Which Software Engineers Get Paid the Most?

In Silicon Valley, engineers working in search are pulling down the highest salaries; in Paris, blockchain rules

2 min read
Illustration imagining a software engineer working on top of a pile of money.
Illustration: iStockphoto

Online job search firm Hired took a look at its 2018 data from its job sites around the world to capture a snapshot of demand for software engineers and the salaries they are commanding in different roles. Hired’s research, released last week, showed that demand for engineers with blockchain experience is booming, and the boom will continue. So it’s no surprise that the salaries for blockchain engineers are generally among the highest.

Regional differences, however, abound. In the San Francisco Bay Area, engineers working in search are commanding higher salaries than those working in blockchain. (Shall we call that the Google effect?) In New York, the biggest salaries are going to gaming engineers. And in Toronto, the top salaries are going to engineers with experience in natural-language processing, while search is down at number 12. Details below.

Salaries for Top Software Engineering Roles, US Dollars

Role San Francisco Bay Area Rank and Salary New York Rank and Salary Toronto Rank and Salary London Rank and Salary Paris Rank and Salary Demand growth year over year
Search 1 ($157K) 7 ($129K) 12 ($64K) 5 ($86K) 4 ($61K)
Security 2 ($156K) 11 ($117K) 4 ($75K) 5 ($86K) 4 ($61K) 132%
Blockchain 3 ($155K) 2 ($137K) 3 ($79K) 2 ($89K) 1 ($67K) 517%
Natural- language processing 3 ($155K) 12 ($114K) 1 ($83K) 7 ($84K) 7 ($59K)
Machine learning 5 ($153K) 10 ($122K) 2 ($80K) 3 ($87K) 2 ($65K) 27%
Data 6 ($151K) 6 ($132K) 9 ($70K) 3 ($87K) 3 ($62K) 38%
Embedded 7 ($150K) 9 ($124K) 5 ($74K) 1 ($90K) 9 ($58K) 76%
Back end 8 ($149K) 2 ($137K) 5 ($74K) 9 ($80K) 7 ($59K) 33%
Mobile 9 ($147K) 4 ($133K) 11 ($69K) 11 ($75K) 10 ($57K) 15%
Gaming 10 ($145K) 1 ($147K) 7 ($73K) 8 ($81K) 4 ($61K)
Full-stack 11 ($143K) 4 ($133K) 8 ($72K) 10 ($77K) 10 ($57K) 7%
Front end 12 ($140K) 8 ($128K) 9 ($70K) 12 ($73K) 10 ($57K) 4%
Source: Hired

A version of this post appears in the May 2019 print magazine as “What Employers Want From Coders: In-Demand Job Skills Vary By Region.”

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Special Report: Top Tech 2021

After months of blood, toil, tears, and sweat, we can all expect a much better year

1 min read
Photo-illustration: Edmon de Haro

Last January in this space we wrote that “technology doesn't really have bad years." But 2020 was like no other year in recent memory: Just about everything suffered, including technology. One shining exception was biotech, with the remarkably rapid development of vaccines capable of stemming the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's roundup of anticipated tech advances includes an examination of the challenges in manufacturing these vaccines. And it describes how certain technologies used widely during the pandemic will likely have far-reaching effects on society, even after the threat subsides. You'll also find accounts of technical developments unrelated to the pandemic that the editors of IEEE Spectrum expect to generate news this year.

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