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The field of information technology (IT) is constantly evolving and offers a wide range of career opportunities. Using job search sites such as ZipRecruiter can give you an idea of both the types of available IT jobs, and the skills and training you might need to get those roles.
IT professionals with specialized expertise can command high salaries, with some positions paying significantly more than others. Among the best paying IT roles are information security analysts, with a median pay of $102,600, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Big data analytics is also a major area of focus for many businesses looking to maintain a competitive edge within their markets.
Here are seven of the highest paying IT jobs currently available.
Our Top Picks for the Highest-Paying IT Jobs
- Security analyst
- Software engineering manager
- Product manager
- Software architect
- Cloud architect
- Systems administrator
- DevOps engineer
An information security analyst plays a key role in protecting sensitive electronic data and computer networks. Their responsibilities typically include:
- Assessing system vulnerabilities for security risks
- Developing and implementing measures to ensure the safety of digital files and vital infrastructure
- Responding to security breaches and other threats
- Upgrading or monitoring existing security systems over time.
With these important duties to fulfill, a security analyst must have the necessary skills to understand complex cyber threats, create cost-effective solutions, adhere to industry regulations and standards and keep up to date with their knowledge of emerging technologies.
According to the May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wages report from the BLS, security analysts are one of the most well-paid professionals in their field, with an hourly mean wage of $54.46 and an annual mean salary of $113,270.
Software engineering manager
A software engineering manager oversees the development and implementation of software solutions. The role’s responsibilities include writing and testing code, working through complex coding problems, architecting new solutions and creating scalable systems within application development. Software engineering managers should possess a wide range of technical abilities as well as work with clients, developers and cybersecurity personnel to create functional projects.
Effective management of the software engineering process includes making sure the end results are user-friendly and aligned with the client's needs. Software engineering managers in the U.S. can expect to make an annual salary of $159,531, with an hourly wage of $77.
A product manager in the IT industry is responsible for overseeing multiple aspects of the development and implementation of a tech product. This role requires a broad understanding of the trends and developments within their core area, as well as being proficient in making complex trade-off decisions.
Product managers are key players in the launch process — they work closely with developers and marketers to deliver products that fulfill customer expectations. They play a significant role in keeping the production process organized and guiding it toward the desired result: a usable product that meets client specifications. Product managers also implement quality control measures throughout the development stages, such as tracking established checklists and system tests.
This role in the U.S. earns an average salary of $115,490, though the type of industry is also a significant factor in compensation.
A software architect is a senior-level professional responsible for designing the overall structure of an application or program and ensuring its scalability, flexibility, maintainability and security. The roles of a software architect are highly varied and require diverse skills including technical knowledge, leadership, people management, communication and strategic planning.
Depending on the particular environment or project requirements, responsibilities may also encompass systems integration and assessment of the development process. Software architects also coordinate with business analysts and other stakeholders to create diagrams that illustrate the conceptual development roadmap. This position offers an impressive salary base rate of $137,933 or $66 per hour in the U.S.
A cloud architect is responsible for designing, building and managing an organization’s cloud-computing strategy and infrastructure. Depending on the role, responsibilities can include implementing a cloud-based system, developing applications and processes for it and monitoring its performance.
Professionals in this field are familiar with different types of cloud services, such as SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, along with their respective architectures and components. They have to possess excellent knowledge of network architecture and protocols, security best practices and distributed system design principles.
A cloud architect should have strong programming and troubleshooting skills to be able to develop automation frameworks or support systems. It's also important for them to stay abreast of emerging technologies and trends in the cloud-computing space. The average annual salary for cloud architects in the U.S. is $131,473, with an average hourly wage of $63.
Systems administrators or sysadmins are responsible for the successful management of servers, networks and other essential computer systems. This involves routinely installing new components, performing regular maintenance, configuring security settings, troubleshooting common problems and responding quickly to any technical issues that may arise.
Sysadmins often hold certifications from organizations like Microsoft or AWS that set industry standards. These certifications signal that sysadmins have certain degrees of expertise in their field. The median salary of sysadmins in 2021 was $80,600 annually or an average hourly rate of $38.75.
A DevOps engineer works at the intersection of software development, operations and quality assurance. They are responsible for overseeing the activities that occur between the software development and IT teams. DevOps personnel who display strong communication and negotiating skills can bridge the gap between departments.
Some of the primary responsibilities of a DevOps engineer include designing, integrating, building and operating systems in a way that encourages collaboration among the various departments involved. This also requires creating automated processes that can help ensure that software applications are deployed faster and with fewer issues. The average salary range for a DevOps engineer in the U.S. is between $72,953 and $129,283.
Highest Paying IT Jobs Guide
Advances in technology have led to a proliferation of IT jobs, making the market for IT professionals more competitive than ever. Having knowledge of the fields that offer higher wages can be beneficial when making informed decisions about your future in IT.
What is IT (information technology)?
Information technology, or IT, refers to the use of computer systems and other digital equipment to access, store, and distribute information. IT is a fundamental aspect of many jobs in the fields of communication, infrastructure and application services, just to name a few.
IT jobs rely heavily on equipment such as hardware, software, networking components and specialized systems used to store data or process information. In addition to these technologies, IT also utilizes analytics and artificial intelligence tools that assist businesses in making better decisions and improving operational efficiency. IT provides support for an increasing number of operations such as business automation, database design and management, cybersecurity protection, system integration, user help desk assistance, cloud computing services and much more.
Types of IT jobs
Within the broad field of IT, there are a few distinct subgroups that specialize in different roles:
- Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity IT professionals protect systems, networks and programs from digital attacks. These attacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing or destroying private information and data. Companies often hire specialized cybersecurity professionals to protect their networks and systems from unauthorized access.
- IT support: IT support professionals focus on providing technical assistance to computer system users. This may involve responding to inquiries, troubleshooting hardware and software malfunctions, and helping customers with the installation of necessary applications and programs.
- IT infrastructure: Professionals in infrastructure are experts in managing, maintaining and extending the life of business hardware, software and communications technology. They're responsible for installing, upgrading and configuring applications, servers and networks to ensure maximum system reliability and performance.
- Data management: IT professionals in this area oversee the design, implementation and optimization of database systems. They ensure the integrity, reliability and security of the data as well as its consistent availability.
- Software development: This group includes coders, designers, project managers, analysts and other experts that help companies create meaningful web and mobile applications.
Requirements for an IT job
Most IT positions will require an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or postgraduate qualification in an associated field for entry-level roles. Beyond that, employers typically look for candidates with specific experience and competencies in areas such as web development, cybersecurity, programming and, for management roles, effective leadership.
IT professionals should have the ability to use a variety of software applications efficiently. Depending on the role, background checks may also need to be carried out during the hiring process.
How to find the highest-paying IT jobs
If you're looking to find the highest-paying IT jobs, job search sites like ZipRecruiter are a great place to start. Make sure to narrow down your searches based on job title, job type, location and salary range. This will quickly give you an idea of what the job market is like for IT jobs in the area that you are interested in.
Leverage other job-related online platforms, such as job boards, message forums and alumni directories, to learn about job openings that interest you. These resources can give you invaluable insight into job requirements and potential salary ranges that may not be listed elsewhere.
Highest Paying IT Jobs FAQ
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How We Chose the Highest Paying IT Jobs
We examined salaries across different geographic locations and for various experience levels, mainly by using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also looked at job characteristics such as the responsibilities required of each role, the skills necessary to complete the work, and the potential for professional growth.
Ultimately, our goal was to ascertain which positions were likely to offer the most money and the best professional development. With the information provided, IT professionals can make informed decisions when selecting their desired career paths.