If you’re in the privileged position of just beginning, or switching careers, and are looking for some serious coin, turn to tech. A just-released study by workplace data compilers Comparably outlines 10 popular tech jobs which pay at least $150K, with several breaking the $200K mark, and one paying more than $300k.

Derived from more than 12,000 employee records (encompassing all education levels, ethnicities, and genders) the study takes not only a hard look at 10 popular tech jobs, but a breakdown of comparisons, when gender and ethnicity are added to the numbers. In the year long study, conducted from October 2018 to October 2019, Comparably also reviewed major tech hub-cities to see which metros offer the highest paychecks.

While tech is a critical and necessary knowledge base, the highest-paying tech jobs rely on business savvy over technical acumen, “although it can be assumed that a good percentage of people in these jobs worked their way up through lower-rung tech-based jobs,” the report found. The highest paying jobs in tech require an ever-evolving understanding and awareness of tech and all things new, but an element is added, rendering those top money-maker jobs into, additionally, personality-driven positions.

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With commissions likely from big “gets,” it’s not much of a surprises the highest paying job is vice president of sales, where the total average compensation is more than $330K. The jobs that pay $200K or more are typically in management and are vice president roles.

Just the facts

Compensation by gender.
Image: Comparably

It’s a gender thing

Of the positions on the top 10 list, the most tech-oriented jobs are in engineering. In fact, three of the 10 are vice president, director, and principal engineer, and in engineering, two of the 10 tech jobs and positions in which women make a higher salary than men: $197,486 vs. $194,924 for vice-president of engineering, and $184,500 vs. $183,986 for director of engineering. It is otherwise, so-far, status quo: men make higher wages. The biggest imbalances can be found in the jobs VP of business development, where men make 8.6% more on average, and director of finance, where men make a stunning 10% more than women.

Take a supervisory position

Most jobs on the high paying list are senior management positions, which typically requires at least 10-15 years of experience in the field, and in managing a team. And, where in some industries (e.g. entertainment media relations) you need to move companies for a “better” title and bigger pay, a spokesperson at Comparably said, “You don’t need to switch companies to get to that level of pay, you just need to ensure you are being fairly compensated for your field and/or negotiating your pay and bonus structure to command top dollar,” adding Comparably provides the resource of a salary platform to understand how much you should be paid.

Not quite the rural life

“San Francisco, Seattle, and New York continue to dominate,” as the top-paying tech cities, “but we are seeing more jobs on the rise in burgeoning tech cities such as Los Angeles, Austin, and Boston because the cost of living is much less than their big-city counterparts,” said Comparably CEO Jason Nazar.

The beautiful San Francisco Bay area will pay out the highest salaries, but you’ll pay the highest rent, $1,300 more than California’s second place city, Los Angeles, and the rent is even higher than in Manhattan.

Compensation by location.
Image: Comparably


Even in the breakdown of ethnicity compensation, it is still the VP of sales which brings in the highest salary, for each ethnicity examined. Caucasians were only the highest-paid for VP of business development, but in nine of 10 roles, African-Americans and Hispanics were paid the least, compared to counterparts.

Compensation by ethnicity.
Image: Comparably

The final 411

Nazar said, “The tech job market is growing faster on average than other industries in 2019, and this salary report shows that there are no signs of stopping this trend in the year ahead. Salaries will remain competitive for these roles because employers are willing to pay top dollar for top talent. Over the past decade, the most in-demand jobs have been in engineering and product, however, within the last three to five years, we have seen a rise in hiring more revenue-driven roles, such as sales and business development. That’s largely due to an increasing focus on a company’s profitability, scalability, and longevity.”

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto