15 Computer Science Jobs That Pay Well

Jamie Birt

Updated September 29, 2022

Published January 28, 2019

Jamie Birt is a career coach with 5+ years of experience helping job seekers navigate the job search through one-to-one coaching, webinars and events. She’s motivated by the mission to help people find fulfillment and belonging in their careers.

From developing software programs and managing complex systems to troubleshooting problems and protecting company data, computer science professionals play an important part in any organization. By choosing a career in computer science, you’ll learn critical technology as well as analytical and communication skills you can easily transfer to nearly any other tech-based profession.

To help you select the right role based on your interest and experience, we explore in this article 15 of the highest-paying computer science jobs.

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Highest-paying jobs in computer science

Below is a list of some of the top-earning computer science jobs. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the links provided.

1. Help desk analyst

National average salary: $46,897 per year

Primary duties: A help desk analyst is an IT professional who assists internal users and clients by troubleshooting, diagnosing and correcting software and hardware problems as quickly as possible. They may also be responsible for installing new software, performing technology upgrades, setting up new employees’ workstations and responding to potential cybersecurity threats.

Companies with this position: SAIC, NTT DATA Services, IBM

2. Desktop support technician

National average salary: $50,275 per year

Primary duties: Desktop support technicians maintain an organization’s user-facing computer systems, such as desktop computers and their accessories. They install hardware and software and ensure optimal performance of all organization workstations. They may also assist with troubleshooting and correcting computer issues.

Companies with this position: Target, Sony, United States Postal Service

3. Computer programmer

National average salary: $61,011 per year

Primary duties: Computer programmers are professionals who use their knowledge of computer programming languages, such as C++ and Java, to write, test and maintain source code for various computer programs. They may also be responsible for working with IT professionals and program users to troubleshoot, debug and improve the code.

Companies with this position: Boeing, NASA, Chevron

4. Web developer

National average salary: $69,874 per year

Primary duties: Web developers design, code and update websites on behalf of their employer or a series of clients. Usually, web developers work from wireframes created by web designers. They’re responsible for making sure a completed website is visually appealing, easy to use and secure. They’re also often asked to make modifications and updates to existing websites.

Companies with this position: The Creative Group, Trilogy Education Services, General Assembly

5. Systems analyst

National average salary: $74,679 per year

Primary duties: A systems analyst is someone who relies on analyses and design techniques to help solve an organization’s information systems challenges. They’re responsible for identifying and fixing problems within existing systems, developing workflows, designing new systems and educating other employees on how to use them.

Companies with this position: Robert Half Technology, U.S. Army, Boeing

6. Application developer

National average salary: $81,124 per year

Primary duties: Application developers work on teams with application engineers and analysts to conceptualize, build and upgrade software applications. They’re often also responsible for maintaining and debugging software and patching security vulnerabilities. Application developers may work to build desktop applications, mobile applications or a combination of both.

Companies with this position: GE Corporate, Eaton, UnitedHealth Group

7. Information security analyst

National average salary: $84,656 per year

Primary duties: An information security analyst is responsible for protecting networks, computer systems and data. These professionals take proactive measures to prevent hackers from accessing an organization’s systems, such as installing updates and data encryption software. They work to stay up-to-date on threats and hacker methodologies and monitor computer systems and networks for security breaches.

Companies with this position: General Dynamics Information Technology, Wells Fargo, Citi

8. Database administrator

National average salary: $90,388 per year

Primary duties: A database administrator, also called a DBA, is someone who manages the performance of a database. They may also assist in the planning and building of a database, as well as protecting an organization’s data against cyberattacks and leaks. They perform routine maintenance and upgrades to keep databases running optimally.

Companies with this position: Diverse Lynx, Northrop Grumman, Infosys

9. Hardware engineer

National average salary: $97,256 per year

Primary duties: Hardware engineers are professionals who configure the hardware for computer systems. They determine a system layout, select the appropriate components and complete build-outs. They’re also responsible for upgrading existing systems with new parts to increase a computer’s speed and efficiency.

Companies with this position: Intel, Google, Honeywell

10. Network security engineer

National average salary: $112,971 per year

Primary duties: Network security engineers are responsible for protecting an organization’s network systems by installing firewalls, detection systems and performing cybersecurity software upgrades. In the event of a cyber attack, network security engineers work to find, isolate and correct the problem. They also perform system tests to find software and hardware vulnerabilities, and may also be responsible for educating other employees on best cybersecurity practices.

Companies with this position: Leidos, Lockheed Martin, Dell

11. Development operations engineer

National average salary: $118,608 per year

Primary duties: Also called DevOps engineer, a development operations engineer is someone who combines IT knowledge with development skills, such as scripting and coding, to understand a company’s entire systems and networks. They’re primarily responsible for testing and deploying network operations and identifying opportunities to increase a company’s technical efficiency.

Companies with this position: Cognizant Technology Solution, Booz Allen Hamilton, CGI Group

12. Software engineer

National average salary: $124,988 per year

Primary duties: A software engineer works in either application development or systems development and is responsible for designing, building, testing, maintaining and upgrading software systems. They also determine the feasibility of proposed software projects by performing analyses and preparing documentation—such as flowcharts and diagrams—to guide the software design and development process.

Companies with this position: Microsoft, Amazon.com, Apple

13. Network architect

National average salary: $131,329 per year

Primary duties: A network architect installs modems, routers and other hardware or software products as part of data communications networks. They’re responsible for determining the most effective technology products and most efficient cable layout for each network system and are often tasked with maintaining and upgrading existing systems.

Companies with this position: Verizon, AT&T, Affinity, Inc.

14. Software development manager

National average salary: $131,778 per year

Primary duties: Software development managers are responsible for hiring, training and supervising a software development team. They provide project estimates, manage budgets and coordinate technical resources to build new software programs or upgrade existing systems. Software development managers may also assist with hands-on development activities such as writing code.

Companies with this position: Robert Half Technology, Amazon.com, Oracle

15. Software architect

National average salary: $132,824 per year

Primary duties: A software architect is someone who designs and develops software systems and applications. They typically act as lead decision-makers on software development projects and determine which platforms and coding standards a software development team will use. They also make design choices and ensure finished software products meet technical criteria.

Companies with this position: Cisco, IBM, Deloitte

Skills for computer science jobs

Most computer service jobs require some or all of the following knowledge and skills:

  • Active listening

  • Communication skills

  • Fluency in programming languages

  • Organizational skills

  • Professionalism

  • Technical skills

Depending on the position you choose, you may also need leadership experience as well as a degree or certification to prove your aptitude in a specific area.

These are only a few of the highest-paying computer science jobs, and there are many additional roles available for professionals across a wide range of education and experience. By choosing to pursue a career in computer science, you’ll be well compensated and have plenty of opportunities for career advancement.

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