By Tom Tuttle
Lots of great information comes out of Global Knowledge’s annual IT Skills and Salary Report. Not least of which are the reported salaries for those who have earned Microsoft certifications—the ultimate barometer for a Microsoft professional’s market rate.
Microsoft is constantly evaluating their certifications and Microsoft Official Courses (MOC) for necessary updates. The salaries listed below were collected from 2018 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report respondents.
Respondents to the salary survey cited some certifications that retired in March 2017. But don’t worry, we’ve taken a look at the top 10 highest paying certifications reported and mapped them Microsoft’s current official list.
1. MCSD: App Builder
Retired—MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer: App Builder certification provides proof that you have the skills required to build and execute modern mobile and/or web applications. There is no recertification, however the achievement date indicates how committed you are to keeping up with the changes in technology. Each year you can re-earn the certification to demonstrate your investment in expanding your skills.
Job Title(s): Application/Software Developer
There are 1.2 million application/software developer jobs in the United States as of 2016 with a forecasted growth of 24% between 2016 and 2026. The 2017 median annual pay was reported to be $103,560, according to the U.S. Bureau and Labor Statistics.
Earn your MCSD: App Builder certification
2. MCSA: Data Engineering with Azure
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: Data Engineering with Azure certification proves your knowledge is relevant to the designing and building of analytics and operational solutions on Azure, as well as the implementation of big data engineering workflows in HDInsight.
Job Title(s): Database analyst, database designer and business intelligence analyst
The average business intelligence analyst annual salary is $66,000. The salary for BI analyst varies greatly by company and geography. Some of the skills required to net the higher end of the pay scale include data warehousing, data modeling, data mining and business intelligence. Business intelligence analysts report extremely high job satisfaction rates.
The average database analyst annual salary is $60,066, according to payscale.com.
3. MCSA: Windows Server 2016
Retired—Data Center MSCA: Windows Server 2016
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: Windows Server 2016 certification provides proof that you have the skill set required to design, architect, implement and maintain complex cloud-enabled Linux solutions that leverage Microsoft Azure open source capabilities.
Job Title(s): System Administrator
The average Windows Server system administrator salary is $64,118 with a range between $43,500 and $92,900. Skills and experience help reach the highest end of the pay scale. Typically, the Windows Server system admin has more than 5 years of experience. The most important skills include VMware ESX, Network Management/Admin, Virtual Machines, Windows 2003 Server, Internet information Server (IIS), and Microsoft SQL server, according to payscale.com.
Earn your MSCA: Windows Server 2016
4. MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
$92,162 - $107,221*
*Salary range based on retired—MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect; Microsoft Specialist: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions; Microsoft Specialist: Administering Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions; Microsoft Specialist: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions; MCSE: Server Infrastructure
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification shows that you have the skill set required to operate a modern data center that is focused on scale and efficiency. You will have expertise in cloud technologies, identity management, systems management, virtualization, storage and networking.
Job Title(s): Cloud Administrator, Cloud Architect, Computer Support Specialist and Information Security Analyst
The average cloud solutions architect’s annual salary is $107,913. The cloud solutions architect position is disproportionately held by men—96% of the field. To earn the upper level of the pay scale, candidates should be well versed in cloud computing and Microsoft Azure. Most cloud solutions architects (44%) have 10-19 years of experience with the second largest group (30%) having less than 5 years' experience. Job satisfaction is high with 4 out of 5 cloud solutions architects reporting that they are extremely satisfied with their job, according to payscale.com
The average cloud administrator annual salary is $69,992.
The average computer support Specialist annual salary is $42,735.
The average information security analyst annual salary is $70,000.
Earn your MCSE: Cloud Platform & Infrastructure
5. MCSA: Linux on Azure
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: Linux on Azure certification demonstrates that you have the necessary skillset to design, architect, implement and maintain complex cloud-enabled Linux solutions that leverage Microsoft Azure open source capabilities.
Job Title(s): Linux Systems Administrator
The average salary for a Linux systems administrator is $72,140 with a range of $47,500 to $107,300. To earn the top end of the pay scale, Linux systems administrators are usually in their mid-to-late career stage and skilled in virtualization, Perl, Puppet, VMWare ESX, storage area networking, automation scripting, shell scripting, and Python. Of those surveyed, 100% report being extremely satisfied on the job, according to payscale.com.
Earn your MCSA: Linux on Azure
6. MCSE: Mobility
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Mobility certification is evidence that you have the skills required to manage devices in the modern workplace with a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy.
Job Title(s): Desktop Support Technician, Enterprise Architect and everything in between.
The enterprise architect annual salary is $128,000. Nearly half of enterprise architects log between 10 and 19 years of experience. Some of the skills necessary to earn the highest end of the pay scale are Java/J2EE, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Enterprise Application Integration, Cloud Computing, Software Architecture, Enterprise Solutions, Strategy Development, and System Architecture. As far as job satisfaction, 5 out of 5 enterprise architects report being extremely satisfied, according to payscale.com
The average desktop support technician annual salary is $39,395, according to payscale.com.
Earn your MCSE: Mobility
7. MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations certification demonstrates that you have the skills to utilize Microsoft Dynamics 365 technologies to implement the basic technical and development tasks required to customize Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations.
Job Title(s): Solutions Architect or Solutions Implementer
The average solutions architect annual salary is $114,000. Solutions architects are generally experienced to late-career IT professionals with proven abilities in cloud computing, Java/J2EE, Network Architecture/Design, Software Architecture, and Java. Solutions architects are also very satisfied with their job, according to payscale.com.
Earn your MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations
8. MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: Microsoft Dynamics 365 certification is evidence that you have and can demonstrate expertise in Microsoft Dynamics 365—that you can upgrade, configure and customize the application.
Job Title(s): Implementation Consultant, Technical Support Engineer, or System Administrator
The average implementation consultant annual salary is $65,685. Having experience in software configuration, SQL, IT consulting, business analysis, requirements analysis, systems integration, and Microsoft SQL Server will fetch top pay. Female implementation consultants make up 43% of the field, according to payscale.com.
Earn your MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365
9. MCSA: Web Applications
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: Web Applications certification provides proof that you have the necessary skillset to develop, implement, and maintain modern web applications. It shows that you have a fundamental knowledge of key technologies, including C#, Visual Studio, .NET, and Framework 4.5.
Job Title(s): Web Developer or Web Administrator
Earn your MCSA: Web Applications
10. MCSA: SQL 2016 Database BI Development
The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: SQL 2016 Database BI Development certification illustrates that you have the required skills to extract, transform, and load (ETL) and data warehouse skills, along with those for implementing BI solutions using multidimensional and tabular data models and online analytical processing (OLAP) cubes.
Job Title(s): BI Developer
The average BI Developer annual salary is $77,696. To fetch a top salary, candidates will be in their late-career stage with proven skills in data modeling, extract transform load (ETL) and data warehousing. BI Developers report extremely high job satisfaction rates, according to payscale.com
Earn your MSCA: SQL 2016 Database BI Development