Phoenix skyline.

Tech Salaries in Phoenix: How Do They Stack Up?

Phoenix is home to some of the fastest-growing tech industries around. If you have technical abilities and want to make a nice paycheck, this city is perfect for your needs. 

When searching for the right career, it’s helpful to know about tech salaries in Phoenix. When you have a line on which Phoenix tech careers pay well and will have lots of job opportunities waiting for you, it gives your studies purpose. Your studies, in turn, will prepare you for a lifetime of success and financial comfort. 

We’re here to help you find your place in this technological maze and start earning real money. Our guide looks at tech jobs in top demand today. We compare Glassdoor’s Phoenix salary estimates for these jobs with national averages released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Here, you will get details on salaries for systems engineers, UX/UI designers, game developers, and project managers. We also include information on the sorts of training that qualifies you for the roles.

Systems Engineer

You might not realize just how commonplace servers are, but they’re everywhere you go. You’re interacting with a server right now as you scroll through this webpage, and servers also run practically every other aspect of your life. Systems administrators (“sysadmins”) design and maintain server infrastructure, and Phoenix is eager to snag as many of these people as possible. 

Phoenix sysadmins make a yearly salary of $116K on average. This is lower than the average salary for a sysadmin in the United States by roughly $12K. However, Phoenix has a lower cost of living than many regions. This lowers local wages but boosts your spending power.

Server administration is an operating system (OS) game, by and large. The more operating systems you know, the more in demand you are as a systems engineer. Windows and MacOS are helpful to know, but Linux is the main event and a sysadmin’s bread and butter. Ubuntu is a popular flavor and is worth learning, and training up in Red Hat opens a lot of doors for you, as well. Likewise, picking up server-side languages like Perl helps you land top positions.

UX/UI Designer

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) development is playing a larger and larger role in app development these days. Much of the success of Phoenix companies relies on whether their apps are easy to use, intuitive, and powerful. 

If you have the skills to be a UX/UI engineer, your future is bright and full of dollar signs. Phoenix UX/UI engineers make annual salaries of $84K or more, depending on the engineer’s years of experience. This is higher than the national average for UX/UI designers, which is $78K.

Your work as a UX/UI designer involves lots of wireframing and prototyping. The more languages and platforms you’re comfortable working with, the more appealing you are to employers. Creativity and empathy come in handy when working in UX/UI as well. You have to be able to put yourself in another person’s shoes and understand how they may feel when navigating your app, and that takes practice. Work on independent projects to build your skills and demonstrate your drive to future employers.

Game Developer

Video games have evolved from a children’s pastime into a multi-billion dollar industry, and the people who have the skills to code the newest and most exciting games rake in cash and get to work on amazing projects. Phoenix is home to some of the hottest game companies around, and if you can code, they’d very much like to pay you lots of money to do so for them. Phoenix game software engineers bring home between $65K and $105K, which aligns with the national average for this career.

Game programmers have the same fundamental skillset as other types of developers, so focus on picking up the most-used languages first. Java, Python, HTML, and CSS all come into play when you design games. Learn game-friendly languages like C#, Objective-C, and JavaScript to make yourself a well-rounded developer. And flex your creative muscles whenever possible to enhance your game designs. Work on projects in your free time that challenge you and force you to think along new paths.

Project Manager

The secret to creating apps, sites, and other programs is teamwork. The days when a single person can create a complex and modern program are past. Today’s apps are layered and intricate, and they require input from dozens if not hundreds of skilled software developers. The project manager keeps their team’s eye on the prize and helps the team achieve its goals. Phoenix project managers can expect to make annual salaries of $85K. This is lower than the national average for project managers but in line with local costs.

Modern project managers possess a mix of hard and soft skills. It’s crucial to communicate effectively with your team. Empathy is a must; it allows you to put yourself in your team member’s shoes to identify roadblocks. Technical knowledge is a huge advantage in project management, so the more you know about the nuts and bolts of your project, the better you’ll understand the workflow. As a bonus, understanding the tech allows you to speak your team’s language, and that fosters a spirit of unity.

That’s the whole story, my technically-inclined reading public. Phoenix is home to some of the most promising tech companies around, and they all want your help. Our guide looks at salaries that four kinds of tech workers make in Phoenix, AZ, and shows you which careers are jumping as well as how to train to qualify for them.

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