Whatever their specialty, software developers are in high demand—but how much are they actually earning? That depends on a number of factors, of course, including seniority, geographic location, and skillset. After analyzing Dice’s data, though, one thing is clear: for many developer jobs, salaries can easily top out in the six-figure range, even before you factor in non-salary incentives such as bonuses.
As with our recent article about tech-executive earnings, it’s worth taking a moment to break down our methodology. By emphasizing the median salary (i.e., the 50th percentile), we mitigate the influence of so-called “wild values,” such as a handful of developers who might earn over a million dollars a year at their respective companies. The median is also considered a more robust measure of central tendency than the mean, which is more vulnerable to small fluctuations in salaries.
Experienced developers with in-demand skillsets can also draw down much more than just a high salary. Big perks and equity shares aren’t unheard of, at small companies and tech juggernauts alike. There’s also the opportunity for promotion, with lead developers who interface with management often fast-tracked for increasing levels of responsibility.
With all that in mind, there are some of the top-paying developer jobs:
Mean Salary: $117,875
Median Salary: $120,000
Max Salary: $720,000
Lead developers generally earn a healthy annual salary, and with good reason: they oversee at least one huge software project. Responsibilities often include managing a team of technology professionals, which means not only knowing all the software and hardware involved in a particular effort, but also having the “soft skills” necessary to ensure that all team members work their hardest (and smartest).
If that wasn’t enough, lead developers are usually tasked with communicating between development teams and senior management. Communication skills are vital in order to accurately convey what’s happening to all involved parties.
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