Computer and information technology (IT) professionals made a median salary of $91,250 in May 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) . That’s significantly more than the median salary for all occupations, which was $41,950.
IT salaries for various entry-level IT positions in the US ranged from $41,165 to $62,154, according to May 2021 data from Glassdoor.
|Help desk analyst||IT technician||IT support specialist||IT administrator|
Plenty of factors can influence your salary, including your level of experience, skill set, the cost of living of your location, and your education level.
Read more: How to Get a Job in IT: 7 Steps
IT salaries can range widely depending on the position. The following salaries were reported in Robert Half’s 2021 Technology Salary Guide. They represent those in the fiftieth percentile of professionals—defined as those who have average experience and most of the required skills for the job . The following list is organized from lowest to highest salary.
Cable technician: $44,000
Product support specialist: $57,000
Desktop Support analyst: $61,750
Hardware analyst: $76,500
Systems administrator: $85,500
Systems analyst: $96,500
Database administrator: $100,750
Cloud computing analyst: $101,250
Systems engineer: $107,000
Network/cloud engineer: $115,250
DevOps Engineer: $120,000
Site reliability engineer: $123,250
Network security engineer: $124,500
Security architect: $136,000
Network/cloud architect: $146,000
Information systems security manager: $149,000
Big data engineer: $166,500
Here’s what you’ll make across various states in the US, according to Global Knowledge’s 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report . The states listed below are the ten most populous, beginning with the largest population.
|State||Average salary (2020)|
Here are the metro areas across the US that are correlated with the largest tech salaries. Salary data was provided by the Dice 2021 Tech Salary Report . Keep in mind that these areas may also be more expensive to live in, leading to higher salaries.
|Metro area||Average salary (2020)|
|Silicon Valley, CA||$126,801|
|New York City, NY||$114,274|
|San Diego, CA||$109,910|
|Los Angeles, CA||$103,150|
Learning in-demand skills, through certifications or other means, has been linked to an increase in salaries, as has furthering your education.
According to Global Knowledge, 12 percent of those who received a raise in the previous year credit gaining new skills, through training for certifications or otherwise. IT professionals who received raises related to getting new certifications saw their salaries rise by an average of $13,000 .
Pursuing in-demand skills in the industry—like cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data management—may make you more competitive for raises and higher paying jobs. You can also speak with your employer to see what skills gaps your company is hoping to fill, or browse job listings of roles similar to yours to see what skills are currently in demand.
Degrees aren’t always necessary to land a job in IT. But higher education levels are linked to higher incomes—the BLS found that those with a bachelor’s degree made a median income of $1,426 a week in 2021. Compare that with high school graduates, who made $792 a week .
Employers may also still favor job candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree, or even master’s degrees, for certain IT positions. Though going back to school might be intimidating, the financial and career benefits can be rewarding. If you’ve already received a bachelor’s degree, pursuing a master’s degree in IT or computer science can help you advance in your current role, or pivot to a new one.
IT jobs, as diverse as they are, offer higher-than-average salaries. Plenty of IT jobs can be done from the comfort of your own home. If you’re ready to get started, take a look at some entry-level IT certificates and certifications, like the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. You’ll learn the fundamentals of tech support, system administration, operating systems, and other key skills to prepare you for a job in IT.
Generally, more experience and knowledge of in-demand skills is linked to higher salaries. Managers, engineers, and architects indicate mid-career or senior positions, and are correlated with higher incomes. Global Knowledge also found that those with certifications in in-demand skill areas—chiefly cloud computing and security—saw higher incomes as well .
Though it might be true that large American tech companies and startups tend to be concentrated in large cities, IT jobs are plentiful in smaller cities and towns across the US. Local businesses, banks, hospitals, governments, and universities—any organization that uses a computer system—will likely need IT workers to help run their computers.
There are several ways a company may decide on your salary if you’re working remotely. Some companies will offer you a salary based on the marketplace of where they’re headquartered, regardless of where you’re located. Other companies might adjust for the cost of living in your area. If you’re curious about how you’ll be compensated, approach your human resources department to see what company policy is.
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Computer and Information Technology Occupations, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm." Accessed June 4, 2021.
2. Robert Half. "Salary Guide 2021, https://www.roberthalf.com/salary-guide." Accessed June 4, 2021.
3. Global Knowledge. "2020 IT Skills and Salary Report, https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/content/salary-report/it-skills-and-salary-report/#gref." Accessed June 4, 2021.
4. Dice. "The Dice Tech Salary Report, https://marketing.dice.com/pdf/2021/Dice_2021_Tech_Salary_Report.pdf." Accessed June 4, 2021.
5. Global Knowledge. "5 Numbers to Know in the 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report, https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/resources/resource-library/articles/5-numbers-to-know-in-salary-report-2020/#gref." Accessed June 4, 2021.
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/wkyeng.pdf." Accessed June 4, 2021.
7. Global Knowledge. "15 Top-Paying IT Certifications for 2020, https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/resources/resource-library/articles/top-paying-certifications/." Accessed June 4, 2021.