Changing career paths isn't easy. It takes time, money, patience, sacrifice, and a lot of hard work. Still, whether you're looking to become a DevOps Engineer or just considering different Career Paths, starting a new career can lead to more job satisfaction and overall happiness.
Still, it's impossible to ignore the financial part. So, exactly how much does a DevOps Engineer make, and will all that time and effort pay off?
Like many other roles in tech, a DevOps Engineer in the US can expect a six-figure salary on average. But, there are many factors that influence how much you can expect to make as a DevOps Engineer. In this article, we'll go over how much a DevOps Engineer makes on average and the various factors that influence their salary expectations.
How much does a DevOps Engineer make on average?
According to the latest DevOps Engineer salary data, DevOps Engineers in the US can expect to earn an average of about $119,750 per year — along with an average annual bonus of about $6,850. These are general numbers that don't consider different work locations, skill levels, employers, or other relevant factors.
4 factors that affect how much a DevOps Engineer makes
Let's explore four key factors that affect the average salary of a DevOps Engineer.
The job description
Though we won't go into detail about what DevOps is and what a DevOps Engineer does, keep in mind that DevOps is more than just a job title. It's a new organizational way of thinking that combines company culture, practices, and tools.
This means that every company has its own way of understanding and implementing DevOps, as well as its own idea of how a DevOps Engineer will fit into its model. And with different job expectations come different salary expectations, depending on whether you're expected to devote your efforts to a specific project, an entire company, or something in between.
Where you live
As with all other jobs, your location affects your expected salary as a DevOps Engineer. Tech companies usually consider the cost of living in your area and adjust your salary accordingly.
Since so many tech companies have offices in cities with a high cost of living — Silicon Valley, Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, New York, Boston, and Washington, for example — DevOps Engineers in those areas tend to make well above the national average.
Below are the eight cities in the US with the highest average annual salary for DevOps Engineers:
The company you work for
While location and cost of living play a big role in a DevOps Engineer's annual salary, so does the specific company you work for. There are two reasons for this:
First, bigger cities are often home to many tech companies that compete for the same group of available talent, and there simply isn't enough to satisfy the huge demand for DevOps Engineers. Some of these companies offer higher salaries to convince DevOps Engineers to work for them instead of the competition down the street.
Second, companies located outside the most desirable cities and areas have an even harder time recruiting talented DevOps Engineers. Offering a higher salary is often the only way to get people to move farther away from big cities. All of this is great news for a DevOps Engineer in training!
Below are the ten companies that pay the highest average salaries for DevOps Engineers:
Your DevOps skillset
The skills you bring to the table as a DevOps Engineer have a major impact on your salary. If you're just starting out, make sure you have at least a basic grasp of all of the important DevOps skills and tools.
Some of the most in-demand DevOps skills include knowledge of:
- System administration (managing servers, databases, cybersecurity systems, and network connectivity)
- Configuration management tools (Chef, Ansible, Puppet)
- Coding foundations and fundamentals of programming
- Continuous integration tools (Bamboo, TeamCity)
- Containerization tools (Docker, Vagrant)
- Automation and deployment tools (Heroku, Jenkins, Octopus Deploy)
- Cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud)
While your future role may only require a few of these skills, the more you learn now, the more versatile you'll be as a DevOps Engineer. Plus, you'll be able to negotiate a higher salary.
Even when you've already landed your dream job as a DevOps Engineer, staying on top of the latest skills, tools, and methods will be a big help when it's time for your next bonus or raise.
Compensation is more than just your salary
There's no question that you can expect a competitive salary in your new career as a DevOps Engineer. But, your total compensation package includes so much more than your take-home pay. As you apply to different companies and negotiate your compensation, keep in mind that a company that offers a lower salary may make up for it in other ways such as:
- Performance-based annual bonuses
- Vacation, flextime, and remote working policies
- Stock purchase options and employee ownership of the company
- 401(k) and retirement account contributions
- Relocation reimbursement
It pays to become a DevOps Engineer
As you continue along your path toward becoming a DevOps Engineer, the journey might seem long and difficult at times. But you can rest assured knowing that it'll all pay off emotionally, professionally, and financially. And if you ever need help figuring out your next steps, our community is always there to support you along the way.