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Salary for SysAdmin in SanDiego?

Hello,

I would like to apply for a position in San Diego, CA for a Systems Administrator position.  I am from the Midwest and not familiar with the salaries on the West Coat, but I would suspect that they are higher than I think.  I am thinking of 70-80k~  but I might be low.  Is there any way to find out what I should list as my salary requirements?

->*
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Remember the good old days when salary ranges were included in job postings?

muppet
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

salary.com

Ron
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

What kind of sysadmin?  Windows?  Sun?  Linux beowolf clusters?  Supercomputers?    Can you do Perl/bash/Python/Javascript?

How much experience? 

I'm in SD, I believe you'll see ranges of 30-70k based on the answers to the above questions and some others.

Snotnose
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

This is from the ad:

"installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of desktop computers, Microsoft Windows servers, and telephone equipment."

->*
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Ad also says I need to know MS-Office and should be familiar with Linux.

->*
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

1-3 years of experience

->*
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I don't know about San Diego, but in Connecticut that sounds like a 40K job.

muppet
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Yup, I'm probably too high which is why i need to get an idea of where I should be at.

->*
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Places like salary.com are telling me 55-75k/yr.

The cost of living must be outrageous out there.

->*
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Cost of living is insane here.

Salaries are low.

You are looking at 45-60k realistically,

Sassy
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

San Diego is more expensive than you think.  However high you think the cost of living will be when you get here, it's higher.

Anything less than 100K and you're living in a box in SD.

Norrick
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

You're renting, most likely.  I rent a 2br 1000sf place with driveway and patio for $1025 a month.  I can double that and get a studio / 1BR condo in my hood.  Tough call ;-)

It's fucked here, I've been here 10 years, it's not getting better.

Sassy
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Sassy,

$1025 doesn't seem that bad.  That is about the rental rate here in Tahoe.  Is the double that to buy?

christopher (baus.net)
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

yes, more like 150% to buy.

a 1BR condo in a central SD neighborhood will run you anywhere from 275-375k.

Sassy
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Seems like a bad time to buy.  Either rental prices have to move up a lot, or prices have to move down.  We have the same situation here in Tahoe.  In one popular condo complex you can rent for about $1100/month.  Most condos there are now listing the mid-$400's.. 

As an investor you either need a greater fool, or a lot of inflation in the rental market to make money.  My feeling is the rental prices aren't moving up nearly as fast as the purchase price.  Even with 20% down, you probably aren't going to generate a lot of cash flow on Condo's here in Tahoe. 

Plus you think salaries are bad in SD.  Try Tahoe..  There are virtually no high paying jobs.  I'm one of the fortunate few that does have a good job, but I've known plenty of people that struggle for the dream of living in the mountains. 

The biggest reason I have for owning in Tahoe is to get control over my living situation.  Living with beat brown carpet from 1982, or having to move every 6 months gets old real fast. 

Typical urban apartment complexes are non-existant here.  As a renter you are almost always in the situation of having to deal directly with the owner. 

It gets depressing because it seems like all the good places in the country are already full.  The generation that follows, say those in the early 20s, are going to have to readjust to a different lifestyle.  At the current pace, the days of single family ownership are numbered on the west coast.  At least that's my feeling.

christopher (baus.net)
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

"At the current pace, the days of single family ownership are numbered on the west coast."

Unknown.  I have a hard time believing it.  They just refuse to build up.  Eventually, there will be no choice.  I'm from the Northeast, and SoCal's city-of-suburbs dream is quite over, as I see it.

Sassy
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

wow $1025 for a 2 bd

That's a good deal. In Aliso that's how much you'd pay for a 1 bedroom.

I'm personaly worried about my chances of owning a home within reasonable driving distance from my work.

The market doesn't look like it's slowing down. In the building I work in, it's full of motgage companies that are opening up all the time.

With the crazy ARMs they are offering, people are paying incredible sums for houses.

I think we are going to shift to a more european culture where there are multiple generations in houses. I keep hearing stories about people moving back with their parents.

anon-88
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I should say single family home ownership. 

I was driving up from the BA on Monday, and there was a segment on KQED on housing in the BA.  They had a few people talking sense about building more densely (ie vertically), but I just don't see it happening yet.  Traffic on 80 west was backed up from the Bay Bridge to Vacaville.  People would rather commute in from Stockton than give up the single family home dream. 

I myself was forced to massively downgrade my expectations.  I've spent 10s of thousands of dollars renovating a 40 year old summer house, I affectionately refer to as the Shackteau.  There are times I think it is hopeless, that the place will never be done, but then I see what the neighbor's place is listed for, then I think, time to call the painters ; )

I too am from the East Coast, and I will say I've never seen anything like the development occuring in the Central Valley or even Northern Nevada. 

Folsom was a pasture of oak trees 5 years ago.  Now the parking lot at Costco is full.  There is a whole town of McMansions. 

I don't think I'll ever really adjust to the west coast.  Ok I'm way off the subject now. 

christopher (baus.net)
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I hate to burst your bubble, but you are dreaming if you think 70 - 80k is a reasonable salary for the job you just described. It sounds like an entry-level IT job that might pay about 45k in San Diego.

just me
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Realize that in terms of standard of living, it's going to go down for you if you move to SD. $70k is enough to get by, but not enough to live comfortably. Now, if you are a surfer, it can be worth it to have a job to subsidize your surfing. But if you are not going to spend a lot of time at the beach, moving to SD is ill advised. Salaries are known to be much lower in SD than they should be given the cost of living. Employers underpay because they can since there are so many people willing to take a low salary in order to have the fine weather.

Also realize that you'll probably have to rent in the outlying areas and you may be in for a commute of an hour or more each way.

