Firewall Admin Needed!

Hello Everyone,

I have the following contract that job that I am looking for in the Richmond, VA area. You can view the specs of the job below. To apply for this job, please send your resume to with Cisco in the subject line.

Position: CISCO FIREWALL ADMIN Location: Richmond, VA Duration: 5+ months Rate: $30.00-$50.00hr

This position will be responsible for providing CISCO PIX firewall support, including break/fix, requests for change, request for information, and new firewall design, configuration and implementation. The client is looking for someone with the following experience: Installation and administration of the following firewall server technologies: (Symantec 7.0 system (running on NT and W2K platforms),Cisco PIX firewall (appliance server), Cisco VPN concentrator (appliance server), Cisco Access Control Server (appliance server), and Checkpoint system (running on Nokia O/S). Configuration and installation of the following VPN client technologies:(Symantec VPN client,Cisco VPN client, Checkpoint VPN client, and Microsoft VPN client). Knowledge of Microsoft Windows Operating Systems and network protocols. Project management skills, Ability to work within a team, and Certifications around these technologies are a plus!

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Unless you are expecting someone with just a smantering of experience in those technologies, then your offered rate is too low. It takes several years of network work and PIX speciailization to be a good PIX admin, able to respond to a wide variety of situations with little (or downright incorrect) information.

Reply to
Walter Roberson


Try more like $100-$150 an hour. Or more.

Anyone who would take this job for $50.00 is probably NOT qualified.

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So what's the average wage for a firewall admin in the US? $50/hour would be about £27 which would put me on about £56k/year! Hell .. I would love to earn that!

The job just says 'Cisco firewall admin'. Might just be one 501/506E with a simple config. Who'd pay $150/hour to have that managed? It really depends on how in depth the job is as to what they are prepared to pay.

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The Canadian Government department that I work for would bill out my time at about twice that, but only because our classification system is mostly determined by budget and number of supervised employees rather than by technical skill level or experience. If classification were based upon the skills involved, the bill-out rate would be about 3 times the $US50/hour for the listed work.

The advert mentions installation and configuration responsibilities for Cisco VPN Concentrator and Cisco ACS as well, and also mentions install and configure responsibilities for non-Cisco devices.

[When the majority of equipment involved is one brand, it isn't uncommon for the job title to reflect that brand even though substantial expertise might be required in the other brands.]
Reply to
Walter Roberson

No doubt. I was once offered a 'promotion' which involved transferring to the UK. I turned it down - by my calculations, I'd have taken at least a 50% drop in standard of living due to low pay and high cost of living.

Don't forget to divide the contract rate by two (roughly) to arrive at the equivalent salaried rate.

I bill $US120/hr for similar work involving a variety of enterprise firewall platforms. I could use a clone - one of me can't keep up :-)


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There are two types of pay rates in the US, often described by the federal tax form number that the employee receives at end-of-year.

W2 This is the "normal" mode - the employee is employed by _a_ company that pays taxes (employment, insurance), and benefits (health insurance, vacation, holidays, and perhaps retirement) and other costs such as bonds, and security costs. If the workplace is NOT in the employer's facility, the employer pays the rent, heat/cool, utilities and insurance costs. The employer may pay travel expenses (such as additional costs of using the employees car to travel to a point of work _further_ than the distance to the employers facility. The employer pays the administrative costs of filing the paperwork with the government, etc.

1099 This is the 'contract' rate - the employee is self-employed. The pay rate _seems_ high, but the employee has to pay ALL expenses that the company would normally pay. So, if you are working from "your" office, you are the one paying rent, utilities, taxes, insurance, and ALL of the other expenses. Need to install/use an extra telephone, or a T-1 from where you are working? - That comes out of the flat rate check. Some of those expenses may be deductible from your income taxes, but you have to pay the accounting costs to keep the records (for seven+ years) and the tax accountant who knows how to put that data on which tax form... which is (of course) a deductible cost as well.

Not mentioned by the spamming pimp - cost of her service (finders fee) or the costs associated with the location in (in this case) Richmond, Virginia (the Richmond area is roughly 350 square miles), any required city, county or state business licenses and any security bonds.

I've always been a W2 employee, and haven't had to deal with the separate costs, but long ago in a land far away, I used to help prepare bids for government contracts. The price of a warm body was figured as follows:

pay rate * "overhead" * General & Administrative expenses * profit = bid

Overhead alone _used_to_ be some 35% (before "improved" government mandated tax and insurance rates jacked that up). G&A depended on where the job was (rent, utilities, insurance), as well as the size of the "tail" (the number of other people supporting the worker - secretaries, bosses, payroll, accounting, janitors, you name it) and their costs. This could vary widely (think of the difference between renting an office in The City of London verses Wetwang in the East Riding as one component) but I've seen numbers from as low as 30% to over 180% of the pay * overhead input. So, that one unit of pay comes up to 1.755 to 3.78 units of cost _before_ "profit". Assume a mere 5% profit, and we're up to 1,84 to 3.97 units - or going the other way, one unit in equals 0.543 to 0.252 units on the real paycheck. That "high" rate isn't very high any more, is it?

Old guy

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