Data center technicians earn fairly decent pay – around $61,000 on average, according to salary.com. However, the highest-paid data center technicians make six-figure sums, which is a big difference from the average.
How can you move up the pay scale to land the highest-paying data center technician jobs? This article explains by discussing strategies for data center technicians – the people who maintain data center equipment and facilities – to increase their salaries.
Earn data center certifications
For many data center technicians, the easiest and most effective path to higher income is to earn certifications.
There are a variety of certifications you can pursue. Some are generic certifications that attest to your ability to administer data centers in general. Others focus on specific facets of data center work, such as network management.
By choosing certifications that align with the needs of your current or future employer, you can increase your value as a technician and command higher pay.
Move to a new region
Average data center technician salaries vary significantly between different regions – and higher cost-of-living areas don't always correlate with higher earnings in this field.
According to Zippia, the states where data center technicians earn the most include:
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
Average salaries in these states are more than 10 percent higher than in states with median data center technician salaries. And they beat salaries in the lowest-paying states by more than one-third.
The point here is that where you work can dramatically impact your data center technician earnings. And although you might think that states with flourishing tech industries and large concentrations of data centers – such as California and Virginia – would pay technicians the most, that's not necessarily the case. Places like South Carolina tend to pay their data center technicians well, too, even though South Carolina isn't known in particular for its data centers.
Cater to higher-paying industries
Businesses across a variety of industries rely on data centers, but data center technician jobs in some industries pay more than those in others. Companies in the energy sector that operate data centers pay the most to their technicians, according to Zippia, while finance data centers pay the least.
The salary differences in this regard aren't as great as those between different states. Still, you may be able to earn 5 to 10 percent more by landing a job where you help support data centers in specific industries.
Learn advanced data center technology
Virtually every data center technician needs to master basic IT management and support skills. But not every technician understands the more advanced technologies that cutting-edge data centers are adopting.
This means that if you can, for example, support immersion cooling systems, a next-generation technology that some data centers are implementing to help reduce energy consumption, you'll stand out from the crowd and will likely be able to earn more.
Focus on sustainability
Similarly, sustainability is a hot topic in the data center industry, and technicians who can help their employers meet sustainability goals will have an advantage when negotiating salary.
The more capable you are of helping your data center implement renewable energy sourcing – and address the challenges that come with it, like the need to provide backup power in case renewable sources fail – and the better equipped you are to help monitor and report carbon emissions, the more valuable data center companies will likely deem you to be.
The difference between average pay and high pay for data center technician jobs is stark. If you want to make as much as you can, focus on ways to increase your value as a technician by catering to the regions, industries and technologies where data center technician skills are in highest demand.