What’s the Average Python Developer Salary in the US, and Why Is Python So Popular, Anyway?

Nov 10, 2016

Our reserach showed that the average Python developer salary in the US is $109,810. But there's more. We also found out which states are the highest-paying for Python software developers, estimated the real number of Python developers in the world, and explored the reasons behind Python's popularity.

2015 and 2016 have been big years for Python. According to the 2016 Developer Survey by StackOverflow, Python ranks as the world’s sixth most popular programming language for the second year in a row, and is also rated the fourth most wanted technology of the year.

Python is also one of the hottest tech skills to have, according to research by Dice, with demand slightly outstripping supply.

More impressive still, according to the PYPL Popularity of Programming Language Index, Python is now the second most popular programming language in the world. The index was created by analyzing how often language tutorials are searched on Google.

The Average Python Developer Salary in the US

Although there is a general trend that indicates developers specializing in rarer technologies are offered more generous salaries than those with knowledge of more widespread ones, Python seems to be an exception.

According to Gooroo, a platform that provides tech skill and salary analytics, Python is one of the highest-paying programming languages in the USA. In fact, at $103,492 per year, Python developers are — on average — the second best-paid in the country, with only Ruby engineers in front of them.

Skill Average salary Monthly jobs advertised
Ruby US$108,065 2,773
Python US$103,492 7,732
C++ US$101,561 6,487
Java US$99,951 17,528
Perl US$99,857 3,516
JavaScript US$95,902 13,600
C# US$94,653 8,809
PHP US$93,169 2,994
C US$92,812 9,132
ASP.NET US$92,150 3,639

It’s not exactly surprising to see Python rank so highly, given that it was among the highest-paying and most in-demand languages last year as well.

Average Python Developer Salaries by State | Gooroo

$103,492 is a figure not to be sniffed at, but it’s worth noting that tech salaries differ greatly from state to state, and the national average may not be enough to judge how much a Python engineer will be worth to your company. So how much does a Python developer make in each state?

To add some context, we decided to take a closer look at the 7,732 Python job ads analyzed by Gooroo in September 2016.

State Average salary Monthly jobs advertised
Delaware US$116,667 36
New York US$113,901 546
California US$108,498 1852
Illinois US$108,087 247
Rhode Island US$107,273 11
Washington US$106,720 375
Massachusetts US$104,596 507
Connecticut US$104,063 64
New Jersey US$103,850 213
Virginia US$103,719 644

Python developer salaries in the USA, highest-paying programming languages

Predictably, New York and California rank among the top three states with the highest Python programmer contract rates. Perhaps they would be worthy of the top two spots, as it’s hard to say whether Delaware, although forecasted to become the East Coast's Silicon Valley, actually deserves the crown, since there were only 36 Python jobs advertised in this state over the given period.

Average Python Programmer Salaries by State | Indeed

There were a few other states in the Gooroo’s top 10 with negligible numbers of Python vacancies, so we decided to analyze one more source of salary information.

Here are the ten states with the highest average programmer salaries for Python provided by the Indeed salary calculator, which collects salary data of the last 6 months.

State Average salary Employees, users, and past and present job ads
Connecticut US$142,167 95
California US$126,884 6,384
New York US$124,706 4,457
Massachusetts US$117,304 2,226
Minnesota US$115,145 51
Maryland US$114,706 429
Colorado US$114,391 235
Virginia US$112,315 821
Arizona US$109,517 115
New Hampshire US$108,576 17

Python developer salaries in the US, highest-paying programming languages

Some results were surprising: the average Python developer contract rate in the USA suggested by Indeed — $116,129 per year — is about $13K higher than the one calculated by Gooroo.

However, other findings remained constant: New York and California still ranked in the top three, while the first place belonged to Connecticut, albeit with the caveat that the number of Python job ads there was still significantly lower that in the other two states.

Massachusetts and Virginia were the only other states to appear in the top 10 for both rankings.

Another interesting point is that California, New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia also happen to have the greatest number of open Python positions in the US, but when it comes to tech growth, California hasn’t been the fastest to add tech jobs in the first half of 2016, while New York and Virginia even lost tech jobs (find out more here: What’s the Average Software Developer Salary in Each State?).

We also analyzed the average wages in the most-searched cities for Python developer salaries on Google. These include San Francisco, New York, San Jose, Boston, Austin, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, and Atlanta.

According to Indeed, the highest-paid Python engineers live in San Francisco, CA, where the average salary of a Python developer reaches $135K per year.

