How Much Can You Make as a Programmer? – 17 Best Paid IT-Related Jobs and Salaries

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In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Basics of Programming” series, we discuss programming-related topics and everything you need to know to get started. Stay tuned for new articles and find the answer to every “what”, “why”, and “how”, you may have had about coding!

Would you like to learn how to code, online? Come and try our first 25 lessons for free at the CodeBerry Programming School.

Basics of Programming

How Much Do Programmers Make?

In our previous article, Introduction to Programming,” we briefly discussed some of the incredible benefits of working as a coder, such as the ability to work from home, a more flexible schedule, higher pay, and access to more job opportunities—both locally and globally.

However, for most, the greatest motive for learning to program is the salary and the earning potential associated with this lucrative career. 

As we stated before in our previous article, money should not be your only source of motivation when choosing a job in programming. It’s important to maintain a realistic mindset and remember that being a developer is not unlike any other career.

There will be moments of joy and frustration, boredom and excitement, laziness and motivation, stress and relaxation. 

For this reason, it’s absolutely necessary that you develop a passion for programming and learn perseverance so that you will stick with it—even when things get rough. In addition to these two qualities, many factors will determine your continued success in this career.

Nevertheless, money is a compelling reason to work, so let’s take a look at what you can expect to earn as a programmer. 

To provide you with a general overview of computer programmer salaries, we’ll be using information from global averages. While the national average salary in your country might be rather low, this information should still give you a good idea of what you can make by accessing the global market online.

Average IT Salary

Below are the results from the 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey. In the survey, nearly 90.000 respondents answered a questionnaire regarding their job, salary, experience, and skillset. In the following graph, we are able to see the average IT salary by position: 

  • Engineering Manager: $95,000
  • DevOps Specialist: $71,000
  • Data Scientist or Machine Learning Specialist: $61,000
  • Data or Business Analyst: $59,000
  • Embedded Applications or Devices Developer: $57,000
  • Full-stack Developer: $57,000
  • Desktop or Enterprise Applications Developer: $56,000
  • Back-end Developer: $56,000
  • System Administrator: $55,000
  • QA or Test Developer: $54,000
  • Database Administrator: $54,000
  • Front-end Developer: $52,000
  • Designer: $51,000
  • Educator: $50,000
  • Mobile Developer: $45,000
  • Game or Graphics Developer: $48,000
  • Academic Researcher: $38,000

Source: 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey

As you can see, salaries for programmers are substantially high in the global average. However, with an increasingly virtual workplace, you’ll likely be able to have access to some of these jobs by working remotely. 

Depending on your skillset and your position, your salary in the global market can vary between an average of $40,000 and $89,000 per year.

Like we’ve mentioned in earlier articles, many of the world’s largest tech companies are based in the USA, especially in expensive areas such as San Francisco.

For this reason, we see that salaries for entry-level programming positions in the United States raise the global average. However, don’t get the idea that you won’t make much money because you aren’t in the United States.

There are plenty of statisics about how much can you make as a programmer
There are plenty of statisics about how much can you make as a programmer

Starting Salary

When you first start learning to code, you’ll probably start with languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which help you become a front-end developer or designer.

These are entry-level positions that will give you the expertise and skills you need to continue in your career. The global average salary for a front-end developer is $51,000 and the average for a designer is $46,000.

If you’re not aware of the difference between front-end and back-end development, check out our Introduction to Web Development

Once you have mastered the basics of front-end development, you should consider looking at jobs in back-end development. Working in this position will earn you an average salary of $56,000 globally.

This is a relatively small raise, but it provides you with the opportunity to continue rising through the ranks and getting the highest paid jobs. 

Highest Paying Jobs 

The growing demand for artificial intelligence and our ever-increasing reliance on technology continues to create plenty of high-paying opportunities for programmers. 

DevOps and machine learning are growing trends in the software industry today. Associated languages and frameworks are on the rise and software developers working in these areas command the highest salaries.

You’ll also want to learn the fundamentals of programming and become an expert in common languages, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, Python, and a few more. Knowledge of these languages will make you more versatile and capable as a programmer. 

In addition to learning the most common programming languages and technologies, it’s important that you focus on a specific set of skills, like web development, systems programming or devops.

As in most careers, specialising will increase your abilities and your prospects. But don’t shy away from learning other things, too. You can never be too knowledgeable!

Why Computer Programmers Make So Much Money

Today, we rely on technology for just about everything, including communication, entertainment, transportation, finances, and even dating. In fact, it’s hard to imagine our world without it.  

In the not-too-distant future, knowing how to code will likely become a requirement for all professions that is just as important as the ability to read and write.

In other words, learning to program will not only open up new job opportunities in the future, but will also help you grow in your current career. 

Just like the price of goods, both supply and demand determine the cost of workers in the job market. Currently, we are experiencing both a global shortage of coders and increasing demand from tech startups and established companies.

Due to high demand and low supply, programmers are bringing home great salaries. 

As technology continues to advance and becomes more prominent in our daily lives, salaries related to computer programming are bound to continue in an upward direction in the foreseeable future. 

No matter what hobbies or interests you may have, you can be sure that it involves technology. For example, you could combine your love for music with programming and become a sound engineer or use your coding skills and creative talents to create beautiful digital artwork.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative or artistic person, learning to program will still help you in your career and personal development. 

Learning to Program Is a Good Investment

Programming is one of the few professions that allows you to earn a six-figure salary, regardless of your level of education. Careers with similar salaries, such as engineering, medicine, and law, require you to spend incredible amounts of time and money to achieve the same results.

