Your Salary After Coding Bootcamp: How Much Can You Earn?
Coding bootcamps offer exciting learning opportunities that open lots of new career paths in the tech industry. In terms of salary, coding bootcamp students are set up with the skills they need to start earning in the mid-to-high five figures in a matter of months, all without needing to get a college degree. But how high can salaries for coding bootcamp graduates actually get?
We’ve researched the outcomes of several bootcamp programs that give inexperienced coders the technical skills they need to land a new job. By the end of this article, you should have a good idea of how highly potential employers value bootcamp graduates and the ways you can maximize your starting salary after your coding bootcamp is finished.
Coding Bootcamp Graduate Salary Trends
According to the Council for Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR), graduates have a higher average salary after their coding bootcamp than when they began their program, with an average salary increase of around $20,000. CIRR is an independent organization that uses its own process to give prospective students an idea of expectations.
Experiences vary, of course, as do the salaries for coding jobs of different types. But in general, bootcamp grads earn the going rate for computer coding salaries. For example, 93.3 percent of graduates from a recent Tech Elevator bootcamp got jobs earning an average salary of $67,000, compared to $68,166 for the average programmer in the industry, according to PayScale.
What Is the Average Salary After Coding Bootcamp?
The average salary after a coding bootcamp coincides with the salary expectations for the industry most closely associated with the bootcamp’s topic. Since many bootcamp grads go on to become web developers or software developers, we should expect a typical coding bootcamp salary to fall between $77,030 and $120,730, which are the industry averages for these two occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Keep in mind that these averages cover every person employed in the industry, from entry-level junior developers to the most experienced professionals. A coding bootcamp graduate’s salary is likely to increase as they gain more experience and spend more time honing their craft, making them stronger candidates for higher-paying tech roles.
What Is the Average Starting Salary After Coding Bootcamp?
You can expect your average starting salary after a coding bootcamp to fall between around $52,318 to about $66,520. These numbers are based on PayScale’s salary estimates for entry-level web developers and entry-level software developers, respectively. The average entry-level computer programmer’s salary falls between these figures, at $62,645 per year.
Your coding bootcamp starting salary ultimately depends on the type of bootcamp you attended. There are also bootcamps for aspiring data analysts and prospective cyber security professionals. If you attend one of these bootcamps, the latest PayScale data suggests you can expect to earn about $59,360 or approximately $66,453 in your first job.
In general, your salary prospects for your first job out of coding bootcamp will also depend on where you attend your bootcamp program and start your job search, but you should be able to cover your cost of living thanks to the competitive job market in the software industry.
How Much Do Bootcamp Grads Earn After a Few Years of Experience?
The average salary expectancy for coding bootcamp graduates with a few years of experience is between $69,237 and $86,721 per year, according to PayScale. Cyber security bootcamp grads with some experience can earn around $90,213 per year, and graduates of data science bootcamps can eventually earn salaries northward of $100,000.
The longer you spend in full-time positions, the more you’ll move up. The highest average salary among coding bootcamp grads corresponds to the highest salaries in the tech industry. For example, an experienced software developer earns around $98,081 per year. But experience isn’t the only factor affecting coding bootcamp salaries, as we discuss in the next section.
What Factors Impact the Salary Potential of Coders?
Your salary after a coding bootcamp depends on your location, education level, and the quality of the bootcamp you attended. College graduates may find it easier in general to find a job, but the vast majority of bootcamp grads should be able to find jobs and save thousands of dollars in the process.
You’ll earn more money working as a software engineer in San Francisco than you will in Davenport, Iowa. If you want to live in a specific area, attending a local bootcamp can help you get a job there. For example, the best coding bootcamps in San Francisco are a great option to land a job in Silicon Valley.
Level of Study
As we mentioned above, the course you take during your online bootcamp or in-person bootcamp can impact your earning potential. If you’re taking a front end development course, you’ll have less earning potential than a comparable graduate who attended a full stack coding bootcamp.
Some jobs require a college degree. It’s worth applying for any job that you feel fits your needs, but a college education can be a barrier to entry standing between you and many high-quality career opportunities. Especially as you move up the ladder, many organizations prefer senior software engineers and other managerial candidates to have some form of college education.
Field of Study and Specific Skills
Different fields and the different types of programming languages you know can affect your salary potential. Machine learning experts have more earning potential than product managers, at least upon graduation. Upwork has calculated that Objective-C is the best option among the highest-paying programming languages for freelancers to learn.
Quality of the Coding Bootcamp
Coding bootcamp programs aren’t created equal. Some have world-class instruction along with an employer network that includes several highly regarded tech companies. They also include job-hunting training with career coaches, mock interviews, and networking opportunities that will open up plenty of programming jobs and boost the potential salary of coding bootcamp grads.
Other programs may leave you in the dark after the admissions process with just a few basic lessons. It’s important to read coding bootcamp reviews to ensure the bootcamp you want to attend will prepare you for success.
What Types of Jobs Can Bootcamp Grads Get?
The types of jobs open to bootcamp graduates depend on the bootcamp’s focus. Your prospects for jobs after a coding bootcamp will be different than the positions you can get after a cyber security or data science bootcamp. With that in mind, the most common jobs for coding bootcamp grads are listed below.
