Dollar. Dollar. Bills. Y'all.
Look, we all know how this works. High-paying careers are one of the most-searched terms on Google. People want to make dollars, and lots of them, and it seems like every media outlet is driving eyeballs to their site with some variation of the theme.
There are endless lists of high-paying jobs out there, and pretty much all of them say the exact same thing: doctors, pharmacists, and financial managers usually net the highest incomes. Not only are these professions very different, but they also typically require a couple of advanced degrees and a highly specialized knowledge.
What you see before you today is an attempt at a specific kind of high-paying job list: The fifteen highest-salaried jobs in the tech field in 2015, ranked. Not only is the tech market booming these days, but companies are willing to pay a premium for the best and most qualified talent. Best of all, if you've got the talent and the mental resources, these jobs could be yours without a decade of education or years of experience. Read on to learn exactly which career will provide the most buck for your bang, and discover how Switch can help you get closer to your dream job.
Hint: The dough is in the data!
15. Database Administrator
Median Salary: $87,330
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 243
Database administrators are the highest-paid security guards on the market today, and we mean that in the most flattering sense possible. These tech junkies are responsible for the security and monitoring of databases. They also handle configuration and administration of these databases, which are essentially the Rosetta Stone for tech companies -- particularly startups.
14. Sales Engineer
Median Salary: $90,989
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 217
@@Sales engineers are not your father’s salesmen.@@ Their purchasing motives and sales pitches rely more on analytics, research and hard data than elbow grease and personality. Think Willy Wonka, not Willy Loman. Like almost everyone else on this list, sales engineers have a diverse set of skills -- the ability to sell customers and clients on products while also deeply understanding the technical nature of their product -- that make them rare birds in the larger talent marketplace.
13. Software Engineer
Median Salary: $93,392
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 14,158
Software engineering is an umbrella category under which many specific types of engineers fall. @@Everybody from NASA to Google to your local startup needs software engineers@@, which is why they are, in general, highly sought after and handsomely paid for their abilities with various programming systems. The best software engineers are creative problem solvers who can simultaneously dive into the nitty-gritty of the product’s design and development.
12. UX/UI Designer
Median Salary: $96,855
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 1,187
Although not technically the same position, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers are often combined in job postings. With both of these positions, qualified candidates are well-versed in design platforms like Photoshop, Illustrator, Invision and more and also keenly aware of how a consumer, user or subscriber will interact with the designer’s product. @@The best UX/UI designers are visual thinkers able to continuously generate fresh perspectives@@, always looking for better and more appealing ways to attract and retain audience
11. QA Manager
Median Salary: $101,300
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 233
It may seem odd that QA managers, also known as quality assurance managers, would rank so high on a list with so many tech-savvy positions. But QA managers, as the last line of defense between company and consumer, are more responsible than anyone when the product doesn’t meet the client’s needs. QA managers are generally responsible for implementing quality standards for a product and then testing the given product against those standards.
10. Product Manager
Median Salary: $113,979
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 4,900
As you can see from the number of open product manager jobs on Switch, this position is a booming one in the Age of the Startup. Even better news? @@You don’t have to be a technology whiz with an advanced degree to excel as a PM.@@ Product managers are innovative, thoughtful and consumer-friendly men and women. They are responsible for everything from design and implementation to marketing and distribution. In other words, if the engineers and architects are waging technological trench warfare, product managers are the generals leading them into (and out of) battle.
9. IT Manager
Median Salary: $115,672
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 828
Another job title for which the job description can fluctuate based on the size and type of the company, IT (information technology) managers do require a core set of skills and typically demand a certain set of responsibilities. A background in technology is a relative must, and typically IT managers will oversee the development and maintenance of computer and software systems at a given company. IT managers must also be well-versed in various and new technologies in order to keep his or her employer on the front foot in this fast-evolving technological world.
8. Analytics Manager
Median Salary: $115,975
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 598
@@Everything comes back to data.@@ Analytics engineer typically require advanced degrees in statistics and ample experience in complex software programs, data mining and data analysis. These roles are filled by candidates with a high statistical IQ who are also able to take what their teams find in terms of data and filter it in ways that are beneficial to the company’s bottom line.
7. Solutions Architect
Median Salary: $121,522
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 469
If you’re not super-familiar with the tech world, we know what you’re thinking here: Solutions? Architect? What kind of job title is that? In fact, the title is more accurate than you might think. As the software architect designs the physical structure of a product or service, the solutions architect works with certain customers to devise software ‘solutions’ for a specific issue they may be having. While schooled in the basics of software programming, a great deal of software architects’ time is taken up with customer relations. So if you’re an able programmer but also a people person, this position may be right for you. If nothing else, it’s the right price!
6. Software Development Manager
Median Salary: $123,000
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 904
Software development managers are similar to product managers in that they ferry a software project from the first germ of the basic idea through to the final product that lands on the customer’s desk. This is an advanced position that requires a few years of experience, and it also requires technical savvy, organizational skills, excellent communication and an ability to see the forest and the trees during the development of the project. For all that, though, these managers are paid handsomely for their efforts.
5. Marketing Manager
Median Salary: $123,220
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 4,080
While not exactly limited to the technology field, marketing is one of the key areas of any effective tech company. Great marketing and messaging can be the difference between a $10 million seed round and a $100 million seed round, between a good company and a great one. The demand for great marketing gurus is growing -- the Bureau of Labor Statistics sees approximately 2,000 positions added each year between now and 2022 -- and Switch proves that, with nearly 700 open positions on the service at any given time.
4. Software Architect
Median Salary: $130,891
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 409
Got a bachelor’s degree in a software discipline and want to jump right to the high-level design choices? Look no further than the software architect -- although it usually takes a few years as a software engineer before you can snag one of these lucrative roles. Your responsibilities include everything from outlining the technical standards of your company in the design of new software, as well as the oversight of revisions, improvements and future implementations. Constantly ranked as one of the most sought-after jobs in tech for reasons beyond the salary, the position does require the ability to work with code as well as people, since architects are typically the conduit between the back-end and the boardroom.
3. Machine Learning Engineer
Median Salary: $131,000
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 105
Machine learning is an exciting, growing and lucrative field. The question is: Are you smart enough to break into it? The world of artificial intelligence is quietly picking up serious steam, both in Silicon Valley and elsewhere around the country, and machine learning engineers are therefore in increasing demand. MLE’s take a basis of data science and statistics to help make our machines smarter, faster, and more streamlined. With a foundation in stats, data and programming languages like Python and R, you could be raking in the big bucks and cuddling up to our future machine overlords at the same time!
2. Android Engineer
Median Salary: $131,000
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 702
@@As more and more consumers have made the move to mobile, the demand for mobile developers has multiplied.@@ And while we are not partial to Android over iOS, the number of platforms supported by Android has exploded of late. That means more jobs for qualified engineers, and with demand for software engineers continuing to outstrip supply, top Android developers are ready to pay top dollar for engineering talent.
1. Data Scientist
Median Salary: $134,000
No. of Active Positions on Switch: 501
As the godfather of statistics W. Edwards Deming once said, “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” Thus, expertise in big data, in our experience, is directly proportional to a big salary. Successful data scientists are experts at the convergence of the past, present and future, marrying existing data (data mining) with future data (predictive analytics, data modeling). They also have a mind for -- and foundational education in -- statistics but are unafraid to get creative when concocting simple solutions based on complex data. It should be noted, however, that this median salary is for mid-level data scientist positions. For entry-level number-crunchers, depending on the size and scale of the company, the salary hovers around the low six figures.