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    25 Honest Desktop Support Engineer Salaries

    A desktop support engineer isn’t usually the same thing as a desktop support technician. While a tech is an entry-level position, desktop support engineers have more experience and have specialized knowledge in certain aspects of delivering IT support. Often, desktop support engineers do less leg-work than their technician counterparts, and they’re dealing with systemic issues. Desktop support technicians work on one device at a time, and desktop support engineers tend to be paid a higher salary for working on whole systems.

    A desktop support engineer provides troubleshooting, debugging, and solutions to entire networks and, often, that work is done remotely. For many companies, desktop support engineers deal with end user technology on behalf of a service provider. In other words, companies that deliver network or device services to customers rely on desktop support engineers to keep those systems running for their clients.25 Real Salaries for Desktop Support Engineers

    A desktop support engineer’s salary is usually higher than a technician’s, but lower than a systems administrator’s. Most IT support professionals know that, but it can be tough to prove. That’s why we’ve done the research for you to come up with salaries for desktop support engineers in 25 different cities throughout the United States.

    We found information on the salaries a desktop support engineer should expect from a number of different sources. We found job postings for new positions and descriptions of existing ones. We even scraped information from professional networking sites. We took that data and found some of the averages at both the national level as well as the level of certain job markets in 25 cities.

    The range of salaries a desktop support engineer can expect are quite wide in some areas, so we haven’t just presented a list of averages. We took the raw numbers and split them into three categories: low-end, overall average, and high-end average.The national average salary for a Desktop Support Engineer is $51,000.The average high for a Desktop Support Engineer is $64,000.The average low for a Desktop Support Engineer is $35,000.

    That’s nationwide, but salaries can change substantially from state to state and city to city. Take a look at this chart of 25 salaries for desktop support engineers from around the country:City State Low-end Average Average High-end Average Bayamon PR $27,000 $39,342 $55,000 Brownsville TX $30,000 $43,239 $61,000 Springfield MO $30,000 $43,655 $61,000 Columbus GA $31,000 $44,077 $62,000 Tallahassee FL $31,000 $44,202 $62,000 Macon County GA $31,000 $44,328 $62,000 Clarksville TN $31,000 $44,413 $62,000 Peoria AZ $31,000 $44,556 $45,000 Tempe AZ $31,000 $44,556 $45,000 Jackson MS $31,000 $44,780 $63,000 Tampa FL $31,000 $45,038 $63,000 Mobile AL $31,000 $45,068 $63,000 Augusta GA $31,000 $45,382 $64,000 Shreveport LA $31,000 $45,428 $64,000 Chattanooga TN $31,000 $45,442 $64,000 Austin TX $37,000 $53,910 $76,000 Denver CO $37,000 $53,928 $76,000 Bridgeport CT $38,000 $55,240 $77,000 Houston TX $39,000 $56,247 $79,000 Charlotte NC $39,000 $56,299 $79,000 Dallas TX $43,000 $61,723 $62,000 Seattle WA $44,000 $62,459 $63,000 Washington DC $45,000 $63,797 $64,000 Alexandria VA $45,000 $63,797 $64,000 San Francisco CA $49,000 $70,184 $71,000

    The highest averages are in coastal and high-population cities. Six of the top 10 average salaries for a desktop support engineer are in coastal cities (for example San Francisco, D.C., and Seattle). Three of the top ten average salaries are in one of Texas’ big cities (Dallas, Houston and Austin). And the last is Denver. This suggests that big cities, where there’s a lot of demand for IT support, is also where support specialists should expect to get paid the most.

    Places where high-paid desktop support engineers are paid the most are usually where low-paid engineers are paid the most as well. This suggests that competition and supply and demand cause salaries to fluctuate. Desktop support engineers willing to relocate to where work is competitive could find better-than-average salaries.

    The places where support engineers are paid the most are also where the differences in pay are biggest. In other words, in a city where the salary for the best-trained desktop support engineers is $70,000 per year, their low-trained counterparts are making about $35,000 per year less. But where the highest salary is around $50,000, the difference drops to about $20,000. This seems to reinforce the earlier point that competition matters — and finding competitive job markets can improve your odds of higher pay — even if you’re only qualified for a salary in the low range.

    Among desktop support engineers with the highest salaries, even the lowest-paid are still paid more than most of their low-paid counterparts. Of the high-end averages, the lowest salary for desktop support engineers is $45,000 per year in Peoria, AZ. Compare that to the highest average for low-paid engineers: $49,000 per year in San Francisco. What this suggests is that as a desktop support engineer gains more and more certifications and becomes more and more qualified, they permanently become eligible for higher salaries. In other words, it’ll almost always pay off to get yourself qualified for raises and promotions with certifications and training.