- Software engineer. The vast majority of coding bootcamp graduate jobs are some kind of software engineer or developer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average software developer earns $120,730 per year.
- Web developer. Other popular jobs after coding bootcamps are front end, backend, and full stack web developer roles. Indeed, many coding bootcamps focus on web applications specifically. BLS estimates that, on average, web developers make annual salaries of $77,030.
- Information security analyst. In a cyber security bootcamp program, such as those offered by Flatiron School or Coding Dojo, you can study how to protect sensitive data for a living. BLS’s latest report pegs the average salary of information security analysts at $102,600.
- Data scientist. Data science bootcamps are an increasingly popular training option for people who love numbers and statistics. The average data scientist makes $100,910 per year, according to BLS.
- Data analyst. Teaching you how to perfect the art of crunching numbers and helping businesses make sense of their data is the focus of data analysis or data analytics bootcamps. BLS reports that these analysts typically earn around $82,360 per year.
Top Tips to Increase Your Chances of Having a High Salary After Coding Bootcamp
Though the factors listed above will affect your coding bootcamp salary prospects, there are also several things that you can do to boost your chances of earning a high salary. You can master the interview process, commit to studying hard, apply often, and be flexible.
Master the Interview Process
Tech job interviews generally consist of two parts: a culture fit interview and a technical interview. The culture fit interview is where you answer questions about yourself and tell the potential employer why you’re a good fit for the job. The technical interview is the portion of the interview where you have to solve some sort of programming challenge in front of the employer.
Technical interviews are designed to get a sense of your thought process and ensure you know how to work efficiently. You’ll need to work on the soft skills that make you an attractive candidate, while also ensuring you have strong technical skills. You can gain experience and build discipline through freelance projects while getting paid by different stakeholders.
Commit to Studying Hard
During your coding bootcamp, you’re not only learning how to complete your eventual capstone project, but you’re also making an impression on your instructors. The computer science principles you learn are key for landing entry-level positions, but the school’s impression of your level of effort may determine the opportunities they feel you’re qualified for.
These schools maintain their results with strong employer partnerships, and for these relationships to stay strong, they have to send great candidates to employers that fit their company culture. If you work hard, you’ll become a great programmer while giving yourself a better chance at a high salary after your coding bootcamp.
Commit to Continued Learning
Programming languages change constantly, and you have to stay on top of those changes to stay relevant in the tech job market. You can also learn in-demand skills to add value to your resume for job recruiters. If you attended a front end web development bootcamp, for example, you can learn backend languages on your own time to become a full stack developer.
It’s important to apply to as many jobs as you can after receiving a bootcamp education. You’ll get experience with real interviews at real companies, which will make the big interviews easier when they come.
As we discussed earlier, cities with an established tech culture come with higher salaries. You’ll have a skill set that’s employable all over the world after graduating from a coding bootcamp. By being flexible about where you work, you can take advantage of every opportunity that comes along instead of limiting yourself to what’s in your backyard.
In Which Cities Do Coding Bootcamp Grads Earn the Most?
Seattle has the highest salaries for software developers, according to PayScale. If you’re a web developer or data analyst, San Francisco is the highest-paying city. Cyber security analysts in Washington DC earn the best pay rate.
PayScale uses job listings to compile its numbers in real time, so the salary expectation can change, but most of these cities pay at least 25 percent more for these positions than the national average. Seattle is home to Microsoft, and San Francisco is a massive tech hub. But remember to factor in living costs before deciding which opportunity is best for you.
Can I Land a Job With a High Salary After a Coding Bootcamp?
Yes, you can land a high-paying job after graduating from a coding bootcamp as long as you attend a high-quality program. The job placement rate of a coding bootcamp tells you what to expect within around six months of graduation. Some schools even offer job placement guarantees, and for graduates of these coding bootcamps, salaries are higher on average.
For example, Flatiron School had an 84 percent job placement rate among qualified graduates in 2020, according to its outcomes report. Of those who secured jobs, the median starting salary was around $70,000, which is competitive with industry-wide median salaries. The best bootcamps give you at least a 50 percent chance of landing a solid job after you graduate.
Salary After Coding Bootcamp FAQ
Do coding bootcamps pay you?
No, most of the time coding bootcamps don’t pay students. However, some bootcamps offer income share agreements with living stipends that can help you cover basic living costs while attending the bootcamp. Other bootcamps have built-in apprenticeships and internship opportunities for students, some of which are paid.
The average coding bootcamp costs around $13,500, according to RTI Press. Most bootcamps offer flexible payment options for low-income students, including ISAs and deferred tuition. Under an ISA, which stands for income share agreement, you don’t owe anything until you secure a high-paying job, at which point you pay a percentage of your salary for a limited time.
The average salary for many entry-level jobs in tech is between $50,000 and $70,000. However, the longer you spend in the field, and the more you learn after graduation, the higher your earning potential rises. Veteran coders can comfortably earn six figures.
No job is entirely future-proof, but coding is about as future-proof as it gets. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information technology jobs are expected to increase by 15 percent between 2021 and 2031. Though there is a potential for automation, people with coding skills will always be needed to check and validate code for accuracy.