01User Experience Designer
User experience (UX) designers create products with the end user in mind. Basically, their primary goal is increasing user satisfaction.
The field of UX varies greatly. Some UXers focus on user research exclusively, while others may be more involved with prototyping products.
Nonetheless, a few key responsibilities include:
- User research: understanding users through interviews or other methods like card sorting
- Information architecture: knowing the most effective ways to structure content on a site or app
- Data-driven design: making design choices based on data analysis
- Wireframing and prototyping: building test versions of websites/web apps
National Average Salary for UX Designers: $72,780
02User Interface Designer
Similar to UX, but user interface design (UI) gives greater emphasis to the design of the interface.
UI designers establish the look and feel of a software’s interface. UI designers are often responsible for:
- Visual design through each stage from brainstorming to engineering
- Clear communication of ideas and instructions to users through well-designed wireframes, storyboards, user flows, and sitemaps
- Making the interface a cohesive whole by intentionally designing each element of the site or web app to ensure they all work together
National Average Salary for UI Designers: $61,308
03Software Quality Tester
The title is just as it sounds: you test the quality of software products prior to launch, ensuring that they are working properly before being made public.
The field is related to quality assurance (QA) but separate from it.
Essentially, you run different types of tests try to “break” the software. Tests include functional tests, customer scenarios, stress testing, scalability testing, and others.
The end goal is to eliminate any bugs and improve the quality of the final product.
National Average Salary for Software Quality Testers: $53,646
“Big data” is such a buzzword, but for good reason. Jobs pertaining to data science have a bright future—it’s been called the sexiest job of the 21st century!
Data analysis jobs are perfect if you love analyzing data sets, spotting trends, and conveying the findings in language anyone can understand.
Depending on the job and the company, though, programming know-how could be required.
Without a doubt, mathematical skills are important when it comes to being a data analyst, notably knowledge of statistics. You should have strong analytical skills and be able to collect and organize large sets of data.
National Average Salary for Data Analysts: $52,981
05Search Engine Optimization Specialist
Search engine optimization (SEO), while often classified under the marketing umbrella, it certainly has technical aspects. After all, SEO deals with gaining rankings in search engines—which are robots!
SEO specialists may work with developers and web designers to ensure SEO best practices are being implemented across a website/web app.
Other common responsibilities for SEO specialists include:
- Researching keywords
- Working with content teams to drive SEO in content creation
- Optimizing copy on pages to improve search engine ranking
- Tracking, reporting, and analyzing website analytics and PPC campaigns
National Average Salary for SEO Specialists: $40,750
06Web Analytics Specialist
Web analytics relates to SEO and digital marketing. A specialist usually does things like measuring site traffic, setting up goals for site elements, visualizing user experience through Google Analytics, and monitoring the success of site changes with A/B testing.
Usually, you’ll be working with an agency that has multiple clients, so you’ll be handling more than one website (though perhaps not all at once—it depends on the agency’s size and workflow!).
This position is comparable to that of a data analyst, but it’s much more specific since web analytics only deals with website visitors.
National Average Salary for Web Analytics Specialist: $62,464
Also known as “user acquisition specialist,” this is another position that has to do with marketing. Growth hackers are commonly used in startups.
Growth hackers combine marketing, technology, and business development, but their focus is solely on acquiring users. They develop plans, experiment extensively, measure results, then tweak the plans if necessary or totally ditch them. They need to be flexible and respond to results.
National Average Salary for Growth Hackers: According to SimplyHired, the average salary is $60,000. However, some other sources have cited higher—up to $150,000 at the senior level.
08Enterprise Software Sales
Make no mistake about it: you can make a ton of money in enterprise software sales. Like many sales jobs, exceptional performance will get you commissions and bonuses.
Here you’re selling software as a service, typically business-to-business (B2B).
Top performers can earn $400,000—at least at Oracle and other top companies like SAP and EMC—or even up to $500,000 in a given year.
However, it’s a risky career. If you don’t meet quotas, you can lose your job. It’s high-pressure work and tough to do if you have a family because it involves lots of travel.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary is $111,638. Like I said before, though, this can fluctuate widely up or down based on your sales.
National Average Salary for Enterprise Software Sales: $72,325
09Tech Support Specialist
For some types of tech support jobs, you need a degree, especially if the support you are giving is highly technical. For others, you do not.
There’s a lot of flexibility in this field; sometimes you can even work from home. As long as you’re able to engage with the customer and help them with their technology problems, it doesn’t always matter whether you’re in a cubicle or on your couch.
Whatever the case, you’ll need to be familiar with a wide variety of tech products and problems and have good communication skills.
National Average Salary for Tech Support Specialists: $40,335
Technical recruiters are the people responsible for hiring technical employees such as programmers and developers.
This means that although you don’t work hands-on with technology or coding, you’ll have to talk the talk and have at least a basic understanding of the concepts involved.
You’ll also need to represent the company and make sure you’re choosing the person whose personality and skill set best fits their needs.
Communication skills are key for a technical recruiter. Experience working in technology fields is a bonus, as is a mature and confident personality.
National Average Salary for Technical Recruiters: $45,064
10 Tech Careers That Don't Involve Coding
Want to get involved in the booming tech scene, but don’t know how to code? Fear not. There are a ton of career opportunities in tech that don’t involve writing any code.
Below is a list of ten lucrative careers in technology, along with mini-profiles and the national average salary for each. Note that all salary information has been derived from PayScale.