The second half of the year is now upon us, and many big tech companies are reporting their half yearly financial results. It should come as a shock to, well, nobody that the tech industry is in good shape. Job prospects are looking good for pretty much everybody and with many countries well on their way to economic recovery after recent stumbling blocks, wages are on the rise too.
If you’re considering a programming career or if you already have a few years’ experience under your belt, you’re probably aware that now is a great time to make a job switch. In fact, the average salary for a computer programmer just hit a record-smashing, all time high of $100,000.
However, some languages are seemingly more valuable than others. There are lots of reasons why; it could be in high demand, or it could require more expertise than others for example. So depending on which one you decide to focus on you may be bringing home less cash than other programmers out there.
If you want to get rich, you need to be learning any one of the languages in the below list. Broadly speaking, they all fall in or around the same ballpark salary. They’re also NOT starting salaries. Sorry to burst to the bubble, but there’s no get rich quick scheme in programming or any other career field. If you want to make the big bucks, you need to work hard and stay dedicated. But if you do, big rewards await.
So, what are the highest paid programming languages of 2016? Sit back and let us tell you.
1. Ruby (on Rails)
Average Salary: $108,000
According to the TIOBE popularity index released in June 2016, Ruby sits exactly halfway down the list of the 20 most popular programming languages at number 10. So why does its average salary beat that of most popular language (Java) by a cool $13k a year? Well, it’s mostly because Ruby on Rails is the hot ticket in the tech world right now. It’s the complete web framework used by web giants like Groupon and Basecamp as well as many a start-up. It has slipped down a popularity spot this year however, so maybe a wage drop is on the horizon?
Average Salary: $104,000
Swift’s position at number 2 will come as a surprise to many; the language is barely 2 years old. Since it’s Apple’s very own dedicated programming language however its demand and popularity skyrocketed pretty much as soon as it was released. So far it has lived up to the hype too, which is a good sign. There’s a chance the astronomical wages will level off after a few years, but right now Swift is definitely the way to a fat pay check.
Average Salary: $104,000
Objective-C is Swift’s biggest rival, and has been around for a lot longer than it’s whippersnapper competitor. It is still relied on by Apple to develop its iOS and OSX applications, and has various other uses too. So although Swift may eventually eclipse it as far as Apple is concerned, there’s no need to worry; anyone who knows Objective-C can easily and seamlessly transfer their knowledge to Swift. But for now, continue to enjoy a healthy bank account.
Average Salary: $100,000
Python has seen a steady growth in popularity over the last few years that isn’t set to slow down soon. It has major players like Google and NASA on its side, is cross-platform, easy to learn and can do a large number of things. In short it’s a great all-rounder, and any programmer who knows Python well will be seen in the same light (and be compensated generously for their knowledge). Its future is bright too with 8 out of 10 computer science departments now using Python to teach beginners to code.
Average Salary: $98,000
A long standing member of the famous ‘C’ family of Microsoft programming languages, C++ is efficient, flexible, reliable, and especially suited to large systems and server platforms. There are few languages who can match its power and performance, Its popularity and demand hasn’t waned much despite the influx of ‘hip’ new languages, so promising job prospects and a more than adequate salary is more or less guaranteed both now and in the forseeable future (at least).
Average Salary: $96,000
C is the grandfather of modern programming, the core foundation block of systems development. Despite its age, it continues to thrive in popularity and demand, and any C programmer is more or less promised a generous salary for at least the next couple of years (and probably longer). Although many have tried, no other language has yet been able to beat the performance, versatility and precision that C offers for both small and mammoth projects.
Average Salary: $95,000
Since it’s the most popular language according to the TIOBE index, you’d expect Java to be higher up on this list. That said, we definitely wouldn’t refuse a $95,000 paycheck – would you? Like the web it was designed for, Java is ubiquitous and senior Java developers are one of if not the most in-demand programmers in the entire industry. Although for those starting out the paycheck may not be quite as big, it doesn’t take long to start raking it in. While some languages higher on the list may be subject to a fall in wages over time, Java never will be.
Average Salary: $94,000
Often times R programmers can fetch more than the figure listed above. This is because it’s a highly specialised language with a niche use; statistical computing, data analysis, data mining, and specialised graphics development. All are in high demand at present as companies gather and utilise more and more data. This means that good R programmers are hard to come by so when they are, very tempting salaries are offered.
Average Salary: $91,000
The last of the ‘C’ family to make it to this list, C# is well known for its simplicity, wide application of uses, and strong affiliation with Windows. Recently it has been gaining ground in game programming too, proving that you can always teach an old dog new tricks. Considering its age, C# arguably shouldn’t be this highly regarded anymore, but it’s performance and flexibility have proved otherwise.
Average Salary: $89.000
No matter which language you end up choosing, you can be sure you’ll have a steady wage and more importantly, a promising career path. And if you’re not sure which language to choose, our online help guide is a great place to start.