Why Are Coders Paid So Much?
Coders are consistently among top-earners each year, with the average national salary upwards of $48,000, but many don’t really seem to understand why. Why are coders paid so much, anyway?
Coders are paid so much because companies’ demand for professional coders exceeds the supply. In addition, coders have a specific skill set that is not found in other industries.
Below, we’ll discuss the factors that make the coding profession so lucrative for those who partake in it, as well as details on some of the highest paying coding jobs and how you can start to earn more as a coder.
Why Are Coders Paid So Well?
Coders are often paid very well because there is a high demand for them, and their particular skill set, education, and expertise cannot be found among other industries.
There is a High Demand for Coders
The world has grown increasingly digital over the past decade, and coders are needed to help companies and others stay on top with the latest technology, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced industries to take their services and offerings online.
However, as coders retire and more become necessary for digital work, there are fewer coders in supply than there are in demand, thus encouraging companies to heavily compensate the coders they have so they won’t lose them.
Coders Have Unique Skills
Coders must have many skills to thrive in their career, some of which are those one can learn in school, and others that can only be learned out of habit. Not only must they work in an environment with a lot of pressure, but they also have an extensive eye for detail.
Ability to Work Under a High-Pressure Environment
Many coders have to work under tight deadlines for companies to always stay ahead with the latest bug-free programming on their websites and software, as well as be prepared for sudden changes to their projects and requests made by higher-ups.
This is an incredibly exhausting feat to perform for some in the industry, but the high pay makes it worth it to them; coders get compensated well for being in stressful situations!
A Good Eye for Detail
In an industry as competitive as tech startups, coders can’t afford to make any mistakes with any of their programming work. Even the slightest mistake can make an app or a website completely unusable, and that can make others waste time and money trying to fix it.
As a result, coders must have a keen eye for all the details in their programming and should be able to easily detect flaws that could render their work unusable and fix them before deadlines so there will be no issues by the time the coding is needed.
Coders Have Extensive Experience and Education
The highest paying coding jobs are NOT out of high school jobs. In fact, according to study.com, some coders even work towards a master’s degree for higher job prospects in the future.
Whether company workers or not, many professional coders also have entry-level experience or internships at companies big or small to build up their resume and portfolio with various coding projects they have contributed to in order to appeal to higher-ups and get higher-paying jobs in the industry.
Coders Must Consistently Increase their Programming Knowledge
According to Business Insider, coders tend to have to learn multiple programming languages even after they have steady jobs. Because technology is constantly evolving, even the most skilled coders must learn new programming languages and applications every few years.
A program might even suddenly change which coding language it will use without warning (i.e., Apple switching from Objective-C to Swift for their mobile apps), so it’s essential to be on top of the newest programming languages. As a result, companies often pay coders more as an incentive to further their education and knowledge with these updates.
What Are the Highest-Paid Coding Jobs?
According to SimpliLearn, here are five of the highest paying coding jobs in the United States in 2021, their average pay, as well as information on what makes them so high paying in the first place.
Data Scientist (Up to $150,000/year)
Data scientists are not only among the highest paying coding jobs but have also increased in demand by 29% in recent years.
It is no mystery why data scientists are so wanted: They have to behave like scientists, researching and analyzing data algorithms and reporting on them for companies to reach a variety of goals, from reaching a sales goal to predicting the stock market.
Data scientists must also have at least a master’s degree in data science, according to Masters in Data Science, and extensive experience in entry-level coding positions before they can take on the reigns of analyzing large chunks of data.
Big Data Engineer ($140,000/year)
Also known as the “big data architect,” the big data engineer cleans and organizes data to find patterns for companies, which they then use to predict upcoming trends in consumer and product behavior.
Depending on which company they work for, big data engineers might design algorithms to predict consumer patterns, research ways to improve the quality and efficacy of the company’s data, or even oversee ways to recover data should something happen to it.
According to Masters in Data and Science, big data engineers need a lot of prior experience in the tech industry and at least a master’s degree to be considered for a position, so it’s no wonder why they’re paid so much.
Internet of Things Solutions Architect ($136,000/year)
Also known as the IoT Solutions Architect, the Internet of Things Solutions Architect assists companies in using internet of things technology (the ability to connect a device to the internet, and thus to any other connected device) in practical applications, such as smart appliances.
