Since Linux is free, you’d think that the developers working with it are working for free too, right? Not so according to a piece on

A Savannah, Georgia-based job placement firm called Hot Linux Jobs works exclusively with companies seeking open source experts, and its director, Brent Marinaccio, says the positions they work for pay at least high five-figure and end up in the $150,000 base salary range. And the salary levels are rising due to supply and demand.

The employers he works with seek expertise in the Linux kernel, general Linux user software, PHP, and Ruby on Rails, and they usually handle 50 job openings at one time. But these aren’t necessarily recommendations on where to focus. Marinaccio says,

“First and foremost you have to do what you like to do,” he says. As in any profession, you have to care about Linux to be good at it. No matter which open source sector you choose, “if you’re good at it, you’re going to do fairly well [financially].” He recommends asking yourself: “Where within the open source realm do you find a potential fit for your skills and what you like to do?”

For more on how you can get into the lucrative Linux line of work, click here.