As the pandemic continues, so do job postings for remote work opportunities, especially in IT. In fact, tech jobs are among the most likely to be remote.
Tech companies are not only beefing up their tech infrastructure to support remote IT jobs, they’re also paying top dollar for some of these roles. Though many job ads will list a bachelor’s degree in their requirements, the job market these days is becoming increasingly open to self-taught programmers and IT experts who acquired their skills through bootcamps and certification programs.
Here, we’ll explore the top 10 paying remote IT jobs this year, as well as the desired skills to break into the tech sector.
Read more: 10 Best Paying IT Jobs in 2021
Mobile App Developer
Average Salary: $89,000
Mobile app developers create apps and fix bugs within apps on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. A mobile app developer should be well-versed in languages that support both iOS and Android operating systems, such as Java.
A bachelor’s degree in engineering, IT, or computer science will set you up well for this job. An added bonus is any experience that you have creating and releasing your own mobile apps. The average salary for this position in the US is $89,000, according to Glassdoor.
Average Salary: $93,000
As a Java developer, you’ll create apps with minimal latency, deploy, and then test, fix, and re-deploy as part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Java developers may also be tasked with maintaining legacy enterprise apps.
To command a high salary as a Java developer, you should have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science, as well as some experience with Java specifically. If you have some understanding of SQL or OOP, employers will view that as a bonus. The average US salary for Java developers is $93,000, according to Glassdoor.
Average Salary: $100,000
For this type of role, you should have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science. A front-end developer earns on average $101,000 annually in the US, according to Indeed. Experience in PHP or Ruby will bump your salary towards the higher end of the earnings spectrum.
Average Salary: $104,000
If you’re proficient in both front-end and back-end development, you might make a good fit as a full-stack engineer building websites and mobile apps from scratch. The career outlook for current and aspiring full-stack engineers is promising, as the rate of hiring for this role has grown by 35% every year since 2015.
As web developers and digital designers continue to be in high demand for employers, so too will the demand for full-stack engineers. Employment for this sector of the tech industry is projected to grow 13% in the period of 2020 to 2030. The average salary in the US for a full-stack engineer is $104,000.
Average Salary: $110,000
Spending on blockchain technology is projected to reach $16 billion USD globally by 2024. Blockchain technology is clearly something companies are willing to invest in, which means job security for blockchain engineers. The average US salary for blockchain engineers is currently $110,000.
Average Salary: $110,000
A software engineer creates, develops, improves, tests, and maintains software that companies need in order to stay in operation. They often work side by side with UX designers, so if you can work well in a team, that will serve you well in this role.
Software engineers are typically proficient in C++, Java, .NET, Python, and SQL and hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, or information systems. The job market for software engineers is expected to grow by 22% between 2020 and 2030. The average US salary for software engineers hovers around $110,000.
Average Salary: $117,000
Data scientists are experts in analytics and machine computation. They can create algorithms that help businesses not only understand their customers better, but also make informed decisions. Far from being a cookie-cutter role, data scientists’ responsibilities can vary quite widely from company to company, from trend reporting to building a machine learning model.
Data scientists have educational credentials in computer science, statistics, or mathematics and can work with programming languages, such as Python and SQL. In 2020, the data scientist role ranked number 3 in LinkedIn’s list of top emerging jobs in the US. Data scientists can expect to make upwards of $117,000 per year.
Average Salary: $120,000
In contrast to front-end developers, back-end developers take care of a website or app’s servers and infrastructure as well as the databases that support them. Like front-end developers, however, back-end developers are also in high demand. Both front- and back-end overlap with full-stack engineering duties, but they require working knowledge of C++, Java, .NET, Python, SQL, Node.js, and more.
Whether you specialize in back-end development or are more ambidextrous and can do front-end development as well, this position is worth looking into, as it pays upwards of $120,000 annually in the US.
Senior Information Security Consultant
Average Salary: $122,000
A senior information security consultant ensures the sensitive data stored, used, and shared within an organization is secure. Their responsibilities include developing and implementing security strategy, auditing IT, ensuring compliance, and more.
Senior information security consultants often have an educational background in engineering or computer science. Knowledge of and/or experience with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) auditing, testing, and compliance guidelines is a plus. Additionally, though they’re not required, having certifications, such as CIA, CISA, or ISMS will increase your chances of getting hired for this position. Based on data from Glassdoor, the average salary in the US for this role is $122,000.
Read more: 7 Best IT Certifications in 2021
A cloud architect job is one of the highest paying remote job positions in IT. This high pay comes with many responsibilities, however. Cloud architects are responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining a company’s cloud computing strategy and infrastructure. Cloud architects should have solid knowledge of cloud security, programming languages, networking, cloud security controls, and be well-versed in various operating systems. Knowledge of Google’s cloud platform and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is also a plus.
To break into this field, you need a bachelor’s in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field and should get a few years of experience working with major cloud computing tools, such as Ansible and Chef. Annual compensation for cloud architects is quite high at an average of $137,000 in the US.
Necessary Skills for Top Paying IT Jobs
The necessary skills to break into the field and get hired for one of these positions include a mix of hard and soft skills. You will need both technical knowledge, as well as good interpersonal skills.
The technical skills required for any of the above jobs will vary, so pay close attention to job ads for these positions. Take note of programming languages, certifications, or other technical skills that frequently crop up.
You can acquire technical skills through on-the-job training, formal certification or education, or through self-learning. You might want to enroll in evening courses or a coding bootcamp in order to learn programming language(s) that are often required for remote IT positions like the ones listed above.
Also, generate a portfolio of your work so that you can be prepared to show employers what you’re capable of creating. Note that job openings at Facebook/Meta, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google (FAANG), typically require a link to your GitHub repository, or whichever open-source project you commit your code to.
Soft skills, such as communication and emotional intelligence, develop with life experience, especially in the workplace. A common misconception is that those who work in IT perform their tasks in isolation, but this is simply not true. You will have to work within a team and occasionally communicate with other stakeholders in your company, whether in presentations or through email exchanges.
Being attuned to others’ needs and motivations will make you a highly valuable team player and will prepare you for a leadership role, if that is what you’re striving for.