Main image of article Which Industry Pays Its Tech Pros the Most?

Which industry pays its tech pros the most?

According to the latest edition of the Dice Salary Survey (PDF), that honor goes to the banking/financial/insurance industries, which pay tech pros an average of $103,860 (a year-over-year rise of 1.2 percent). Coming in a close second is the utilities/energy industry, which pays an average of $103,492 (year-over-year increase: 2.1 percent).

While those were the only industries in the current Salary Survey to break the six-figure mark in terms of average salaries, several others came close: for example, aerospace & defense paid around $99,992 (a year-over-year decrease of -4.7 percent), followed by professional services at $98,506 (year-over-year decrease: -1.2 percent), computer software at $98,455 (year-over-year change: -0.7 percent), and computer hardware at $97,569 (year-over-year change: -0.9 percent).

Here’s a complete breakdown of industries that pay average salaries in the $90,000-$99,000 range:

Some of these surely come as no surprise; for example, there’s always a need for data analysts and other tech professionals who can wrangle datasets and build apps in the context of medical research. In a similar vein, those who specialize in the tech side of aerospace & defense can easily find private vendors and the federal government clamoring for their services, provided they have the right mix of skills and experience.

At first glance, however, manufacturing may seem like a surprising addition to this list, considering the slow-but-steady decline in factory jobs in the U.S. But as numerous studies pointed out in the wake of the most recent Presidential election, when manufacturing jobs became a hot-button issue, human job loss isn’t totally due to outsourcing or economic decline; it’s automation and robotics, which replace human beings but nonetheless require a steady stream of highly specialized tech pros to build and maintain the latest hardware and software.

According to the Salary Survey, the average tech salary in the U.S. stands at $92,081. Although that’s certainly impressive, it stands a bit behind many of these industries—demonstrating yet again that, if you’re a tech pro who specializes, you can earn a healthy premium.