Software engineer earning a great salary

Senior software engineers with highly in-demand skills like DevOps, Data Science and Machine Learning, are paid extremely well.

It’s that time again. If you’re an IT programmer looking for a job in Canada, read on for the latest figures on what some of the top IT salaries are.

Mobile, artificial intelligence and machine learning are where it’s at

In general, the hot stuff and emerging technology, is what’s paying big these days. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that mobile development has taken off like a rocket, and Toronto has become a leader for artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning research and development.

Senior software engineers are top earners with the right combination of programming skills and communication skills for leadership.

Objective C, C++, Swift and Android Go developers with a bit of experience can expect between $70,000 to $90,000 a year, with the numbers rising to $130,000 and beyond once you’ve got a solid five years under your belt. Companies hiring mobile developers range from startups to the largest corporations, so whatever type of business culture you prefer, you’ll have plenty of options.

Lots of data, lots of opportunities

Big data. It’s a broad term encompassing many things. But that’s good news for you, since everything from DBAs to data scientists and AI machine learning engineers are in big demand.

Hadoop and Spark plus a bit of data science acumen will put you over the $100,000 mark. The more impressive your data science credentials, the higher that figure will rise. Even right out of school, if you’re an expert in the R statistical modeling language or have been trained in predictive analytics you’ll have financial institutions competing for your attention.

There’s a trend that’s seeing “business intelligence” proper separated from predictive analytics. BI tools are becoming easier to use. What used to be an IT role has shifted somewhat into the realm of business analysis. This is actually an advantage to people who straddle the line between business and technology. If you’re a tech-savvy business analyst, you can still deliver a lot of value to a company without an advanced degree in statistics.

Similarly, social media marketing also has a major data component to it, so if you’re skilled in marketing as well as making sense of unstructured data, you’ll have an added advantage.

Top IT salaries for multi-talented people

Solutions architects and data architects. These are examples of another role that technical at its core but is integral to the pre-sales process. As such, you’ll be paid handsomely. Starting salaries range from $80,000 to $100,000 and can rise to as much as $200,000 once you begin to specialize in a particular field (e.g., become a subject matter expert).

DevOps engineers (software development and IT operations analysts) are highly in demand and command top salaries. DevOps engineers are also known as Infrastructure Engineers, Systems Engineers and Operations Engineers.

If you have good people skills and don’t mind traveling quite a bit and working longish hours, client-facing developers (working for software or consulting companies) are making great money with salaries in the range of $80,000 to $120,000.

No one said it’s easy to earn top dollar as an IT systems engineer. Here’s why they deserve every penny they earn.

A day in the life of a DevOps Systems engineer:

Writing code / software. Building tools. Infrastructure design. Security. Scaling stuff. Maintenance. Monitoring and metrics. Automation. Automation. Automation. Virtualization. Agile development methodology. Software release cycles and management. Designing a branch/release strategy. Optimization / tuning. Load / performance testing and benchmarking of highly complex systems. Configuration management. Load balancing / proxying of services, systems, components and processes. Command-line. Package management. CI/CIT/CD — continuous integration, continuous integration testing, and continuous deployment. (Adapted from Quora answer to: As a Software Engineer, how do I shift my career to DevOps )

Wanted: good people who understand what the bad ones are up to

Security. Some information security professionals complain that companies aren’t paying enough attention to keeping their systems secure. But make no mistake, there are plenty of firms that take it very seriously. A security architect these days will earn between $90,000 to $140,000. The jobs are certainly out there.

From front-end to back-end

It’s hard to say whether cutting-edge front-end or old school back-end IT pros are in higher demand. Certainly, user experience designers (UX or UXD for short) are raking in some decent money with salaries ranging from $80,000 to $120,000. Fullstack LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PhP) developers are still in demand..

Finally, with web development consistently in demand, Ruby on Rails developers are looking at around $80,000 a year or more.

Want in on the action?

If you’re a developer living in the GTA who wants to add one of these in-demand skills to your repertoire, see Top Programming languages to get a job in Toronto in 2017.

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