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Which programming languages command the highest salaries in the world right now?

Considering a career in tech? Good choice. The sector is red hot, offering plenty of opportunities to work remotely, work with the latest technologies, and constantly learn and acquire new skills.

Speaking of skills, which ones should you focus on for the most lucrative career options in 2020? Fortunately, a new report has the answers.

The coding information team at StackOverflow have released their annual developer survey. For this report they polled 65,000 coders around the world about the programming languages they use, those they like the most, and which skills can earn the highest pay cheques.

Participants who use Perl, Scala, and Go tend to have the highest salaries, with a median salary of roughly $75,000. Perhaps not coincidentally, the results found that Perl was also amongst the languages that coders like the least. This could cause a lack of professionals using that tech on the market – resulting in the higher wages.

Here are the median salaries reported by 33,534 participants globally. Wages are reported in US dollars.

Wages earned by programming language in 2020

    Perl – $76k
    Scala – $76k
    Go – $74k
    Rust – $74k
    Ruby – $71k
    Bash/Shell/PowerShell – $65k
    Objective-C – $64k
    Haskell – $60k
    Julia – $59k
    Python – $59k
    Swift – $58k
    C# – $57k
    R – $57k
    TypeScript – $57k
    Kotlin – $54k
    SQL – $54k
    Assembly – $53k
    C++ – $53k
    JavaScript – $53k
    HTML/CSS – $52k
    VBA – $51k
    C – $50k
    Java – $50k
    PHP – $39k
    Dart – $37k

The survey also determined which specific roles pay the highest wages. Engineering managers, at $92,000 come out on top. Academic researchers make the lowest amount, with median salaries of less than half of that at $41,000.

Median salaries by developer type, 2020

    Engineering manager – $92k
    Engineer, site reliability – $80k
    DevOps specialist – $68k
    Engineer, data – $65k
    Data scientist or machine learning specialist – $58k
    Developer, embedded applications or devices – $57k
    Scientist – $57k
    Developer, desktop or enterprise applications – $56k
    Data or business analyst – $55k
    Developer, full-stack – $54k
    System administrator – $54k
    Developer, back-end – $53k
    Developer, QA or test – $53k
    Database administrator – $50k
    Developer, game or graphics – $50k
    Developer, front-end – $49k
    Educator – $49k
    Designer – $47k
    Developer, mobile – $43k
    Academic researcher – $41k

You can read the whole report from StackOverflow here for much greater detail on regional and demographic differences and trends in programming technology professionals in 2020.

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