Blockchain Developer Salary, How Much Does One Really Make?
2017 was the breakout year for blockchain technology. The numbers don’t lie and some of the numbers are truly staggering.
Blockchain Developer Salary
Indeed.com, one of the biggest job portals in the world, published some interesting statistics regarding the rise of Blockchain jobs. It looks like the number of blockchain jobs increased from December 2016 to December 2017 by a staggering 207%. But that’s not the end of it. According to the stats, this number has increased by, a scarcely believable 631% since November 2015.
Cryptocurrency was such a hot topic in 2017, that 15 of the 18 more popular industry jobs specifically mentioned “cryptocurrency” in the description.
Showing how hot cryptocurrency has become in 2017 after being generally overshadowed by blockchain in 2016, 15 out of the 18 most popular industry jobs specifically mentioned “cryptocurrency” in the description.
Because of this rapid surge of interest, the biggest industries are desperately looking for high-quality talent in a field which, as of now, is extremely limited. In fact, this was pointed out by Vice president of product at Indeed.com, Terence Chiu, when he told CoinDesk:
“While the number of opportunities and searches are still quite small, Indeed data shows that companies are increasingly seeking experts to focus on this new technology – and job seekers have been quick to react.”
Obviously, the hottest job in this space is for blockchain developers and that is exactly what we are going to focus on here today. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
Why You Should Opt For Blockchain Jobs
We have already established thus far that demand for blockchain jobs is at an all-time high. But that may not be enough to convince you to plot a new career path here. For this, let’s explore some more reasons as to why you should opt for a blockchain job. (The content idea and graphs for this section has been taken from Angel.co.)
#1 Better Pay
Since this is such a young field and the talent available is pretty limited, the salaries offered throughout both technical and non-technical fields are 10-20% higher than the salaries offered in a normal job.
Plus, it is also worth noting that the profit sharing models in crypto jobs are way better and the incentives a lot higher.
#2 Remote Flexibility
Remote jobs are on the rise and more and more people are quickly shunning the concept of an “office” and opting for location flexibility. This is another area where crypto companies outdo their legacy peers.
Plus, remember that crypto companies are far more likely to give you the “work from home” option and require you to come to work only on specific days.
#3 Employee Liquidity
This is a perk which is limited to token companies. Usually, at a startup, employees receive equity and have to wait for a liquidity event to sell shares and get Fiat currency. This may itself be a very complex process and in many scenarios, grants given by companies are very restrictive which blocks secondary transactions.
In blockchain companies, employees usually get tokens which acts as an equity-like compensation. These tokens, unlike shares, are inherently liquid, even though some of them may still have restrictions on them.
So, now that you know why you should look for a career in the blockchain space, let’s see exactly what you can do.
Rise Of Blockchain Developer Jobs
The demand for blockchain developers is at an all-time high. According to one of the biggest job portals in the world, Upwork, blockchain development/engineering is the second most demanded skill in the market after robotics specialists and it is only going to grow higher.
No, that’s not mere speculation, really think about it.
As the blockchain technology becomes more and more in-demand among the various business and finance industries the number of companies which deal with these issues will grow as well. Plus let’s not forget that legacy financial institution like Banks, Visa, etc. are also growing by leaps and bounds as well.
These companies are all looking for developers and architects who will give them an edge over their competitors. According to Toptal, a marketplace for on-demand tech talent, the demand for blockchain engineers has grown 700% from January 2017 to January 2018.
What Blockchain Developer Skills Are In Demand
There are three skills that companies are on the lookout for in their blockchain developers:
However, since this space is so new and experienced blockchain developers are extremely hard to find, companies are looking into getting software developers with some desired skill sets. For this reason, developers must have at least some experience with working in open source projects, with work experience in GitHub being a good starting point. They should at least have immense knowledge in C/C++ as the majority of the projects are written on it. Along with it, a knowledge of Java, Python is also preferred.
Seamus Cushley of PwC noted that a potential blockchain engineer “should have a strong technical background and be curious about new technologies, flexible, and willing to learn more about the blockchain.” They should also have a basic knowledge of mathematics and algorithms. In fact, many of the big companies require a diploma in mathematics or computer science in order to be employed in American companies.
Blockchain Developer Salary and CV
Let’s take a look at the kind of money you can make as a blockchain developer. You will easily be making the highest salary in the space and depending on where they are working, they may get staggering levels of salary. E.g.in Silicon Valley, US, a blockchain developer can get an annual wage of $158k. When you compare that with the fact that a senior hardware developer in NVidia gets an annual salary of $135k, it is pretty impressive.