    Some high-paid desktop support engineers are paid double their low-paid counterparts. In the vast majority of cities we looked at, the average pay for a high-paid desktop support engineer is at least double their low-paid colleagues. Like we said earlier, this fact suggests that doing what it takes to make your way into the bracket of high salaries will almost always pay off.4 Salary Considerations for Desktop Support Engineer

    One of the biggest challenges a desktop support engineer faces when they’re trying to move themselves into a higher salary bracket is convincing their employer or prospective employer that they’re different from a standard IT technician. There’s nothing wrong with working as a desktop support technician, but it’s an entry-level position that usually deals with one desktop at a time. A desktop support engineer, on the other hand, tends to earn a higher salary because they have a broader base of knowledge and they’re able to resolve systemic problems.

    In your struggle to justify promotions or raises to higher salaries, there are certain things you can do to help your case. The most obvious is certifications. Industry certifications do more than test your knowledge in a certain area, they’re how the industry agrees on what defines certain jobs. Getting the right training and acquiring certain skills are both crucial — those allow you to get more challenging jobs and earn the most prestigious certifications.

    The industry that you work in can also matter. Not every industry has the ability to pay their IT support teams high salaries, and a desktop support engineer who chooses their industry carefully can expect a profitable career.Experience Requirements for Desktop Support Engineer

    Desktop support engineer isn’t normally an entry-level position. Most support engineers get to that point in their career by starting with and passing through positions like help desk technician or desktop support technician. Earning the best salaries as a desktop support engineer also requires having experience with a number of different problem sets and network environments.

    A desktop support engineer who’s familiar with many different operating systems, can manage all sorts of problems remotely, can assign tasks through management software efficiently and debug network hardware can expect a good salary. Desktop support engineers also tend to be client-facing professionals who represent their company as they resolve customers’ technical problems. This means a combination of hard skills and soft skills are mandatory to justify the best salary.4 Tech Support Skills You’ve Got To Have

    The skills a desktop support engineer has to have to earn the best salary are split between hard skills and soft skills. There are technologies you simply have to know, but you also have to know how to navigate a corporate culture and represent your company well.Software, Hardware and Peripherals Installation and Management

    Whether it’s brand-new pieces of software, or new pieces of hardware that need to be manually installed, or new peripherals that every workstation needs to have set-up, a desktop support engineer’s primary task is ensuring hardware and software just works. Every company will have different hardware and software requirements, so if you’re trying to earn a higher salary, you have to learn what those requirements are and master them.

    Salary impact of software and hardware management: Huge. The majority of work any tech support shop does deals with getting hardware or software working properly. But what sets a desktop support engineer apart from their peers is their thorough knowledge of set-up, installation, management, and troubleshooting of each piece of hardware and software. A company will pay you the lower salary of a technician until you can prove you’re up to the challenge of handling their entire system.Managing Network Operations and Devices

    One of the things that sets a desktop support engineer apart from their technician juniors is dealing with system-wide problems and issues. Very often, the only way to implement network-wide solutions is with a deep understanding of how the network’s devices behave. If you’re trying to justify a desktop support engineer’s salary, you have to be perceived as an expert in navigating your business’ network.

    Salary impact of managing networks: Significant. You don’t have to be a network administrator or a network engineer to earn a better salary as a desktop support engineer, but you should never feel lost in the operations and devices of your company’s network. What makes a desktop support engineer so valuable to a company is their ability to manage problems from a distance and at scale, and knowledge of network operations and devices is critical to that.Client and Customer Management

    A desktop support engineer needs to have soft skills in addition to their technical knowledge, and the ability to field questions, problems and comments from clients and customers is one of the most important. It might feel unfair that your ability to deal with challenging clients can affect your salary, but believe it or not it really, really can. Your reputation matters a lot, and if you’re known as the support engineer who explains things well, handles problems calmly and responds to every communication promptly, promotions could very well follow.

    Career impact of client and customer management skills: Significant. The expression, “it’s not what you know but who you know” applies to almost every job. Part of the job is impressing the people around you and the people your company works with. Of the soft skills that can contribute to an increased salary as a desktop support engineer, client and customer management are among the most important.Problem Solving and Prioritization

    One key difference between desktop support engineers and their junior counterparts at lower salaries is the breadth of their solutions. A technician tends to be the one who runs over to one desktop and applies one solution to one device, sometimes that’s just what needs to happen. But a company invests in a desktop support engineer’s higher salary because they need someone who can look at an entire network and predict upcoming problems and proactively prioritize the solutions that will keep things running best.

    Career impact of problem solving and prioritization: Considerable. This is a soft skill that depends on hard skills like knowing technologies, but that’s why it can have such a big impact on your salary — it proves expertise and mastery. Once you know the technologies well enough, you can start thinking in big pictures that can save your company enough time and money to justify your promotion.3 Categories of Tech Support Tools You’ll Need to Know

    A desktop support engineer has to know the tools of their trade very well. Gathering data about whether devices are running, reporting problems and remoting in to fix them all depend on your comfort with the tools.Diagnostics

    Throughout the course of a desktop support engineer’s career, they’ll deal with many problems that are familiar, but many will be novel and unfamiliar. Usually the routine and recognizable problems are given to support technicians, but the reason for paying engineers a higher salary is that they’re capable of more than just fixing known problems: they can figure out what’s causing a new problem and apply a solution that won’t cause more down the line.

