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Security is the best paid sector for developers with growing demand to protect individuals and businesses from cyber attacks

Security is the best paid sector for developers, and software architects are the top earning tech experts, according to a global survey of more than 15,000 developers and tech recruiters conducted by developer recruitment platform CodinGame.

Developers working in the Security field earned on average $55,598 in 2020. Salary levels are being driven by huge growth in the cybersecurity market and protecting individuals and businesses from the threat of cyber attacks.

At the other end of the salary scale, developers employed in IT Services ($38,304) were paid almost a third less than the top performing sector.

Software architects were the highest paid developers for the second year running, earning on average $74,500 last year. This may change in 2021 with tech recruiters reporting a shortage of developers with DevOps expertise.

The switch to remote working has created huge demand for DevOps experts to manage cloud infrastructures, as organisations migrate business operations to the cloud.

The following table shows average developer salary (in USD) by sector

Sector Average salary (US Dollars)
Security $55,598
Technology $55,556
Insurance $54,188
Energy $53,936
Finance $53,751
Aerospace $53,609
Healthcare $52,244
Retail $51,795
Media $51,004
Public Admin $40,537
IT Services $38,304


The following table shows average developer salary (in USD) by position

Sector Average salary (US Dollars)
Software architect $74,585
Data scientist $55,695
DevOps $54,118
Software developer $51,942
Embedded software engineer $49,955
Back-end developer $48,516
Game developer $45,647
Full-stack developer $44,647
Mobile developer $42,811
Tester/Test engineering analyst $36,432
Front-end developer $34,946


Flexible working hours over salary

CodinGame surveyed developers and asked them what mattered most when considering a job offer. Technical challenges and flexible working hours were the top two on the wish list followed by a competitive salary.

When tech recruiters were asked what they thought applicants valued most, it revealed a disconnect with the needs of developers. 

Technical challenges and a competitive salary were considered highly but work-life balance wasn’t seen as being important, with just 7% of recruiters viewing this as a deal-breaker.

Aude Barral, co-founder of developer recruitment platform CodinGame, comments: 

“Tech continues to command some of the highest salaries in the jobs market. There is huge demand for highly skilled developers across all business sectors and the pandemic has accelerated that demand.

“From our experience, the very best developers are headhunted and can name their price. That’s likely to continue to be the case as the tech revolution gathers pace.

“In 2021, we see DevOps experts challenging software architects in the salary stakes, as cloud services take off and businesses need the tech expertise in-house to manage their cloud infrastructure.

“Interestingly, when developers were asked what mattered most to them when considering a job offer, work-life balance was more important than a competitive salary. Tech recruiters need to take this into consideration when hiring. Attracting the best talent isn’t always about offering the biggest pay cheque.”

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