Everyday you sit down, put on your headphones and open your integrated developer environment. You stitch together libraries, collaborate with the design team and attempt to fix the inevitable bugs in your code.
You’re a programmer. And the work you do is the engine behind this crazy, massive shift in the global economy and how people fundamentally interact with their computers. You’re probably being paid fairly well, especially if you are in one of the tech hubs of the United States like San Francisco, New York, Seattle or Boston. But sometimes you wonder, like everybody does …
Am I being paid enough?
Analytics company, Compass, set out to determine how much programmers of various roles should be paid, depending on various years of experience and expertise in programming language.
The list of top programming languages was accumulated from Startup Compass users along with several other employee tracking databases including Payscale, AngelList, Glassdoor, Toptal, oDesk and Elance.
An important note on the list: it appears that the numbers are mean salaries for various roles and do not quite take into account the specific geography of the programming or engineer. The focus also tends to skew towards medium to small-sized startups (Compass’s survey was of 421 startup executives) and also takes into account the amount of equity a programmer might expect for a specific job title.
For instance, the list does not break down how much an Objective-C programmer would make in San Francisco versus what one would make in Boston or Duluth, Minnesota. If you are a C++ developer with 10+ years of experience in a chief technology officer or vice president of engineering role in SoMa in San Francisco, you are likely making quite a bit more than the averages listed by Compass.
The Compass list differs slightly from a study published by Quartz looking at data from Burning Glass with Jonathan Rothwell from the Brookings Institution. In the Quartz study, Objective-C average salary ranges about $15,000 above C++ whereas the Compass list shows C++ to be the more valued skill. Both data points are a little bit of a misnomer; if you know Objective-C, you by definition should know a fair degree of C++ as well.
As these are average salaries, it is important to note that 50% of actual wages will fall above or below the numbers listed. It is not unheard of for top end talent at director level or above (in any field, really, but engineering specifically) to make more of $180,000 at a large startup or small public company.
Take a look at the full infographic below. Do you agree with the salary ranges listed? What about the Compass’s methodology?