 

San Francisco $135,033
New York $129,498
San Jose $128,726
Boston $118,312
Austin $113,927
Los Angeles $110,018
Seattle $109,125
Chicago $107,335
Atlanta $106,560

 

The average Python developer salary in New York is almost $129,5K. Python programmers in Los Angeles fall behind their colleagues from NYC with about $110K per annum.

python-salaries-by-city

Atlanta, GA, turned out to have the lowest compensation level — the average Python developer salary here is a little over $106,5K.

What Makes Python So Popular?

The average salary of a Python computer programmer may be high, but it can’t possibly be the only reason explaining why so many engineers choose this language as their favorite. We decided to explore other factors contributing to Python’s popularity:

1. The world’s tech giants love it. Google, Youtube, Facebook, IBM, NASA, Dropbox, Yahoo, Mozilla, Quora, Instagram, and Reddit are just a few of the big names on the tech scene that use Python for a wide range of purposes, and are continuously on the lookout for Python engineers.

Source: Skill Up 2016: Developer Skills Report

Google, for one, uses Python for anything from AI algorithms to the App Engine Cloud. Meanwhile, 99.9% of Dropbox’s code is in Python, including server backend, desktop client, website controller logic, API backend, and analytics tools.

2. It’s widely used in machine learning. With the rise of data science, Python’s popularity as a scientific language has soared. There are many machine learning libraries written in Python, in addition to a great number of tools that make it easy to do machine learning.

Source: Skill Up 2016: Developer Skills Report

3. It’s perfect for beginners. Python is a great choice for beginner programmers because of its simple and flexible syntax. With Python, you can get started easily and immediately build towards something usable. This feeling of accomplishment early on is a very important factor in learning to code.

4. It might just be the only language you need. According to “A Comparative Study of Programming Languages in Rosetta Code” published by the Department of Computer Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, scripting languages generate the most concise code and are much faster for everyday tasks than the procedural languages. That, combined with the fact that you can use Python to build websites, develop GUI, analyze data, “glue” other languages together, and a ton of other things, means that this language may well be all you need to cover all your development needs.

How Many Python Developers Are There in the World?

Saying that Python is a popular choice among software engineers is easy. But how does popularity translate to numbers? Here’s what we’ve found.

PythonAnywhere News suggests that the number of Python developers in the world is somewhere between 1.8 and 2.8 million. We decided to use LinkedIn’s advanced people search to verify this remarkably bold claim.

Obviously, not every single developer using Python is on LinkedIn, but the scale of the network can still give you an idea of how many Python programmers there are, and where in the world they live.

Based on our research, the number of LinkedIn profiles that mention Python is at 1.5 mln (as of October 28, 2016). The tricky part in a search of this nature is to separate those people who use Python occasionally to do a bit of scripting or glue languages together, from those who use it as a primary development language. What we did was type the words “developer” or “engineer” in the title field, which almost halved the number of matches to 800,000.

As soon as we set the title relevancy to current only, we got our final figure — 7,609 Python profiles. Below is our list of countries that had the greatest number of Python programmers on LinkedIn:

Country Number of Python profiles on LinkedIn
India 966
US 946
Ukraine 931
Russia 605
Poland 591
China 562
UK 347
France 262
Argentina 164

Read more: How Many Ukrainian Developers Are There, Really?

You’ve probably noticed that the first three countries — India, the US, and Ukraine are very close in terms of an actual number. However, we should consider that Ukraine — being 5 times smaller than the US and 16 times smaller than India — has the highest concentration of Python engineers in the world.

Why Hire Python Developers in Ukraine with Daxx?

Although the number of Python developers in the US is only slightly larger than in Ukraine, the former has a much greater demand for Python programmers. While large companies try to attract and retain the most talented engineers by offering generous salaries and perks, small and medium-sized businesses often struggle to fill their tech vacancies, and are forced to search for alternative ways to hire tech specialists.

One such way is to hire engineers in other countries, and to this end Ukraine presents a very attractive destination. By hiring in Ukraine, not only do business owners gain access to a huge tech talent pool (Europe’s largest, in fact), but also get the chance to enjoy significant savings in labor costs.

Daxx connects businesses looking for top development talent with skilled Python engineers from Ukraine, organizing their workspace in offices located in Ukraine’s largest tech hubs — Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Dnipro.

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Want to build your Python development team with us? Learn more about our services, or go straight to the contact form below to tell us what sort of skills you’re looking for.

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