While many employers are offering tech professionals more perks to balance out relatively stagnant pay (according to the most recent Dice Salary Survey), there are still some industries that are paying out salaries well above average. Which ones tend to offer the most cash?
This year's edition of the Salary Survey saw the number of industries with salaries comfortably in the six-figure range double from two to four. Several others are approaching that number, and only one of the top five has seen average salary levels dip.
As you can see in the chart below, Financial Technology (FinTech) jobs pay best. With average top salaries of $108,527, the ‘Bank/Financial/Insurance’ industry realized a 4.5 percent upswing year-over-year. It’s both the best-paying and fastest-rising industry (as far as salaries are concerned).
Second on this list is Aerospace and Defense, which has an average salary of $104,079. This industry spiked 4.1 percent versus last year, the second-largest upswing among the top five. The medical industry also saw a boost ($100,534, up 3.6 percent), as did ‘Professional Services’ ($99,808, up 1.3 percent; this industry features job titles such as ‘consultant,’ ‘accountant,’ and ‘staffing’).
The lone industry to see a downturn on this list is ‘Utilities/Energy,’ which was down 2.8 percent, to $100,622 on average.
Note that these industries are all very reliable in terms of employment. While no sector is without its ebbs and flows, the top five industries on Dice’s Salary Survey are large enough to withstand market turbulence better than others, morphing as trends dictate. For example, ’energy’ might have once pertained directly to oil, but has now grown to encompass solar and other forms of renewable energy.
Many jobs in these industries may require specialized certifications or advanced degrees. For instance, a quick jaunt through Dice's job postings shows that, in addition to a Master’s degree or better, many jobs in energy (such as ‘Energy Engineer’) require specialized certification. Certified Energy Manager is a pretty standard certification for tech jobs in energy.
Specialized experience may also be required in other fields. FinTech jobs sometimes require applicants to have knowledge of unique software, or experience with very particular kinds of accounting practices as they relate to clients. And if you’re looking for a job in defense, being able to obtain a security clearance is a hoop you should expect to jump through for many positions.
If you’re seeking a tech job in the medical field, familiarizing yourself with HIPAA regulations is a smart move. Many jobs also ask that tech pros adhere to standards set forth by the Center for Internet Security (CIS).
Across all fields, a solid understanding of privacy is also a key component. Whether the personal information of patients or financial portfolios of clients, these industries all interact with sensitive data. As we’ve seen through the years, data breaches and insecure storage are just not something an industry or customers will tolerate as we move into 2018.