The U.S. tech industry has been adding jobs at 400% the frequency of other fields--and it pays employees about twice as much, according to Comparably. Even better, excellent salaries aren't limited to senior team members or very technical jobs. Many college grads or those changing careers start out at six figures in entry-level positions. This makes tech a lucrative field for those looking to move into high-paying jobs.
To find roles with a big payday, Comparably evaluated over 8,000 tech salary records to sort out those with the largest paychecks in the first three years at a given company. What they found is great news for anyone wanting to work in technology without learning to program. Many of the top 10 gigs do call for coding experience. However, there are several that emphasize business or marketing savvy.
Those looking for the highest salaries might move to Seattle or San Francisco to begin their new careers. Jobs there have a higher payday than in other large cities, such as New York City, Boston, Chicago, Austin, and Los Angeles.
10. QA Analyst
Recent average salary: $70,383
Software quality assurance, also called QA, involves testing software, systems, and websites. QA analysts diagnose problems that they then fix or report to the appropriate developer. Most workers have a computer-related bachelor’s degree, although that's not always required. Applicants need a solid foundation in computer programming or information technology, per the BLS.
9. Marketing Manager
Recent average salary: $70,392
As a liaison between marketers and salespeople, publicists, and product developers, this role predicts the demands of a company's products and services. They also find new markets for products by conducting the necessary research. Some people in this position price products strategically to help the company increase its sales and market share. To be competitive in this field, you should have a bachelor’s degree in advertising, communications or journalism.
8. Sales representative
Recent average salary: $70,622
These workers find prospective clients who may want to buy a company’s product. Sales reps pitch the product at presentations negotiate prices and respond to customer comments and questions. Representatives selling technology products have at least a bachelor's degree.
7. UI/UX Designer
Recent average salary: $84,841
User interface (UI) designers work with user experience (UX) designers to make sure a user’s experience with the software, web page or device meets the intended vision. They make sure the interface design is appealing and intuitive to use. However, they may be responsible for the total design, branding, usability, and functionality of a device. Educational requirements vary and depend on the company and position. Some want applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in programming or computer science.
6. DevOps Engineer
Recent average salary: $89,300
DevOps engineers coordinate with IT staff and developers to launch software releases and deployments. They help release small features quickly and then provide feedback about the launch. As in many other roles, no specific degree is required. However, applicants with a bachelor’s degree have an advantage over those without one, especially if the degree is in computer science or technology.
5. Sales Engineer
Recent average salary: $90,575
This sales position requires versatility and an extensive knowledge base regarding the product's parts and functionality. These technical skills are needed to explain a product's benefits to prospective buyers and customers and may require the applicant to show prospects how the product works. In order to be successful, sales engineers need to make their product or service better than a competitor's. In fact, some of the duties resemble those of other sales reps. To maximize opportunities in this position, many companies choose candidate's who received a bachelors of engineering degree. If you have sales experience or other exposure to technical training, you may land one of these coveted positions in some companies.
4. Mobile Developer
Recent average salary: $98,317
Some software developers focus on creating applications for smartphones and mobile devices. They meet with management or customers to hash out the look and functionality of an app. Then the developer uses programming languages to create the app and integrate audio, graphics, and video for the mobile app. If you have an associate’s degree in web design, you can probably gain a position in this field. However, if you demonstrate knowledge of graphic design and programming, you may not need a degree in this highly competitive specialty with a potential six-figure payday.
Recent average salary: $100,610
Software developers command a high salary in most areas. As a developer, you would write computer programs and software applications to complete certain functions. As wells as meeting the core functionality users need, developers often provide back-end support for the user experience. Some of the issues that may come up include creating various security levels and optimizing performance with patches and enhancements. Once the program is ready, programmers write computer code to fulfill the requirements and test the application. Software developers and programmer duties overlap in some companies. Therefore, the educational requirements are similar--most of those who hold or wish to hold programming jobs have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, with many boasting a master's degree.
2. Product Manager
In the runner-up spot, product managers have a recent average salary of $106,127.
This is a managerial role and those in this position guide the development of a technical product, including its release and maintenance phases. Product managers verify that work completed by co-workers is consistent with the business requirements of the product. They may work closely with data scientists and software engineers. They are responsible for the product's success and usually have a bachelor’s degree in business-related fields.
1. Data Scientist
Sitting in first place, the data scientist role commands the highest payday in tech fields. Workers in this field average $113,254 annually.
Data scientists are information and research scientists who design algorithms that analyze large data sets for trends and tendencies. They search for new insights that could make a product more efficient or look for answers to topics that would make the product more valuable. Most positions require a master’s degree in a computer science related field.
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