    Career impact of knowing diagnostics tools: Huge. There are many tools that can help identify problems, and a desktop support engineer should at least recognize them, if not know how to use them. For example, a support engineer who knows how to use VirtualBox, which virtualizes the client software and OS to identify problems without using the broken box, is immediately more valuable to the company than one who’s never even heard of it.Incident Logging and Report Building

    Different companies use different tools for generating incident reports and keeping track of the progress being made on them. That makes it hard to say precisely which tools a desktop support engineer needs to know, because some are even proprietary to the company they work for. But what you can do to justify a promotion to a higher salary range is learn what the different options are, and how they differ from one another.

    Career impact of knowing incident logging and report-building tools: Considerable. You don’t need to know every last tool that’s out there for logging incidents and building reports, but you should recognize them. For example, osTicket is a software that can be configured based on a number of different parameters, while Bugzilla reports bugs in a much more limited way and Uservoice gives your customers a voice in providing feedback.Remote Connection Management

    One of the things that usually sets a desktop support engineer apart from technicians is how much of their work they do from a remote location. It’s not uncommon for desktop support engineers to provide support to many users in different offices and buildings all over. A desktop support engineer who wants to earn the highest salary will need to know different tools for connecting to users throughout the network.

    Salary impact of knowing remote connection management tools: Considerable. Like so much in the world of IT support, it’s hard to say whether a desktop support engineer should learn Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) or Apple Remote Desktop. But once you recognize what your company uses and depends on, the faster you master the technology they use, the sooner you’ll be qualifying for a higher salary.3 Best Certifications for Desktop Support Engineer

    Certifications in the IT industry are a great way of proving expertise and justifying higher salaries. What certification you should earn to become or advance as a desktop support engineer depends a lot on what technologies your company deals with, but there are still certain certifications that mark you as a professional in the field.CompTIA A+

    CompTIA is one of the IT industry’s most trusted groups for issuing certifications. Many certifications in the IT field are based on the piece of technology itself (for example, a Microsoft or a Cisco cert). CompTIA’s certs focus on broad skills doing a job. For desktop support engineers, most of what you’ll be tested on to earn the A+ is familiar. But from hardware to software support, including network and database management, for many companies, having the A+ justifies a promotion to a better salary.

    Salary impact of A+: Significant. Depending on where in your career you are, the A+ could have either a huge impact on your salary prospects or only a mild one. But in almost all cases, a desktop support engineer with their A+ will be considered substantially more knowledgeable by their company.HDI Desktop Support Manager (HDI-DSM)

    HDI provides many certifications in desktop support and help desk services. Their HDI Desktop Support Manager certification is a broad, detailed certification about supporting all manner of devices and providing operational and tactical support to an organization’s IT team. A desktop support engineer could earn the HDI-DSM in order to justify a higher salary as you supervise a team providing IT support, or as you provide truly excellent support.

    Salary impact of HDI Desktop Support Manager: Modest. The HDI-DSM isn’t as foundational or broad as the CompTIA A+, and it applies more specifically to the management of a team of support technicians. A desktop support engineer investing in the HDI-DSM should make sure that their company needs it. Not every certification results in a guaranteed salary hike, but if your company needs desktop support management, you could fill the role with this cert.AppleCare Mac Technician (ACMT)

    Obviously, the AppleCare Mac Technician wouldn’t be valuable for a desktop support engineer whose company works only with Microsoft machines. But if your company relies heavily on Apple products, the ACMT is how you can prove your expertise in providing remote support to them.

    Salary impact of ACMT: Modest. If your company is large enough to support many different OSs, earning the ACMT and specializing your skills can help lead to a higher salary. Just having the ACMT isn’t as valuable as a more foundational, broad certification though. That said, if your company does use Apple products, filling the need for a well-trained, specialized desktop support engineer can be rewarding.What Types of Companies Need Desktop Support Engineers?

    If a company uses computers, they need IT support. As we’ve pointed out, the differences between a desktop support engineer and desktop support technician can be subtle, and some companies don’t want to recognize the difference (and the increased salaries that comes with it). There are industries where the difference is noted, and finding yourself in those industries can provide a more stable career path.Telecommunications Companies

    Telecommunications companies are among those who need desktop support engineers the most. What tends to set desktop support engineers apart is their client-facing workloads. A desktop support engineer often resolves the problems that clients and customers have while working with the services provided by a different company. The best salaries for a support engineer can be found at large telecoms who provide services to other companies.

