11 Highest-Earning Developer Jobs


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:

Lead Developer

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.

Next Up: SharePoint, Oracle, iOS and More (click here or below)shutterstock_376857094

SharePoint Developer

Mean Salary: $100,032
Median Salary: $100,000
Max Salary: $200,000

A Web-application framework developed by Microsoft, SharePoint combines content and document management with a suite of Web-development technologies. Developers working with SharePoint know there’s a complete stack of standards-based APIs for building Web apps, as well as centralized management and security controls.

Oracle Developer

Mean Salary: $96,199
Median Salary: $95,000
Max Salary:

The term “Oracle developer” can encompass a wide range of roles and technologies. In general, though, Oracle developers are tasked with defining, developing, and maintaining whatever Oracle applications a company uses. Although many of these existing jobs focus on Oracle’s on-premises platforms, the tech giant’s push into the cloud (and hybridized environments) means that any developer in this category will need to become increasingly familiar with Oracle’s cloud services.

iOS Developer

Mean Salary: $95,265
Median Salary: $90,000
Max Salary:

Apple’s iOS ecosystem is diverse, thanks to its collection of 1.5 million apps. Whether you’re developing consumer or business apps, there’s probably a market for whatever you’re building. But this rich ecosystem is also a very crowded one; with so many competitors, it’s hard for any one app to truly stand out. That places a premium on developers who can create well-crafted apps with seamless UX and as few bugs as possible.

.NET Developer

Mean Salary: $92,910
Median Salary: $90,000
Max Salary: $480,000

The .NET framework, developed by Microsoft and integrated tightly with Windows, offers a large framework class library (known as FCL) and boasts extensive language interoperability. There are versions available for mobile and embedded devices in addition to PCs. Skilled .NET developers know the platform’s fundamental principles, including interoperability, security, and memory management.

Next Up: Java, SAP, and More (click here or below)


Java Developer

Mean Salary: $92,023
Median Salary: $90,000
Max Salary:

One of the most popular programming languages in the world, Java is used in everything from Web applications to console gaming. Top Java developers are much in demand, and capable of drawing down big salaries.

SAP ABAP Developer

Mean Salary: $91,973
Median Salary: $94,500
Max Salary: $180,000

ABAP is SAP’s high-level programming language for building apps in the SAP Application server. On a practical front, the language is reportedly similar to COBOL.

C# Developer

Mean Salary: $87,824
Median Salary: $85,000
Max Salary: $250,000

Originally developed by Microsoft, C# is a general-purpose programming language. The latest version, 6.0, includes new features such as a null-conditional operator, auto-initializing properties, and expression-based functions. At least on a surface level, C# and Java rely on the same general syntax, although they deviate once you drill down into specific tasks, such as handling generics.

Database Developer

Mean Salary: $85,588
Median Salary: $85,000
Max Salary:

Even before the advent of “Big Data,” databases were a vital part of any corporation’s technology stack. As more firms move to embrace data storage and analytics as a vital part of strategy, they’re increasingly reliant on developers who know how to set up and maintain databases.

Application Developer

Mean Salary: $85,553
Median Salary: $80,250
Max Salary: $650,000

The world runs on apps. Developers who can build them will find themselves well compensated as a result.

SAS Developer

Mean Salary: $85,330
Median Salary: $80,000
Max Salary:

The SAS software suite provides analytics and data management, with its features building out over decades to include everything from a point-and-click interface to social-media integration. A large number of companies rely on the technology—and the developers who know how to work with it.

One Response to “11 Highest-Earning Developer Jobs”

  1. derk-a-derk-a

    The article mentions emphasis on “median” salaries, but the first page shows “mean” and “max” salaries only.

    How do we know if this follows any methodology?