Top 10 Tech Jobs That Pay Over $100K
Tech employees are known for having significantly higher salaries than professionals in other industries. The average salary for computer and mathematical occupations is $96,770 a year, according to BLS. By contrast, the national average wage for all occupations is just $56,310.
This is a major difference between the tech industry and other sectors of economic activity. This figure is just an average, so there are obviously plenty of tech careers that pay a lot less and a lot more than $96,770 a year.
If you’re curious about the highest-paying jobs in the tech industry, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we look at tech jobs that pay $100,000K a year. Quick spoiler: some of them don’t even require an advanced degree!
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Why Tech Careers Are So Lucrative
Many companies invest in technology because of the financial and organizational benefits of computers. From tech support specialists to data analysts, companies need tech specialists for a variety of purposes.
Companies are willing to spend money on highly qualified professionals, but there’s a significant talent shortage in the industry at the moment. Because of this shortage, companies are willing to pay more for tech talent. Some companies have even ditched their four-year degree requirements without a change in the six-figure salaries they offer tech workers.
While plenty of other industries also boast high compensation, such as real estate or commercial aviation, the tech industry is now at the top when it comes to high-paying jobs.
How to Break into Tech
In the past, the only educational paths to break into tech were technical four-year degrees, like a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology. Today, there are more education options, such as bootcamps and online courses. You still need a combination of education and experience, but it’s easier for tech professionals to break into the industry without a traditional degree.
Due to the tech talent shortage, many companies dropped formal education requirements and began to hire people based on their talent and experience, regardless of whether they hold a degree or not. Below, we take a closer look at each educational path.
A university degree program is probably one of the first options you think of when considering educational pathways. A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Data Science will help you get the skills you need to land a job in tech.
According to the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), one year of education at a four-year institution costs an average of $28,123. This data is from 2018-2019 and most universities increase tuition yearly, so the cost is likely higher now.
Coding bootcamps are short and intensive job training programs. These schools specialize in different areas of computer science like computer programming and cyber security. The average bootcamp costs $13,500 and lasts anywhere from two months to a year. The goal of a coding bootcamp program is to get you job-ready as quickly as possible.
You can also break into tech studying on your own. There are many online resources and self-paced courses that can help you get familiar with programming fundamentals like HTML, CSS, Python, and SQL. You may even qualify for an entry-level job through self-learning.
Top Tech Jobs with Salaries of $100K and Over
Now, it’s time to dive into the highest-paying jobs in tech. We have compiled a list of ten of the best six-figure jobs in the industry. They all have a positive job outlook and some of them don’t even require an advanced degree.
Product management involves the creation of a product development strategy. Product managers also oversee the development process to ensure everyone is hitting their targets on time and following quality standards. This role is often confused with that of a technical program manager, but they are not the same. The product manager sets the vision for a particular product, while the technical program manager is responsible for the execution of that vision.
This is a management position in the development team that requires leadership skills. You don’t need an advanced college degree, but some experience in leading projects is usually necessary. The average salary for a senior product manager is $126,391.
A cloud architect is in charge of designing and installing a company’s cloud infrastructure. Most companies hire a cloud architect to guarantee a smooth transition to cloud systems. This includes creating adoption plans and providing technical support when needed. The cloud architect must monitor the system and incorporate security measures into the cloud infrastructure.
You can apply for a job as a cloud architect with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or IT. However, some companies prefer candidates with a graduate degree, such as a Master’s Degree in Data Science. The average salary for a cloud architect is $126,298.
A software architect is someone that makes high-level decisions during the software development process. They design and implement corporate standards and ensure everyone in the development team follows them during the production cycle. Because they work as part of a team, they need to have solid communication skills.
To become a software architect, you don’t need to have a graduate degree. A bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field will suffice. However, you do need extensive experience in the software development industry. The average salary for a software architect is $125,967.
Artificial Intelligence Engineer
An artificial intelligence (AI) engineer is an IT professional that specializes in building software with AI technology. They find innovative and efficient solutions with the use of AI, and the products they build can perform tasks that are generally carried out by humans. A common example of AI software used in daily life is chatbots.
According to Payscale, the median salary for engineers with AI skills is $125,000. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the number of job openings for AI engineers will grow by 15 percent between 2019 and 2029.
A software engineer is a computer science professional who designs and builds digital products such as websites and mobile or desktop apps. They use front end and backend engineering to develop their products. The backend covers the server-side of the development process, while the front end is more about the visual aspects, like layouts, fonts, and colors.
Companies nowadays manage large sets of data that are too complex to handle with traditional data processing methods. That’s why the big data analyst role exists. These professionals complex sets of data using advanced technology like machine learning and AI.