    Career impact of working in the telecommunications industry: Huge. Telecommunications companies who offer their services to other companies find themselves in control of huge, complicated networks where anything can and often does go wrong. They’re ready to pay the salaries of highly trained experts to keep them running. A desktop support engineer’s natural home is with a telecommunications company.Finance and Insurance Companies

    Banks, investment firms and insurance providers have massive networks that they often keep on their own premises (or in their own clouds). These massive companies often need desktop support engineers who can keep their data flowing to all their partners.

    Career impact of finding work with a finance or insurance company: Considerable. A desktop support engineer who works for companies that depend on fast-moving, highly available data throughout a hugely distributed network will often find that their job comes close to that of a network administrator. If you get the right training and understand your network’s devices intimately, you can provide an extremely valuable service to those companies, and earn a big salary doing it.Healthcare and Social Care Companies

    Although small doctors offices may not need entire teams of IT support, many large hospitals and hospital networks certainly do. And where there are teams of IT support, a desktop support engineer can provide insight and guidance that justifies higher salaries than technicians earn. Hospitals and their networks need excellent security and high availability, all while supporting complex peripherals. That promises unforeseen challenges and difficulties that a desktop support engineer can make a long career out of solving.

    Salary impact for desktop support engineers finding work in the healthcare industry: Considerable. Many hospitals farm out their networks and network support to service providers, but there are plenty who keep the work in-house. Good salaries are waiting for support engineers who prove their value on IT support teams that keep healthcare networks secure and available.How to Increase Your Salary as a Desktop Support Engineer

    Even brand new desktop support engineers tend to come from a background in desktop support, and have spent several years already as a desktop support technician or help desk tech. That experience might have given you insight into what a competitive salary for a desktop support engineer looks like, but it might also have made you short-sighted about what you and your work are worth.

    Depending on where they work and how many certifications they have, a well-paid desktop support engineer can expect a salary of upward of $70,000 per year. If you’re not making that much, you might reconsider where you’re working, what industry you’re working in and what certifications you’ve got to your name.

    Snap salaries revealed: How much the Snapchat maker pays for jobs in product, marketing, engineering, and more

    Evan Spiegel sitting on a couch: Evan Spiegel. AP

    © Provided by Business Insider Evan Spiegel. APSnap has been staffing up as it looks to best competitors in areas like augmented reality and video.Insider analyzed public work-visa data to see how much Snap pays in the US for certain roles.The tech company has offered salaries from $59,000 to $500,000 for various roles.See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    Snap, the company behind Snapchat, has been on a growth tear in recent months.


    In the first quarter, the company reported its highest year-over-year revenue and daily active user growth rates in three years. And it’s been staffing up to support its broader ambitions in areas like augmented reality, short-form video, and original shows. The company now has approximately 4,000 employees in 15 countries around the world.

    Snap said in May that it’s committed to paying all employees a livable wage that “contributes to healthy work-life integration and to the local economy in which we work.” It offers a minimum of $15,000 in equity grants to new hires, and said its baseline annual pay rate for employees at its headquarters in Santa Monica is $70,000. The company has offered lower wages to some prospective hires in locations like Bartlesville, Oklahoma and New York, New York, according to data reviewed by Insider.

    Insider analyzed disclosures released by the US Office of Foreign Labor Certification on work visas to shed light on what the Snapchat maker pays for certain roles.

    The public data show how much the tech company offered to pay foreign staffers it sought to hire in the US for jobs including product, marketing, research, and engineering roles.

    It includes wages from 128 foreign-labor-certification applications that were submitted by Snap, and certified between October 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

    Most of the jobs were based in New York, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Seattle, or Mountain View.

    The wages in the disclosure data are the minimum amounts the company declared in foreign-labor-certification applications that it pays for certain roles, according to US Department of Labor documentation. The salaries are based on the average compensation that similar employees with comparable qualifications in each job and industry are paid, which is known as the prevailing wage.

    Companies may pay employees more than the figures reflected in this data or compensate them in additional ways, like through stock options and grants.

    Based on the data, Snap offered in late 2020 and 2021 annual base salaries ranging from $59,000 to $500,000 for various roles.

    Some of the applications included salary ranges, rather than a single annual salary, for a given role. For example, Snap included a pay rate of $78,000 to $150,000 a year for one software engineer role. We included these ranges below. And, in cases where Snap submitted multiple applications for a particular job, such as a level III software engineer, we included the median wage rates for the role.

    Snap declined to comment.

