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, here are 15 of the highest paying computer science jobs:
Highest-paying jobs in computer science
Here's a list of some of the top-earning computer science jobs:
National average salary: $18.25 per hour
Primary duties: A helpdesk 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.
National average salary: $19.82 per hour
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.
National average salary: $24.83 per hour
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.
National average salary: $74,115 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.
National average salary: $76,307 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.
National average salary: $82,831 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.
National average salary: $84,588 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.
National average salary: $94,659 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 cyber attacks and leaks. They perform routine maintenance and upgrades to keep databases running optimally.
National average salary: $97,873 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.
National average salary: $107,685 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.
National average salary: $108,224 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.
National average salary: $121,996 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.
National average salary: $129,601 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.
National average salary: $131,406 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.
National average salary: $141,409 per year
Primary duties: A software architect is someone who designs and develops software systems and applications. They typically act as a lead decision maker 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.
Skills for computer science jobs
Most computer service jobs require some or all of the following knowledge and 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.