“Write once, run anywhere.” That was Java’s selling point when it first hit the market in 1995, and it’s still what makes Java one of the most-used programming languages among developers worldwide.
Since Java can be used on every operating system and every type of hardware, Java Developers can work on a wide range of projects, from dynamic websites and mobile apps to big data. This also means Java Developers generally enjoy comfortable salaries from entry-level through senior positions. But these salaries vary by location, experience, and skillset. Here’s a closer look at the factors that influence a Java Developer’s salary.
What factors affect a Java Developer’s salary?
According to Indeed, a Java Developer in the United States makes an average annual salary of $105,989. In addition to their base salary, Java Developers report an average of $5,000 per year in cash bonuses, and they also enjoy other benefits like relocation assistance, life insurance, and 401 (k) matching, as well as comprehensive vision, dental, and health insurance.
But as with any job in any field, salaries can range significantly from position to position. Here are the primary factors that influence how much you can make as a Java Developer.
One of the perks of being a Java Developer — or any type of developer, for that matter — is you’ll be able to find work anywhere. And not just anywhere in the United States — anywhere in the world. That means your options are essentially limitless when it comes to where you can live. But your geographic location can still impact your salary, even with the rise of remote work, based on factors like cost-of-living and competition.
For example, if you live in Colorado, you can make up to 35% more than the national average pay for Java development. Other states that pay well include Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire. And on the other end of the spectrum, the states that pay Java developers the least are Vermont and Mississippi.
High-paying cities in the U.S. include New York City, where you can earn an average salary of $141,306, and Boston, where Java Developers make an average of $136,450 per year.
One of the biggest factors that impact salary is the number of years you’ve been working in your field. In general, the longer you’ve been working, the higher your salary.
Entry-level Java Developers, those with 1-3 years of experience, earn an average of $72,530 per year, according to Indeed. Developers with this range of experience may have recently graduated from college, wrapped up an internship, or have a year or two of experience at another position. The average Senior Java Developer, which is usually a minimum of 5 years of experience, makes $122,224, according to Indeed.
Education & skills
Although it’s absolutely possible to get a programming job without a formal degree, having one still holds weight in the job market. In fact, 79% of Java Developers have Bachelor’s degrees and 13% hold Master’s degrees, according to Indeed. (Keep in mind that those degrees are not necessarily in computer science.)
Online courses and professional development can also bump up your salary. So if you’re interested in learning more about a specific area or tool, not only does this create more opportunities for the types of projects you can work on, but it can also boost your earning potential.
What skills are in high demand?
Certain skills are in higher demand compared to others in the Java Dev job market. And having those in-demand skills has the potential to put you in a higher salary bracket. So what’s in-demand right now?
According to Indeed, Java Developers who know the Spring framework and Spring boot are sought after. If you know SQL, the query language for storing, manipulating, and retrieving data in databases, that’s also a big plus. Knowledge of Service-Oriented Architecture and REST, REpresentational State Transfer, are two others on the list.
How to start your Java Developer career
If you’re interested in specializing in Java and enjoying the option to work on a huge range of fun projects — from mobile app development and game development — our courses are a great way to start building the skills you’ll need.
You can start by learning the fundamentals in our Learn Java course, and then dive into more specific topics like Build Basic Android Apps with Java and Create REST APIs with Spring and Java.
We also have interview prep courses to help you pass the technical interview with Java, as well as Java code challenges for extra practice and learning.
Still looking for more? Check out So you want to learn Java, a post in the Codecademy Forums. It’s a great resource from our community moderator group, ModeratorEmeritus, about what steps to take after completing our course.