    Data and research

    Snap has offered staffers in data and research roles base salaries between $67,000 and $175,000 per year. The positions included:Applied research scientist (3): $109,762 to $165,000Applied research scientist (4): $130,811 to $165,000Data analyst, customer operations: $67,205 to $112,200Group analyst: $67,766 to $90,000Data scientist, product (3): $160,000Research engineer (4): $137,197 to $175,000Research scientist (4): median rate from $142,805.50 to $165,000


    Snap has offered staffers in engineering roles base salaries between $59,000 and $215,000 per year. The positions included:Interactive engineer (4): $73,299 to $120,000Machine learning engineer (3): median rate from $78,811 to $140,000Machine learning engineer (4): median rate from $139,911.50 to $170,000Manager, machine learning engineering: $196,290 to $219,450Manager, software engineering: median rate from $201,074 to $230,000Quality assurance engineer (3): $67,766 to $130,000Quality engineer (4): $59,114 to $140,000Security engineer (2): $160,000Security engineer (3): median rate from $85,113.50 to $155,000Security engineer (4): $121,160 to $155,000Software engineer (2): median of $140,000Software engineer (3): median rate from $78,811 to $150,000Software engineer (4): median rate from $134,098 to $190,000Software engineer (5): median rate from $148,886.50 to $210,000.00Software engineer, Android (3): $78,125 to $140,000Software engineer (Lens Studio): $160,000Software engineer (Snap Games): $190,000Systems engineer (4): $145,725 to $150,000

    Marketing and sales

    Snap has offered staffers in marketing and sales roles base salaries between $78,000 and $110,000 per year. The positions included:Account executive: $100,536 to $110,000Account executive manager: $100,536 to $110,000Client manager: $78,874 to $92,500


    Snap has offered staffers in product roles base salaries between $77,000 and $500,000 per year. The positions included:Product manager (3): $77,875 to $175,000VP, product: $208,000 to $500,000Manager, Snappables: $145,000


    Overall, Snap has offered staffers in product roles base salaries between $59,000 and $500,000 per year. Other positions included:Senior manager, law enforcement operations: $174,262 to $195,000

    29 Honest DevOps Architect Salaries

    DevOps architects can expect salaries in the triple digits not just because they have deep technical expertise in development, configuration, and automation (but they do), but because they have excellent leadership and communication skills. A DevOps architect is often responsible for dreaming up big changes to an organization’s workflow, and they have to bring that change about without holding a position of formal power within the hierarchy.

    DevOps architects also live and breathe DevOps. DevOps is the strategy for defining a company’s workflow around synergy between operations and development, which is usually why DevOps is found in software development companies. In that “native” environment, DevOps architects can help a company reduce errors in software releases, improve automation, provide reliable IT troubleshooting and release updates and patches faster.29 Real Salaries for DevOps Architects

    It’s hard to find out what a competitive salary is for any job, much less one that didn’t exist barely two decades ago. A DevOps architect’s salary can change based on many different factors: experience, industry, certifications, training, and, above all, where you work.

    We’ve looked all over the internet for DevOps architects’ salaries. We found job postings in job markets all over the country, we pulled job descriptions of DevOps architects in different states, and we extracted data from salary-comparison websites. We gathered that together to provide a national snapshot of DevOps architects’ salaries, but also what those salaries look like on a state-by-state basis.

    Almost everywhere we looked, the ranges we saw were so wide that one number didn’t do it justice. So rather than present you with only the average salary, we’ve also analyzed the numbers further and come up with a low-end average, high-end average and overall average. We’ll start with national averages, but further on we’ll look at what training, experience and certifications can move a cloud architect’s salary from the low-end into the higher ranges.The national average salary for a DevOps Architect is $91,800.The average high for a DevOps Architect is $115,600.The average low for a DevOps Architect is $71,000.

    As you look at the following chart of 29 cloud architect salaries, pay attention to where the national averages are especially different:City State Low-end Average Average High-end Average Bayamon PR $52,000 $68,335 $89,000 Springfield MO $59,000 $76,707 $99,000 Columbus GA $60,000 $77,555 $100,000 Tallahassee FL $60,000 $77,806 $101,000 McAllen TX $60,000 $77,824 $101,000 Macon County GA $60,000 $78,058 $101,000 Clarksville TN $60,000 $78,229 $101,000 Montgomery AL $60,000 $78,501 $102,000 Jackson MS $61,000 $78,962 $102,000 Mobile AL $61,000 $79,543 $103,000 Shreveport LA $62,000 $80,279 $104,000 Little Rock AR $63,000 $81,473 $105,000 Kansas City KS $63,000 $81,831 $106,000 Newport News VA $64,000 $83,280 $108,000 Rockford IL $64,000 $83,333 $108,000 Tucson AZ $65,000 $83,897 $108,000 Dallas/Fort Worth TX $71,000 $91,485 $92,000 Providence RI $71,000 $92,322 $119,000 Chicago IL $72,000 $93,582 $120,000 Austin TX $74,000 $94,982 $122,000 Minneapolis MN $75,000 $96,804 $124,000 Bridgeport CT $78,000 $100,854 $129,000 Washington DC $79,000 $102,057 $131,000 Bellevue WA $80,000 $103,403 $133,000 Denver CO $84,000 $107,735 $138,000 Torrance CA $85,000 $109,437 $110,000 Paterson NJ $90,000 $114,696 $146,000 New York NY $90,000 $114,696 $146,000 San Francisco CA $103,000 $130,899 $166,000

    Seven of the top ten salaries for DevOps architects are on the coasts. It’s not unusual for coastal cities and states to drive average salaries up for many IT careers. When you look at the high-end and overall average salaries, the greater metropolitan areas of cities like San Francisco, New York, D.C., and Seattle take seven of the top ten spots. This should indicate that where you go looking for a DevOps architect position can affect your salary. High-population cities and coastal cities known for their IT footprint are more likely to pay well than smaller cities in fly-over states.

