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The 14 most in-demand tech jobs

Looking to future proof your career? These are the roles that are likely to stay relevant for many years to come

A woman holding a laptop sat outside an office building during the day

Do you even know if your job will still exist in the next ten years?

Sure, you can get certified in many current technologies, but that may not be enough to ensure that your career is future proofed.

It really does pay to monitor which roles are in demand and which will be defunct as technology advances or things become more automated. To help assist you in making the right decisions over your career in IT, we’ve pulled together some of the most in-demand tech roles from the US market that are expected to shape technology trends over the next decade.

How we picked our list

The tech roles we’ve identified are based on a mix of sources. We started with a list of Glassdoor's 50 Best tech jobs for 2022, which is a collection of tech roles based on salaries, job availability, and reviews from its community of job seekers.

We then filtered this down to only display those roles requiring tech qualifications. We then ranked these based on job satisfaction, job openings, and median base salary.

Using this data, we then matched them where possible, to the rankings to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' projected job growth estimates, filtering out those that are likely to be less relevant over the next decade. Anything over 10% growth is considered faster than the average across all industries in the US.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, and it's hardly an exact science. However, we have ranked these roles based on their various merits, and have provided some job seeker tips where relevant. It’s also important to note that job openings will fluctuate month by month, so the numbers presented here can be best thought of as a rough guide.

14 - Automation Engineer

Role overview 
Median base salary$86,832
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4.1 out of 5
Job openingsaround 6,200
BLS growth outlook7% (as fast as average)

Automation engineers oversee the improving, streamlining, and automation of manufacturing processes. They alter processes so that it needs less human interaction and monitor the performance of such systems to ensure these changes work as intended.

You will mainly find the role in industries such as the energy sector, in manufacturing plants, car factories, food processing facilities, and robotics. Automation engineers create design specifications and other supporting documents, developing automation based on detailed requirements for the process involved, and compliant to international standards.

The first entry on our list is also the lowest paid, with a median base salary of $86,832, although job satisfaction is strong at 4.1 out of 5.

We’ve placed the role above the incredibly highly paid role of enterprise architect largely because of the significantly wider job availability, at 6,200 roles, and the slightly higher growth projection of 7%, which is in line with the national average.

13 - Enterprise Architect

Role overview 
Median base salary$144,997
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4.1 out of 5
Job openingsaround 1,400
BLS growth outlook5% (slower than average)

An enterprise architect helps an organization achieve its goals through the efficient use of technologies, practices, and standards.

They target the enterprise-level of the whole IT environment, while working with business analysts, who analyse organisational processes. They also work with chief information officers (CIOs) to make sure that technology that the organisation purchases will help it to meet its business ambitions.

The role is by far the best paying tech role on this list, carrying a median base salary of $144,997. So why have we placed it so low?

The first major problem is that it’s also by far the most competitive role listed here, with just 1,400 roles open at the time of writing. The second is that it’s also projected to have far slower growth than any other role listed, at just 5%, This is slower than the national average for all job roles.

12 - Data Engineer

Role overview 
Median base salary$113,960
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4 out of 5
Job openingsaround 1,400
BLS growth outlook8% (as fast as average)

Data engineers work in many organizations to create systems that collect, manage, and transform raw data into exploitable information for data scientists and business analysts to decipher.

They do this by writing complex queries on this data, ensuring that it’s easily accessible to the rest of the organization, and runs smoothly. The aim here is to optimize the performance of the organization’s big data ecosystem. There may also be a need to execute ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) on these big datasets and develop big data warehouses that can be used for reporting or analysis by data scientists.

Although data engineers still command a strong median base salary, at $113,960, research indicates that might not always be the case. With projected growth of 8%, the role falls within the US average, and so is likely to be less relevant than most of the other roles on this list.

11 - UX Designer

Role overview 
Median base salary$97,047
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4 out of 5
Job openingsaround 7,000
BLS job growth outlook13% (faster than average)

UX designers are there to make products and technology usable, enjoyable, and accessible to all. They work as part of a wider team and try to bridge the gap between end users, the development team, and any important organization stakeholders.

A UX designer should always advocate for the end user or customer and must consider what is best for them in terms of new features or changes to existing products and services. However, the UX designer must also ensure that the product or service they are responsible for meets the needs of the business. This delicate balance means strong communication skills are essential to be effective as a UX designer, perhaps more so than any other role on this list.

There is a reasonable demand for UX designers, as Glassdoor shows 7,000 open positions at the time of writing. Base salaries for the role are slightly lower than others on this list, at $97,047 - though certainly not the lowest. Projected growth through 2030 is also fairly strong at 13%.

