If you’d like to live in a city where you can increase your earning power, Atlanta might trump Austin or even Silicon Valley. Atlanta was one of the few U.S. cities where tech pros achieved salary growth (5 percent) in 2017, according to the Dice Salary Report.
Even better, the Atlanta region experienced the eighth-highest increase in tech wages (15.7 percent) from 2011 to 2016, according to an analysis
of the top-50 tech talent markets in the U.S. and Canada by real estate firm CBRE. Of course, professionals trained in the most in-demand fields usually command the highest salaries. Atlanta employers are paying top dollar to attract and retain talent in these five specialties.
Language-Agnostic Software Engineering
Next-Generation IT Architecture
The most sought-after IT architects not only have a deep understanding of infrastructure; they use their knowledge to support traditional development processes or applications that are designed and built expressly for the cloud. “The IT architecture roles that pay $130,000 to $150,000 require some coding experience,” Waller said. “Top earners have usually worked with Java or Python and have experience in a DevOps environment.” Experience with Windows PowerShell
can also increase your appeal (and your pay).
Java Development in the Cloud
Java developers who have the ability to create and deploy applications in a cloud environment, such as AWS, can command top-of-range salaries between $100,000 and $120,000. (Just for comparison’s sake, the median salary for Java developers in Atlanta is $87,793,
according to Salary.com.) Top earners typically have CS degrees and/or engineering backgrounds, and they market their services to large companies in Atlanta that have the means and desire to pay more for qualified talent.
Over the past two years, Atlanta recruiters have seen rising demand and salaries for UX researchers. These highly skilled pros employ usability testing and a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to decipher customer needs and pain points. They also interface with engineering, marketing and product designers, and influence UI design. Because their performance has a clear and measurable impact on customer acquisition and retention, market share, sales, profits and so forth, UX researchers with just two to three years’ experience are scoring offers in the $60,000 to $75,000 range, while senior researchers in the Atlanta area are being offered $120,000 to $150,000.
Certified Scrum Masters
Demand is strong for certified scrum masters across all industries in Atlanta. These Agile experts, who act as “servant leaders” for product owners and development teams, ensure that everyone understands and adheres to the theory, rules, practices and values that define scrum. Top-paid scrum masters don’t just understand the technical side; they are able to connect with business leaders and developers, and deliver a true and measureable impact on key business initiatives. “They turn lines of code into dollars,” Oliveto explained. On average, Atlanta employers are willing to pay $100,000 to $120,000 to a certified scrum master whose work contributes to the organization’s goals and bottom line.