Despite the Pandemic, DevOps Salaries Rose in 2020

Content By Devops .com

Puppet today published the results of an annual global DevOps survey that found, despite the downturn in the global economy brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, most DevOps professionals saw their salaries rise in 2020.

However, for the first time since Puppet started collecting this data, DevOps professionals working in the life sciences, health care and pharmaceutical sectors, on average, made more than those working in the financial services sector. Not surprisingly, the report also found that DevOps professionals working in the U.S. made more than their global counterparts.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents in the life sciences, health care and pharmaceutical sectors earn more than $100,000. That compares to 53% in the financial services sector and 45% of those working for technology companies.

The survey was based on responses from 2,243 DevOps professionals, and noted that organizations with highly evolved DevOps practices pay better than those that are less evolved. Among respondents working at highly evolved companies, 80% earn $75,000 per year or more. That compares to 57% that earn as much at less evolved companies. Much of that discrepancy is attributable to DevOps managers that make much more at highly evolved companies compared to their counterparts at less-evolved companies, the report noted. Two‑thirds of practitioners make less than $100,000 per year, the survey found. In general, respondents working at companies with revenue over $1 billion had the highest percentage of those earning $150,000 to $250,000 (22%).

The largest percentage increases in salaries among DevOps professionals occurred in Japan and the United Kingdom (UK). Salaries, on average, did not rise in Singapore, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. In the U.S., the demographic that saw the most growth was among DevOps professionals earning between $150,000 to $250,000, most of whom are managers. More than half of all DevOps managers in the U.S. fall within this salary range, the report noted.

The Puppet report also noted that DevOps professionals working in dedicated engineering and application development tend to make more than those that are part of a larger IT team. A third of respondents in engineering or development report salaries over $125,000 per year, compared to 22% percent in IT and 15% percent in information security.

The Puppet report also showed a divergence between what men and women earn as salary ranges increase. For both men and women earning up to $75,000 a year, salaries are similar. Between $100,000 and $125,000, women actually earn more. However, at $125,000, men (28%) earn more than women (17%). The survey, however, does not mention the experience levels of any respondents.

It’s also not clear whether the higher salaries among DevOps professionals found in the life sciences, health care and pharmaceutical sectors represent a fundamental shift, or is an aberration based on the amount of COVID-19 research being conducted.

Alanna Brown, a senior director of marketing for Puppet, said the one thing that COVID-19 has changed forever is that competition for DevOps expertise is now global. Organizations are no longer limiting themselves to hiring individuals within 50 miles of their office. In fact, DevOps professionals that have shown they can successfully work remotely will, in the months and years ahead, be in greater demand than those that have only worked in an office setting, Brown predicted. Organizations of all sizes are trying to reduce their commercial real estate expenses, Brown added.

In the meantime, the most important thing for IT professionals is to stay relevant. Site reliability engineers (SREs) with certified programming skills will make more than a traditional IT administrator. It’s up to each IT professional to make sure they have the skills that are highest in demand at a time when many IT functions are being ruthless automated by increasing numbers of DevOps professionals.

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