Many companies hire IoT Solutions Architects to sort through the data transferred and stored in the Internet of Things technology (i.e., sensors, phones, and appliances) and apply IoT-based solutions to problems companies are having in developing their products.
According to study.com, an IoT Solutions Architect needs an appropriate degree as well as good communication and organization skills. This makes the IoT Solutions Architect a versatile type of person who must be able to effectively discuss potential IoT-based solutions with clients and then act upon them.
Software Architect ($141,000/year)
The software architect is a relatively simple position to understand: They utilize and streamline code in software (more commonly known as “apps”), develop software prototypes for clients, and ensure said prototypes are able to be updated if need be.
The software architect is among the highest growing job positions in the coding industry, with an expected 21% increase in demand between 2018 and 2028, according to FlexJobs.
The software architect is also a highly demanding job, requiring extensive coding knowledge and product management skills, and the ability to handle a high-pressure environment.
Blockchain Engineer (Over $150,000/year)
Blockchain is a new technology in high demand, so it’s no wonder that blockchain engineers have grown more in demand in the past year. You may be familiar with blockchain in the form of cryptocurrency, but that is not the only use of blockchain technology.
Blockchain engineers not only need simple coding knowledge, but they must also understand the inner workings of virtual currency, crypto libraries, and other new technologies such as Non Fungible Tokens (more commonly known as NFTs) and smart contracts.
Blockchain is a highly volatile and constantly changing technology, so people who work as blockchain engineers are compensated highly for working in such a high-stress environment.
How Can a Coder Get Paid More?
There are many ways to earn more as a professional coder, from getting a master’s degree to going to getting certified in other coding languages. But here are the simplest ways to improve your coding skills and thus earn more as a coder:
Get a Professional Certificate
Many online learning websites offer coding classes with professional certificates at a discounted rate. This allows you to work at your own pace, which is especially good if you work from home or have many other responsibilities to tend to.
Through these sites, you can learn different coding-related skills that could open the door to higher-paying coding jobs. For example, Coursera offers courses in data science and IT Automation from large companies, and both can be used to advance your career!
Start a Programming Blog
If you want to get some positive press in the coding community, then perhaps it is time for you to start a blog where you discuss coding, from how-tos to discussing your own programming experience.
The best way to make money from this method is to incorporate ads into your blog from services such as Google Ads and/or partake in affiliate marketing, where you earn a commission by advertising the products of others.
It can seem a bit iffy to advertise on a blog, but it can be worth it if you’re truly passionate about what you write about.
Create Basic Software to Sell
If you’re adept at making software, then you can make an app or a piece of software to sell through Google Play or the Apple App Store.
What you make doesn’t have to be the next big social networking site. Apps that give people stickers to add to their messages or simple addictive games you can charge an ad removal fee for can be quite profitable and don’t take too much time if you have the right skillset.
You shouldn’t charge too much for any app you make, though. If you don’t include ads or bonuses in your apps, you shouldn’t charge more than $1 to not discourage consumers from buying your software.
Network to Get a Higher-Paid Job
Networking is important for practically every job, but it’s especially important if you want to get your dream coding job. Knowing the right people can help you land the programming job you want.
To network, try creating a LinkedIn account for your new career pursuit and connect with fellow people in the programming industry, as well as people from whichever company you want to work for. Getting to know people from different programming jobs can help you get opportunities for more profitable coding positions.
It is especially recommended that you network with hiring agents and other employees from companies you want to work for, as that will get you on their radar and make them more likely to hire you! Just don’t forget to add your resume and your portfolio to your LinkedIn account so people can see what you are capable of.
Build a Portfolio and Freelance
If you only want to earn more money as part of a side gig, you should build a portfolio and use it to attract clients on freelancer websites.
The best portfolio you can make should cover two key things: quality and breadth. You should have what you consider your best coding work on your portfolio to showcase the quality of work you can receive, and you should include various coding work (stuff in different coding languages, different kinds of software, etc.).
Quality and breadth both show that you are versatile and capable of many types of coding assignments, which is appealing to clients and will help you attract people to your coding work.
And there you have it: all of the reasons why coders are paid so much, as well as the most well-paying coding jobs and how to earn more as a coder yourself.
If you do choose to try and become a professional coder, it may be difficult for you at first, as it requires learning skills that may be unfamiliar to you and a lot of dedication to increasing your coding knowledge and improving your craft. But don’t worry! Your coding will improve over time, and you’ll soon get the hang of your new skillset.