The newest Dice salary report reveals the top 25 highest-paying careers in tech, including data architects, business analysts and project managers.
Some tech occupations went up in both salary and the number of job postings in 2019, while others saw a decrease. Dice's 2020 Tech Salary Report reveals the jobs that allow businesses to wrangle and analyze data, build applications and ensure that those applications are used relatively bug-free are those that have grown the fastest.
The highest paying salary in 2019 was systems architect, with a salary of $138,277, and a year-over-year job salary increase of 7.7%. Coming in second was data architect, at $128,890, and a slight drop of .5% in salary. Ranking a close third was cloud engineer, at $128,347, with a growth rate of 5.6%.
SEE: Tips for building and advancing your leadership career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
When looking at pure growth in salary, the fastest growing occupation was sales engineer, with an average salary of $110,030 and 21.8% growth rate in 2019, compared to 2018. Coming in second in growth was technical recruiter, with $75,862 in salary and a 12% increase in salary. Third place goes to data scientist, with $106,298 in salary and an 11.4% jump in salary.
One key occupation is security engineer, with an average salary of $121,228 and a 9.5% growth rate year-over-year. Some of the defining skills for this position include information security, network security, vulnerability assessment, intrusion detection and security operations. Distinguishing skills include NIST, threat analysis, Nessus, vulnerability analysis and McAfee. Businesses that are hiring security engineers include Target, U.S. Bancorp and Northrop Grumman. Employers that are looking to hire security engineers can expect an average of 40 days to fill a vacancy, according to the report.
This occupation has come to the forefront in the wake of several high-profile data breaches over the past several years. Companies want specialized security engineers who can recognize and patch the vulnerabilities that appear in their corporate IT systems. According to the Dice report, "Those engineers are very hirable if they possess certifications such as CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)."
Another top job is project manager, with an average salary of $116,012 and a salary growth rate of 4.6% year-over-year. The defining skills are budgeting, scrum, Microsoft Project, stakeholder management and Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Distinguishing skills are business analysis, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), lifecycle management, systems development and Agile development.
Project managers are one of the most vital technologists in a company, guiding projects from initiation through planning and execution. This requires extreme organization, adaptability and the ability to recognize and solve multi-variable problems. Because this job is in such demand, most project manager jobs take only 38 days to fill. Employers hiring for this occupation at significant volume include Fiserv, IBM, Deloitte and Target, according to the report.
skillsets. For example, mobile developers who have spent the past decade building iOS and Android apps using Objective-C and Java are no doubt very interested in Swift (Apple's new-ish language for iOS) and Kotlin (which Google recently named a "first class" development language for Android)."
Data engineer is another top career choice, with an average salary of $113,249 and a salary growth rate of 9.3% year-over-year. The defining skills are Python, SQL, big data, Apache Hadoop, Extraction Transformation and Loading (ETL). Distinguishing skills are Data Warehouse Processing, Relational DataBase Management System (RDBMS), ElasticSearch, Apache Impala and Apache Oozie.
The challenges that data engineers will face in the coming years will become more complex, with Internet of Things devices and POS dashboards sending vast amounts of data to companies. Data engineers will store, move and clean that data so that data scientists can analyze it for insights. Because it is so complex, data engineers have many skills, from Python and SQL to Apache Hadoop and Scala. There has been a 50% increase in job postings year-over-year, and top employers hiring include Amazon, Accenture and Capital One. The average time to fill these positions is 46 days, according to the report.
Average tech salaries by occupation:
- Systems Architect, $138,277
- Data Architect, $128,890
- Cloud Engineer, $128,347
- Product Manager, $121,316
- Security Engineer, $121,228
- DevOps Engineer, $117,478
- Project Manager, $116,012
- Software Developer, $114,336
- Data Engineer, $113,249
- Sales Engineer, $110,030
- Data Scientist, $106,298
- MIS Manager, $106,080
- UI / UX Designer, $105,226
- Database Administrator, $104,127
- Mainframe Systems Programmer, $102,879
- Other Info Technology, $97,396
- Business Analyst, $92,760
- Quality Assurance Engineer, $91,098
- Network Engineer, $89,596
- Systems Administrator, $82,961
- Technical Writer, $78,046
- Web Developer, $77,615
- Technical Recruiter, $75,862 1
- Hardware Engineer, $70,841
- Help Desk Support, $50,009
The Dice Salary Survey was administered online by Dice.com, with 12,837 employed US-based technology professionals responding between October 14, 2019 and December 17, 2019.
- DevOps: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Microsoft HoloLens 2: An insider's guide (TechRepublic download)
- How smart tech is transforming the transportation industry (TechRepublic Premium)
- Technology that changed us: The 1970s, from Pong to Apollo (ZDNet)
- Tom Merritt's Top 5 series (TechRepublic on Flipboard)