7 High-Paying IT Jobs

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Discover high-paying IT jobs, learn what their responsibilities include, average salary, and the education you’ll need to land a job in the field.

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Some of the highest-paying IT jobs are those that require the most education, credentials, or experience, such as vice president of technology or IT manager. However, there’s more than one pathway to success. While the average salary for an IT job is $48,738 in the US [1], time and experience can lead to significant increases. Many senior-level professionals in the United States make over six figures.

In the following article, you can explore a wide range of the highest-paying IT jobs and their requirements to help you choose a role that’s suitable for your background, skills, and aspirations.

Highest-paying IT jobs in the US and outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects information technology jobs to grow between 2022 and 2032, creating an estimated average of 377,500 openings annually [2]. Whether you are looking for a job right now or starting to map out your career path, you’ll find many options for high-paying jobs in the IT sector. Credentials and experience are the two biggest factors that influence salary, but location, company, and industry also play a role in determining how much money you’re offered.

Where you sit in the organizational chart matters as well. Vice presidents and C-suite executives will make more money than an entry-level developer, and an IT architect will make more money than a consultant. Due to the amount salaries fluctuate based on job title and responsibilities, the highest-paying IT jobs listed below are organized by category. You’ll find the average salary for job titles in each category, along with basic education requirements.

* All salary data is from Glassdoor as of September 2023. 

1. IT vice presidents and C-suite executives

Vice presidents and chief officers are the highest-paid IT jobs in the United States. In most cases, these positions represent the top of the corporate ladder for IT professionals. Vice president of technology and chief technology officers are responsible for overseeing the technology of the organization. This could include overseeing a department, designing and implementing procedures, monitoring performance, and coordinating with other departments in the company.

Average base salaries 

  • Vice president of technology: $205,338

  • Vice president of information technology: $186,237

  • Chief technology officer: $191,878

Average education requirements

To become the vice president of technology or chief technology officer, you may need a bachelor’s degree. Some positions require a master’s degree in business administration or a doctorate in computer science. To reach this position, you’ll likely need several years of professional experience.

2. IT architects

IT architects design and develop systems to solve problems. Specializations of an IT architect can include the Internet of Things (IoT), data, networks, software, applications, and more. For example, a network architect is responsible for creating and maintaining computer networks, while an applications architect will create and deploy applications.

Average base salaries

  • Internet of Things architect: $126,353

  • Data architect: $131,778

  • Network architect: $124,958

  • Software architect: $152,323 

  • Applications architect: $132,856

Read more: What is a Technical Project Manager? (+ How to Become One)

Average education requirements

Many IT architect roles require a bachelor’s degree. Additional requirements could include a master’s degree or some level of professional experience. Some employers may prefer candidates to have additional certifications, depending on what field the architect is working in.

3. IT managers and directors

IT managers and directors oversee the information technology program of a business and organization, including running an IT department and designing, implementing, and coordinating technology efforts. IT managers can be more generalized, or they can have specializations in areas like information security systems, databases, or specific IT programs.

Average base salaries

  • IT director: $141,730

  • IT program manager: $129,064

  • Innovation manager: $103,859

  • Database manager: $94,198

Read more: What Is an IT Project Manager? And How to Become One

Average education requirements

Sixty-four percent of IT managers have a bachelor's degree, 17 percent have an associate degree, and 12 percent have a master's degree [3]. This position could lead to a senior director or vice president role, with the potential to earn an even higher annual salary.

4. IT engineers

“IT engineer” is a catch-all term used to describe the many professionals who design, manage, or implement computer systems. Many different kinds of IT engineers exist, including blockchain engineers, software engineers, AI engineers, DevOps engineers, site reliability engineers, and more. Engineers can take on a lot of different specializations, which will affect their salary potential.

Average base salaries

  • Blockchain engineer: $121,230

  • Software engineer: $109,907

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engineer: $105,276

  • DevOps engineer: $103,898

  • Site reliability engineer: $111,360 

Read more: What Is a Blockchain Developer (and How Do I Become One)?

Average education requirements

The specific education requirements to become an IT engineer will vary depending on the type of engineer you plan to become. In some cases, a degree in computer science is required. In others, work experience or alternative credentials such as certificates can help you land an entry-level role.

5. IT consultants

The general definition of an IT consultant is a professional who advises a business or organization about technology. What exactly a consultant does in any business depends greatly on the role the company is trying to fill. Business technology consultants work with corporations to determine the best way to implement technology in business systems.

Average base salaries

  • Technical consultant: $89,203

  • Business technology consultant: $94,958

Average education requirements

It’s possible to get a job as a tech consultant without a formal education, provided you have the skills required to do the job.  A bachelor’s degree is one path to learning those skills. With experience, you may find opportunities to lead a staff and become a senior consultant.

6. IT analysts

IT analysts look at systems and data on behalf of companies and organizations and make recommendations on changes or identify risks and opportunities. You may pursue various job titles as an IT analyst, including data security analysts who look for ways to reduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Average base salaries

  • Computer systems analysts: $89,782

  • Information security (InfoSec) analysts: $100,242

  • Data security analyst: $85,689

  • Information assurance analyst: $95,240

Read more: How to Become an Information Security Analyst: Salary, Skills, and More

Average education requirements

Computer science analysts usually require a bachelor’s degree. Senior analyst positions can sometimes require a master’s degree, but may only require a certain level of experience. A senior-level position can sometimes lead to earning more money.

7. IT developers

IT developers build, deploy, maintain, update, and test various types of software, applications, and websites. Sometimes IT developers are called by their specializations, like software developers or mobile applications developers who are titled after the products they work on.

Other developers, like senior developers or full-stack developers, are titled on their level of skill or experience. A senior developer would be a professional with experience leading a team, while a full-stack developer is a professional with skills to create the front-end and back-end of a website.

Average base salaries

  • Software developers: $94,981

  • Mobile applications developer: $89,559

  • Senior web developer: $108,984 

  • Full stack developer: $91,499

Read more: What is a Full-Stack Developer?

Average education requirements

Developers typically need a bachelor’s degree or equivalent hands-on experience for entry-level positions. With a master’s degree, time, or additional experience, you may find opportunities to become a senior developer, which can sometimes mean earning a higher salary.

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Article sources


Glassdoor. “How much does an Information Technology (Entry Level) make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/information-technology-entry-level-salary-SRCH_KO0,34.htm.” Accessed September 5, 2023.

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