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How Much Money do Programmers Really Make?

Cliff posted about 9 years ago | from the gross-and-net-worth dept.

The Almighty Buck 909

bigman2003 asks: " recently released a list of average salaries for IT workers. Usually when I see these lists, I find out that I am grossly below the average salary. But this time I was very surprised to see that I am actually above the average! This is partly because of a recent raise, but it is also because the numbers quoted in this survey are lower than what I've seen the past from other surveys. This report quotes about $56,000 for the average application developer. I am a web developer (sure, laugh all you want) and I wanted to know specifically: How much are other web developers were making? And- How many hours a week does it take you to make it?"

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how much am I payed? (1)

adrx (877379) | about 9 years ago | (#13495033)

not enough.

Re:how much am I payed? (4, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | about 9 years ago | (#13495060)

You mean they PAY for this? I thought the only renumeration was /. mod points....

Re:how much am I payed? (1)

adrx (877379) | about 9 years ago | (#13495176)

I was told you can purchase this "karma" thing with them points!

Re:how much am I payed? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495221)

Not to be harsh, but learning to spell words like "paid" correctly could probably increase your chances of getting a raise.

Sure, everyone knows what you mean, but in this world you can't just be competent, you have to be seen to be competent.

Short answer (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | about 9 years ago | (#13495034)

Anywhere between $0 and $150,000 or more.

Re:Short answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495246)

Amusingly, I've been outside that range for the past 3 years. Last couple years, $158,000 .... this year, about negative $30,000 (unpaid expenses, and no salary) - but owning a double-digit percentage of the company makes me keep at it.

Re:Short answer (2, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | about 9 years ago | (#13495289)

I'm not a web developer, but as a general purpose code monkey for a university research position with 2 years on the job and 1-2 years previous computer work (and a BS from a good college), 40k$. It's low, but I usually like the work (good environment, low stress, crazy-flexible hours, etc), and, heck, it's employment.

FP!!! (-1, Offtopic)

coopex (873732) | about 9 years ago | (#13495039)

First Post!!!

Re:FP!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495047)


Re:FP!!! (0, Offtopic)

yurivish (902527) | about 9 years ago | (#13495048)

You mean third.

The more interesting question is (4, Interesting)

truckaxle (883149) | about 9 years ago | (#13495042)

How much money will a typical programmers make when the offshore/outsourcing trend levels out matures?

IT Salaries on a Global Basis (2)

Nerd Systems (912027) | about 9 years ago | (#13495045)

We all know that with outsourcing, IT Salaries are a lot lower then they have been in recent years...

I wonder what a comparable salary in say India would be, compared to the same job in America?

Just curious...

Not That Easy (5, Insightful)

guaigean (867316) | about 9 years ago | (#13495046)

It's not that easy. Where you live, standard of living costs, specialized training and abilities, years of experience, etc, all influence and alter this. Averages give you an idea, but you have to go on your abilities and what you can find. If you like your job, it often means more than an extra 5-10k per year. I think the real issue here is that people like to know how they rank compared to others, and reality is way to gray for that black & white approach.

Re:Not That Easy (1)

emphatic (671123) | about 9 years ago | (#13495103)

good point. is a great resource, mostly because they base it on the *most* important factor, which is location.

i work in the bay area as a software developer, if i was being payed the same as a guy in kansas, i wouldn't be able to buy bread, let alone have a place to eat it.

Simple formula (5, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | about 9 years ago | (#13495290)

If you quit and are begged/pleaded with to return and are offered a raise then you were being under-paid.

If you quit and leave with a pat on the back then you were being over-paid.

(... bottom line you are just a serf that will live a boring-unimportant-debt-filled life and most likely will welcome death after 30)

Re:Simple formula (3, Funny)

Coop_DH (912932) | about 9 years ago | (#13495297)

there are many who welcome it already

Engineer (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495054)

Aerospace engineer. Spend 80% of my time programming simulations in C++. Fresh out of college make in excess of 50,000 plus much better than average benefits.

