.NET developers make more money

General Development

Who would have guessed? Using the newest Microsoft development platform pays developers the highest salary.


Date : 2006-08-05
Who would have guessed? Using the newest Microsoft development platform pays developers the most. The .Net platform has been growing and gaining support for years now and it still seems to be the development community’s main stream “golden boy”. For this reason alone it should make most developers stop and take a look. If you have been turning your nose up at .NET until now maybe this will change your mind.

According to research done on jobs offered within the US the average per hour rate an ASP.NET (or other .NET) developer can expect is $43.75 per hour. That is figured with a variance from a low of $31.25 to a high of $57.29 per hour.

Compare that to Classic ASP jobs ranging from a low of $28.64 to a high of $35 with an average of $31.21. There may be higher paying jobs that require ASP classic but it was difficult to find jobs that required ASP without also requiring ASP.NET skills. So the classic ASP job is clearly going the way of the dinosaur.

Our all time looser is CFM with a low of $20.83 and a high of $37.00 averaging $29.82 per hour. This may be due to CFM’s reputation as being the fastest developing environment; it seems to appeal to the cheaper-is-better crowd.

That leaves us with the only development language that seems to have a chance at rivaling .Net’s hold on the development industry and that is PHP. PHP also has a reputation to overcome. Many people view PHP as the red headed step-child of the development community. Perhaps because people turn to PHP as an alternative to the more mainstream options and because it is free people often expect the code to be buggy and unreliable. They know that when ASP.NET has a bug in it someone finds it, reports it and everyone would be in an uproar about it. On the other hand if there were a bug in PHP people feel like they personally would have to bring it to someone’s attention. Clearly this is not the case. In fact the main reason for PHP developers to make less than .NET developers is because there is such an enormous community of PHP programmers. This discussion could easily spin off into a debate about the pros and cons of “Open Source” software but instead I’m going to give you the numbers for PHP. The lowest paying PHP jobs came in at $25.00 per hour, the high was $37.00 with an average of $29.82 per hour.

What does this mean? Well, not much really. It is more of an issue of supply and demand than of expertise required, or an indication of which language is better. Both languages can be learned fairly quickly by someone who is familiar with development concepts. On the other hand, if you are just starting out and you haven’t settled on a language to specialize in then it would make sense to learn .Net. If I were starting out right now I would learn C#.NET as my main language with PHP as my secondary language.

All of these statistics are based on jobs currently available within the US. I’m sure there are other jobs out there that are outside of these statistics, but enough data was gathered to give a solid basis for discussion. These statistics do not take into account the world market which is more and more often affecting the salary that we actually see. As this continues we will probably see a continued decline in these wages but competition is never a bad thing in my mind. If it drives us all to create cleaner code faster then it is ultimately a positive affect on the industry.

Comments :

BeachBum 2006-08-07 #45

Several people have questioned my methods for this article so I thought I would give a little more details.

I chose these 4 languages because they are the main languages that I program in and I was curious which one actually paid more.

Next I began searching job sites for currently available jobs within the US that said what the pay rate was per hour. I thought that jobs offered at a pay rate would be more reliable than asking people what they were being paid. I guess with both methods there will be some discrepencies. I went until I had 100 jobs for each technology and then did an average. I mention the High and Low in there just for reference. Most of my numbers came from Dice.com but I also searched other job sites.

All of the jobs taken in to account are, again, currently available jobs within the US.

Please let me know if there are any other questions about my methods.

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