This is the second in an occasional series looking at DevOps salaries and careers. Find out how your DevOps salary stacks up.
Salaries for DevOps professionals are strong, despite a pandemic and a global economic crisis. However, you can still command an even higher salary with four straightforward strategies.
Various surveys have shown the IT industry is thriving right now and DevOps professionals, in particular, are increasing in demand and value. DevOps repeatedly ranks well on some reputable lists such as Robert Half’s 15 highest paying IT jobs and Glassdoor’s 2021 list of Best Jobs in America.
In an August jobs report, Dice CEO Art Zeile called this “one of the hottest tech job markets since the dot-com era,” and pointed to the upward trend in tech job postings since November 2020.
How to increase your salary
By following these strategies, DevOps professionals can take advantage of this strong market to boost your paychecks.
1. Gain more experience
Experience level is a big driver when it comes to how much money DevOps professionals will be taking home. The Randstad 2021 Salary Guide shows a more than $27,000 difference between the annual salary of a DevOps developer with one year of experience ($112,785) and someone with five years of experience ($140,242). An additional 10 years of experience can garner another $25,000 bump, according to the Randstad Salary Guide.
Experience doesn’t have to happen sequentially, however. In our 2021 Global DevSecOps Survey we found more than 69% of respondents participate in “sideline” open source projects. Those extracurricular efforts can look great on a resume and also are a way to showcase niche skills.
2. Expand your education
Employers also are looking for DevOps professionals to continue to increase their skill set, such as learning new coding languages and scripting skills, according to Glassdoor and Robert Half. DevOps professionals also should stay up-to-date on new frameworks, automation, data management and security systems. And don’t forget the importance of analytics skills, configuration management and DevOps platforms. As we all know, technology is a moving target and being able to not only use the latest technology but also explain its importance to executives and other business leaders will make you a more valuable employee.
3. Pursue certifications
Want to show your employer - or a future employer - that you have the skills to work on a business-critical DevOps platform? The proof is sometimes in the certification. Think about getting certified in Kubernetes, Docker, Puppet or Ansible. And of course there’s an option to become a GitLab Certified Associate. Certifications help an employer understand your functional knowledge of their business systems.
4. Improve your soft skills
Yes, it’s critical that you know how to make the technology work and how to keep projects running on time and on budget, but you also should concentrate on “soft skills,” like communication, collaboration and leadership, if you’re aiming to qualify for a better salary. In 2020 our survey takers all agreed that soft skills were the most important thing for their future careers, and they remained the second choice of most survey takers this year as well.
Companies need professionals who understand the business’ needs, can communicate how a DevOps platform can solve key challenges and can explain the competitive advantage gained from a strong DevOps strategy. Soft skills enable professionals to operate as a team, endure stressful moments and work through difficult problems.
DevOps professionals are in demand, putting you in a strong earning position. So make sure you are doing all you can to show you deserve a higher salary.