As virtually every industry goes through a digital transformation, there are more opportunities for people with technical skills to work in exciting, high-paying fields. Folks with IT (or information technology) expertise, in particular, are well-positioned to get hired.
The Skillsoft IT Skills and Salary survey, now in its 7th consecutive year, surveyed nearly 8,000 tech workers about details like which IT certifications they have, what challenges they face in hybrid workplaces, and how likely they are to look for a new job.
The 2022 survey findings include thought-provoking insights about what it’s like to work in tech today, including the industries where IT professionals have the highest salaries on average.
Curious which industries pay IT professionals the most? Here are the industries where IT professionals earn the highest average salaries, according to the Skillsoft IT Skills and Salary survey, one of the largest studies of IT salaries, skills, and certifications.
(Heads up: This list highlights the salaries of survey respondents from North America. To check out how salaries in industries compare around the world, download the full report.)
Aerospace or Defense
Average salary: $142,066.67
The aerospace sector manufactures products and services for space, commercial airlines, missiles, military aircraft, and commercial airlines. The U.S. aerospace industry employs around 500,000 people.
System integrator and VAR integrator
Average salary: $140,574.68
A system integrator is a business that coordinates and organizes computing systems, often using automation. (System Integrator is also a role you can have within an organization, where you specialize in designing and developing computing systems.)
VAR is short for Value Added Reseller, which is essentially a company that adds features to manufacturers’ products — like hardware, installation services, consulting, or troubleshooting — and resells them as turnkey operations.
Average salary: $135,680.08
Software refers to the non-tangible applications and programs we use on the computer. Our free course Introduction to IT will teach you the basics of core IT topics, including software development, operating systems and applications, databases, and cybersecurity.
Construction, architecture, and engineering
Average salary: $127,498.78
Construction tech (or “contech”) is the intersection of construction and technology. For example, a construction company might use AR/VR technology to model and visualize a project before they begin building. There’s demand for people who not only understand the fundamentals of building and construction, but also have the data-oriented technical skills needed to future-proof the industry.
Average salary: $126,613.61
“Consulting” is a very broad term that can mean different things to different organizations. An IT consulting company, for example, typically advises an organization’s IT strategies from soup to nuts.
Insurance, real estate, and legal
Average salary: $126,063.24
There are a variety of ways that insurance, real estate, and legal businesses utilize software. For example, they might use CRM (customer relationship management) software to manage relationships with customers or cloud computing to store and access large amounts of data.
Media, film, and music
Average salary: $122,173.46
Your favorite film studio or go-to music streaming service needs IT professionals, too. Have a background in the arts already? Build up your marketable skills by learning about IT in our course Introduction to IT. Or take our programming personality quiz for course, career, and programming language suggestions that suit your creativity.
Professional business services
Average salary: $121,219.57
Professional business services are nonphysical services or products that help businesses. In tech, professional services can include things like IT support, web development, and cybersecurity management.
Average salary: $120,578.35
If you want a better understanding of how the physical components of a computer — aka the hardware — work, consider taking our Computer Architecture course. You can also start with the beginner-friendly course Fundamentals of Operating Systems to learn how software and hardware interact and make computers functional.
Natural resources: Mining, oil, and gas
Average salary: $118,515.31
The mining sector is made up of establishments that extract naturally occurring mineral solids, like coal, natural gas, and oil. In the U.S., there are around 587,700 people in the mining, oil, and gas workforce. Oil and gas companies are using new technologies, from artificial intelligence to IoT, to innovate their operations.
Whether you’re considering a completely new career, or want to know how much people with your job make on average, check out the full Skillsoft IT Skills and Salary report. You can also read a breakdown of the highest-paying IT jobs from the survey here.
If you’re feeling inspired to take the next step in your career, you’re in the right place! Be sure to check out our full course catalog to start learning valuable technical skills. The free courses Introduction to IT and Introduction to Cybersecurity are great starting points for beginners. Then get job-ready with our tips for breaking into IT and helpful advice for acing an IT job interview.