Programming, on the other hand, allows you to reach the same level of financial success in just a fraction of the time.

As long as you have the skills and the knowledge to get your job done, you won’t need to go into debt and attend a university for 4 years. Instead, you’ll be able to teach yourself online and learn through a variety of methods which we’ll discuss in our How to Learn How to Code article.

This is great news for those of us who didn’t have the opportunity to pursue higher education. 

We believe that learning to code makes a positive impact on the world and allows the disadvantaged to make a modest living. In many countries where the minimum wage is below the poverty line, remote programming jobs give people opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist in their country.  

To learn how CodeBerry is working to solve the global shortage of coders and is making a positive impact, check out our ‘press page’. 

Will Learning to Code Get Me a Job?

Learning in-demand skills and sought-after programming languages will directly affect your earnings and your desirability as an employee. It will also prevent you from being replaced by new recruits that have a better understanding of current trends and technologies. 

To those of you who may be concerned about your age: have no fear. While many programmers and coders tend to be younger, professionals in their 40’s and 50’s should not be worried about beginning a new career in programming. 

In fact, entering the job market with up-to-date knowledge and recently learned skills can put you on the same level as new graduates and other young people in the job market. The key to getting a new job in programming at an older age is to stay humble, keep an open mind, and be willing to change.  

Many employers report that they prefer to hire younger prospects because of their willingness to change and adaptability—not their skills or experience. If you’re unwilling to eliminate old behaviors and replace old knowledge with new information, you might want to reconsider pursuing a career in technology. 

Ultimately, no set of skills or degree can completely guarantee you a job. It’s up to you to continuously learn, improve your skills, and search for new ways to future-proof yourself.

However, if you’re going to learn any skill in 2019, learning to program is definitely one of your best options when it comes to finding a job and boosting your earning potential. 

Once a rather male-dominated field, programming has made large strides to be more inclusive. The number of female programmers has grown dramatically in recent years, with women showing more interest than ever in learning to code.

Here at CodeBerry, at least 40% of our students are female—a percentage that we’d like to grow even larger.  

How Much Will YOU Make?

How much you will make as a programmer can depend on a number of factors: your skill level, years of experience, and location.

Thanks to the internet and the ever-increasing popularity of remote work, your location is less of a factor than ever. Even if the average salary in your country may be rather low, working remotely gives you access to a global marketplace that values your skills and abilities over your geographical location. 

You’ll also want to learn how to market yourself well, whether you’re working as a freelancer or for a traditional company. Marketing yourself and creating a personal brand is especially important if you’re a freelancer and you are constantly dealing with short-term contracts and multiple clients to find work. 

Regarding the specific skills needed to increase your earning potential, you can learn all about that Which programming language is good for you? article.  

Additional Benefits of Learning How to Code

At this point, it’s pretty clear that learning how to write code will help you have high salaries. Are there any other benefits to learning this valuable skill? As it turns out, there are. Learning programming can help you in your personal development—not just in your career. 

Critical Thinking

Learning to program will teach you about mathematics, logic, and critical thinking as you progress. Programming introduces you to topics such as boolean logic, variables, “if” statements, and other concepts that will improve your ability to think and construct logical arguments. 

Now, we know that you might be thinking, “I’ve never been good at math in my entire life.” That’s perfectly okay; most developers aren’t that great at math either.

The more you learn and practice programming, the easier it will be to understand the overarching concepts. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t able to get it all on the first try; you’re still on time to catch up. 

Personal Projects

The most fun part about learning to code is the ability to create your own websites, games, programs, and mobile applications. Perhaps, you’ve always dreamed of having your own custom website for your portfolio, an app to keep you organized throughout the day, or your ideal videogame.

All of these dreams can become a reality with programming. 

Maybe, you’ve considered creating a digital product or online service to start your own business and become an independent entrepreneur? In that case, you’ll definitely want to learn how to code to save yourself some money (now that you know how much programmers make).

Being able to code will also give you complete freedom to create what you want. The only limit is your imagination and your time. 

Future-proof Yourself 

The world is changing quickly and you definitely don’t want to be left behind. Even basic knowledge and understanding of code will help you to future-proof yourself and ensure that you don’t become obsolete in a technological landscape.

It’s not just about getting a job either; learning to program will help you keep up with the modern world. 

Business reports and projections continue to show that programming will only become more relevant in the coming years. That’s why it’s best to start learning as soon as you can. 

You can already make a good salary as a beginner


In 2020, learning to code is undoubtedly one of the best decisions you can make for your career. You’ll gain access to a market full of flexible, high-paying jobs that will give you unrivaled freedom and earning potential. You’ll also develop yourself personally, prepare yourself for the future, and find satisfaction in your work.

On top of making great money, you’ll find a rewarding and challenging career that requires you to constantly grow and learn new skills. Despite your location, education, or background, learning to program will give you the ability to achieve your financial and personal goals. 

If you’re wondering what your first steps toward becoming a developer are, please stay tuned to our article series on programming.  

In our next article, we’ll show you where to begin learning and how to start your education in programming.

In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Basics of Programming” series, we discuss programming-related topics and everything you need to know to get started. Stay tuned for new articles and find the answer to every “what”, “why”, and “how”, you may have had about coding!

Basics of Programming

Would you like to learn how to code, online? Come and try our first 25 lessons for free at the CodeBerry Programming School.

Learn to code and change your career!





Not sure if programming is for you? With CodeBerry you’ll like it.