Engineering managers tend to be the highest paying computer jobs, although compensation rates do vary based on location, experience and the specific employer. Engineers are the creators of new technology products: they design, code, test and implement technological innovations. Managing people with these highly-sought skills is a very precise art, as is recruiting such individuals.
Recruitment for these jobs has been growing rapidly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of computer software engineering is expected to continue to be one of the fastest growing job categories for many years to come. The people who manage those engineers will continue to enjoy compensation packages that are among the best within the computing field.
Some of the Highest Paying Computer Jobs
Even among computer engineering managers, compensation rates may vary depending on a professional's specific qualifications and characteristics of the employer. Generally speaking, the more specialized knowledge is needed to do the work, the higher the salary will be. Along with that, the more IT certification credentials and academic degrees a professional has, the greater the compensation package that individual can obtain. Also, the higher ranked technology gurus within any type of company tend to make the biggest bucks.
Compensation for technology specialists include stock options when the employer in question is publicly held. Bonuses are often tied to performance or other quantifiable metrics, which means that base pay figures can vary widely and only describe a fraction of the possibilities.
The best-paid technology professionals have the greatest amount of specialized knowledge and the biggest workloads at any company. Below are some of the highest paying computer jobs:
- Chief Information Officer: This job title refers to the top technology manager within a company that doesn't necessarily have a technological focus as its core business. The CIO oversees all personnel with technological responsibilities, both those who deal directly with computer hardware, software, networking, the Internet and maintenance services, and those individuals' respective managers. CIO responsibilities include managing a company's entire technology budget and orchestrating technological strategies.
- Engineering managers: Whether it's engineering hardware, software, networking, Internet applications or combinations thereof, engineers are always in demand and the pay rates reflect that. Engineers get paid pretty well, so it's hardly a surprise that their managers get even more generous compensation packages. Some engineers and their managers work within a company's research and development department, while others are part of information technology divisions. Coding, manufacturing or otherwise programming new technology products demands intense concentration, not to mention the possibility of long hours and stressful deadlines. Innovative products, especially ones being developed by newer companies, may have funding coming from venture capital investors and that a decent chunk of that windfall redounds to the techies who are putting the pieces together. Bonuses or stock options can represent a significant portion of the compensation packages for programming newer products and working at startups.
- Security: Senior-level managers involved with technology security often have PhDs, and for very good reason. These jobs tend to involve the most complicated mathematical and computer programming skills of all. This category includes both security programmers and individuals who implement, maintain or manage security technology within third-party applications and buyers' sites. Cryptography experts are among the types of jobs within security, along with certain kinds of "white-hat hackers," or engineers who test whether security systems can be broken into and scout for new outbreaks of viruses, worms and other types of malware. Even companies with business focuses outside of technology may employ computer security experts to purchase, install and maintain technology for protecting a company's internal networks and websites. Naturally, managers of security experts make more money than those they manage.
To find out which computer jobs pay the most in your area, check out the salary comparison tools on Dice. The technology career site also includes thousands of job listings for the above-mentioned types of positions, along with hundreds of other specialties within technology and related disciplines. While the jobs with vacancies include numerous opportunities with very high pay, keep in mind that the highest paying of all are most likely already occupied.