Computers have been around for a long time. However, it wasn’t until about two decades ago that internet-related companies began to proliferate in unprecedented numbers. Even today, the demand for highly skilled IT specialists is higher than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer & Information Technology (IT) jobs are expected to grow by 12% by 2028. 

Many of the highest-paid IT roles require highly specialized skill sets. As a result, professionals with those skills are rare. Hence, companies offer high severance packages to attract the very best to their organizations. In this post, we’re going to examine 10 top-paying IT jobs of 2020.

Big Data Engineer

Many businesses have access to a large amount of data, yet little in place to make sense of it. A big data engineer creates and manages a company’s big data infrastructure and tools to obtain actionable information for decision making, strategy setting, and innovation. This position is a relative newcomer in the tech scene but it has made lots of strides. 

According to Glassdoor, on average, data engineers earn $137,776 per year, with a reported range of $110,000 to $155,000 depending on experience, skills, and location. Senior data engineers, on the other hand, earn an average of $172,603 per year. 

Data Scientists

Data scientists are analytical experts that utilize their skills in technology and social science to extract trends and manage data. They’re part mathematician (statisticians), part computer scientists, and part trend-spotters. The problems they solve are highly complex and so, they get paid on the high end. Common technologies and tools in a data scientist’s toolbox include data visualization, machine learning, deep learning, pattern recognition, data preparation, and text analytics. 

On average, data scientists earn $113,309 per year. However, their salary typically ranges from $83,000 to $154,000.

Information Systems Security Manager

Sometimes called IT security managers, they coordinate and execute security policies and controls, as well as network vulnerabilities within a company. They ensure the secure and effective operations of all computer systems, applications, hardware, and software within the organization. They are usually proficient in computer programs like Linux, Solaris, NFTS/UNIX file, and more. These professionals have to keep up with current security trends. 

The average Information Security Manager in the United States earns $132,747, but the range typically falls between $107,991 and $159,725.

Site Reliability Engineers

Site reliability engineers are dedicated full-time to creating software that improves the reliability of systems in production, fixing support escalation issues, optimizing on-call rotations and processes, conducting post-incident reviews, ensuring software delivery pipeline is efficient, and more. 

The average salary for a Site Reliability Engineer is $120,225 in the United States, but base pay typically ranges from $77,000 to $156,000 depending on factors like company, experience level, and location.

Network/Cloud Architect

A Cloud Architect is an IT expert that develops a company’s computing strategy, which incorporates cloud adoption plans, cloud application designs, and even cloud management and monitoring. They are responsible for solving problems with a network’s architecture and they provide recommendations for improvements. Asides from having a strong technical background, network/cloud architects must also possess strong communication skills. 

According to Payscale, the average salary for Network Architect is $121,774 per year in the United States. 

Development Operations (DevOps) Engineer

DevOps engineers build, test, and maintain the tools and infrastructure that facilitates the quick development and release of software. In simpler terms, they simplify the software development process. DevOps engineers tend to have experience with programming languages, software engineering, and security systems. Furthermore, they have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. 

While salary varies on a variety of factors like skills and location, data from Payscale show that DevOps in the US earn between $91,000 and $155,000, with an average base pay of $115,666 per year.

Applications Architect

In the world of tech, application architects play an important role in the design and analysis of software projects. They create blueprints to map out how all the applications used by a business will work together. They also create new applications or improve existing applications, develop product prototypes, run software tests, create technical documents, and manuals for application development.

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for Applications Architect is $113,757 in the United States, although it ranges from $92,000 to $141,000.

Machine Learning (ML)/Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engineer

An AI engineer builds AI models using machine learning algorithms and deep learning neural networks to draw business insights that can be used to make business decisions that affect the entire organization. They are even capable of building machines that can replicate what humans can do. Some of their roles include designing software, creating and deploying AI algorithms, building infrastructure for data science, analyzing data, among many other functions. 

The average salary for a machine learning engineer with AI skills is $114, 783 in the United States. 

Full Stack Software Developer

A full-stack developer is a developer or engineer that works with both the front end and back end of websites or applications. They can handle all the work of databases, servers, systems engineering, and clients. Full-stack developers have a wide range of skills. Here are some that are non-negotiable: HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Git and GitHub, Backend languages (like Python, Java, Ruby, and PHP), Web architecture, HTTP and REST, Database Storage, Basic design skills, NPM and soft skills (like analytical mind, curiosity, creative vision, and patience).

The average base pay for full-stack developers in the US is $105,813 per year, but it ranges from $72,000 to $145,000.

Mobile Applications Developers

Almost every forward-thinking company adopts mobile apps as a way to bring consumers closer to products and services. Just to give a bit of perspective, there are 2.8 million apps on Google Play Store and 2.2 million apps on the App Store. The rise of mobile apps is undeniable. Consequently, the demand for mobile app developers has skyrocketed. Mobile app developers are software developers that specialize in mobile technology such as building apps for Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone platforms. 

The average salary for Mobile app developers is $74,033, but the range falls between $50,000 and $115,000.