What Your Manager Makes Per Year


In March, we broke down how much high-level technology executives (such as vice presidents and COOs) earn every year. The fact that many of those roles pay six figures per annum, in addition to other perks such as equity, should surprise nobody.

There are far fewer C-level executives, however, than there are mid-level managers. How much do the latter earn per year? If you’re a tech pro who’s interested in running your own team, or overseeing a project, the good news is that management positions can prove quite lucrative, depending on your experience, company, and skillset. Six-figure salaries aren’t uncommon for those with a few years’ worth of managing on their C.V.

Becoming a successful manager, however, depends on a lot more than just technical skill, or even knowing how to oversee small teams of tech pros. As demonstrated by the jobs on the following list, good managers can effectively interface with customers and senior management, explaining key concepts in a way that even the non-technically-inclined can understand.

All of the following data about mean, median, and max salaries was pulled from Dice’s database.

Software Development Manager

Mean Salary: $120,865
Median Salary:
Max Salary:

Software development managers are the buffer between a company’s technical teams and management. They must not only maintain the software’s development cycle (which requires managing developers and others on the team), but wrangle with senior management over everything from budget to resources. A truly successful software development manager produces a product that works, all while keeping the team’s morale and effectiveness up.

Engineering Manager

Mean Salary: $114,534
Median Salary:
Max Salary:

Engineering managers oversee—you guessed it—a company’s engineering teams, ensuring they have the resources they need. They may also inform senior management about progress and deadlines, and ensure that problems are squashed before they potentially cripple a project.

Project Manager

Mean Salary: $96,372
Median Salary:
Max Salary:

In terms of job responsibilities, project managers are the Swiss Army Knives of the tech world. Depending on the company, mission, and project, they may find themselves tasked with everything from recruiting and hiring new tech pros, to formulating strategy and objectives for a project, to wrestling with budgets and managers from other departments. Sometimes they may even handle all those tasks (and more) in the course of a single week.

Team Lead

Mean Salary: $95,915
Median Salary: $94,918
Max Salary: $720,000

Team leads oversee (often small) groups of tech pros. The permanence and core mission of the group may vary; it could be a handful of mobile-app developers assembled long enough to ensure a bit of smartphone software makes it to the app store on time. Whatever the setup, team leads are responsible for tactical management, whether that means conducting the daily scrum meeting, ensuring that small bugs are squashed, or dealing with personnel issues.

(Some companies treat ‘team lead’ as an interchangeable title with ‘project manager.’)

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