Top coding salaries unveiled for 2019 and US developers making 5% more than last year

Find out how long it takes to reach $100,000 as a developer in the US and how using Scala, Redis, Go, or Apache Spark will benefit you.

Is it still worth becoming a data scientist? With salaries flattening and competition rising, there are signs the prospects for data scientists may be less stellar than once thought.

Stack released the latest iteration of its Overflow Salary Calculator for coders and a corresponding study that shows that salaries in the US continue to outpace those found anywhere else.

In a blog post, Stack Overflow data scientist Julia Silge wrote that for the third version of their calculator, they surveyed salaries in 14 countries including Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States, Australia, Brazil, India, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden.

The salaries are calculated based on a variety of factors ranging from location and education level to years of professional coding experience, the kind of coding work you do and the technologies you use professionally.

SEE: How to build a successful career as a DevOps engineer (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Silge said the predicted salaries are based on location, education, experience, and other information you enter into the calculator. They use an extensive database of information from the Stack Overflow Developer Survey to build an accurate model that reflects trends in how coding work is being compensated around the world. This is the ninth year they have conducted the survey and for this year, they spoke with 90,000 developers.

The biggest surprise was the wide margin between median pay in the United States and everywhere else. Coders in a variety of positions were far more likely to reach salaries of $100,000 or more with just five years experience in the United States. In every other country those with over 30 years experience still could not secure salaries over $100,000. 

"According to our survey, people who code in countries like the United States and Canada are earning about 5% more this year compared to last year, even controlling for experience and education," Silge wrote. 

"The situation in Europe, Russia, Brazil, and India is not quite as positive, with mostly stable salaries this year compared to last, controlling for education and experience."

Knowledge of specific technologies has a direct impact on salary regardless of experience or role. Staying up-to-date on the latest technologies was key to staying in-demand within the industry.

"This year, we see a significant increase in salary for developers who tell us they use Scala, Redis, Go, or Apache Spark in their professional lives. Just like last year, some technologies like WordPress and PHP are associated with lower salaries for developers, and some technologies like JavaScript are used so broadly that they do not affect salary up or down," Silge wrote. 

Silge added that they were even able to predict salary estimates based on where you were in a specific country. As an example, coders in Paris earn almost 15% more than people elsewhere in France. The same held for coders in major cities like Seattle, New York and San Francisco. 

For the third year in a row, the positions with the highest median pay were focused on DevOps, data science, data engineering and the back end. Each had the highest median salary in all 14 countries surveyed.

"Over the past several years, data science and data engineering work have been moving away from an extreme outlier position into the mainstream of software work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is a result of employers using data scientists to solve a variety of problems," Silge said. 

"DevOps-focused work, on the other hand, is unusual both in terms of high compensation globally, as well as job satisfaction, how few DevOps specialists are looking for work, and more."

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