DevOps salaries in 2021: where do you rank?

Oct 7, 2021 · 3 min read · Leave a comment
Sharon Gaudin GitLab profile

This is the first in an occasional series of blog posts looking at DevOps salaries and careers.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis that has disrupted lives and business across industries and around the world, demand for DevOps professionals remains strong and salaries continue to increase.

The IT industry, in general, fared better than many during the economic uncertainty of 2020 and 2021. With a strong IT infrastructure already in place and IT professionals accustomed to working remotely, increased demand and short supply for IT workers meant IT salaries held steady or rose in turbulent times, reported Randstad, a multinational human resources consulting firm. 

And DevOps professionals did even better than most in IT.

DevOps salaries are on the rise

DevOps, simply put, is one of the hottest areas in the technology industry. Robert Half International Inc., a major human resources consulting firm, lists DevOps in the top 10 most in-demand jobs in 2021. Actually, in early September the firm listed DevOps as the second hottest IT job, just behind big data engineers, and surpassing cloud architects, security managers and database managers. And Randstad also ranked DevOps high in its list of in-demand technology roles.

According to salary watchers like Randstad, Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter, DevOps engineers, for instance, generally make approximately $100,000 to $150,000. Based on average U.S. salaries on Glassdoor, DevOps engineers are number 8 for 10 top-paying IT jobs in 2021. And DevOps developers, who Randstad calls one of the most in-demand technology roles, are doing well, too. They are in line to make $112,785 (for those with one year of experience) to $165,980 (for 10 years or more of experience). Those figures, of course, greatly depend on location and skill level.

Just to drive the point home, Amanda Stansell, a data scientist at Glassdoor, said in a report earlier this year that DevOps engineers made her list of Top 10 Best Jobs in America for 2021. She bases her calculations on earning potential, overall job satisfaction, and number of job openings listed on Glassdoor. The role of DevOps engineer came in squarely in the middle at #5 - between Java developer at #1 and dentist at #10.

Demand for DevOps professionals is skyrocketing

According to the Randstad 2021 Salary Guide, demand for DevOps developers is currently skyrocketing. “For employers… the average time-to-fill for these roles is north of 50 days,” the report noted. “That likely means many would-be employers today are instead suffering from key vacancies in their IT departments. Worse, with average annual salaries for DevOps developers at $137,830 — higher even than the average for cloud engineers — organizations should expect to spend considerable budget just to be in the running for skilled and experienced developers. It’s a pay-to-play hiring environment.”

Breaking down the DevOps salaries

Let’s take a closer look at how pay for some DevOps positions breaks down:

“DevOps salaries are high and getting higher. Here's where to find the fattest paychecks (and biggest bonuses).” – Sharon Gaudin

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