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the tech sector stands out

Against a backdrop of widespread economic disruption, the tech sector stands out. Armed with sophisticated IT infrastructure and, in many cases, a workforce already accustomed to working from home, tech companies have been largely impervious to COVID-19 disruption. From an IT hiring standpoint, that means the “new normal” has a lot in common with the old normal. Sky-high levels of demand, frantic competition for top talent and too few qualified candidates to go around, especially for roles like scrum masters, agile coaches, reliability engineers, data architects, analysts and engineers. All too familiar stories. 

But not everything remains the same. Notably, the global pandemic both catalyzed and accelerated broad-based digital transformations at organizations across the board, with tech pros driving the effort. The massive remote work was just one part of that, but it’s already had some surprising ripple effects in terms of hiring. For one, employers are no longer going to be limited to candidates in their own backyards. In theory, this should help improve diversity — a lingering challenge in the tech sector — and enhance the overall quality of of tech hires. Only time will tell, but it’s a promising start.

2021 trends

Here's a closer look at some of the most in-demand technology roles for the year ahead.

2021 outlook

In sharp contrast to most other industries, the dynamics of talent supply and demand in the tech sector weren’t radically upended in 2020. Several factors were behind that, not least of which the comparative ease with which sophisticated tech companies were able to transition to remote-work arrangements. At most of these companies, robust technical architecture was already in place and working from home a well-established routine. These proved to be two huge advantages, compared to other sectors. 

Looking ahead, demand only appears to be going up. Expect the war for top tech talent to heat up throughout 2021, with an increased focus on skilling initiatives that will help businesses maintain continuity and gain a competitive edge. In the interim, forward-thinking leaders should start proactively working with HR teams to identify the right levers — whether that means salary increases, highly targeted outreach, new approaches to sourcing or even leveraging strategic partners — that will enable them to deliver on difficult talent acquisition goals in 2021. 

salary key

This guide presents nationwide pay information for today’s most prevalent and in-demand technology positions.

Compensation data is organized by annual salaries across three levels of professional experience:

entry-level mid-level senior-level
one year of experience five years of experience ten years of experience

national salaries

Let's review the salaries of entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level.

data
data entry-level mid-level senior-level
big data
data warehouse/business intelligence developer $109,937 $133,418 $158,189
Hadoop developer $111,925 $148,839 $161,466
software development architect $121,167 $152,009 $184,356
database administration
ETL developer $106,444 $137,125 $153,836
Oracle database administrator $109,614 $117,942 $155,233
Oracle developer $114,772 $140,511 $166,194
SQL-server database administrator $100,372 $129,603 $143,143
SQL-server developer $109,292 $132,397 $160,123
enterprise software
enterprise software entry-level mid-level senior-level
collaboration tools
SharePoint developer $113,644 $130,678 $163,292
CRM/ERP
Oracle applications developer $113,644 $134,063 $163,346
PEGA developer $113,697 $137,717 $161,466
Salesforce administrator $83,661 $120,951 $131,000
Salesforce developer $112,838 $138,791 $158,135
SAP apps developer $103,005 $117,083 $147,065
SharePoint administrator $116,922 $139,328 $156,845
functional areas
functional areas entry-level mid-level senior-level
business analysis
business analyst $102,307 $125,949 $151,848
data analyst $93,119 $120,199 $143,251
project management
agile coach $113,053 $140,994 $165,657
product manager $124,659 $139,167 $162,487
program manager $94,891 $134,600 $166,140
project coordinator $108,109 $133,955 $162,809
project manager $61,255 $82,748 $107,680
scrum master $104,349 $133,472 $163,615
QA/testing
automated QA tester $93,924 $115,847 $141,692
manual QA tester $89,840 $115,256 $138,361
performance engineer (QA) $106,390 $131,913 $156,415
technical writing
instructional designer $79,524 $125,573 $151,525
technical writer $91,345 $121,059 $162,218
infrastructure
infrastructure entry-level mid-level senior-level
desktop/help desk
desktop/help desk support technician $51,852 $80,330 $113,913
network engineering
network administrator $84,897 $119,931 $142,552
systems administrative engineering
Linux/Unix systems engineer $103,864 $130,946 $154,212
storage administrator $90,271 $118,748 $145,077
virtualization engineer/cloud developer/cloud engineer $110,366 $135,191 $167,000
Windows systems engineer $103,864 $115,954 $145,830
security
security entry-level mid-level senior-level
systems administrative engineering
certified ethical hacker (CEH)/penetration tester $140,886 $150,451 $171,943
cybersecurity engineer $112,731 $130,892 $168,289
network engineer (Cisco or Juniper) $84,897 $112,032 $147,549
network security engineer $98,169 $131,322 $153,353
security analyst $98,438 $127,078 $149,859
software development
software development entry-level mid-level senior-level
application architecture
software architect $121,167 $152,009 $184,356
software development engineer in test $90,808 $130,409 $153,782
devops
build and release engineer/configuration engineer $121,436 $140,779 $140,779
devops developer $112,785 $140,242 $165,980
software engineering
.NET developer $108,055 $130,892 $155,663
artificial intelligence (AI)/applications engineer $116,545 $140,511 $170,977
data scientist $116,331 $126,218 $156,630
embedded engineer $111,978 $133,310 $161,412
full stack web developer $109,400 $136,266 $161,304
JavaScript developer $106,820 $133,364 $160,714
machine learning engineer $110,635 $139,919 $171,031
mobile developer (iOS, Android, W8) $105,960 $137,071 $156,039
Python developer $109,292 $141,692 $165,549
software engineer/back-end engineer $112,677 $138,576 $160,767
web and app design
graphic designer $79,738 $123,424 $143,089
PHP developer $99,620 $131,429 $167,162
Ruby developer $113,913 $141,477 $167,162
UI/visual designer $107,841 $128,581 $155,663
UX/interaction designer $108,915 $135,997 $159,317
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