m usually most interested in, United States DBAs are on the rise by about 6% this year:

Nice! Congrats on the raises, y’all. (On the other hand, if you’re reading this, and you didn’t get a raise, now’s the time to download this data and start having a discussion with your manager.) You might also be considering switching jobs – so which job titles are getting the most this year?

Architects, app code developers, and managers are doing well. Note, though, that I’m filtering on just United States folks here, so the survey sample size is getting smaller. Plus, I would never make long term career decisions based on money alone – you might not be happy doing a particular job. (I hated management.)

Is any one job title growing at the expense of others? Are people leaving DBA work en masse and switching to something else? No, the mix by job title has been roughly the same over the years, despite what you might have heard from Thought Leaders™:

So why do you hear Thought Leaders™ saying one job role or another is dead, and another one is on fire? Because it’s a short-term publicity trend, sometimes as short as months, where a few publication outlets run the same stories and build buzz around something in order to get clicks.

Is there a mass resignation coming? What are peoples’ career plans for 2023, and have those numbers changed from prior years?

Most of you still want to stay with the same employer, in the same role. Well, in that case, here’s to a stable, safe 2023 for y’all.

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • 40oz_Coffee_Breakfast
    January 3, 2023 5:31 pm

    Thought leaders say one or another job title is dead and lay out how departments should be titled and organized so they can sell white papers to Biz Dev consultants who then go to CTO/CIOs and show them they are “hopelessly behind the times” and they can fix it for a seven figure contract that mostly just has all of your staff changing their e-mail sigs and your poor HR system DBAs updating tables with new titles, and everyone doing the same work they did previously.

    Reply
  • Unfortunately, I’m not sure the congrats on the raises is warranted. These are nominal dollars. When inflation is accounted for, these salaries are at best treading water, but probably closer to real pay cuts. I know I’m feeling it. In 2019-2020 I felt flush; this past year the erosion of my purchasing power has been quite noticeable even as my nominal salary has continued to go up.

    Reply
    • You may want to consider moving to a lower cost-of-living area. (That’s what I did.)

      Reply
      • This migration leads to higher cost of living areas opening up to hiring remote only, paying the higher cost of living wages they used to, and forcing lower cost of living area companies to compete with those… We live in interesting times.

        I took a contract from a company in a higher cost of living area – paying about 40% more than the production dba role, fully remote – then when that was over (left mainly due to a very stagnant environment), I went full time in a lower cost of living area – dropping to about 15% more than that production dba role… And 2 months in, I’m already keeping an eye out for another remote only contract (hopefully one where the phrase “we don’t need to patch servers up to date” or “replication” don’t come up…)

        Reply
      • I’m usually pro-Brent with many of your comments and replies, but this one is really a very much the line many companies use to justify offering their employees a less than living wage in those income-depressed areas.

        So, I’ll start by saying, first:

        1. It’s WAY different being an independent business owner versus being owned by a business (as in a salaried job). You set your compensation based on your business goals, and workload. If your work is remote and you are busy, you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage without the company changing employment policies to depress your income (see below for more on this last item).

        2. Many companies have changed/are changing their remote employee base from salaried employee to a contractor base. While this for many has made the yearly income grow, it has also shifted much of the previous business financial responsibilities onto the employee (think of all the federal and state automatic withdrawals, and health insurance). So you’re survey may show $160K/year income, but if contractor, the real money in pocket would be somewhere around half of that wage.

        3. For companies that haven’t done number 2 above (no pun intended). Another issue for remote workers is that many companies have openly adjusted their compensation for workers to account for cost of living areas for these types of workers. Therefore, moving only gives you a lower salary if you work remotely, and cannot find another gig elsewhere.

        4. Why should anyone be forced to move to a desert to be able to afford a living wage? For many people (employees), you have not just the wage to consider but also the social support and services that are in the areas you choose to live. Therefore, moving to a LCOL area would also not improve you financial well being since it would come at the cost of being isolated from these systems that really do have a great impact on your health and well being.

        It’s simple to say what you did, but you should be mindful, most of the employees don’t have the level of leverage and discrepancy on how they get paid as you do. I would suggest twisting your thumbnail 90 degrees clockwise on this reply to reflect this shameful oversight.

        No offense intended. Keep up the good work, but also consider being a bit more humble.

        Reply
        • Ed – I hear you, but you’ve got a lot of feelings in here, and no numbers to back it up.

          For example, on #4, lower cost of living doesn’t necessarily mean less social support or services.

          I’m not offended – just wanted to point out that this isn’t about my humility, and just about data and facts. This post is about raw data coming out of a salary survey. You’re totally welcome to write about how you feel about things – just keep in mind that if you want them to be taken as facts, you’ll need some data to back it up.

          Reply
  • Frank Peters, Netherlands
    January 9, 2023 4:02 pm

    Perhaps am I reading the raw data Excel file wrong…or is it correct that there are people who are not self employed and not a manager but “just” an engineer, dba or developer that earn 700k – 1.8 million a year?? Or did they accidentally add a 0 extra?

    Anyone got another logical explanation for it?

    Reply
    • I can’t speak to the exact numbers, but I have a folks in my network who made over $1m in total compensation last year, and they work for someone else.

      Examples include hedge funds, Silicon Valley funded companies, etc.

      Reply

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