Re:Engineer (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495218)

Former Rocket Scientist started at $30k.
Now consultant paid by the hour earning over $140k and barely working any overtime. 44 hours a week is normal.
Sometimes I wish they'd fire me so I'd get a better gig. Smart people are always in demand.

Re:Engineer (1)

UVABlows (183953) | about 9 years ago | (#13495331)

much better than average benefits

How do you know what average benefits are? Average for your industry? For your experience level? For all people employed in the US? In the world?

well (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495057)

I really wouldn't be surprised if it varies considerably. $56000 sounds high dollar to me but I live in the South where there is no money anyway...

Taxes (1)

lappy512 (853357) | about 9 years ago | (#13495066)

Is that before or after taxes? Or is it only in Redmond, WA (I don't work for M$) that people get paid around $100,000?

My $0.02 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495072)

For what it's worth, I know that entry-level (fresh out of college) software development engineers at Micrsoft get paid $75,500 a year for base starting salary.

Anyone know Google salaries?

Re:My $0.02 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495328)

Around 85k (equivalent to 75k in the Redmond area).

Rupees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495074)

By "average" are they referring to the mean or the median?

The mean salary may be 56,000 dollars-- but I'm fairly sure that the median programmer's salary is denominated in rupees.

National surveys are meaningless (3, Interesting)

bigtallmofo (695287) | about 9 years ago | (#13495075)

If you live in Iowa and are making $70k per year, it's a good job. If you live in Manhattan and you're making $70k per year, you're at the poverty line.

The only reason why publishing companies waste their time on such surveys is that people are so interested in the topic. The unfortunate thing is that the data is meaningless on a national scale. But, it sells advertising!

Re:National surveys are meaningless (1, Funny)

Infonaut (96956) | about 9 years ago | (#13495198)

But my salary goes to 11!

Re:National surveys are meaningless (3, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | about 9 years ago | (#13495226)

My Fortune-500 company has many offices around the country. They pay the same amount to almost everyone, with only a couple percent of places having higher pay because of local cost-of-living.

I don't know if this is true of every company, but it wouldn't surprise me, since global companies make the same profit from your work, no matter where you live.

So, as I see it, at least with my company, living in the heart of an urban area is something that comes straight out of employee's pockets, since it's primarily a benefit to the employee (we're a tech/manufacturing company, not a financial/investment firm or anything that might more reasonably REQUIRE you to live in the heart of a large city).

Re:National surveys are meaningless (1)

skraps (650379) | about 9 years ago | (#13495270)

Naturally, there is at least one reciprocal benefit to the company -- it is easier to hire good people in a big city.

Knowing my luck... (0, Redundant)

theotherlight (904426) | about 9 years ago | (#13495078)

...these averages will drop by at least 70% by the time I graduate and actually work in the field.

...or some technology will eliminate all jobs entirely. (Based on my karma, this option seems more likely -- in that case, I apologize to everyone else.)

contracting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495088)

Presently billing $35/hr, no cap. I'd like to be pulling more per hour, but contracting is feast or famine. The lack of hour-cap is nice. So, if I don't crack-up and go on a shooting spree, I'll pull in about $90-100k "this fiscal year".

Correction + my info (1)

Baddas (243852) | about 9 years ago | (#13495090)

How much are other web developers making? No were needed. I make $10 an hour for basic stupid HTML/CSS stuff, $20+ for more complicated stuff, minimum $25 for maintenance code. However, substantial breaks for large contracts means I'm averaging $3k a month or so. (pure profit, fuck taxes)

Re:Correction + my info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495150)

This is the IRS, prepare to be audited.

Re:Correction + my info (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495180)

Fuck taxes? Fuck you, you deadbeat. If you like being in this country, then pay your fucking taxes. I hope the IRS finds you and jams you into a pound-you-in-the-ass federal prison.


Re:Correction + my info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495231)

Don't just hope, help. I'm with you.

