Main image of article What Your Manager Makes Per Year
In March, we broke down how much high-level technology executives (such as vice presidents and COOs) earn every year. The fact that many of those roles pay six figures per annum, in addition to other perks such as equity, should surprise nobody. There are far fewer C-level executives, however, than there are mid-level managers. How much do the latter earn per year? If you’re a tech pro who’s interested in running your own team, or overseeing a project, the good news is that management positions can prove quite lucrative, depending on your experience, company, and skillset. Six-figure salaries aren’t uncommon for those with a few years’ worth of managing on their C.V. Becoming a successful manager, however, depends on a lot more than just technical skill, or even knowing how to oversee small teams of tech pros. As demonstrated by the jobs on the following list, good managers can effectively interface with customers and senior management, explaining key concepts in a way that even the non-technically-inclined can understand. All of the following data about mean, median, and max salaries was pulled from Dice's database.

Software Development Manager

Mean Salary: $120,865 Median Salary: $125,000 Max Salary: $250,000 Software development managers are the buffer between a company’s technical teams and management. They must not only maintain the software’s development cycle (which requires managing developers and others on the team), but wrangle with senior management over everything from budget to resources. A truly successful software development manager produces a product that works, all while keeping the team’s morale and effectiveness up.

Engineering Manager

Mean Salary: $114,534 Median Salary: $109,833 Max Salary: $300,000 Engineering managers oversee—you guessed it—a company’s engineering teams, ensuring they have the resources they need. They may also inform senior management about progress and deadlines, and ensure that problems are squashed before they potentially cripple a project.

Project Manager

Mean Salary: $96,372 Median Salary: $95,000 Max Salary: $900,000 In terms of job responsibilities, project managers are the Swiss Army Knives of the tech world. Depending on the company, mission, and project, they may find themselves tasked with everything from recruiting and hiring new tech pros, to formulating strategy and objectives for a project, to wrestling with budgets and managers from other departments. Sometimes they may even handle all those tasks (and more) in the course of a single week.

Team Lead

Mean Salary: $95,915 Median Salary: $94,918 Max Salary: $720,000 Team leads oversee (often small) groups of tech pros. The permanence and core mission of the group may vary; it could be a handful of mobile-app developers assembled long enough to ensure a bit of smartphone software makes it to the app store on time. Whatever the setup, team leads are responsible for tactical management, whether that means conducting the daily scrum meeting, ensuring that small bugs are squashed, or dealing with personnel issues. (Some companies treat ‘team lead’ as an interchangeable title with ‘project manager.’) Next Up: IT Manager, QA Lead, and More (Click Here or Below)


IT Manager

Mean Salary: $98,903 Median Salary: $95,292 Max Salary: $350,000 For many tech professionals who want to graduate into management, the role of IT manager is often their first step up the ladder. Although IT managers have significant technical chops (it wasn’t that long ago, after all, that many of them spent pretty much all their time in front of a screen), they’re more likely to spend the bulk of their time talking to a mix of technical people and management. IT managers make sure that technical assets are supporting the company’s overall mission. For a more elaborate breakdown see IT Manager salary 2021.

QA Lead

Mean Salary: $90,098 Median Salary: $90,000 Max Salary: $180,000 Quality-assurance leads manage the small teams of developers and QA specialists tasked with testing software and hardware. On a day-to-day basis, that means reviewing a company’s quality-assurance process (or even building one from scratch), teaching less-experienced QA engineers how to do their jobs, and explaining the results of QA testing to senior management and other stakeholders. (QA managers, a similar job listed in the Dice database, pulled down a median salary of $100,000 per year, with an opportunity to earn as much as $205,000.)

Operations Manager

Mean Salary: $85,063 Median Salary: $80,000 Max Salary: $200,000 A good operations manager is worth his or her weight in gold. Simply put, the professionals in this segment ensure that business operations stay on-schedule and on budget. They must think strategically about how the business operates, and how the various departments and divisions work together. Good ones are equally capable of diving down and working with individual employees to accomplish very specific tasks.

Marketing Manager

Mean Salary: $78,454 Median Salary: $75,000 Max Salary: $300,000 Marketing managers help create advertising and marketing campaigns. In addition to overseeing in-house designers and creative types, they may also interface with outside agencies (such as video production) in order to realize the vision of the campaign. Within the technology industry, successful marketing managers have a grasp on the technology they’re selling, and they know how to explain the benefits of that technology to customers who may not be technologically savvy.