Here Are the Software Skills That Will Get You the Highest Salary

Glittering dollar signs float over a computer keyboard
Photo-illustration: Donald Iain Smith/Getty Images

What tech skills will earn software engineers and other technology professionals the highest salaries? Recruitment firm Dice set out to answer that question in its 2016 Salary Survey. Pulling in late January, the survey showed that the highest paid tech professionals, with an average salary of $128,958, had experience with SAP’s HANA platform, the MapReduce programming model ($125,009), or open-source platform Cloud Foundry ($124,038). Both HANA and MapReduce salaries fell slightly since 2015.

Top 10 Highest Paying Tech Skills:

Rank

Skill

Average 2016 Pay

Percent Change from 2015

1

HANA

$128,958

-3.3

2

MapReduce

$125,009

-0.3

3

Cloud Foundry

$124,038

NA (skill newly added to survey)

4

Hbase

$123,934

5.7

5

Omnigraffle

$123,782

-1.9

6

Cassandra

$123,459

2.2

7

Apache Kafka

$122,728

1.9

8

SOA (Service Oriented Architecture)

$122,094

-1.9

9

Ansible

$121,382

n/a

10

Jetty

$120,978

1.3

Meanwhile, Compellent topped the list of the skills pushing the fastest salary growth, at 11 percent, followed by Drupal (9 percent) and JCL (7 percent). Drupal and JCL also led the field of fastest growing programming language salaries.


Top 10 Tech Skills Driving Fastest Pay Increases:

Rank

Skill

Average 2016 Pay

Percent Change From 2015

1

Compellent

$111,457

11

2

Drupal

$93,895

9

3

JCL

$103,302

7

4

FCoE

$116,145

7

5

Nimble

$104,854

6

6

Hbase

$123,934

6

7

MariaDB

$105,423

5

8

Pure Storage

$107,260

5

9

vCloud

$106,151

5

10

T1 or T3

$97,497

5

“Skills that were used a year ago may not be as prominent today; skills that are relevant today will evolve tomorrow,” said Dice president Bob Melk in a press release. “The skill areas which garnered salary increases indicate where professionals and employers should focus their training and recruiting efforts.”

The survey results didn’t present particularly good news for software  engineers and other technology professionals: overall, average tech salaries in the U.S. dipped slightly, at $92,081 in 2016 from $93,328 in 2015. In Silicon Valley, tech salaries were essentially flat, dipping 0.2 percent, and California salaries overall fell 1.3 percent though California remained at the top of the list.  Salaries in the Tampa, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Raleigh, North Carolina, and Portland, Oregon regions took the biggest regional hit, dropping more than 7 percent (here’s an interactive map).

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Tekla Perry
Palo Alto, Calif.
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