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2020 Salary Guide for IT Professionals

Average Tech Salarieis by Occupation (US)

A Deep Dive into Key Occupations

Security Engineer
Average salary: $121,228
Growth: 9.5%
Defining skills: Information Security, Network Security, Vulnerability Assessment, Intrusion Detection, Security Operations Distinguishing skills*
NIST, Threat Analysis, Nessus,
Vulnerability Analysis, McAfee

In the wake of several high-profile data breaches over the past few years—
including Equifax, Facebook, Marriott International, and others—companies
are more cognizant than ever that a security breach can cost corporate
reputations and lots of money. No CEO wants to be dragged before
Congress to explain how their company accidentally let a hacker steal
personal information from 50 million customers.
At the same time, the increasing complexity of corporate IT infrastructure
makes it harder to secure than ever. That’s why companies really want
highly specialized security engineers who can recognize (and patch) the
vulnerabilities that inevitably pop up in the system. Those engineers are very
hirable if they possess certifications such as CompTIA Security+, Certified
Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and GIAC Certified
Incident Handler (GCIH).
Employers really want security engineers who can conduct a vulnerability
analysis, model threats, and figure out how to prevent data loss. As a
result, salaries (on average) have risen from $110,716 in 2018 to $121,228 in
2019 (representing 9.5% year over year growth). Businesses that are hiring
security engineers include Target, U.S. Bancorp and Northrop Grumman.
Employers that are looking to hire security engineers can expect an average
of 40 days to fill a vacancy

Project Manager
Average salary: $116,012
Growth: 4.6%
Defining skills: Budgeting, Scrum, Microsoft Project, Stakeholder Management, SDLC (Systems Development Life Cycle) Distinguishing skills*
Business Analysis, ITIL (Information
Technology Infrastructure Library),
Lifecycle Management, Systems
Development, Agile Development

Project managers are some of the most vital technologists within a
company, which is one reason why they pull down an average salary
of $116,012 (with a 4.6% growth between 2018 and 2019). As the job
title suggests, they guide projects from initiation through planning and
execution, which demands high levels of organization, adaptability, and
ability to recognize and solve multi-variable problems. With software
development becoming exponentially more complicated, the need to
manage projects at an exacting, granular level is increasingly important,
powering project managers’ growth as a job category. As a result, the
average time to fill project manager roles is roughly 38 days.
In addition to technical proficiency in Agile and various methodologies,
project managers must display considerable soft skills; they must
communicate progress regularly to senior management, negotiate among
team members, and convey plans to external stakeholders. Employers are
hiring this occupation at significant volume include Fiserv, IBM, Deloitte
and Target.

Software Developer
Average salary: $114,336
Growth: 4.7%
Defining skills: Java, SQL, JavaScript, Python, ObjectOriented Analysis and Design Distinguishing skills*
Continuous Integration, HTML5,
JavaScript Object Notation (JSON),
React, PostgreSQL

The ubiquitous need to build software is why software developers
accounted for 12% of all tech job postings in 2019; in addition, such roles
take an average of 39 days to fill, which hints at the aggressive fight among
employers for candidates with the right mix of skills and experience.
The top employers for software developer positions include tech titans
such as IBM, Amazon and Accenture, but even the smallest startups need
developers skilled at front-end and back-end tasks. The most common
software-development skills include Java, SQL, JavaScript, Python and
C++, and software developers are always interested in expanding their
skillsets. For example, mobile developers who have spent the past decade
building iOS and Android apps using Objective-C and Java are no doubt
very interested in Swift (Apple’s new-ish language for iOS) and Kotlin (which
Google recently named a “first class” development language for Android).
Those developers who specialize will often ask for higher starting salaries
and additional benefits.

Data Engineer
Average salary: $113,249
Growth: 9.3%
Defining skills: Python, SQL, Big Data, Apache Hadoop, Extraction Transformation and Loading (ETL) Distinguishing skills*
Data Warehouse Processing,
Relational DataBase Management
System (RDBMS), ElasticSearch,
Apache Impala, Apache Oozie

The challenges facing data engineers will only become more complex
in coming years. Everything from IoT devices and wearables to POS
dashboards are feeding unimaginable amounts of structured and
unstructured data to companies. Data engineers, in turn, must figure out
how to store, move, and clean that data so that data scientists and other
professionals can analyze it for valuable insights.
That complexity means that experienced data engineers have a plethora
of skills, from Python and SQL programming to working with Apache
Hadoop and Scala. That makes them sought-after and highly valuable: Data
engineering salaries have increased by more than 9% year-over-year, along
with a 50% increase in job postings. Employers such as Amazon, Accenture
and Capital One are all hiring this occupation at a large scale, and, as a
result, the average time to fill for data engineers is 46 days. The hunger for
these technologists seems unlikely to abate anytime soon, given how badly
companies want as much data as possible for their operations.

Data Scientist
Average salary: $106,298
Growth: 11.4%
Defining skills: Python, Machine Learning, SQL, Big Data, Apache Hadoop Distinguishing skills*
Scikit-learn, Keras, Pandas,
Classification Algorithms, NumPy

It’s one thing to collect massive amounts of data from clients, customers,
and other sources; it’s quite another to successfully analyze that data in
ways that executives and employees can utilize to make the business grow.
Because data science is often as much an art as a science, it requires quite
some time to master; and because of that, data scientists with the right mix
of skills and experience can command sizable average salaries. Between
2018 and 2019, average salaries for data scientists grew from $95,404 to
$106,298, representing more than 11% growth, along with a 7% growth in
job postings. The average time to fill data scientist roles is 46 days. That
growth and demand is directly attributable to companies collecting more
data, as well as recognizing the value of analyzing it in order to enhance
corporate strategy. Specifically, businesses looking to hire data scientists in
high volumes in 2019 included Bayer, Capital One, Facebook and Amazon.
Python, machine learning, and Big Data topped the most-requested skills.
As datasets grow larger, and the tools to analyze them more advanced,
data scientists will also have to consider how artificial intelligence (A.I.),
will impact their jobs in future years. On the most straightforward level,
A.I. and ML tools will automate many data-science functions, giving more
employees the ability to mine data for insight. That means flesh-andblood data scientists will primarily focus on the thorniest, most nuanced
challenges involving their companies’ datasets.

Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
Average salary: $91,098
Growth: 5.0%
Defining skills: Selenium, Atlassian JIRA, Automated Testing, Performance Testing, Regression Testing Distinguishing skills*
Scenario Testing, Apache Jmeter,
Unit testing, JUnit, TestNG

Quality assurance engineers ensure that company standards are met
at each step, no matter how fast and complicated the project. QA is so
central to software-building that those technologists who specialize in it
can command a generous salary: $91,098 on average in 2019, representing
an increase of 5% from 2018. The salary for these professionals is also
matched by the time to fill: 39 days on average. Some of the top skills
requested for QA engineers include Selenium, Java, SQL and Python—
which is unsurprising, considering that Java and Python are two of the
programming languages that a vast majority of apps are built in, and SQL is
a vital part of most database work (Selenium is an open-source framework
for testing web applications). Top employers in the market for QA engineers
include Apple and Amazon.

Highest Average Tech Salaries by Skill

For more details, please read Dice Tech salary guide here.

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