Top 10 Paying IT Jobs in 2021

Millions of Americans are looking for ways to increase their salaries and advance their careers. Fortunately, IT jobs are plentiful and lucrative.

IT professionals account for some of the most in-demand workers in the job market today. For example, data scientists, product managers, and DevOps engineers account for some of the best and top-paying jobs overall, according to Glassdoor.

Read more: What Are CIOs Looking for in Current IT Grads?

So how do you get the IT career of your dreams? To get that job, you have to put in the time. The most high-paying companies tend to recruit employees with the most extensive experience, both in the classroom and the workplace.

Top 10 Paying IT Jobs in 2021

Check out the table below to see the top 10 high-paying IT jobs you could go after, according to average U.S. salaries on Glassdoor. Click each title to learn more about the required skills, experience, and certifications for each. Keep in mind that your paycheck may be higher or lower depending on your location, education, experience, and other factors.

Job TitleAverage Salary
CIO$174,999
Machine Learning Scientist$135,196
Cloud Architect$134,844
AI Engineer$118,415
Data Scientist$115,383
Product Manager$111,624
Desktop Developer$110,405
DevOps Engineer$103,252
Full-Stack Engineer$101,919
IT Support$51,187

CIO

Average salary: $174,999 a year

Skills and requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree at the least; some companies require a master’s or Ph.D
  • Various IT certifications
  • 5-15 years working in IT
  • Ability to translate tech jargon into easy-to-understand language
  • Knowledge of business goals
  • Crisis management skills

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Machine Learning Scientist

Average salary: $135,196 a year

Skills and requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related field
  • Understanding of data structures and data modeling
  • Knowledge of quantitative analysis methods
  • Experience building out data pipelines and statistics
  • Software engineering experience
  • System design experience

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Cloud Architect

Average salary: $134,844 a year

Skills and requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Experience with client systems and applications
  • Knowledge of multiple programming languages
  • Experience with databases and big data
  • Networking experience
  • Data storage fundamentals
  • Security foundations
  • Knowledge of AWS, Microsoft Azure, and/or other cloud services
  • Cloud-specific patterns and technologies
  • Communication skills

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AI Engineer

Average salary: $118,415 a year

Skills and requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Strong programming skills
  • Foundation in statistics, linear algebra, and mathematics
  • Understanding of software development life cycle
  • Comfort with software design patterns
  • Experience with machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks
  • Familiarity with Spark and big data technologies
  • Work with algorithms and frameworks
  • Communication and problem-solving skills

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Data Scientist

Average salary: $115,383 a year

Skills and requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree; you can also take a boot camp
  • Understanding of SQL databases
  • Python and R programming
  • Comfort with Hadoop platform
  • Understanding of machine learning and AI
  • Data visualization experience
  • Business strategy experience

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Product Manager

Average salary: $111,624 a year

Skills and requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Strong communication skills
  • Technical expertise
  • Business skills
  • Research skills
  • Marketing knowledge
  • Interpersonal and delegation skills

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Desktop Developer

Average salary: $110,405 a year

Skills and requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Knowledge of probability and statistics
  • Data modeling and evaluation skills
  • Software engineering and system design experience
  • Knowledge of various languages, such as Python, SQL, and Java

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DevOps Engineer

Average salary: $103,252 a year

Skills and requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Version control experience
  • Experience with Continuous Integration servers
  • Configuration management skills
  • Deployment automation skills
  • Infrastructure orchestration experience
  • Monitoring and analytics skills
  • Knowledge of testing and Cloud Quality tools such as Slack, GitHub, and Phantom

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Full-Stack Engineer

Average salary: $101,919 a year

Skills and requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Deep understanding of front-end languages (HTML/CSS)
  • Deep understanding of back-end languages (JavaScript, Python, PHP)
  • Database Management Skills
  • Knowledge of Web architecture
  • Knowledge of database storage
  • Familiarity with Git and GitHub
  • Basic design skills

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IT Support

Average salary: $51,187 a year

Skills and requirements:

  • Working knowledge of hardware and software
  • Understanding of the latest IT and software trends
  • Strong customer service skills
  • Strong communications skills
  • Excellent organization skills

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How to Get a Top-Paying IT Job

Remember that if you want to pursue a career in IT, or are looking to advance your current career, some IT jobs are more in demand than others. Before you enroll in school or go back, be sure your education will help you land a top-paying job in IT. Here are some education areas to consider:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Cloud computing
  • Data analytics and data science
  • Software development
  • AI and machine learning
  • Project management
  • Programming

You can also pursue certifications online, jumpstarting your way into a top-paying position in IT. For example, if you’re looking to be a DevOps engineer, you can pursue the Certified DevOps Engineer certification through AWS. Before you pay out-of-pocket for a certification, check with your current company — they may reimburse you!

Read next: Edge Computing: Tips for Hiring and Getting Hired

Joanna Redmond
Joanna is a seasoned writer, content strategist, and subject matter expert who helps tech companies add an extra zest to their copy. She also writes short stories and blogs about the highs and lows of her hiking adventures.

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