Re:Correction + my info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495236)

I used to feel the same way until someone pointed out to me an interesting parallel:

Taxes are like a membership fee to the club. You pay your dues and in return you're given roadways, police, military, and a few other bene's. If you don't like hte dues, there are plenty of other clubs to join - some don't even require dues!

Re:Correction + my info (1)

The Bungi (221687) | about 9 years ago | (#13495298)

(pure profit, fuck taxes)

I hear there's a large government agency looking for good webdevs. Might want to check them out [] .

Re:Correction + my info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495302)

fuck taxes? fuck you. []

ps, you don't make that much.
$35/hour for *snicker* actionscript coding.
40hrs/week for more than 2 years now.
That doesn't count the freelance actionscript at $40+/hr ... and /. users laugh at Flash!

And I pay my taxes, love this country, and always vote Dem. ...and yes, I will make every effort to report Slashdot user #243852 (Baddas) to the IRS.

As an intern this summer... (1)

VisceralLogic (911294) | about 9 years ago | (#13495091)

$20 an hour, works out to $42k/yr

Re:As an intern this summer... (1)

E Galois (857353) | about 9 years ago | (#13495329)

Differentiation is an integral part of calculus.

In a sense, it could also be said that:

Differentiation is a part of integral calculus (courtesy of the fundamental theorem of calculus)...

san francisco (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495092)


What does this accomplish? (3, Informative)

conner_bw (120497) | about 9 years ago | (#13495093)

I'm a web developer, doing fine, but I'm not really conformable divulging what I make on Slashdot. Would this not have been better as a poll?

Re:What does this accomplish? (2, Insightful)

merreborn (853723) | about 9 years ago | (#13495138)

You could just post as an Anonymous Coward.

Re:What does this accomplish? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495158)

Why not post as an Anonymous Coward? I make $51,500 a year. I'm fresh out of college (a year now.) I work for a large coporation and was recently recognized for my outstanding contributions to the line of business ($1500 bonus.)

Re:What does this accomplish? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495212)

yes, I am a grad student and making hardly 14k/yr., sigh! had to post anonymously..

Re:What does this accomplish? (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 9 years ago | (#13495257)

I'm a web developer, doing fine, but I'm not really conformable divulging what I make on Slashdot.

I don't mean this as a personal slam, but that exact attitude keeps salaries low. Why NOT talk about your salary? If you don't talk about it, you can't know how you compare. And although you might not care how you compare in a rat-race sense, you damned well should care that your employer treats you "fairly"...

Me, I make just a hair over $40k. Sound low, for someone with 10 years experience? In my area, I can afford a mortgage on that. And together with my SO, as a DINK couple, we do pretty damned well combined.

TALK about your salary! Don't brag about it, that just sounds obnoxious, but chat. Make sure that neither you nor your friends have gotten royally screwed.

I will never understand people who have this phobia of discussing how much they make. If you make something truly obscene (either minimum wage or seven figures), okay, you might have a reason to shy away from the topic - But within an order of magnitude of "average", help create a basis of comparison! It only hurts us, the workers, to remain tight-lipped about it.

frist post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495094)

5,000,000 dollars a year, of course, bitches.

"web developer" and "app developer" (1, Informative)

Speare (84249) | about 9 years ago | (#13495095)

I think of these as two very different categories. Even if the web developer does all the "back end" work along with all the "front end" web-facing interface stuff, there's often a completely different mindset when it comes to releasing/ patching/ updating to the customer. I'm not going to say there's a lack of discipline, but it is so much easier to tweak a production server than it is to make a change to a large native-compiled, retail-boxed, advertisements-printed application.

Bah (3, Funny)

groman (535485) | about 9 years ago | (#13495098)

Well, let's separate developers from code monkeys. Now, code monkeys average about $45K. Developers average about $75K. Sure, I pulled that out of my ass, but it's a big ass, what else do you want me to do with it?