10 - Salesforce Developer

Role overview 
Median base salary$98,972
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4.2 out of 5
Job openingsaround 5,200
BLS job growth outlook22% (much faster than average)

As possibly the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) product on the market, it will come as no surprise that demand for people who can code for the Salesforce ecosystem is set to remain high over the next ten years.

These developers work within a larger team to make sure that CRM systems are working as smoothly as possible and in line with corporate needs and expectations. They manage and customize the Salesforce instance of a company by using such technologies as Lightning Component Framework, Apex, and Visualforce.

Despite the expected growth, there were fewer than expected roles on the market at the time of writing, at 5,200. Another issue is that the role commands a base median salary of $98,972, which places it below most of the other roles on this list.

9 - Data Scientist

Role overview 
Median base salary$120,000
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4.1 out of 5
Job openingsaround 10,000
BLS job growth outlook13% (faster than average)
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Data scientists are becoming more and more sought after. Working closely with the business to understand their goals and determine how data can be used to achieve those goals, they crunch the numbers to find answers to an organization’s needs.

They extract, analyse, and interpret large amounts of data from a range of sources, such as algorithmic, data mining, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to answer complex questions and make decisions. Among the essential skills needed for this role are statistical analysis, machine learning, programming, and data storytelling.

The role is in high demand, with around 10,000 open positions at the time of writing, although perhaps not as high as some others on this list.

The BLS also projects 13% growth through to 2030, which again is still higher than average but not quite as impressive as some other roles on this list.

8 - Site Reliability Engineer

Role overview 
Median base salary$137,252
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4 out of 5
Job openingsaround 3,500
BLS job growth outlook22% (much faster than average)

Bridging the gap between development and IT operations is the site reliability engineer. Site reliability engineering was first described by Google as “when you treat operations as if it’s a software problem”. 

It’s the practice of applying the principles of software engineering to operations and infrastructure practices, to help businesses create reliable and scalable software systems.

Such engineers develop software systems and automated solutions for operational aspects. They also encourage close relationships between development and operations teams, as well as key stakeholders in networking and security. As such, they tend to need strong communication skills to be able to work effectively.

The nature of the role as a linchpin inside a company’s IT ecosystem, means they command one of the highest base salaries on this list at $137,252. 

You might then ask why we’ve placed it so low on the list. The main reason is the comparatively low number of job openings on the market today, at 3,500 - making it a highly-competitive role that may force you to relocate.

That said, with expected growth of 22%, the role is only going to become more crucial for businesses in the future.

7 - Back End Engineer

Role overview 
Median base salary$112,384
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4.2 out of 5
Job openingsaround 11,000
BLS job growth outlook22% (much faster than average)

Behind all the bells and whistles of a shiny new application is the back end. This is where the structure and critical inner-workings of the applications lies.

The back end engineer role is a fundamental part of application development, responsible for planning, building, and maintaining the server-side of web applications. These people write the business logic, server scripts, and application programming interfaces (APIs) that are used by front-end engineers and UX designers.

There is also plenty of demand for these specialists, as Glassdoor lists around 11,000 open positions at the time of publication. The critical nature of the role means growth is likely to be higher than average (at 22%), although it’s unable to command the sort of salaries associated with cutting-edge development. However, At 4.2 out of 5, it’s one of the highest rated roles by the community.

6 - Java Developer

Role overview 
Median base salary$107,099
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4.1 out of 5
Job openingsaround 25,000
BLS job growth outlook22% (much faster than average)

Within software development, the roles available have become quite specialized, with many concentrating on one language or platform. This is true of Java developers, one of the most popular languages used today.

They are responsible for designing, developing, and managing Java-based applications. They work alongside web developers and software engineers to integrate Java into business applications and websites. They are also involved throughout the entire development life cycle of a Java application and can also work on collating and documenting user requirements, analysing data, and quality assurance testing.

These types of developers are in high demand, with an expected growth rate of 22% over the next decade, which is faster than the average, and around 25,000 vacancies listed on Glassdoor. The downside is that, at $107,099, the role does not command as high of a median base salary as others on this list, most notably software engineers.

5 - Information Security Engineer

Role overview 
Median base salary$116,919
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4.1 out of 5
Job openingsaround 7,600
BLS job growth outlook33% (much faster than average)

With the threat of hacking ever present, it’s the job of an information security engineer to maintain the security of an organization’s computer systems and networks.

