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Salary Report Says Program Managers Top Software Engineers

Software engineers or data scientists often head the list of tech salary surveys, but the latest study from careers firm Hired Inc. shows a new leader: program manager.

That observation comes in Hired's study of thousands of first-half 2016 interview requests counted on the company's platform.

"Product managers were offered more money than any other tech role," reported Hired's Jake Standish in a blog post last week. "Initial offers in Q2 were $133K on average, which is 2 percent lower than offers in Q1, but still the highest in tech. Interview requests with product managers increased by 8 percent in Q2, so salaries may go up again."

In the face of "rumblings of a tech slowdown," the salaries of software engineers actually decreased slightly. Not to say they're doing that badly in the latest numbers.

"While salary offers for software engineers decreased by 2 percent in Q2, at $123K on average, job security is no concern," Hired said. "Software engineers have received nearly 56,000 interview requests in 2016 -- the highest of any tech role by far -- and Q2 saw a 14 percent increase in requests."

Nor, for that matter, are data scientists faring poorly.

"While interview requests for data science candidates grew by a whopping 20 percent in Q2 -- the most of any tech role -- the number of data science candidates on the platform increased by even more at 50 percent. This surplus of data science talent may be driving salaries down. In Q2, companies offered data scientists an average of $127K, which is down by 2 percent since Q1."

Silicon Valley is still the king of tech, of course, so tech pros in the San Francisco Bay Area continue to command the highest salaries, with software engineers pulling down an average of $135,853, which is a 1 percent drop from Q1's numbers. Several other studies, such as this one and this one (also from Hired), have factored in cost-of-living expenses to show that developers actually get more bang for their buck in cities such as Austin and Seattle.

Here's Hired's geographical comparison:

Location Average Salary Percent Change
SF Bay Area $135,853 Down 1 percent
Seattle $128,268 Up 3 percent
Los Angeles $124,200 Up 2 percent
New York $123,415 Up 1 percent
Denver $119,214 Up 2 percent
Boston $118,789 Stable
Austin $115,035 Up 4 percent
Chicago $110,410 Up 4 percent
Washington, DC $110,389 Down 5 percent
San Diego $108,625 Up 1 percent

The report also indicated that designers still get the lowest pay in the tech sector, $115,000 (down 2 percent from Q1) but enjoy high demand second only to software engineers.

Also, Hired said: "Despite chatter around the tightening funding environment, early-stage companies increased their interest in hiring new talent in Q2, and even more so than major corporations. Seed companies sent 24 percent more interview requests, while major corporations sent 13 percent more. The good news is that companies at every stage have increased the number of interview requests they've sent and initial salary offers have increased by 6 percent overall."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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