    Cities with the largest populations support the highest DevOps architect salaries. While the trend isn’t a 1:1 comparison, it’s apparent that cities with the highest populations also have the highest DevOps architect salaries. There could be two reasons for this: first, cities with higher populations tend to have higher costs of living. Second, DevOps architects often support high-tech opportunities who tend to gravitate to high-density civic areas. This, like the point above, suggests that DevOps architects willing to move for a job could land a significantly higher salary.

    As DevOps salaries increase, the difference between low-paid and high-paid also increases. According to our data, Bayamon, Puerto Rico has the lowest average salary for DevOps architects, and San Francisco has the highest. In Bayamon, the difference between a low-paid DevOps architect and a high-paid one is $37,000. Meanwhile in San Francisco, that difference is $63,000. This suggests that as job opportunities for a DevOps architect expand, so do the opportunities to set yourself apart from your competition with increased training and certifications.

    High-paid DevOps architects skew the national average upward. If you ignore the top ten cities on our chart of DevOps architect salaries, the range that separates high-paid DevOps architects and low-paid ones shrinks by a lot. This suggests that there’s some uncertainty and volatility in the most competitive markets, but in the middle markets, there’s a greater degree of stability for DevOps architects. Not only that, if you find yourself in these middle markets earning in the ballpark of $63,000, there’s strong evidence that training and certifications can lead to steady raises of as much as $40,000.4 Salary Considerations for DevOps Architect

    DevOps architect is one of the most challenging IT jobs to describe. It’s even harder to describe a roadmap to making it a career. If you’re early in your career, you might be looking for the mile markers to aim for and if you’re late in your career, maybe you want to convert your time and experience into a DevOps architect role. No matter where you find yourself, you should know how to become a DevOps architect and get yourself into the higher salary ranges.

    Experience is one of the first things that determines a DevOps architect’s salary: you need breadth as well as depth to be successful. Certifications go a long way to proving and validating that experience, and DevOps architects with certain certifications get paid better salaries than their counterparts without certs. Of course, knowing the tools of the DevOps trade and the specific tools your company uses is crucial as well.Experience Requirements for DevOps Architect

    A DevOps architect is often one of the most highly valued members of a team because they’re able to draw on their knowledge and familiarity from many different jobs and positions. A DevOps architect has to understand the inner workings of a company and how to convince leaders and juniors of the best ways forward. Software developers and engineers find DevOps architects with some experience in development easier to trust, just like systems and network engineers prefer DevOps architects with experience in operations.

    At the heart of a DevOps architect’s responsibilities is the software development lifecycle. No matter what job experience a DevOps architect has, they must know how their organization defines the lifecycle. If the company has a CI/CD pipeline, they need to understand it thoroughly — if there is no CI/CD pipeline, they have to be prepared to implement one.

    The position of a DevOps architect is made even more challenging because they’re usually responsible for championing a DevOps transformation at an organization, but not from a position of formal authority. A great DevOps architect salary comes from being a person who can convince non-IT leadership as well as IT personnel why the entire picture of development and ops should change. It requires soft skills like communication and leadership that are anchored in deep technical expertise.5 DevOps Tools You’ll Need to Know

    The list of all the DevOps tools you could ever learn is nearly endless. And the list of tools a DevOps architect should learn is only a little bit shorter. Your chances at the best DevOps architect salaries increase with each tool you master. For example, continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) is a pillar of DevOps, and there are a dozen tools and pieces of software for doing that alone. We’ve narrowed our list of essential DevOps architect tools to five, but you should think of these as the tentpoles that hold up your career.GitHub

    It’s tough to imagine a DevOps architect who doesn’t know what GitHub is, but maybe you’re just starting your career and haven’t run into a “git repo” yet. GitHub is a platform for developers to work on code together. With GitHub, teams as small as one and as large as hundreds can collaborate together on code and manage their versions easily.

