A systems application and products, or SAP, analyst is in high demand with the modern reliance on databases and relational system that connect these storage houses of information with reporting systems. The skill is not limited to one particular region either. SAP skill-sets are needed globally wherever there are organizations with large enterprise systems that draw upon, manage, and input into multiple databases regularly. It should come as no surprise then that SAP analysts also command notable salaries, depending on their skill level, experience, and certification of expertise.
Average Earning Levels
As of May 2011, when most economies were still deep in the effects of economic recession, the high pay range for an SAP analyst was $82,000. Further, for those coming up the ranks in the field, job growth expanded quick and is expected to grow another 22 percent through the year 2020. This projected growth is because the positions available for a trained SAP analyst are plentiful in the healthcare, government, finance, insurance and IT support arenas. Further, many analysts are finding plenty of work functioning independently as consultants or under their own business name.
The above said, the work and career access comes with a price. Many SAP analysts work far more than a standard 40-hour workweek. Overtime is common. Further, once an initial training level or certification is attained, analysts often have to pursue recurring training to stay relevant in their careers and competitive with newer hires.
Factors Affecting Earnings
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, geographic location has a significant impact on earning power for an SAP analyst. Five states have the highest concentration of SAP analysts which include Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Massachusetts. In the meantime, analysts on the West Coast also score very well in terms of income as well, which earning levels ranging between $86,000 and $96,000. However, these higher pay levels are diluted by the higher cost of living on the West Coast as well.
In comparison, the lowest range of earnings for an SAP analyst were found in the middle of the country and in the deep south. With earnings ranging from a low of $44,000 to $65,000, most such positions were fund in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota. The one exception for low earnings was also found in West Virginia.
Education plays a key role in higher pay as well. Those earning better pay often were able to command such positions with a bachelor’s degree as well as system certifications. This, combined with relevant work experience, often tends to boost players to the higher earning levels among SAP analysts. Those who retain such pay levels do so with ongoing training, investment in their own software tools, and more education.
SAP analysts will continue to realize solid demand for their skill-sets. However, as technology continues to change, so will the tools and nuances of such database work. As a result, to stay relevant, successful SAP analysts have to bear the cost of retraining themselves regularly to stay competitive. This cuts into earnings as a necessary cost to stay relevant.