Such professionals apply security measures that efficiently defend sensitive data in the event of a hack. They also carry out log analysis and other network forensic investigation, and also research and investigate the potential impact of new threats and exploits.

Given the nature of the world today, it will come as no surprise to hear that the role of information security engineer is not going away anytime soon. With expected growth of 33%, the role is set to be the fastest growing tech job on this list. Job satisfaction is also relatively high at 4.1 out of 5.

With a median base salary of $116,919, the role is firmly in the middle of what we’ve seen so far, although the slightly lower than expected 7,600 job openings will almost certainly grow over the next few years.

4 - DevOps Engineer

Role overview 
Median base salary$120,095
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4.2 out of 5
Job openingsaround 6,000
BLS job growth outlook22% (much faster than average)

Thanks to the DevOps movement, the software development process is much more efficient with the bringing together of operations and development teams. This combination has led to the creation of the DevOps engineer role.

These engineers instigate processes, tools, and methodologies to enable the quick development and release of software. They work alongside software developers, system operators and admins, IT operations staff and others to oversee and/or enable code releases or deployments, so knowledge of the Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery(CI/CD) process is a must.

We’ve placed the DevOps engineer role fourth on our list largely due to its higher-end growth potential (at 22%) and high average base salary (at $120,095), which happens to be one of the highest on our list. Job satisfaction ratings are also strong, at 4.2 out of 5.

What holds it back is its job availability. With around 6,000 open positions at the time of writing, securing a DevOps role is comparatively harder to do than that of software or cloud engineering – likely a reason the average salary is higher.

3 - Machine Learning Engineer

Role overview 
Median base salary$130,489
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4.3 out of 5
Job openingsaround 14,800
BLS job growth outlook22% (much faster than average)

Machine learning engineers are IT professionals that research, build, and design artificial intelligence (AI) systems. They create programs and algorithms that enable machines to take actions without being directed.

Building such systems requires an engineer to assess, analyse, and arrange data, execute tests, and enhance the learning process to help develop good quality machine learning models. These engineers generally work as part of a larger data science team.

Machine learning is still very much an emerging field, something that’s reflected in the numbers. With a median base salary of $130,000, this is one of best paid jobs in the industry (although not the highest), and has a much faster than average growth rate of 22%.

However, despite its infancy and the comparatively fewer number of companies actively developing machine learning tools, there are plenty of jobs available across the industry, with 14,800 at the time of writing.

2 - Cloud Engineer

Role overview 
Median base salary$118,999
Glassdoor satisfaction rating4 out of 5
Job openingsaround 46,800
BLS job growth outlook22% (much faster than average)

Cloud computing has become well and truly mainstream over the last decade and is possibly the most important infrastructure development to hit IT in the last 20 years.

A cloud engineer is someone who deals with all the intricacies of the cloud. They are responsible for planning, managing, designing, and monitoring cloud systems. Their expertise can be broken down into different roles, such as cloud software engineer, cloud systems engineer, cloud database administrator, cloud security administrator, to name a few. For the purpose of this list, we’ve bundled them together.

Given its importance in the market, cloud engineering is the second most in-demand role on this list, at 46,800 job openings at the time of writing. It also commands a higher-end median salary of $118,999 and a job growth prospect of 22%.

There’s very little between first and second place however, with slightly lower availability in the market, cloud engineering is generally more competitive.

1 - Software Engineer

Role overview 
Median base salary$116,638
Glassdoor satisfaction rating3.9 out of 5
Job openingsaround 76,000
BLS job growth outlook22% (much faster than average)

Software engineers have been around as long as there have been computers to build on. They are responsible for developing and building software, applications, and much more. 

The role requires wide-ranging knowledge of programming languages and supporting software, and the flexibility to switch to different tools depending on the job at hand. They must also be able to test, improve, interpret, and maintain software built by other engineers.

This job suits those who enjoy solving problems and have strong analytical skills. It’s also widely applicable to many different types of industries and fields, and so it's one of the most varied job roles on this list.

According to BLS, job growth for this occupation is at 22%, which is on the higher end of the scale for tech jobs and suggests the role is likely to stay highly relevant for many years to come. It’s also one of the most sought after roles in the industry, with around 76,000 vacancies on Glassdoor at the time of writing.

When you factor in a median base salary of $116,638 on top of that, this puts the software engineering role easily at the top of our list.

However, a 3.9/5 score for job satisfaction is actually the lowest on this list, with some suggesting the role can be overly intensive. It’s not a horrendous score by any means, but it perhaps signals that job seekers should take extra care when choosing what companies to work for.

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