Re:Bah (1, Interesting)

rrhal (88665) | about 9 years ago | (#13495208)

What about code Gorillas, or code Bonobos? One would think they would be paid more.

I think it's only fitting that COBOL programmers get paid more - they would have to give me a hell of a raise before I would put up with programming in COBOL.

Re:Bah (1)

zephc (225327) | about 9 years ago | (#13495272)

"Sure, I pulled that out of my ass, but it's a big ass, what else do you want me to do with it?"

From the constant sitting and snacking, I presume?

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495313)

shove it right back in. :P

sorry, had to take it. you left it wide open. in more ways than one ;)

Location ^3 (2, Interesting)

supabeast! (84658) | about 9 years ago | (#13495105)

Keep in mind that if you're not living in one of a few areas of the country where plentiful IT jobs keep salaries high, you'll probably be making a lot less than the average. I've known plenty of senior sysadmins living in Middle America on ~50,000 USD. But it usually balances out, because the costs of living in high-salary areas are much higher.

Re:Location ^3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495156)

It balances out everywhere except the 401k.

I can never figure out what mine should be (5, Interesting)

gothzilla (676407) | about 9 years ago | (#13495107)

I'm the entire IT dept. at work. I do it all. Planning, repairs, security, network maint, application support, etc. We have 85 trucks around the nation all tied in with GPS and email. I manage and support the whole damn thing.

I have 25 users and 1 server. When trying to figure out what my salary should be, they never have an entry called "dumbass who takes a job as the entire IT dept."

Does anyone have any idea what someone like that should be making?

Re:I can never figure out what mine should be (1)

fishdan (569872) | about 9 years ago | (#13495159)

In Boston you would be making around 90K.

Re:I can never figure out what mine should be (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | about 9 years ago | (#13495305)

In Boston you would be making around 90K.
And paying 48k/yr for rent if you are willing to commute for 1.5hrs...

I've heard from ppl that Boston's super expensive...

Re:I can never figure out what mine should be (2, Funny)

Baddas (243852) | about 9 years ago | (#13495167)

Whatever you can squeeze out of them!

Remember, you've got the keys to the castle!

Threaten to lock them out if they deny your raises and benefits (Free beer!)

(+1, Funny, mods!)

Re:I can never figure out what mine should be (1)

spacecowboy420 (450426) | about 9 years ago | (#13495281)

That doesn't work, they just outsource to some IT me. When they can have 5 guys for the price of me, it was an obvious choice -

Re:I can never figure out what mine should be (1)

Eightyford (893696) | about 9 years ago | (#13495183)

Yeah, just calculate what it would cost to replace you.

Re:I can never figure out what mine should be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495185)

Option 1: A run for it.

Option 2: A Will

Re:I can never figure out what mine should be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495224)

Based on a sample size of one (myself), I would say about $48K base; around $55K with bonuses and overtime added in. I have the same problem, I usually just pick systems admin for my job description even though it is only part of what I do. I also have two facilities and 50 PC to take care of, in addition to two servers. Oh, and I get to watch over the PBX, copier, fax machine, overhead speakers, and of course everyone's home PC issues.

Re:I can never figure out what mine should be (1)

Thomas M Hughes (463951) | about 9 years ago | (#13495249)

You should be making more than you're currently making. Generally a dumbass who takes a job as the entire IT department will not realize his true value.

Re:I can never figure out what mine should be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495288)

Raise that to low 6 figures. If you are truly doing everything, you are worth that. If they don't believe you, walk and let them find out what it would cost to replace you. Even outsourced, it would be more than you are making now. And covered by lots of people.

Just to fan a flame (4, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | about 9 years ago | (#13495322)

You are making too much.

You are responsible for the design and implementation of the entire system, and yet you allow a huge, honking unreliable single point of failure that can bring the entire operation to its knees - you. That doesn't smack of good systems design to me.

Getting robbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495108)

Me: $46,000 - 40 hours, California
Coworker(s): $80,000 - 40 hours, California

It varies wildly.

