Web developer or CTO: Which tech jobs have the fastest growing salaries?

The average tech salary has broken six figures for the first time, according to a report from Dice - though some developer skills are more valuable than others.
Written by Owen Hughes, Senior Editor

Some tech skills remain extraordinarily high-paying.

Image: Tom Werner/GETTY

The average tech salary broke six figures for the first time in 2021, according to a report by Dice, highlighting the "continued and sustained" demand for digital talent across all industries.

The 2022 Tech Salary Report by jobs marketplace Dice found that the average salary for technologists rose by nearly 7% between 2020 and 2021, reaching $104,566. Dice said this marked the highest salary recorded in the 17 years it has been conducting the survey.

IT chiefs took home the highest salaries in 2021, with an average $151,983 per year. This reflects a 6% change on 2020, according to Dice.

SEE: Tech salaries just hit record highs. But nearly half of IT staff still feel underpaid

Systems architects saw their pay increase by 5.1% to ($147,901). Dice said this reflected the increased demand for developers "capable of structuring, maintaining and scaling tech stacks in a variety of environments."

Cloud architects and engineers were the third most well-compensated technologists in 2021, taking home an average salary of $140,571 (up 3%). Cybersecurity engineers/architects ($135,059) and data architects ($128,835) rounded out the top five highest-paying occupations.

Art Zeile, CEO at Dice, said pandemic pressures had driven up demand for tech workers capable of helping businesses realize their digitisation strategies, as well as helping them facilitate remote-working IT environments. "I'm encouraged but not surprised to see U.S. technologist salaries continue to grow," Zeile told ZDNet.

"The onset of the pandemic only stoked the fire as organizations of all types and sizes were required to move to virtual work environments and, in many cases, accelerate digital transformation projects to match the changing landscape." 

Salaries grew for most tech occupations, though some roles saw more rapid year-on-year growth than others.

The average salary for web developers ($98,912), for example, increased 21.3% between 2020 and 2021: nearly double the growth of the second fastest-growing salary by occupation, which belonged to database administrators ($111,362).


Web developer salaries grew fastest on average between 2020 and 2021.

Image: Dice.com

Also seeing substantial growth were technical support engineers ($77,169, up 12.4%), data analysts ($84,779, up 11.5%), and UX/UI designers ($101,260, up 10.1%).

While programming languages remain hot, Dice found that technologists with expertise in cloud and data platforms typically took home higher salaries on average.

For example, tech professionals with skills in open-source enterprise search engine Solr typically earned an average $143,464. Similarly, Mokito skills correlated with average salaries of $140,366. Service-oriented architecture ($139,961), RabbitMQ ($137,717) and Elasticseach ($136,405) were also among the highest-paying tech skills.

SEE: From engineering 'guilds' to open source, how Bloomberg's developers are driving innovation

"What this list of the top-paying skills makes absolutely clear is that organizations are more than happy to pay a premium for skills related to enterprise-level infrastructure, particularly as it relates to data storage and discovery, and the cloud," the report said.

"Hadoop, HANA and PAAS, for example, have all commanded high salaries for quite some time. Also keep an eye on Tensorflow and neural networks, which could prove key to enterprises in helping to make their infrastructure smarter."

Dice said that while programming languages such as Ruby ($128,689), JavaScript ($109,833) and Python ($116,498) didn't typically command the same salaries as specialist cloud and data platforms, they remained equally vital to the operations of businesses when it came maintaining code and building new apps and services.

"Learning these languages can translate into a stream of steady (and varied) work, although technologists must take care to keep their knowledge of these individual languages (like any skill) as current as possible," the report said.

Editorial standards