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If you’re looking to break into tech, you may be considering a few facts. Of course, we all consider the skills needed for a specific role as well as our desire to work in a particular technical focus. However, the one thing most people tend to focus on when considering if a job is the right fit for them is usually how much money they’ll be making. Honestly, you can’t blame tech career hopefuls for prioritizing their payday! 


The cost of living nationwide is continuing to grow considerably as we move into a new era of technological innovation. However, when living in a major city such as Seattle, there are inevitably more costs. While the average cost of housing in Seattle is around $750,000, this number is significantly lower than other tech hubs of the West coast. Additionally, Seattle’s median salary that is needed for one person to live comfortably in the city is around $72,000.


As you’ll soon find out, the best and brightest tech minds of Seattle are generously compensated for their expertise and innovative work ethic. With so many different tech jobs to choose from, how can tech professionals both new and seasoned decide which job prospects are worth their time? Stick around for the breakdown on the highest paying jobs in Seattle. 


The Age of Tech Giants and Startups 


Amazon logo on a phone.

In the early days of tech and the internet, there were only a few major players in the game. Startups weren’t popping up the same way they do  today. This allowed the few major companies to keep a major part of the tech industry for themselves. While some of these big companies still hold a lot of power in the tech industry today, we’ve started seeing a shift over the past decade that’s pretty intriguing. 


Startups aren’t anything new per say, but the sheer amount of startups that are popping up across the globe is. The amount of money startups have been pulling in has steadily grown over the past few years. However,  over the last couple months things have changed. We’ve gone from steady to skyrocketing, as the amount of money startups raised increased by almost $300 million dollars to the whopping $1.07 Billion dollars that it is today. 


While this number is good news for the startup industry, the number of “exits” or startups bought out by major companies has also continued to increase. This buying of small companies is continuing to become a trend across the tech scene. Industry giants with enough money have latched on to a “if you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em” mentality. With Amazon’s acquisitions of Twitch and Audible, and Google’s Acquisitions of Youtube and Fitbit, what started out as a slew of small startups has quickly risen to join the major tech giants of the industry. With so much buying and selling amongst companies, it makes you wonder if startups and tech giants can ever coexist peacefully, that’s where Seattle comes in. 


There are numerous startups in Seattle that are thriving under the shadow of Seattle’s major tech competitors. With Seattle native Microsoft and other major companies, such as Amazon, currently housing huge campuses in Seattle, competition for workers is steep. While this may seem like a bad thing, it’s actually great for workers. With competition comes higher wages, better perks, and better work atmospheres. Companies are fighting for skilled workers and will do anything they can to attract talent. 


Highest Paying Tech Jobs in Seattle 


US Dollar Bill.


Tech remains one of the most lucrative career markets in the world.

With so many jobs and so much demand for qualified technical experts, which job opportunities pay the highest?  Let’s break down the highest paying jobs in Seattle. 


1. Machine Learning Scientist – $133,000 per year (tied)


Machine Learning Scientists work hand in hand with Data Scientists to work with mass amounts of data. Through a variety of skills, Machine Learning Scientists are able to process mass amounts of data, interpret it, and contribute to the overall compilation of such data. 


Machine Learning Scientists must be well versed in a variety of coding languages and operating systems. 


The average salary for a Machine Learning Scientist in Seattle is around $133,000 per year which doesn’t include any bonuses or perks. The low end of this salary is around $105,000 while the high end is $170,000. 


2. Data Scientists – $133,000 per year (tied)

As the name might suggest, the life of a technical Data Scientist pretty much revolves around one thing, data. Data Scientists are responsible for making sense of large amounts of data and breaking this information down into understandable terms. Data Scientists spend large amounts of time collecting, cleaning, organizing, and interpreting data. Data Scientists are also responsible for building algorithms that collect and optimize data as well as continuously innovating ways that their company extracts, stores, and organizes data. 


For such a complicated and prestigious technical job, you could imagine that companies would pay massive amounts of money for Data Science positions. Again, you’d be right.


The average Data Scientist salary in Seattle is $133,000 per year. This of course does not include any bonuses, stock options, or fancy office perks and upgrades. On the low end, Data Science newbies earn around $105,000. Seasoned Data Scientists can potentially earn as much as $170,000 per year. If you’re a master of all things numbers and love solving complex problems, Seattle’s massive and lucrative Data Science industry may just be the career for you! 


3. Cloud Architect – $128,000 per year 

As the name might suggest, Cloud Architects are responsible for building and maintaining cloud systems. Remember the cloud? The platform that backs up our cellphones in case we drop them too many times. Many people would be hard pressed to actually explain what the cloud is and what it does. For Cloud Architects, their entire job description is knowing this. 


With the world of technology only getting bigger and the demand for more data storage increasing every day, Cloud Architects are vital to the future of technology as we know it. 


The average salary for a Cloud Architect in Seattle is around $128,000 per year. This doesn’t include any bonuses, stock options, or perks. Various salaries for this position range from $63,000 to $178,000 per year. 


4. Software Engineer – $123,452 per year 


As the creative minds behind some of the most prominent programs on the internet and beyond, Software Engineers are responsible for working technical magic and putting raw ideas into code and churning out beautiful programs to be enjoyed by millions of users. While this is definitely a job with a lot of responsibility, the payout is pretty outstanding. 


The average Software Engineer salary in Seattle is just under $124,000 per year. This of course does not include any end of year bonuses, company stock options, or standard office perks like free food, and transportation .The low end for this salary is around $94,000 per year while the high end is $149,000 per year. 


If you’re looking to create innovative and potentially world changing programs all while living in one of the most culturally diverse and lively cities in the world, rest assured that you’ll be making a pretty lucrative living while you’re coding away at your trendy new office.


5. DevOps Engineers – $115,000 per year

DevOps Engineers are one of the lesser known yet highly important careers of the tech industry. DevOps Engineers are essentially “jacks of all trades” and are trained in a variety of coding languages and skills. DevOps Engineers manage databases and coordinate with different Software Engineers and IT professionals to ensure that all systems are functionally properly. DevOps Engineers routinely test different code segments, implement changes and updates to programs, and script different elements of code to build and maintain a functional application. 


The average salary for a DevOps Engineer in Seattle is $115,000 per year. This of course does not include any bonuses, stock options, or office perks. 


The low end salary of a DevOps Engineer is $90,000. Seasoned DevOps Engineers can earn as much as $147,000 per year. 


How Does This Benefit You? 


Person pointing at computer screen.


How can you use this info to your advantage?

If you’re new to coding or are just considering switching careers to the tech industry, you may be wondering what this all means for you. Even if a high paying job isn’t your only priority when looking for a job in the Seattle tech scene, knowing the highest paying job trends of Seattle’s tech scene can help you decide which career path may be the most stable and successful option for you. 


As you continue to grow throughout your coding journey, keeping yourself informed of the industry’s latest happenings will be absolutely vital to your career success. 

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