The 15 Highest-Paying IT Jobs in 2021

By Robert Half on October 8, 2020 at 1:32pm

Technology professionals with the right set of skills have many options in the current employment market. Whether you’re an applications architect or data security analyst, there is strong demand for highly skilled IT specialists.

Here’s a look at just some of the highest-paying IT jobs, according to Robert Half Technology’s 2021 Salary Guide:

1. Big data engineer

Businesses need individuals who can transform large amounts of raw data into actionable information for strategy-setting, decision making and innovation — and pay well for people with these skills. The salary midpoint (or median national salary) for big data engineers is $133,500. These professionals typically create a company’s software and hardware architecture, and the systems people need to work with the data. Big data engineers usually have a degree in computer science and expertise in mathematics and databases.

See our open big data engineer jobs.

2. DevOps Engineer

DevOps engineers are the bridge between coding and engineering. To earn a midpoint salary of $113,000, these professionals work across departments to help increase a company’s productivity by developing and improving various IT systems. DevOps engineers often need experience with coding languages, software engineering and security systems, and strong analytical, problem-solving and collaboration skills.

See our open DevOps engineer jobs.

3. Information systems security manager

Now more than ever, employers need skilled IT security professionals to help keep sensitive data and systems safe. Successful candidates for this hot job possess a technical background in systems and network security and have great interpersonal and leadership abilities. Analytical and problem-solving skills are key, as are excellent communication abilities. These IT pros also need to keep up with security trends and government regulations. Employers often request certifications such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or CompTIA Security+. Information systems security managers earn a midpoint salary of $122,750.

See our open information systems security manager jobs.

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4. Mobile applications developer

Just look at your phone or tablet applications, and it’s pretty easy to figure out why mobile applications developers are in demand. These IT pros need expertise to develop applications for popular platforms, such as iOS and Android. They also must have experience coding with mobile frameworks and mobile development languages, and knowledge of web development languages. The salary midpoint for mobile applications developers is $86,500.

See our open mobile applications developer jobs.

5. Applications architect

These tech pros, who have a midpoint salary of $131,750, design the main parts of applications, including the user interface, middleware and infrastructure. In addition to strong technical abilities, applications architects need to work well on teams — and sometimes manage them. Excellent communication and planning skills are required for this job. This is one of the highest-paying IT roles because just about every company wants to improve existing applications or create new ones.

See our open applications architect jobs.

6. Data architect

These tech professionals are responsible for the complicated processes essential to making strategic business decisions. They translate business requirements into database solutions and oversee data storage (data centers) and how the data is organized. Ensuring the security of those databases is part of the job as well. The salary midpoint for data architects is $122,000.

See our open data architect jobs.

7. Database manager

Database managers maintain and support a firm’s database environment, helping companies use data more strategically to meet their business goals. And they get a midpoint salary of $123,500 to do it. Database managers are especially needed in large organizations that have high volumes of data to manage. These pros must possess strong leadership and strategic planning skills.

See our open database manager jobs.

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8. Data security analyst

Data security analysts must thoroughly understand computer and network security, including firewall administration, encryption technologies and network protocols. The job also requires excellent communication and problem-solving skills and knowledge of trends in security and government regulations. A professional certification, such as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) designation, is beneficial for this role. The salary midpoint for data security analysts is $123,250.

See our open data security analyst jobs.

9. Data scientist

These IT professionals use their knowledge of statistics and modeling to make sense of complex data from various sources. Data scientists, to earn a midpoint salary of $111,750, need business savvy and communication skills in addition to statistics, mathematics and computer science expertise. Knowledge of programming languages such as Python, Java and increasingly, R, is often necessary for the job. Machine learning skills are valued in this role as well.

See our open data scientist jobs.

10. Network/cloud architect

With excellent technical problem-solving skills, network/cloud architects plan, design and upgrade network and cloud projects. They’re a technology team’s go-to resource for solving problems with a network’s architecture and providing recommendations for system enhancements. Network/cloud architects should have several years of experience with network and cloud technologies and have strong communication skills. The salary midpoint for this position is $128,250.

See our open network/cloud architect jobs.

11. Network/cloud engineer

These tech professionals need to be experts in networking and cloud hardware and software, as they are responsible for the execution, design, upkeep and day-to-day support of network and cloud services. Employers look for a strong background in interfacing, security, and server and network infrastructure, as well as analytical and problem-solving skills. A certification, such as the Cisco CCNA, CCNP or CCIE, is also valuable. The salary midpoint for network/cloud engineers is $101,250.

See our open network engineer/cloud engineer jobs.

12. Senior web developer

These IT pros gather business requirements and develop specifications for web-based applications, making web properties look consistent and attractive. They also provide technical assistance to web admins and integrate front- and back-end systems. Senior web developers typically need experience developing on PHP and Ruby on Rails sites and working with a variety of content management systems. Front-end development experience is also valued. Senior web developers need several years of experience in managing web properties. The salary midpoint for this role is $105,000.

See our open senior web developer jobs.

13. Site reliability engineer

Site reliability engineers monitor application performance and must possess a thorough understanding of the application and code. They also can write code like any software developer, essentially bridging the gap between development and operations in applications production. That’s why this role is one of the highest-paying IT jobs — with a midpoint salary of $91,000. Site reliability engineers often work within technical support teams, helping with support tickets or defects and providing emergency support.

See our open site reliability engineer jobs.

14. Systems engineer

Systems engineers maintain and support a company’s technical infrastructure, including system hardware and software. When a system fails, they’ll debug and reconfigure that system, if necessary. That makes knowledge of the development process critical to the job as well. Systems engineers must possess strong communication skills to translate technical information to nontechnical users. The salary midpoint for this job is $99,500.

See our open systems engineer jobs.

15. Software engineer

They design and create engineering specs for both applications and software, which means they’re almost always in demand. Software engineers must have information systems knowledge and typically, a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related area. Specific programming language knowledge is required for this position, as are strong communication skills. The midpoint salary for software engineers is $97,000.

See our open software engineer jobs.

These are just some of the highest-paying IT jobs listed in the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide. Download the guide now to see starting salary ranges for more than 80 tech jobs.

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