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15 Highest- and Lowest-Paying Jobs in Tech

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Thanks to the recent tech boom, there continues to be a growing demand for people to fill tech jobs. Tech occupations made up three out of the top four jobs on job search site Indeed’s Best Jobs of 2018 list, which ranked jobs based on both salary and abundance of opportunity. And because of rapidly developing technology, there’s a growing need for people with expertise in fields such as AI and robotics.

However, not all technology jobs pay well. GOBankingRates determined the highest- and lowest-paying jobs in tech by analyzing salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Salary.com and Glassdoor. Although the best-paying jobs will have you earning six figures, you might be struggling to make ends meet with the lowest-paying tech jobs.

Click through to see which jobs will send your net worth soaring.

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15 Lowest-Paying Jobs in the Tech Industry

Many tech jobs require a bachelor’s degree, and some even require a master’s or Ph.D. However, with their relatively low salaries, these tech jobs might not be worth the time and money required to obtain them.

Click through to find out the tech jobs with the lowest salaries.

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15. Computer Programmers

  • Mean hourly wage: $42.08
  • Mean annual wage: $87,530

Computer programmers write and test codes for computer applications and software. The job typically requires a bachelor’s degree, though some employers only require an associate degree. Not only does the job not pay well compared to other tech jobs, but the number of available jobs in the field is declining, so there’s low job security.

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14. Operations Research Analysts

  • Mean hourly wage: $41.59
  • Mean annual wage: $86,510

Operations research analysts use mathematical and analytical methods to help companies investigate, identify and solve problems. The job typically requires a bachelor’s degree, though some employers might require a master’s degree. Although the pay is not the best compared to other tech jobs, the demand for operations research analysts is rapidly increasing, which could mean added job security.

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13. Network and Computer Systems Administrators

  • Mean hourly wage: $41.51
  • Mean annual wage: $86,340

Network and computer systems administrators make sure that a company’s computer networks are operating as needed on a day-to-day basis. Some employers only require a post-secondary certificate or associate degree for the position, though this is a job that might require a bachelor’s degree.

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12. Web Developers

  • Mean hourly wage: $35.63
  • Mean annual wage: $74,110

Web developers design and create websites, so they need to have a knowledge of both programming and graphic design. The amount of education required varies depending on the employer, but ranges from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree. The need for web developers is rising, so it could be a good career choice for those looking to get into the tech field without a college degree.

Don’t Miss: Google Jobs Ranked by Salary

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11. Computer Network Support Specialists

  • Mean hourly wage: $32.46
  • Mean annual wage: $67,510

Computer network support specialists are responsible for analyzing, testing and troubleshooting an organization’s computer networks, as well as performing routine maintenance on the networks. California, Texas and New York are the biggest employers for this occupation.

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10. Survey Researchers

  • Mean hourly wage: $29.18
  • Mean annual wage: $60,700

Survey researchers design and conduct surveys and analyze the data they gather. Not only does the job not pay well, but the job outlook is also poor with a lower-than-average growth rate. This occupation typically requires a master’s or Ph.D., so it might not be worth the inevitable student loan debt.

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9. Network Administrator

  • Mean hourly wage: $28.30
  • Mean annual wage: $58,873

Network administrators ensure that their employer’s computer networks are working properly. Most positions require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, though some jobs might only require a post-secondary certificate or associate degree.

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8. Operations Research Analyst (Entry Level)

  • Mean hourly wage: $27.88
  • Mean annual wage: $57,996

The top 10 percent of operations research analysts earn an average salary of $134,470, but entry-level positions pay only about half as much. There is above-average job growth for this occupation, so it is possible to move up to a higher salary within the field.

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7. Computer User Support Specialists

  • Mean hourly wage: $26.03
  • Mean annual wage: $54,150

Computer user support specialists provide technical advice to clients or provide support for a computer network. The amount of education required varies from job to job, but some positions only require post-secondary classes or an associate degree. Employment for this sector of the industry is growing rapidly.

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6. Recruiter (Entry Level)

  • Mean hourly wage: $25.86
  • Mean annual wage: $53,795

Recruiters help find people to fill open job positions. Being a recruiter usually requires a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business or a related field, but requirements will vary based on the employer.

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5. Account Representative (Entry Level)

  • Mean hourly wage: $25.57
  • Mean annual wage: $53,180

Account representatives build and maintain client relationships in order to boost sales. They usually rely more on on-the-job training than any formal degrees, so many roles only require a high school diploma.

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4. Quality Assurance Specialist (Entry Level)

  • Mean hourly wage: $25.45
  • Mean annual wage: $52,940

Quality assurance specialists make sure a product or service is working properly, and have no defects or deviations from the norm. This position typically only requires a high school diploma, plus on-the-job training that could take a month to a year to complete.

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3. Sales Support Representative (Entry Level)

  • Mean hourly wage: $24.33
  • Mean annual wage: $50,616

Sales support representatives assist members of a sales team with administrative tasks, such as data entry and record keeping. This job might require a bachelor’s degree, depending on the employer.

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2. Customer Success Representative (Entry Level)

  • Mean hourly wage: $22.06
  • Mean annual wage: $45,887

Customer success representatives handle customer complaints, process orders and provide customers with information. The job typically only requires a high school diploma, but good communication skills are vital.

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1. Technical Support Representative (Entry Level)

  • Mean hourly wage: $16.70
  • Mean annual wage: $34,737

Technical support representatives provide basic technical assistance to customers via phone, email and other remote methods. Like many of the other lowest-paying tech jobs, the occupation typically only requires a high school diploma.

