You’ve worked hard to build your toolbox as an IT programmer. Naturally you want to be paid fairly for the skills and experience you bring to the table. How you get paid as a programmer has as much to do with the type of company you are interviewing with as with your resume.
Who pays best – startups, IPOs or multinationals? There are no guarantees with any job regardless of who you’re working for. In the end it comes down to you, and how you navigate your career until you eventually become one of those highly in-demand programmers that can write their own ticket.
How Much Do Programmers Get Paid? IT World Canada has a salary calculator that will help you research how much people in your field generally get paid.
Infographic: How Programmers Get Paid
Five Ways IT Programmers Get Paid
- Boot-strapped startups may ask you to be paid at a lower salary with the potential of a very big return when they start making money. Some boot-strap companies will offer early stage equity. It’s risky but fun to get in at the beginning and help a startup build their dream from scratch. If the business grows it will be great for your career and you might be able to write you own ticket at your next job. Or you may be headhunted by a big name company that pays extremely well.
- Startups with venture capital investment have more cash flow. They may be able to offer you a higher salary and an impressive work environment with the best equipment, and great opportunities for professional growth. You’ll be working with cool, brilliant people and you can dress however you want. The venture capitalists will be looking for a quick return on their investment so there will be pressure on you to produce results.
- When a startup gets an IPO and they are publicly listed on the stock exchange you might be offered stock options that are valuable. Working for a company that is going to go “public” can be great stepping stone for your career. Those stock options might have real value that grows even after you leave the company.
- Big corporations have the most cash flow. They tend to hire contract programmers at a competitive pay rate. Low risk – higher return for IT programmers. You also may have a more defined career path with a large corporation.