Dice conducted a salary survey awhile back and I recently got the results. It's nice to participate in these things if you can for a couple reasons. One is that you usually get the results, which aren't always made public. The other is that it helps the entire industry get an idea of where salaries are. Most large companies subscribe to services that conduct surveys so they are aware of what the ranges are for various jobs.
DBAs are listed as the 3rd from the top in terms of salary.
The results for this survey are here, but I wanted to comment on a few things and add my take on the numbers. I'm not an expert, but I've been in this industry a long time, so there were a few things I wanted to share.
One thing that is good news is that list of jobs, in descending salary order, shows database administrators at #3. The IT Management (C-level, VP, director) and Project Manager are higher, and significantly so. However DBAs average $85k and Database Developers $79k (#7). Other developers are slightly below ($78k) and sysadmins (network engineers, system admin, network manager) are in the $60s.
Those salaries seem slightly low to me, but Denver is a pretty expensive place and I'm a senior guy, so maybe that's not a bad average. It would be nice to see the standard deviation as well for these.
It was interesting to see the industry breakdown. As expected, banking and finance are the highest, but surprisingly Internet Services and retail/e-comm are the lowest. I guess the dot com bomb isn't over yet.
The highest salaries are in the Pacific part of the country (sorry overseas folks) and Silicon Valley, Boston, and NY top the cities surveyed. My Denver is 8th, surprisingly above Chicago.
However if you're thinking to move for salary, beware. The commutes are long and cost of living is high where the salaries are higher. Personally I think you want to take this type of survey and compare it with the Money magazine Best Places to Live list and come up with the best value for you.
One very surprising thing was the % less that women earn by sector. The spread isn't great (11.5% less to 7.1%), but the worst places for women to work are Medical, Telco, and Computer Software companies. That still stinks for women and it's ridiculous. Women can do the same job and I don't think the risk of a woman leaving is any worse than that of a man.
I'd like to see more detail and breakdown of the numbers, but I can't find it. It was a decent sized survey, however, over 19,000 people responded, so the numbers give a broad average.
It's not the best data, but it should give you some idea of where you stand and maybe some ammunition for your next review or job negotiation.