    Salary impact of GitHub on a DevOps architect’s salary: Huge. DevOps and GitHub are fundamentally linked. A DevOps architect who doesn’t know how to manage a GitHub repository, make a commit or decide company-wide best practices can’t do the core part of their job. There’s more to GitHub than knowing how to use it, though, and a DevOps architect who knows how to teach GitHub and integrate using it into a company’s processes gets one step closer to truly great salaries.Docker

    Docker is a tool for packaging up an application with everything it needs to run so that it all goes out together. That way, no matter where it ends up, the development team can be sure it’ll run right away, without worrying about the destination environment or operating system. A DevOps architect has to understand how to package an application with Docker or a similar program, often called “containerization” because they’re usually the one responsible for planning it for a company.

    Salary impact of knowing Docker: Huge. It’s hard to imagine a DevOps architect who doesn’t know what Docker is or how to implement it being competitive for a high-salary position. Docker — or a tool a lot like it — is simply essential for companies looking to deliver a stable and reliably executable software package every time.Kubernetes

    Kubernetes is a containerization platform that’s also fundamental to most DevOps implementations. You might see Docker and Kubernetes on the same list and think they’d compete, or that by learning one you’re learning the other — not so. Kubernetes and Docker aren’t adversaries. A DevOps architect who understands how to use Kubernetes in tandem with Docker can unlock load balancing, storage orchestration, automated rollouts and rollbacks, automatic bin packing and a ton more.

    Salary impact of Kubernetes on a DevOps architect’s salary: Huge. It’s the third “huge” on our list so far, but it’s still true: a DevOps architect who doesn’t know Kubernetes simply isn’t competitive for a high salary. Kubernetes unlocks containerized workloads and services, when combined with Docker, it’s an incredibly powerful tool for a company.Puppet

    When it comes to managing multiple servers, Puppet is a DevOps architect’s best friend. A DevOps architect shouldn’t just understand what Puppet does to define a system’s software and configuration infrastructure as code, they have to know how to plan an implementation of Puppet throughout their development pipeline. A DevOps architect who wants to earn a great salary isn’t just a technical expert in using tools like Puppet, but is experienced with the implementation and planning of them.

    Salary impact of knowing Puppet: Considerable. Not every company needs Puppet specifically, but infrastructure as a code is central to many DevOps implementations. A DevOps architect who doesn’t at least recognize Puppet can’t be sure they’re qualified for senior positions that will pay the highest salary.Jira

    Jira started as a bug-tracking software — meant to flag recurring issues for development teams to address. But over time it evolved into a work management tool and was eventually adopted into many agile development pipelines. If you’re a DevOps architect, you can shape the entire workflow of your company around Jira. From kanbans to scrums and even simply content management, Jira opens many career doors for DevOps architects to walk through.

    Salary impact of Jira on a DevOps architect’s salary: Considerable. Probably more important for a DevOps architect than knowing Jira backwards and forwards is knowing what Jira does and why. Jira is just one of the best tools for what it does, it’s not perfect for every company. Justifying a high salary as a DevOps architect requires demonstrating judgement: choosing an alternative when it’s right and not forcing every problem into a Jira-sized hole.6 Best Certifications for DevOps Architect

    The term “DevOps” catches a lot: from that first line of code to decommissioning a legacy application, a successful DevOps architect is able to speak the language of both application developers and operations teams. There are many certs that prove mastery of each step of the way.AWS Certified DevOps Engineer — Professional

    This AWS certification for DevOps Engineers straddles the two pillars of AWS’ certification track: Operations and Development. It validates a DevOps engineer’s ability to manage CI/CD systems, security, metrics, high-availability and automation on AWS.

    Impact of AWS Certified DevOps Engineer — Professional on a DevOps Architect’s salary: Significant. Obviously the name suggests that the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer is meant for engineers, but AWS doesn’t offer a higher certification for implementing DevOps practices within AWS. So if your company uses AWS or you want to plan how to implement AWS, a DevOps architect with their AWS Certified DevOps Engineer — Professional is demonstrably qualified for a good salary.Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert

    This Microsoft certification doesn’t only apply to Microsoft tools and software, but it’s most relevant to a role that designs and implements strategies for collaboration, code, infrastructure, source control, CI/CD, testing and feedback using Microsoft infrastructure. For some companies, that’s a DevOps engineer, but for savvy professionals, it can lead to a DevOps architect’s bigger salary.

    Salary Impact of Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert: Significant. The skills tested by the DevOps Engineer Expert certification are exactly what any decently sized company needs from their DevOps architect, if that company relies on Microsoft technologies already. The technical expertise of the DevOps Engineer Expert cert is what a DevOps architect’s confidence, leadership and forward-thinking strategies relies on, and it’s how they justify a higher salary.Architecting with Google Compute Engine Specialization

    This certification is offered by Google to the professionals designing, developing and managing cloud-based solutions that drive business objectives. The cert is offered by Google Cloud, so obviously the solutions you’d learn about will be oriented on Google infrastructure. But a DevOps architect’s skills and knowledge have to be broad and encompass the many different tools and services available to a company to accomplish its goals.