To become a big data analyst, you can earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Data Science. It’s not necessary to have a master’s degree, but you can later pursue one to advance your career. Professionals with data analytics skills earn on average $113,000 a year.
A blockchain engineer is a developer that uses blockchain technology and programming skills to develop innovative financial solutions. A blockchain engineer must be familiar with data structures, web development, blockchain architecture, and smart contracts.
Cryptocurrency is now a hot topic, and professionals with blockchain skills have become increasingly in-demand. This means companies are willing to pay more for them. Engineers with blockchain skills earn on average $108,000.
Internet of Things Solutions Architect
With the rapid adoption of technology based on the Internet of Things, the demand for IoT solutions architects has peaked. These professionals are in charge of developing technological solutions with the use of IoT technology. They design products, create prototypes, and test them to enhance the user experience.
The annual salary for an IoT solutions architect is $104,964. The number of connected IoT devices is expected to go from 7.6 billion to 24.1 billion by 2030, according to a report published by CBI. This figure gives us a good idea of just how far demand for these professionals will climb in the coming years.
Data science combines statistics and computer science concepts to find meaningful insights from raw data. Data scientists use different methods such as machine learning and data mining to process data. As a data scientist, you must have skills in Python, data visualization, and machine learning.
To become a data scientist, you need more than superb analytical skills. Most data scientist hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer science-related field. The current median salary for data scientists is $96,497.
A cyber security engineer is an IT security expert who evaluates systems and software security to identify potential threats that might harm the system. These threats include unauthorized access to the systems as well as malware. Cyber security engineers are also often in charge of monitoring systems to prevent unauthorized access and data leaks. They rely on strong communication skills to explain problems to the client.
To become a cyber security engineer, you can earn a bachelor’s degree in IT or computer science or join a coding bootcamp like Flatiron School or FullStack Academy. According to BLS, the median salary for a cyber security engineer is $96,818.
Top 5 Tech Jobs with Highest Growth Potential
The tech industry is booming across the board, but some careers are in higher demand than others. One of the best things about these in-demand professions is that, even if some of them don’t have a six-figure salary, with experience and time, you could end up earning well over $100,000. After all, the higher the demand for a job, the greater the compensation.
Below, we take a close look at tech jobs with exceptionally high growth potential and numerous career opportunities. Anyone can qualify for these jobs if they undergo proper training and work hard enough.
Mobile application development involves work on both the front end and the backend. As a mobile app developer, you’ll work with different coding languages to build apps for Android and iOS mobile devices. Android developers use Java and C++, while iOS developers usually work with Swift, which is Apple’s native programming language.
The demand for mobile developers is incredibly high. Companies invest huge amounts of money in apps that bring them closer to the customer. That’s why the demand for mobile developers is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2019 to 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
A database administrator’s job is to organize and monitor corporate databases. They evaluate the company’s databases to make sure all employees follow data security measures. Database administrators also ensure that company data is not accessed by hostile actors.
A database administration career requires skills in data security, storage management, data extraction, and the programming language SQL. According to BLS, the median salary for a database administrator is $98,860. The job outlook for this profession is expected to increase 10 percent in the next decade.
Web development is increasing in demand due to the rise of ecommerce. According to BLS, the demand for web developers is expected to grow 8 percent between 2019 and 2029. While this is not as high as the other occupations in this list, it is still twice as fast as the average for all other occupations.
A development operations (DevOps) engineer introduces tools and practices that sync up the work of the development and operations teams, who usually have different skills and goals. To make this happen, these professionals combine code and manage and maintain applications. BLS predicts that the number of job openings for DevOps engineers will grow at a rate of 22 percent* in the next decade, which is described as much faster than average.
Machine learning, which is an AI subset, is all about developing software to automate different tasks. A machine learning engineer programs machines so they can learn without human supervision. This is another highly in-demand career, especially in the medical, automotive, finance, and marketing industries. According to BLS, the demand for machine learning engineers will increase 15 percent in the upcoming years.
*Data taken from BLS’s statistics on software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers
Where Do I Start?
To land a six-figure job in tech, you need to invest in your education. Whether you want to learn through a traditional university program or a coding bootcamp, it’s important to obtain the core skills you need to succeed in the job market. Your success will be determined by a combination of technical skills and soft skills.
Once you’ve received the training needed for your career of choice, the next step is to accumulate experience. An entry-level position or internship can give you some experience on the job and serve as a gateway to a more advanced position. Remember that networking is key to climbing up in your career.
Getting a tech job that pays $100,000 is no longer just for a selected few. You can earn a six-figure salary even without a bachelor’s degree, but you need to demonstrate you have a passion for information technology and innovation.