Host said: Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?
What skills should you learn to increase your salary?
If your talking a corporate job, salary + benefits at a company. The large and mid-size companies are generally either Java or .NET shops, or both. Mid-level (4-8 yrs) Java you should be asking for at least $85k. Jr level down to $40k, senior (8+ yrs) up to $90-100k. Tends to cap out there and the offshoring has held those Java pay levels in place for several years, but still not too bad.
You can get a premium in NYC and/or in a financial svcs company, senior level $90-130k/yr + benefits. Junior level you should be asking at least $40-50k/yr minimum. Or you can contract out, a little less secure than a permanent gig and you get paid hourly. Generally from $25/hr for beginner to $80-90 hr. mid/senior Java. I suggest you specialize in Java/J2EE or .NET and some web stuff seems to be looking good to companies lately on a resume as well. They don't know what AJAX is, but they're being told its the future.