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Javin Paul
I have been working in Java, FIX Tutorial and Tibco RV messaging technology from past 7 years. I am interested in writing and meeting people, reading and learning about new subjects.

Top 10 Highest Paying Technical Jobs for Software Engineers, Programmers

If you are a computer science graduate or someone who is thinking to make a career in software development world or an experienced programmer who is thinking about his next career move but not so sure which field you should go then you have a come to the right place. In this article, I will tell you the top 10 highest paying technical jobs you can aim for. All you need is some programming experience and a passion for learning. Particularly the Machine learning and Data science field looking very promising for both beginners and experienced programmers. On average a machine learning specialist and Data Scientist make around anywhere from $110,000 USD to $120,000 and there is a huge demand for them and if you are interested in solving real-world problems they present an exciting opportunity.

As a human being, we are always curious about the salary of fellow programmers and technologists. Developer complains QA getting a better salary than them and QA people says Developer getting more.

It’s also possible that the programmer sitting next to you might be getting a lot more than you even if he has less experience. The software development industry is like that, there is no standard rule when it comes to salary.

In fact, there are more exceptions than the rule but it’s also true that some technologists paid more than others.

I used to check Glassdoor to find about the average salary of a particular job position on a particular technology before making negotiation with recruiters and hiring managers but to be honest, they were not as accurate as you would think. They are at best provides a good baseline and an idea, nothing more than that.

On contrary to that, I trust StackOverflow Developer survey data more than anyone else. I have been going through their 2017 results from last week and I have learned a quite a few things about popular technology, framework, libraries, and programming language in the current world and this article will focus on the high paying jobs you can aim to take your career next level.

10 Highest Paying Technology Jobs for IT Professionals

Here is my list of highest paying technology jobs which includes machine learning specialist, DevOps specialists, Web developers, Database admins, System admins, Mobile developers, Graphic Designer, QA engineers and other software technology professionals.

Machine Learning Specialist

The average salary for a machine learning specialist is around $108,000 in the USA, which is highest among all kind of technical jobs.

Many startups e.g Uber and big technology companies like Google and Facebook are looking for machine learning specialist to support latest innovations e.g. a self-driving car.

To be honest it is a perfect field of both research and programming combined and I am going to spend a lot of time on this.

Developer with a Statistics or Mathematics background

In today’s data-driven world, it’s that people with good statistical and mathematical background will be in high demand and that’s visible in this survey as well.

It’s the second highest paying job in the USA. The average salary of a Developer with a statistics or maths background is around $101,000 and I believe this will grow even more in coming years.

If you are in the Data Analysis business then improving your statistics and maths skill will also help you a long way in your career.

Data Scientist

The much-hyped Data Science job is 3rd on the list of highest paying jobs. It’s touted as one of the most exciting jobs of this decade with both exciting work and incredible pay.

The average salary of a Data scientist is around $100,000, which is very good if you compare with application developers e.g. Java developers and that’s the reason many of my friends are learning Data Science from online courses to switch to a more rewarding Data Scientist career.

DevOps Specialist

It’s another exciting career, particularly for experienced programmers. The DevOps specialist in great demand with a greater focus on automation.

The main characteristic of the DevOps movement is to strongly advocate automation and monitoring at all steps of software development from integration, testing, to the deployment.

The average salary of DevOps specialist globally is around $100,000, the highest among different kind of programming jobs.

Embedded Applications Developer

This is a very specialized job but it seems there is good demand for programmers who have good development experience in embedded Linux and embedded C.

The average salary of an Embedded applications/devices developer is $100,000 in the USA, which makes it the 4th highest salary job.

Mobile Developer

The average salary of a Mobile developer is around $95,000 in the USA, which is higher than web developer but lower than Data Scientists and DevOps Specialists.

If you want to become a Mobile developer then you can either learn Android or iOS depending upon your background. I suggest Android for Java developers and iOS for C/C++ developers.

Graphics Programming

This is one of the safest jobs you will find in technology area because you always need a Graphics programmer on your team.

The average salary of a Graphics Programmer in the USA is around $93,000, which is very good compared to Java or Web developers.

The unfortunate thing is that learning graphics programming takes a LOT of effort: there is a wide base of background knowledge to accumulate (especially in mathematics), LOTS of programming practice time to put in, and a lot of studying of graphics techniques, which add new, more devilish layers of complexity every year.

Desktop Applications Developer

If you think that Web might have killed Desktop application development then you are wrong, they are still alive and kicking.

On average a Desktop application developer makes around $92,000 in the USA, which is higher than the average salary of web developers.

Systems Administrator

I always thought that System administrator or sysadmin paid higher than application developer but that’s not really true.

As per this survey, both System administrator and web developer make the same amount of money.

The average salary of a System administrator in the USA is around $90,000, which is similar to a Web developer.

Web Developer

Finally, the Web developers, who use latest technologies like Angular, React as well age-old technologies like Ruby and PHP.

The average salary of a Web developer in the USA Is around $90,000 USD which is higher than DBAs, QAs, and Graphic designer but lower than Linux and Windows System administrator and Data Scientists.

Database Administrator

DBA is one of the traditional jobs with a lot of job security and not much learning challenge.

The average salary of a Database administrator in the USA is around $85,000, which is expected lower than Web Developer but higher than QA engineers and Graphic designer.

Quality Assurance Engineer

The average salary for a QA engineer is around $85,000, which is higher than a Graphic designer and mobile developer in many geographic locations but in the USA, they are just above Graphic designer. QA engineers who are also developer tend to make more than those who are just doing manual testing.

I know a couple of QA guys who have some automated testing experience and know their tools like Selenium and making good money.

Graphic Designer

The average salary of a Graphics designer in the USA is around $70,000, which is not quite high as compared to Data Scientist and DevOps specialist, but there is always demand for Graphic Designer.

If you have some Graphic designing skill then you can also do a lot of online jobs which pays well.

The list is inspired by the StackOverflow’s Developer Survey 2017, which provides a great insight into software industry in general and I strongly suggest you be part of 2018 survey and provide your input. This way we not only help others but also get to know what is working to make right career decisions.


10 highest paying Jobs for Software Engineers

That’s all about highest paying programming jobs. This is a good list for programmers who are thinking to switch jobs and want to explore more exciting areas like DevOps, machine learning, and Data Science. DevOps and machine learning specialists, along with Data Scientist tend to command the largest salaries globally and if you are thinking about compensation this year, those are probably the jobs you should target.

Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like this article then please share with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback then please drop a note.

Published on Java Code Geeks with permission by Javin Paul, partner at our JCG program. See the original article here: Top 10 Highest Paying Technical Jobs for Software Engineers, Programmers

Opinions expressed by Java Code Geeks contributors are their own.

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4 years ago

(You missed a zero on the graphics designer salary).

This is great information to know. It also kind of hurts because I’m making less than I should – but at least I live in a low cost of living area.