What are the best-paid jobs in tech? Do executives really make that much more than developers and engineers who have a lot of experience? These questions can dominate many technologists’ career decisions.
According to the latest edition of Stack Overflow’s exhaustive annual Developer Survey, senior executives (i.e., those in the C-suite) have the highest median salary among technologists. That’s not wholly surprising. Engineering managers take second place in the salary rankings, which were compiled from 9,649 survey responses in the United States, and that’s also not a shocker—managers can generally earn a healthy salary premium, especially if they have specialized skills and experience.
Here’s are the top 10 jobs on Stack Overflow’s list. As always, keep in mind that salaries can vary wildly depending on company, experience, and skill-set—and salary is only a part of the compensation equation. At many companies, benefits such as stock options and equity can translate into a significant chunk of one’s take-home pay, especially for technologists who spend many years climbing the internal ranks:
If you’re interested in pursuing a particularly lucrative technology job track, keep an eye on anything related to data. Study after study has shown that technologists who work with data—such as data analysts, data scientists, and data engineers—pull down high salaries. Organizations everywhere are aware that the ability to successfully collect, organize, and analyze data for insights can mean the difference between strategic success and failure.
However, a salary bump is sometimes easier said than done. As detailed in the latest Dice Salary Report, only 52 percent of technologists received a year-over-year increase in salary in 2020. A third (35 percent) saw no year-over-year change in salary, and 13 percent endured a salary decrease (higher percentages than in 2019). Some 37 percent of raises were merit-based, and 21 percent derived from a technologist changing companies. Being very good at your current job—or finding a new company that recognizes your talents—seem like good ways to actually secure the compensation you want.