The salary of a developer hired to code in Java can vary considerably based on their experience, level of skill, specialisation in particular applications of Java, languages spoken, particularly English, and geographical location. While the gap is narrowing quickly (K&C’s recruitment department says by up to 30% in the last year for seniors) it is still a reality that the country where software developers, including Java developers, are based influences their salary level.
The salary range Java developers can expect to fall within based on their level of seniority is highest in the most developed economies like the United States, Australia, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Especially over the past few years, salary inflation has seen coders based in countries with traditionally lower average salaries narrow the gap. But there is still enough of a gap to mean IT outsourcing in nearshore and offshore locations is still attractive and popular with companies from high wage economies.
If you are a Java developer who wants to benchmark your salary against the current market or an organisation that plans to recruit developers with Java expertise, the data present below is for you. We’ll look at the most reliable available public data sources for Java salary ranges in:
Java developer salaries fall across a range because the programming language has multiple possible applications in very different kinds of software. Some Java specialisations, experience and combinations of broader tech stack are more sought after or rarer than others. That means there might be significant variance in the salaries of two Java developers, even if both might be regarded as senior.
Some of the factors that can most influence a Java developer’s salary are:
Java can be regarded as one of the fundamental programming languages modern software development is built on thanks to its flexibility and wide range of applications. Java is commonly used in many different categories of software but some of the most common are:
“Java developers earn, like, $80,000”, says Chandler in the video. Which is an excellent introduction to the many different applications of Java and how important it is to the software ecosystem.
Right, let’s move onto the actual figures. What is the average Java developer salary and pay ranges found around the world?
We use data published by the major jobs portals Glassdoor, Salary Expert, Indeed.com, Zippia (USA) and Djinni (Ukraine) to provide insight into the expected salary range for software developers with expertise in particular headline programming language or technology – in this case Java.
These data sources base their data on anonymous survey responses submitted by professionals that are currently employed in Java development roles. Or salaries advertised with job listings for Java developers published on their platforms. Sometimes the ranges provided by both sources are quite close to each other and other times there is divergence.
Where discrepancies do occur it is often because the number of survey responses is not large enough to provide salary range data that reflect the whole market. However, having both ranges still gives you a good idea of the full range of salaries on offer in for Java developers in a particular country.
Despite the disclaimer, we believe the data presented below still offers an insightful starting point for anyone who wants to build a picture of the salary ranges on offer for Java developers in different international markets. If you would like more accurate feedback on the cost of a Java developer with a specific tech stack and profile please get in touch. Our HR team will be happy to help.
You might also be interested in other blogs in this series analysing the international salary ranges of back end developers and engineers, embedded software developers, Python developers, and C/C++ developers.
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Germany is Europe’s biggest economy and one of its wealthiest thanks to comparatively high average salaries and disposable income. As such, the average Java developer salary is also comparatively high in an international context. We’ll look at the ranges from two data sources:
Glassdoor data, based on the responses of 261 Java developers to anonymous salary surveys indicates average salary ranges as:
These ranges are average and the salary offered for specific roles may be above or below them.
Salary Expert’s data (powered by its Salary Assessor Platform) shows the Java developer salary range in Germany as:
Europe’s second-largest economy, the UK also arguably boasts its largest technology sector. As a result, software developers are in particularly high demand and can command even higher average salaries than in Germany.
Glassdoor data, based on the responses of 726 Java developers to anonymous salary surveys show their salary range as:
Salary Expert’s data (powered by its Salary Assessor Platform) shows the Java developer salary range in the United Kingdom as:
East Europe is by far the most popular IT outsourcing location for organisations from high salary economies in West Europe. Lower salary rates, income tax and social security contributions (for both employer and employee) and general overhead costs like office space combine with geographical proximity which means time zones are aligned and travel convenient.
Several East European countries, like Poland, Bulgaria and Romania are also EU members which can be important for work involving personal data covered by GDPR regulations as well as easing cross-border accountancy.
It is important to note that 2021 has seen high salary inflation for software developers based in East Europe, with the pay gap narrowing compared to peers with comparable profiles but based in West Europe. It’s a trend that has influenced average Java developer salary ranges in the region, as well pay rates for software developers with all in-demand tech stacks.
Historically, average developer and IT specialist salaries in East Europe (between professionals with the same tech stack and experience and geographical location the only major variable) were around 30%-50% of those in West Europe. The higher the level of seniority, the smaller the gap.
That is no longer the case and the change has happened quickly. A combination of a tight labour market, generally but with the IT sector among those most impacted, and the Covid-19 induced remote work trend meaning geographical location has become less important to employers, has narrowed the gap to more like 20% to 30% in salary cost savings. Sometimes less for highly skilled and experienced seniors.
But East Europe is not a single, homogenous market for software developers. Salary levels vary from country to country. So let’s take a closer look on a country-by-country level.
K&C head of HR Natalia Korol says that between around February 2021 and October 2021, salary demands of software developers in Ukraine have increased notably – by up to 30%.
Local Ukrainian jobs listings portal Djinni’s salary data for Java developers, based on 3113 jobs listings, shows a range that suggests the following salary ranges based on level of experience:
Data from K&C’s internal recruitment department (good public sources from major jobs listings sites are unavailable) puts the average salary in Poland for developers with Java at currently around 10% lower than in Ukraine. That equates to average ranges of:
Data from K&C’s internal recruitment department (good public sources from major jobs listings sites are unavailable) puts the average Java salary in Belarus at currently around 20% lower than in Ukraine. That equates to an average monthly salary ranges for Java developers in Belarus of:
Glassdoor data based on the salary survey responses of over 9000 Java developers shows average salary ranges as:
SalaryExpert data for Java developer salaries in the USA (powered by its Salary Assessor Platform) shows average salary ranges as:
Java software developer salary levels are of course, as mentioned, highly dependent on tech stack and experience. SalaryExpert data shows the most in-demand additional skills/tech stack requested by job listings for Java developers as:
And for Java architects, the additional skills most often required are:
Indeed.com lists the most common qualifications and tech stack of Java developers as:
Indeed.com also offers data on expected Java developer salary growth by years of experience. The data, based on portal users who reported working as Java developers over the past 3 years shows average earning potential peaks at between 16 and 20 years of experience at an average of around $110,000 p.a.
The portal also suggests Java developers should learn the following skills to maximise the salary they can command:
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