Time to Change Jobs? These Are the Fastest-Growing Occupations

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15 Highest-Paying Jobs in the Tech Industry

Most of the highest-paying jobs in tech require a bachelor’s degree or higher, but the earning potential is great. Of the top 15 jobs, 11 have average salaries that are in the six-figures, with the top-paying job paying over $149,000 a year on average.

Click through to see tech jobs that pay the most.

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15. Database Administrators

  • Mean hourly wage: $42.81
  • Mean annual wage: $89,050

DBAs use special software to organize data and make sure it’s accessible to others who need it. The job typically requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. Not only does the job pay well, but employment for the occupation is also growing at an above-average pace.

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14. Computer Occupations (All Other)

  • Mean hourly wage: $43.79
  • Mean annual wage: $91,080

Computer jobs are available in numerous industries, including the federal government, consulting companies and employment services. California, Texas and Washington, D.C., are the top employers of computer-based jobs.

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13. Computer Systems Analysts

  • Mean hourly wage: $44.59
  • Mean annual wage: $92,740

Computer systems analysts study a company’s computer systems and come up with ways to make them operate better. The job usually requires a bachelor’s degree.

Read: 12 High-Paying Jobs That Only Require an Associate Degree

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12. Information Security Analysts

  • Mean hourly wage: $47.93
  • Mean annual wage: $99,690

Information security analysts ensure that a company’s computer networks are secure. The job usually requires a bachelor’s degree, as well as experience working in a related field. If you have the qualifications it’s a good job to consider, as the demand for the job is growing at an above-average rate.

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11. Application Software Developers

  • Mean hourly wage: $51.30
  • Mean annual wage: $106,710

These software developers focus on creating and analyzing computer applications. California, Texas and Washington are the biggest employers for this occupation.

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10. Computer Network Architects

  • Mean hourly wage: $51.86
  • Mean annual wage: $107,870

Computer network architects are responsible for designing and building data communication networks. Most employers will require a bachelor’s degree and related job experience for this role.

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9. Systems Software Developers

  • Mean hourly wage: $53.74
  • Mean annual wage: $111,780

Systems software developers design, test, develop and research software for a number of industries, including the military, the medical industry, businesses and communications companies. California has the highest employment level for this job, as well as the highest salaries. Systems software developers working in California make an average salary of $127,230.

Must-Read: How Do You Stack Up to the Average Income in Your State?

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8. IT Project Manager

  • Mean hourly wage: $57.13
  • Mean annual wage: $118,822

IT project managers plan and coordinate all computer- and technology-related activities in their organization. This job usually requires a bachelor’s degree, and many IT managers have a graduate degree as well. Although the education bar is high, this is a good job to get, as the employment growth for the position is above average.

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7. Computer and Information Research Scientists

  • Mean hourly wage: $57.49
  • Mean annual wage: $119,570

These scientists find the best uses for existing technology and develop new computing technology as well. Most computer and information research scientist jobs will require a master’s degree, although some government positions only require a bachelor’s. Employment is growing quickly for this job.

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6. Computer Hardware Engineer

  • Mean hourly wage: $57.52
  • Mean annual wage: $119,650

Computer hardware engineers design, test and build various computer hardware systems, such as processors and circuit boards. The job usually requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program. Although employment is growing in the field, there is more of a demand for software engineers than hardware engineers.

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5. Product Manager

  • Mean hourly wage: $57.91
  • Mean annual wage: $120,444

Product managers develop new software and update existing software to meet the needs of users and the market. A bachelor’s degree and four to seven years of related experience are usually required for the job.

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4. Operations Manager

  • Mean hourly wage: $59.35
  • Mean annual wage: $123,460

Operations managers plan and coordinate the operations necessary in a given organization. California, Texas and New York have the highest employment levels for this occupation.

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3. Sales Manager

  • Mean hourly wage: $66.18
  • Mean annual wage: $137,650

Sales managers are responsible for setting goals, analyzing data and conducting training for sales team members. A bachelor’s degree is usually required, as well as previous experience as a sales representative.

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2. Marketing Manager

  • Mean hourly wage: $70.01
  • Mean annual wage: $145,620

Marketing managers plan and direct marketing to drive interest in a product or service. These jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree, as well as related work experience. Employment is growing quickly for this job.

Click to find out which jobs you’re most and least likely to live paycheck to paycheck.

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1. Computer and Information Systems Manager

  • Mean hourly wage: $71.99
  • Mean annual wage: $149,730

These managers establish technology goals and devise plans to achieve them. Most computer and information systems managers have a bachelor’s degree, and many have a graduate degree as well. The extra schooling could pay off thanks to the high average salary.

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What Are the Best Jobs in Tech?

Unsurprisingly, many of the top-paying tech jobs are managerial positions, which require previous work experience to obtain. Meanwhile, many of the low-paying jobs are entry-level positions.

Although most of the jobs on both ends of the spectrum require a bachelor’s degree, those that only require a high school degree tend to be on the lower-paying end, while those that require a graduate degree pay more.

In addition to pay, it’s also important to pay attention to the rate of employment growth of a particular job. With technology, changes are rapid, so a job that was in-demand five years ago might no longer be a secure choice today.

Click through to read more about the hottest, highest-paying STEM careers.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates analyzed employment data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics. The most recent data is from May 2017. GOBankingRates also obtained salary information from Glassdoor and Salary.com. Tech occupations were ranked according to hourly and annual wages.