Technical Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495123)

I'm not a programmer, but I make $98,000 in a technical support position for a big company that went from tech industry darling to tech industry joke in the last few years. And no, it isn't SCO.

By technical support, I mean customers call me on the phone and ask for help with our software and hardware on their expensive support contracts and I help them out.

Salary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495124)

As a web programmer I make just over $62K, in the bay area. For me, it's enough...

That's probably average (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495129)

Given that IT can easily be interpreted to be basic support staff and networking, which on average earn less. Of course a senior developer and a network support tech have, on average, a fairly large delta in the amount of specialized knowledge needed to perform the duties.

Personally I think real programmers working meaningful jobs are worth a bit more than that 56K, but I have seen way too many knuckleheads making more than that in the last few years, so...

Not much (1)

unoengborg (209251) | about 9 years ago | (#13495134)

A bowl of rice or a few rupies?

Los Angeles Media Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495148)

60k, 3 yrs out of college. Not enough to buy a decent house though, freaking LA.

web developer? (1, Insightful)

dotpavan (829804) | about 9 years ago | (#13495157)

I am a web developer (sure, laugh all you want) I aint laughing on your salary or position, but you being a web developer should know to give a warning before linking to pdf files. It does annoy people.

$90K (1)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | about 9 years ago | (#13495164)

Part sysadmin/part programmer. $30K of it is in vested toilet paper though.

Phoenix AZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495169)

10 yrs exp., C/C++ and VB (argh) = $80K

Web Developer (PHP) in DFW Texas (1)

The_Xnuiem (558191) | about 9 years ago | (#13495170)

I started out back in 1998 as a developer making $60K for anywhere between 40 and 100 hours a week. Before I was promoted to management, I was making $72K a year for 40 hours with a ton of perks. Both jobs had good benefits and working conditions, but I do enjoy the pay increase for management.

IP makers VS IP Owners (0, Offtopic)

erroneus (253617) | about 9 years ago | (#13495171)

Hrm... seems this disparity isn't only in the music industry. More and more, the IP makers aren't earning as much as the IP owners. What should be done to correct this disparity? Personally, I'd like to see a forced reduction in the life and value of IP. This includes patents and copyrights. Patents last too long in today's fast-moving technology world. Two, three and more generations of the same basic product are developed before a patent runs out. And in the case of the GIF compression method, the patent practically outlasted the usefulness of the 'device' in question.

Copyright reductions should go without saying. These copyright vampires are robbing the public of measureless amounts of art. I wonder what politicians we can bribe into supporting this directive?

Off topic? Crap... I was just thinking about how IP owners routinely rape their resources and I went off on this rant... sorry.

Re:IP makers VS IP Owners (1)

clart (685785) | about 9 years ago | (#13495277)

Start your own buisnesss. Become an owner. Problem solved.

Re:IP makers VS IP Owners (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 years ago | (#13495284)

IP Makers need to sell their IP through another channel.

"This includes patents and copyrights. Patents last too long in today's fast-moving technology world.

Patent do not. The fact that people still use .gif proves your example wrong.

Software patents, yeah they need to stop.

A bigger question than just how much $$$ (1)

WrongByDefinition (905649) | about 9 years ago | (#13495174)

Some year's I've made $35,000.00, others ( I made over $200,000.00. Depends on so many factors, the industry you cater to, the country, the type of development, but most importantly: if you are working for yourself (better $$$, no sleep) or others (worse $$$, a tiny bit more sleep), or both (best $$$, sleep when your dead).

What's more important is who you work for; cheap corporate 'meat for the machine' development houses who don't pay overtime makes that $45,000/year worth a lot less than a small independant house who plays BBall on friday afternoons.


If picking on you won't help, then I'm really in trouble.

Raises (2, Interesting)

slax0r (787446) | about 9 years ago | (#13495182)

I was hired on at my current employer in February of 2004 and in the nearly 2 years I've been with them I have not received a raise. I lowballed my expected salary to 42,000 CAD when I was hired since I had no formal education but 4 years of experience. I managed to win an award from them in my first month of employment but still nada.