Edward Delouse
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

And if $45k is all you can get, you are better off taking a job at WalMart, it's less stressful.

Seriously, $45k in SD means you are f-k'd big time. Where will you live? What will you eat? You can only make it on $45k in SD if you are living with your parents and they are not charging you rent.

Edward Delouse
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Ok, Ed, I'm gonna call bullshit on you.

I have licved in SD since I was 18.  I had many jobs which paid crap.  Just realize that people have differing expectations of what "living like crap" is.

I "lived like crap" for several years, and loved it.  I currently rent a nice enough place in the center of town, not in the cuts.

Otherwise, yes, you are right, 70k in SD is the entry point to comfort.

Sassy
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I doubt I'd get the job anyway.  I've been turned down for every position I've ever applied too!  I'm not joking either.

I think I could live on 45 - 50k, if I found a $800-975 apartment within reasonable distance of Sony?  Anyone know where Sony is? Like a street address so that I can compare it to these apartments I've found for rent.

->*
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I've been turned down for more jobs than I could count on my fingers, toes, and someone else's.  You just have to keep at it.  And if you continue to be turned down for the class of jobs you're looking for, you've got to try and figure out what it is you're lacking, whether it be technical skills, professional skills, interview skills... and figure out what you can realistically do to improve your chances.

Getting a job is 15% qualifications, 35% interview, and 50% blind dumb luck.

muppet
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Sony is in Rancho Bernardo, Bernardo Center Drive.  Not a cheap area but you would be fine on 8-900 for a studio / 1br place.

Sassy
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Not sure what point you are calling BS on since you seem to agree with me...

OP,

Yes Sony is in Rancho Bernardo. It is an upscale suburb to the northeast of San Diego along the I-15 corridor. Affordable housing is not really a hallmark of RB, though you will find some people renting rooms out of their houses. Nearby communities are Rancho Penasquitas, Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa. Probably Mira Mesa is your closest bet for affordable housing, though it's not within bicycling or walking distance. When you say you want to live close, do you mean without a car? Rancho Bernardo doesn't have good public transportation - you are kind of out in the sticks. The number one reason not to live in Rancho Bernardo is the Sony plant -- the toxic chemicals (7 of the top ten most toxic chemicals known to the state of california are used there) go into the waste water and the waste water is evaporated into the air around Rancho Bernardo, creating the strange fog they have in the area. It's all perfectly legal - I checked with the EPA myself.

How do I know this? I worked at Sony for over ten years. Glad to be out of there. It's ok as work places go but the safety of the workers or the community is not really a high ranking concern of theirs.

Edward Delouse
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Escondido is also a cheap possibility and there is low rent stuff there. You mainly want something off of I-15 if you are driving to work. Traffic is MUCH worse going south in the morning from North County, so picking Mira Meas (where you go north instead) might shave a few minutes off, IF you live near the freeway. Anywhere else in Mira Mesa is traffic hell and the drivers there are from Vietnam and don't drive normally.

Sony WILL hire you, by the way - they have great difficulty finding people willing to work for their 30-40% lower-than-market-rate salaries.

You will have no creative control or decision making abality and little chance for serious advancement - everything is silently controlled from behind the scenes by the japanese upper management that they will deny exists. If you are white, you will have almost no chance of advancement. If you are a minority though, you will recieve token advancements but have no real decision making power.

Edward Delouse
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

But you will get great benefits if you don't mind the fact that the health insurance is owned by Sony and that any decisions about your health will be made by a HMO owned by Sony and you will need to see Sony friendly doctors...

Edward Delouse
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Also, stay out of the basement in the main plant.

Edward Delouse
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

LOL Ed.

Good post.

I have other friends that complain about working for japanese companies. They pay less than the market, but you should be honored to be working for them. well that's home some one put it to me.

anon-88
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I'm sure rent is cheap in TJ.

MilesArcher
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

"1-3 years of experience "

And you are shooting for 70-80? where have you been hybernating lately?

Jason
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Like the others have noted, nothing will really prepare you for the shock of the cost of living in SD. It takes a while for it to really hit home. I can still easily spot people here who are newly relocated. They still look like they're in a vacation bliss.

Everyone who's been working here for a number of years (who doesn't by some good fortune already own a place from way, way back) seems to dream of getting out of here.  I was recruited here in 2001 for a job making $65k. That was OK. I didn't have car payments. Since that company went under it's been a real disappointment. Rent is sky high. Interested in owning a home or starting a family? Scratch this place off your list. My best advice would be: Don't waste your prime money earning years here if you have plans of retiring well.

skippy
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

"Employers underpay because they can since there are so many people willing to take a low salary in order to have the fine weather."

Same thing in Santa Barbara, affectionately known as "Silicon Beach".  The companies there pay trailing-edge wages and act as though just being in Santa Barbara is a corporate benefit.

As to the death of single-family homeownership in CA, it's not completely dead.  Even on a decent programming salary, I had to move my family inland in order to buy a home.  I'm living in Central Cali and not missing the beach a bit. 

You do what you have to do to get what you want to get.

www.ChristopherHawkins.com
Thursday, August 05, 2004

Chris,

OK, so you are in Fresno or Bakersfield or such. Ok places but they do get hot in the summer and there is no nice ocean breeze to cool you off. And prices, though lower, are still higher than other farm areas throughout the US, right? So, is there an advantage to living in Central Calif.? Is it because you are 3 hrs from the beach and 2 hrs from the mountains, do you make use of that often enough to make it worthwhile? What's the advantage to staying here I am wondering - should we consider moving to Kansas, where the weather is similar but the cost of living is lower?

Edward Delouse
Thursday, August 05, 2004

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