However, that’s not the end of it.
In Switzerland, blockchain developers get paid 120k-180k USD annually but in a stark contrast, developers in Great Britain get paid 50-90k annually.
But that’s for salaried folks. What about freelance developers? According to this article by Kirill Shilov, freelance consultants can get paid from $50 – $100 per hour.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, these jobs aren’t going away anytime soon, at least according to research by Burning Glass Technologies’ Matt Siegelman. He reports, “Five years ago, in 2012, we could find only a few vacancies demanding blockchain skills. By 2016 this number grew up to 1,838 messages, and 3,958 messages were made in the middle of 2017. It is 115% more than in 2016.”
The total number of blockchain vacancies have increased by, at least, 4 times last year according to LinkedIn.
Resumes of Blockchain Developers
There are three kinds of developer CVs that we are going to look into.
- C++/Go Developers
- Ethereum Developers
- Ripple Developers
The skills required for these developers are:
- Web application development
- Android/iOS development
- Object Oriented programming
- Expertise in C++, Go, Java, C#
- Understanding of Bitcoin and blockchain
Freelancing rates start from $35 per hour.
Full-time employment can go up to $100k a year.
Here is what a typical CV for these resumes looks like:
For Ethereum developers, the skills that are required are:
- Solidity proficiency
- Dapp making abilities
- Experience with ICOs and wallets
- Proficiency in the blockchain, bitcoin, and Ethereum
Freelance rates start at $50 per hour.
Full-time employment salary goes upto $110k a year.
Typical CV looks like:
Up next we have Ripple developers. So, what are the skills that these developers should have? Let’s take a look.
- Creating tests for Ethereum
- Technical knowledge of ICOs
- Experience with smart contracts
Freelance rates from $50 per hour.
Full-time employment salary up to $150k a year.
Example of the CV:
Where to Find Blockchain Developer Jobs
According to How To Token, the major locations for blockchain jobs are:
Image Credit: How To Token
Job recruiters can be broadly qualified into two types:
- Legacy firms
Majority of the blockchain jobs in Indeed.com are based in the US. The top destination for blockchain jobs in the US happens to be New York, followed by San Francisco, Boston, and San Jose.
For obvious reasons, if your goal is to work for a big legacy firm then your chances of getting remote jobs are scarce. Less than 1% of the legacy firm jobs on Indeed.com are remotely located.
Having said that, let’s look at some of the legacy jobs out there and see how much they pay and what you need to have to get them.
According to Wikipedia, “The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) and was renamed “International Business Machines” in 1924.”
Let’s look at some of the blockchain posts available in IBM.
#1 Sr. Consultant Blockchain Developer
IBM Global Business Services (GBS) is hiring strong Senior Consultant Developers who develop technical solutions to solve clients’ problems in various industries on one or more of the Blockchain Technology platforms, such as Hyperledger, Ethereum, and Ripple.
- Keeping abreast of new technologies in Blockchain evolving space
- Conceptualize and develop relevant use cases for client engagements: proof-of-concepts (POC), proof-of-value (POV), and production deployments
- Interact with the client and team to build solutions
Salary: $60k-$80k Annually.
#2 Blockchain Software Engineer
IBM wants a blockchain software engineer who can, “solve business problems with systems and integrations.”
- Collaborate well with a small development team of highly engaged team members.
- Work with individuals across a variety of business teams and processes.
- Quickly learn how to design and implement optimized blockchain applications.
- Develop Smart Contracts in Golang and integration functionality in node.js.
- Practice Test Driven Development to rapidly deploy relevant functionality.
- A minimum of 2 plus years experience in cloud application development using Node.js, web applications, REST services
- A minimum of 2 plus years experience in Agile methodology
- Exposure to DevOps tools, such as Jenkins, TravisCI, and Selenium
- Demonstrated experience in problem-solving and stakeholder communication.
Salary: $68k – $106k Annually.
Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services.
Let’s look at the two top positions that Microsoft wishes to fulfill.
#1 Blockchain Principal Program Manager
Microsoft wants to hire a Blockchain principal program manager. According to them, “This person will develop a deep understanding of how customers use distributed ledger technologies as well as compute, storage, database, and networking services in Azure to architect their applications.”
The qualifications that this person needs are:
- BS or Master’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field
- MBA preferred but not required
- 10+ years of software development or program management experience
- 6+ years of experience designing and operating services
- Demonstrated customer focus and end-to-end thinking across teams and experiences
- Highly effective communication and collaboration across teams
- Track record of high-quality, self-directed, timely execution, and attention to detail
- Technical expertise and ability to communicate, work & build trust with technical teams
Salary: $91k – $131k annually.
