Top 10 Highest-Paid Programming Languages

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 1, 2022 | Published March 8, 2021

Updated June 1, 2022

Published March 8, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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Technology trends change more rapidly than in most other industries. Programming languages that were once industry standards can quickly become obsolete when new additions take off in the coding world. Knowing which languages are in demand in the tech industry can help you decide how to move forward in your career. 

In this article, we look at various programming languages and list which ones have the highest salaries for their programmers.

What is a programming language?

A programming language is a set of instructions that tells a piece of software or technology how to function. There are around 700 programming languages that engineers use to create websites and apps, create databases and maintain digital infrastructure. 

Programming languages all have the purpose of directing tech operations, but the way programmers interact with these languages can vary based on their project needs and personal preferences. Programmers often choose languages that integrate easily with the hardware, software or systems they intend to use and that have received positive feedback and reviews in the tech industry. The popularity of a programming language increases the demand for fluent programmers, therefore creating jobs and raising salaries.

Related: The 7 Best Programming Languages To Learn in 2022

Top 10 highest-paying programming languages

Here are 10 of the highest-paying programmer jobs by coding language, according to Statista:

1. Haskell

Haskell first appeared in 1990. A committee created this language to eliminate the challenges of its predecessors, like ML, Hope and Miranda. Programmers use Haskell for research and to teach functional block coding. 

Key features of this language include shorter development times, high reliability and cleaner code. The Association for Computing Machinery holds the Haskell Symposium annually to gather and share insights about the language. 

Haskell programmers make an average of $121,000 per year.

2. C

C is one of the oldest programming languages in existence but is still one of the most popular. Created by an American computer scientist in 1972, C is a general-purpose language, meaning it does not restrict programmers in what they can use it to develop. C language is the root of other popular programming languages like Java, JavaScript and PHP. 

C language programmers earn an average of $125,00 per year developing operating systems, databases and compilers, depending on their job title and level of experience.

Read more: A Guide to C Programming: Definitions, Uses and Benefits

3. Swift

Swift launched in 2014 and became one of the fastest growing programming languages of the late 2010s. It was designed to make building iOS apps easier on both mobile and desktop devices, and for creating artificial intelligence (AI) applications. 

Swift programmers make an average of $125,000 per year, working on apps for ride-share, vacation property rental and mobile payment companies.

Related: How To Become an iOS Developer (With Salary and Job Duties)

4. Kotlin

Kotlin first appeared in 2011, and by 2017 it became the official programming language of Android development. The language is like Java but requires programmers to write less code to complete the same functions. Kotlin also has a feature that helps developers avoid common programming mistakes. Like Go, GitHub lists Kotlin as one of the fastest-growing programming languages. 

Kotlin programmers make an average of $130,000 per year with the multi-platform mobile, server-side web frontend language. Kotlin programmers work with search engines, mobile payment companies and project management tools, among other industries.

Related: Android Developer Resume Examples and Templates

5. Perl

Perl was created over 30 years ago and has developed into an entire family of languages that includes Raku. Perl is rich in features and runs over 100 platforms from portables to mainframes. Programmers use it for prototyping, text manipulation, web development and network programming. 

Perl programmers earn an average salary of $130,000 per year.

6. Ruby

Created by a Japanese programmer and released in 1995, Ruby has a basis in multiple coding languages. The programmer designed Ruby for coder productivity, and as a language meant to be fun for others to use. Ruby has spawned several conferences and annual meet-ups of its coders over the last 26 years. 

Ruby programmers make an average of $130,000 per year to develop web applications and servers, among other products.

7. Rust

Created as a side project of a tech company employee, Rust premiered in 2010. The language is comparable to C and C++, incorporating many of the same commands and keywords of both languages, along with some elements unique to Rust only. It is one of the fastest-growing programming languages, according to GitHub. Focused on safety and performance, two of Rust's hallmarks are its prevention of bugs and its efficient memory. The language can run on hardware devices and networking services. 

Rust programmers can earn an average of $130,000 per year working with web browsers, file sharing systems and online marketplaces, among other industries.

Related: Functional Programming Languages: A Beginner's Guide

8. Objective C

Objective C was created in the 1980s but became more widely known after introducing mass-market virtual application stores to the public in the 2000s. Like Go and Java, Objective-C is marketed as "a superset" of C language. Its primary use is developing iOS apps and operating systems. 

Though this language has seen a decline since the premiere of Swift, it is still popular enough to earn Objective C programmers an average of $135,000 per year.

9. Go

Go, also referred to as Golang, was developed in 2007 and launched in 2009. Like Java and PHP, Go is modeled after C language and was created to be an alternative to C++ and Java. It is one of the fastest-growing programming languages, according to the code-hosting platform GitHub. Go is a system-level language that programmers use across large-scale network servers and extensive distributed systems. 

Go programmers make an average of $140,000 per year using the open-source platform. Go programmers work with streaming services, file sharing applications and audio distribution platforms, among other industries.

Related: 6 Types of Programming Jobs

10. Scala

Developed by a German computer scientist in the early 2000s, Scala is an abbreviation for Scalable Language. The language debuted on Jan. 20, 2004. Though not an extension of the Java language, Scala integrates with it, and many native Java developers use it regularly. 

It is used to make business applications more productive, reliable and scalable. It was also designed to avoid common bugs found in similar and competing coding languages. Scala is a multi-paradigm language, meaning it supports multiple programming paradigms, or programming patterns. 

Scala programmers make an average of $150,000 per year working with social media programs, internal content management systems and back-end platforms.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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