Big Bucks: 4 Programming Jobs with the Highest Salaries

By Robert Half August 2, 2017 at 4:00pm

Skilled programmers are some of the most well-paid technology professionals in today’s market. 

Specialized skills such as mobile applications development or enterprise resource planning (ERP) experience can boost a programmer’s earning potential even more.

Here are four top-paying programming jobs, according to our Salary Guide:

1. Mobile applications developer

Mobile applications developers are in high demand, especially those with skills such as:

  • Objective C (for iOS) or Java (for Android)
  • Graphic design
  • User interface (UI) design
  • Working with REST web services (for integrating with cloud services)

Mobile applications developers can expect to earn average starting salaries in the $118,750-$182,250 range.

Use our Salary Calculator to adjust salaries for programming jobs in your city and to check out the latest hiring trends in your region.

2. Applications architect

The applications architect is responsible for designing the technical implementation of a software project. As applications become more critical to businesses and more complex to build, demand for application architects is growing. These professionals can expect to earn $124,500-$178,750.

How are programming jobs in this area different? Becoming an applications architect requires deep learning of programming theory and extensive hands-on experience. Applications architects also need experience across a wide range of programming domains such as database work and integrations with third-party services. An applications architect also must be able to coordinate with nontechnical people in the organization, such as business analysts. In some organizations, an applications architect fills the same role as a lead applications developer if the team is not large enough to support both positions.

3. ERP technical developer

ERP projects are some of the largest, most expensive and time-consuming projects that companies can undertake. ERP technical developers play a key role in the success of an ERP project, as they are responsible for implementing and customizing ERP packages. According to the Salary Guide, ERP technical developers can expect to see starting salaries between $102,750-$154,250.

ERP technical developers should know a common business language such as Java or C# as well as any specialized development languages or tools relevant to the ERP system they are working with. Fluency in SQL and the ability to work with databases are mandatory skills. Experience with a major ERP system, such as Oracle Enterprise One or SAP, and with enterprise integration technologies such as SOAP, is often required for programming jobs in this specialty area.

4. Lead applications developer

A lead applications developer is a technical leader and mentor to the development team. This position often includes business leadership responsibilities, such as playing a part in hiring other developers and scheduling product delivery. In some teams, the lead applications developer is also the applications architect and vice versa. Soft skills such as communications and coaching are very important for this role.

Like the other three programming jobs listed above, lead applications developers stand to benefit financially from increasing demand for their specialized skills. This year’s expected average starting compensation for a lead application developer is $115,000-$167,000.

The Salary Guide has more information on programming jobs and compensation trends across the IT job market:

This post has been updated to reflect more current information.

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