    Impact of the Architecting with Google Compute Engine Specialization on a DevOps Architect’s salary: Considerable. Sometimes a DevOps architect has to focus on the tools that their company is already using, and sometimes they have to challenge themselves to learn the tools that are available in the marketplace in case a company ever wants to use them. Google Cloud offers compute resources, an app engine, virtual machines, storage, load balancing and more. These are key ingredients for a DevOps implementation. Learning everything Google does can improve your chances at a good salary by making you a more broadly capable and familiar DevOps architect.Cloud Native Computing Foundation Kubernetes Certifications

    The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is a part of the nonprofit Linux Foundation, and they’ve developed a series of certifications aimed at standardizing knowledge and use of Kubernetes. There are three CNCF certifications for anyone who works in DevOps to choose from: Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA), Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD), and Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS). They’re not cheap. Each is $300, but having one or all of them demonstrates mastery of that area of Kubernetes.

    Salary impact of CNCF Certified Kubernetes Certifications: Considerable. The CNCF Kubernetes certifications aren’t designed for DevOps architects, but they’re certifications that a DevOps architect should earn at some point. Kubernetes is central to the way many companies do DevOps, and a DevOps architect with at least one of these would be trusted as a subject matter expert.What Type of Companies Need DevOps Architects?

    Software development is where companies are hungriest for DevOps architects, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many other industries willing to pay big salaries to bring a DevOps architect over. Plus, many industries and companies are racing to model themselves as a highly agile environment.

    The thing that separates a DevOps architect from a DevOps engineer is often their mindset. DevOps is a workflow and a state of mind before it’s a set of tools. A DevOps architect who can convince a company to think differently about their entire workflow and then solve all the problems that come up in implementing it will find a good salary no matter where they look, not just in software.Software Development Companies

    DevOps and all of the productivity methodologies that are related to Agile are based in software development at their heart. The trend started in, accelerated within and was popularized by the software industry, and it’s also the natural home for a DevOps architect. That also means it’s the most competitive field for a DevOps architect to seek work in.

    Career impact of working in software development: Huge and complicated. We learned earlier that the most competitive job markets for a DevOps architect are also the ones most likely to pay the best salary, but this is a double-edged sword. On the positive side, the salaries for a DevOps architect are likely to be a lot higher in the software development industry, plus most of the industry doesn’t have to be convinced about the value of DevOps. On the other, it might take far more training, certifications and experience to differentiate yourself from other DevOps architects who’ve all come up in the software industry.Hardware Manufacturers

    DevOps may have cut its teeth in software, but hardware manufacturers were paying attention too. A lot of the same benefits and drawbacks exist in hardware manufacturers — they’re already familiar with DevOps and it’s highly competitive. But there are substantial differences between the two. Hardware manufacturers ship physical objects that they can’t just rollback. A DevOps architect’s job in the hardware industry would feel pretty different from their software counterparts.

    Career impact of working for hardware manufacturers: Big. The idea of Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines are exciting for many hardware manufacturers. Also, incorporating feedback into design is an age-old problem in hardware, and DevOps architects who can promise a pipeline that makes more agile, responsive, resilient hardware will receive high salaries for their trouble.Content and Service Providers

    The differences between a company like Adobe (a software developer), Hewlett-Packard/HP (a hardware manufacturer) and Netflix (a content platform) may seem like splitting hairs, but for a DevOps architect, they should look very distinct. A DevOps architect’s job is to spot places where a pipeline for automation, integration, and feedback can optimize the end product. Content and service providers are constantly looking for that, and need to scale their services upward and downward rapidly — in ways that hardware manufacturers and software developers often don’t. The best salaries for DevOps architects wait for those who can provide agility to a company no matter the industry.

    Career impact of content and service providers: Significant. Service providers and content delivery platforms are still within the software/hardware ecosystem, so they can typically understand DevOps and offer a career path for DevOps architects. Some of them wish to take on a very agile problem-solving methodology, and a DevOps architect who can help plan and implement one for them can look forward to a great salary.How to Increase Your Salary as a DevOps Architect

    The career of a DevOps architect is usually one of creativity, thoughtfulness, courage and curiosity. If you want to become a DevOps architect, or if you are one and want to earn the best salary, the trick is paying close attention to where DevOps already exists and where it needs to be. Learn the tools that make a good DevOps pipeline function best — but get to the underlying “Why?”.

    Everyone lower than a DevOps architect on the organization chart is responsible for being proficient with the tools they use. What makes a DevOps architect different, and what justifies their high salaries, is the ability to think creatively with all the DevOps tools and technologies that exist and which apply in a certain situation.

    DevOps architects aren’t one-trick ponies, they’re bold leaders, persuasive communicators, creative problem-solvers and bold technical experts. The road to the best salary for a DevOps architect lies through experience — and the fastest way to get there is certifications in the many tools, services and architectures that are available.,17.htm

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