How to Increase Your Senior Java Developer Salary

By Robert Half on October 22, 2015 at 7:00am

Java has been a major player in mobile and enterprise development for some time now, and compensation for skilled Java developers continues to rise thanks to increasing demand in those areas. This strong demand comes from enterprises continuing to expand their use of technology and the robust Android ecosystem.

Now that you’ve reached the status of senior Java developer, what can you do to increase your salary even more? Here are four ways to boost your senior Java developer salary.

1. Consider your location

Location can play a significant role in salary. For example, if you work in cities such as New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Boston or Washington, D.C., you may earn a senior Java developer salary that is 33 to 40 percent higher than the national average, according to the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide.

On the other side of the coin, the guide reports that salaries for the senior Java developer role in places such as El Paso, Texas; Youngstown, Ohio; Pueblo, Colorado, Duluth, Minn., and Rockford, Ill., are 17 to 28 percent below the national average.

However, keep in mind that many areas that offer higher earning potential for senior Java developers also have elevated costs of living.

2. Specialize strategically

The Salary Guide lists the current Java developer starting salary as ranging between $87,200 and $149,330 per year* — a 6.8 percent bump compared to 2015. Specialized developers can do even better, for example:

  • Mobile application developers working in Java can earn $125,623 to $191,568 per year, an 8.2 percent increase over 2015.
  • CRM technical developers with Java knowledge can receive starting compensation between $107,365 and $150,148 per year — 6.1 percent above 2015 figures.
  • Skilled senior web developers are likely to earn between $121,263 and $167,860 in 2016, which is 6.6 percent more than 2015.

As you can see, specializing in a particular area of development can significantly impact your senior Java developer salary.

3. Boost your skills

The Salary Guide lists a number of skills that can increase your senior Java developer salary. In addition to Java expertise, the following abilities can help you to earn a certain percentage more in starting compensation:

  • Web services development: 8 percent
  • C# development skills: 7 percent
  • SharePoint skills: 9 percent

4. Earn certifications

Certifications can help you demonstrate advanced levels of knowledge and justify a higher senior Java developer salary. How big of an impact do certain credentials have? Research by Oracle shows that their certifications can add more than 7 percent to IT salaries in the United States.

Oracle’s certification program has a number of different training tracks around Java such as mobile development and web development; these tracks have different levels within them. Oracle also offers a wide range of learning materials to assist students in pursuing their certifications. Keep in mind that some certifications require annual recertification to maintain an active status.

Making educated decisions about where you work and the career path you follow can boost your pay quite a bit when you factor in all of the possibilities. If you want a higher Java developer salary, a location change, specializations, skills upgrades and certifications can all help to get you there.

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