So, you’re thinking about studying Computer Science (CS), or you just graduated. You may like the idea of working from anywhere in the world with just your brain and your keyboard. Perhaps you’re looking to create the next big app that everyone’s using. Whatever your reasons, getting paid is important.
You need to keep the lights on (unless you’re planning to write that Python script on a typewriter) and have a little cash left over to keep in savings. Programming is an excellent field to do exactly that. So, how much do Computer Science graduates earn on average?
Average Computer Science Salary in the United States
All things considered, this is a complicated question. What field did the CS graduate go into after university? Did they contribute to any meaningful projects or take part in internships throughout schooling?
In most cases, junior front-end developers are going to pull in significantly less money than experienced DevOps engineers. With that said, you can still get a solid baseline of what to expect by examining national averages. I’ll break it down into Junior and Senior level positions.
Average Junior Engineer Salary
The average junior developer (0-2 years experience) in America gets paid $63,213 per year. Before your eyes turn to dollar signs, consider the cost of living in different areas (especially tech hubs).
It’s significantly more expensive to live in New York, NY than it is to live in Little Rock, AR. This means that the higher salaries paid out to developers in more expensive states are skewing the data. However, as a new Computer Science graduate, you can use this fact to your advantage. How? Remote work.
By working from home, you can earn a Silicon Valley salary while enjoying the fresh air from your porch in Montana. Here are the average junior Computer Science position earnings in the 5 most populous US states:
- California: $64,063
- Texas: $61,660
- Florida: $58,260
- New York, NY: $64,720
- Pennsylvania: $55,088
Average Senior Engineer Salary
The average senior developer (6+ years experience) in America gets paid $100,167 per year. This range is going to differ more so than junior dev jobs based on demand and specialties (i.e machine learning is a massively popular field right now, and adept ML engineers are paid accordingly).
Here are the average senior Computer Science position earnings in the 5 most populous US states:
- California: $107,252
- Texas: $98,676
- Florida: $84,579
- New York, NY: $108,237
- Pennsylvania: $93,369
Not bad, right? As you can see, there’s clear room for growth between junior and senior positions in the field of Computer Science.
Which Jobs Offer High Salaries?
You may have heard the term “FAANG” or variations of it when delving into the world of coding. FAANG refers to widely known companies such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, etc. You might’ve also heard FAANG companies are the way to go if your eyes are set on earning consistent cash.
While this is certainly true, it’s not the only way to earn a high salary as a computer science graduate.
Not to mention, what do the developers who work at these companies do? The following is a small list of some in-demand jobs in the current market (these occupations have an abundance of offers exceeding $100,000 in salary).
Interested in building websites? Consider becoming a full-stack developer; that is, you play an integral role in developing both a website’s front end (what you see and interract with on a web page) and back end (a website’s infrastructure including data and server management, connecting or building APIs, etc.).
This position takes quite a bit of experience to perform well at as you have to be well versed in all aspects of web development. The salary doesn’t lie, though; the hard work pays off!
Data scientists are becoming increasingly attractive to companies that handle a significant amount of—you guessed it—data. A data scientist is comfortable combing through large sums of data to decipher trends and identify inconsistencies. Data scientists or their colleagues then apply these useful findings to the company’s overall software structure or employee workflow.
Development Operations (DevOps)
DevOps engineers are like the mananging editors of the software world; they make sure things are getting done in the best way possible at all stages of the development cycle. If something isn’t being done the best it can be, a DevOps engineer steps in with just the tool or process to get things humming along better than before.
This position almost always requires a wide range of experience in all facets of software development.
Mobile developers create applications for your smartphones and tablets. Searching, streaming, browsing, and playing is at an all time high of mobile engagement. Everyone is using a smartphone nowadays, and developers savvy in Swift or React Native are more than happy about it.
Zynga needs mobile devs to update their games, TikTok needs developers to introduce new features, and many are willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars a month to the Computer Science graduates ready to answer the call.
If you’re into coding and gaming, this field likely draws some of your attention. Virtual Reality headsets are beginning to enter the retail sector at affordable rates, driving the need for new games, new features, and new engineers.
VR development isn’t just limited to gaming, though; you could create cutting edge medical technology advances, reinvent the way we drive cars, or make it easier to find the aisle your groceries are in. The world of possibilies for VR development is endless.
Ready to Learn to Code? Get Started Today
If you’re not already learning to code, you should be! If you find it’s not for you, no harm no foul. If it is, you’ve been introduced to a world of fellow developers, stack overflow, long nights, and major successes.
With a host of services like Udemy and freeCodeCamp welcoming beginner developers, what are you waiting for? Start learning to code for free today.
You can’t learn to code for free. Unless you give these tried and tested resources a go, of course.
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