I've since gone to school to get a piece of paper, while still working 1/2 time. I'm starting to feel a little underappreciated even though I'm usually given framework/system level assignments, and senior level resources come to me with questions.

Am I being unreasonable to expect a raise even though I'm in school?

I've begrudingly convinced myself to wait until I graduate next summer before asking, but I'd like to make what I think I deserve which is somewhere between $52,000 and $60,000 and I don't think they'll give me that much of a raise in one go.

Any thoughts?

P.S. I'm considered a Senior Java, Web, and PL/SQL developer.


Re:Raises (1)

crazyphilman (609923) | about 9 years ago | (#13495242)

Get some other job offers in the 60K range. Then tell your boss that you're being courted and they've offered 60K. Tell him you'd love to stay, but you can't turn down that salary level.

He'll either boost your salary to 60K or tell you "good luck with your new job". Either way, you get the 60K.

Re:Raises (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 years ago | (#13495260)

where do you live? What ios the cost of living? what is the demand for Jave programmers? Are you personable...seriously, be honest.

those questions have to be answered before you can even begin to think you make 'too much' or 'too little' for your experience.

In Portland, Or you should be able to make 70+K if you can network people. OTOH, in San francisoc 70+K is not even liveable w/o spend 4-6 hours a day on the road.

Cost of Living (4, Insightful)

Palidine (473353) | about 9 years ago | (#13495186)

How much you make is pretty meaningless without normalizing by cost of living. $50k in Idaho is effectively 2x as much as $50k in San Francisco.


Mean or Median (1)

blibbler (15793) | about 9 years ago | (#13495191)

Its the age old question of Mean or Median. With a few earning millions, it will drag the mean up, but not the median.

The median is generally accepted as being the more appropriate method to determine average income, but sometimes people use the mean to skew the figures for one reason or another.

I deserve a break today. I'm NOT lovin' it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495196)

My salary would be a lot higher if I could convince McDonalds to value my MCSE.

Not bad... (1)

douthitb (714709) | about 9 years ago | (#13495223)

$53K, 1 year out of college, and I average just under 40 hours per week.

Wait for the next rollover, then ask (2, Interesting)

Yehooti (816574) | about 9 years ago | (#13495229)

By January 19, 2038, I hope to be comfortably retired. But for you younger folks programming, you may have a window of opportunity. Remember 1999? I was offered scads of money to reprogram some systems in a language I hadn't even learned yet, just so they could be assured of making it over the Y2K hump.

Not considering costs of living ... (1)

cccpkgb (793118) | about 9 years ago | (#13495245)

IT jobs still pay around 20-50% more than non-IT jobs, which is the only important fact. (with the exception of lawyers, doctors, and other professions , of course)

$10/hr (1)

file cabinet (773149) | about 9 years ago | (#13495255)

I am a web developer(php/mysq/javascript *groan*) working in a guy's basement. there is a backstory to all of this(I went from knowing jackshit to knowing a lot in about 2.5+ years). Now that I know a lot, I know I'm underpaid.. but I'm also bored of the work. blech.

Re:$10/hr (1)

TitanBL (637189) | about 9 years ago | (#13495295)

Learn this [] .

My situation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495259)

Same company for 6 years so far.
103,000 last year.
Miami, Fl.

I wear multiple hats. System Administrator, Manager, Programmer, Trainer, etc.

NYC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495266)

Web Developer in Manhattan (w/ 8 years experience).


45 hours a week.

But I know which way the wind is blowing, so I'm almost through law school and should get a sizeable pay raise (2x) once i start doing Computer Law for a large NYC law firm.

Total Sellout

Lies, Damn Lies, and Salary Surveys (3, Insightful)

MattW (97290) | about 9 years ago | (#13495271)

A salary survey is nigh useless to begin with, and this one seems to be worse than normal. "Average salary" - what's that? Median or mean? Where's the standard deviation? What does 'broad spectrum of organizations' mean? Is it geographically diverse?

