DevOps | 3 min read

5 Ways to Boost Your Earning Potential in DevOps

Written by Danny Tipple

Today, DevOps professionals are in high demand. In fact, the Robert Half Technology 2018 Salary Guide for Technology Professionals lists DevOps engineer as one of the “most in-demand technology roles for 2018”, with a 15% increase in DevOps jobs being posted in 2017 as compared to 2016. This might explain then why the average salary for a DevOps pro stands at around $128,000 – roughly 20% more than a traditional software developer gets paid.

But just because the industry as a whole has a pretty high average salary, doesn’t mean there’s not more you could do to raise your own earning potential. From building out your skill set, to gaining certain experience, here’s our top tips on how you can improve your marketability to get the salary you want – and deserve.

1. Prove you’ve got the soft skills 

As Ian Miell, Lead OpenShift Architect at a Tier 1 Bank put it: "Really, it’s those things {soft skills} that sit around a basic technical competence that make the difference and make your successful in your field."

Being the best at all the technical stuff can only get you so far in an industry whose very nature is about being agile and collaborative. Understanding how to work with your colleagues, approach stakeholders, work through problems and generally just exhibiting empathy, integrity and resilience is no key to being viewed as a more highly valued DevOps employee.

These skills tend to be under-appreciated by professionals, who believe that proving their technical prowess is first and foremost but demonstrate your soft skills to your current or potential employer and you will find yourself in a much better position for getting that top-end salary. 

2. Develop your personal brand

Having gravitas in the DevOps community is a sure-fire way of getting a salary hike; businesses want someone that they already know is the best, so if your name is being thrown around the industry as someone who knows their stuff, it’s only going to do good things for your pay check.

There’s a lot of ways to grow your personal brand; attending MeetUps, chatting in Slack channels, getting involved in open-source projects, or speaking at events are all good ways to get your face and your name out there. 

With career marketability, it’s about not only getting the skills and experience, but putting them on display. LinkedIn is the most obvious place to do this, with potential employers and recruiters searching this site daily for the best talent. Make sure to highlight all of your activities on your page; the more you do to publicise your involvement in the industry the better you will brand yourself as a world class DevOps professional, and the higher your earning potential. 

3. Automate what can be automated

Study automation! Establishing a mastery of automation tools and practices will help you earn more for a number of reasons. Firstly, if you’re stuck with tedious manual work, then you’ll never have time to learn the new things that will really help to raise your pay bracket (the importance of which we will come onto shortly). Furthermore, automation requires a deep understanding of what you’re automating, so all the time you spend working on your automation skillset, you’ll be gaining new insights into the technologies you’re supporting. It’s also worth noting that being able to automate certain labour-intensive tasks will show employers that you can work fast, and you can work smart; two things they will definitely want to pay for when they’re thinking about the set-up of their DevOps environment. 

4. Keep up-to-date with the latest tech

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the ability to use the latest technology will only work to your benefit when it comes to boosting your earning potential. DevOps is constantly evolving, with new programming languages, frameworks and technologies emerging, rising to fame and fading away as quickly as they start.

To keep up with this rapidly changing economy, DevOps professionals need to be constantly learning new skills. So, if you can walk into a company already using the likes of Kubernetes, and understanding the complexities of cloud or orchestration, then you’re going to be much more in demand. And, unsurprisingly, it is those who are in demand who flaunt a heavier pay check.

5. Get certified

Certifications prove to potential employers that you really do possess any skills you are claiming to have. Take the time to get certified in the likes of Kubernetes or AWS, and you will have a much stronger leg to stand on when it comes to negotiating a salary, because you are showing your potential employer that you have the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to implement the technologies they want.

Getting certified in in-demand areas – like GCP – is also only going to do good things for your case; GCP is notoriously hard to be worked with commercially, so companies will pay through the roof for an employee who has the acumen to work with the platform.

 

Are you a DevOps professional looking to increase their earning potential? Speak with our specialist DevOps consultants to learn how you can boost your earnings, or to hear about the hottest DevOps jobs in the market.