Here's another hint: a survey requires people who answer surveys. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that people making on the high end do not generally go out of their way to answer salary surveys, whereas people paid average or less than average might be a bit prone to worrying about their salary and therefore filling out surveys and looking them up.

Want to make more money? Instead of asking what other people make, ask yourself:

* What can I do that other people (or most other people) can't? What makes me good? What's my strength? How can I be better?
* How much is what I'm doing worth? How can I use my skills to create a larger value for a company or client?
* How can I leverage my work to produce more?
* What have I done that has exceeded expectations, that could not have been predicted and is a boon for whoever pays me?

If you have already come up with good answers for the questions above, you're probably making way more than the average already.

Be in good financial shape. People living paycheck to paycheck hurt themselves because they end up afraid to take risks. Save up a large cushion of living expenses - while 4-6 months is a normal financial planner's estimate, make sure you can get an additional 12 month's worth by the time that 6 is up. With the 18 month cushion you can afford to try a lot of other things.

Finally, if you don't like what you're making, consider doing something else. A friend of mine is making over $20/hr plus benefits reading gas meters. If I was getting paid a lousy $50k to program, I'd have taken a job at his place and spent my day walking around outside. If you find yourself on the low rung, maybe this is just not what you're meant to be doing.

Well, here in Government... (2, Interesting)

crazyphilman (609923) | about 9 years ago | (#13495282)

To break into civil service, I took a pay cut from 60K (as a senior Java/Perl guy) to 43K (and had to start doing VB6 -- UGH). However, a few years later, I'm up to 52K with amazing benefits AND a pension, and I've passed a promotion test. So shortly I'm going to get boosted up over 55K, with the potential to hit 70K within five or six years. And the jobs I'm trying for are all Java jobs, so I'll escape all this VB silliness.

If you guys try for a government job, you have to start at the bottom (the 40's) but you work your way up fast, you've got great job security, and one day, you'll have a pension.

It's worth a little sacrifice, don't you think?

PA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495285)

$65,000 now, but I have a review coming up in a few weeks, expecting to walk out with 73K + extra week vacation. 4 years out of college. Might seem good, but 15 hours of my week is spent commuting, so the number goes down with respect to pay/time.

In Sterling, Virgina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495287)

Half-way through college (20 years old), making $35/hour (roughly $73k a year). Web developer on contract for ISP based in the area (take a guess).

How much are other web developers were making? (1)

kraut (2788) | about 9 years ago | (#13495292)

That depends on whether they can - or can't - write proper english sentences. ;)

Apart from that, it presumably depends on Location (I've seen 30 miles make 2/3 difference), Industry, experience, ..... How long is a piece of string?

Your salary is directly proportional... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495293)

... to your willingness to not do what you want.

Generally, you won't earn as much working a job at the small company doing exactly what you want as you would as a no-name at a big conglomerate, but you can't put a price on job satisfaction.

Simulation Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495294)

Make web-based simulations for the DoD and Navy. I make $49,500 + extremely good benefits. I also have a raise coming in a month and in February (partial raise).

Who are these guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13495303)

Why would anyone pay attention to an IT survey from a company that appears to post it's data as a scanned graphics image converted to PDF. Their web developer doesn't even know how to add a left hand margin to a web page. Check out the source code for the shortest CSS style definition you'll ever find! At least it doesn't contain any of those pesky CSS syntax errors!

Midwest Salary (1)

Water (19121) | about 9 years ago | (#13495333)

I just took a job after graduating at the end of July for 42600. I lowballed at 32000 when I interviewed because I knew I could still live comfortably in Madison, WI on that. They gave me the low end of the salary range I am sure, but it doesn't bother me too much, I really don't feel like I learned a lot in college.

I am/will be doing COBOL/CICS/Data Warehouse development and expect my salary to rise accordingly as all the guys who are there now plan to retire in 5-7 years.


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