#2 Blockchain SI Partner Development Manager
The Systems Integrator team (SI) in Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner (OCP) organization, is seeking a senior business development manager to manage its recruiting and execution activities with top Global System Integrator (GSI), Advisory, and niche Blockchain partners, in addition to defining the through SI partner strategy for sales into Enterprise accounts.
Key Success Criteria:
- Successful development of partner solutions and engagements for Blockchain on Azure workloads
- Successful development and support of deals with Global SI partners and other top Blockchain partners
- Securing a commitment from top SI partners that support Microsoft’s goal to gain share in the marketplace
- Achieving targeted results of wins/deployments through partners
- Evolution of Business Architect, Engineering, and Sales collaboration and investment in
- Blockchain on Azure SI partners selling into the Enterprise Knowledge, Skills and Experience
A strong candidate should possess:
- Strong business development and/ or enterprise sales experience
- Experience in negotiating investments with partners and BGs
- Strong understanding of Systems Integrator partners
- Strong understanding of Microsoft’s Blockchain on Azure strategy
- Demonstrable understanding of the Blockchain landscape, and ability to drive technical discussions with partners
- Experience landing programs and strategies on a global basis
- Experience engaging with senior executives and strong communication skills
- Exceptional problem solving and strategic thinking skills
- Proven competency to collaborate across organizations, deal with ambiguity and drive impact without direct authority.
Salary: $109k – $172k
Visa Inc. is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Foster City, California, United States. They are actively seeking blockchain experts to add to their team. It is hoped that using the blockchain system will clean up international banking.
Qualifications required for the job (taken from Smart Recruiter):
- Experience in Trade Finance, Equities, Payments Processing, Wholesale Credit
- Blockchain technical expertise that is hands-on, platforms
- Cloud architecture and scalable solutions including orchestration & containers
- Must have a BS in Computer Science
- Must have 2+ years of experience with distributed software development.
- Must have hands-on experience with all aspects of software development: data, server side, UI, and open source software.
- Must have experience with Linux, Open source, C++ or Java, client-server apps
- Demonstrated passion for Fintech innovation, open source (OSS) software contributions, blockchain, cryptography, and data-science
- Passion for Test-driven development and continuous learning
- Total Industry experience must be 6-8 years.
Main responsibilities of the job are:
- Lead several unique Blockchain initiatives.
- Direct client and business exposure
- Write code
- Work on blockchain POCs.
- Monitor blockchain technologies.
- Maintain the firm’s relationship with the Hyperledger initiative.
Obviously, legacy firms are not the end all and be all. If you are looking to work in a startup then there are plenty of opportunities as well. Startup jobs are also more open to remote location contracts. Some of the places where you can look for these jobs are BountyOne, Crypto.jobs, AngelList.
Let’s look at some of the jobs you can find here.
Atlas City, based in London UK, is looking for a Senior C++ Developer who must have the following roles:
- You will be working within the engineering team, taking ownership of several tasks to further advance our roadmap deployment.
- You will be joining the back-end engineer team and working alongside the front-end development team, depending on the engineers’ team schedule.
- You will proactively contribute to the idea generation process and will be able to work autonomously or with peers to accomplish tasks.
- You will mentor junior members of the team, if appropriate.
- You will actively engage with the growing developer community around Atlas City, participating in our social channels, such as Github and Discord.
- At least 1-year expertise in one (or more) blockchain project(s)
- Experience working in different areas of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies including consensus mechanisms, implementing support for running smart contracts, and new cryptographic solutions
- Strong C++ development experience
- Experience contributing to open-source software projects and understanding open-source communities’ dynamics
- Unafraid of the command line (Bash) and Linux!
- Experience in leading highly skilled teams of software engineers
- Knowledge of multi-threading and concurrency
- Knowledge of unit testing and E2E testing
- Experience working in Agile Scrum or Kanban
- Another backend scripting language like NodeJS/PHP/Java/Python
- Experience producing simulations and developing test networks
- Ability to put your thoughts in written form and producing written articles that support our thought leadership and content creation strategy
- Senior contributor to a major blockchain protocol project such as Ethereum, Neo, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, R3 Corda, Hyperledger
- Competitive Salary + Equity + Performance bonuses
- The opportunity to present relevant work at conferences around the globe
- Join a growing, intelligent team that will drive business change
- Opportunity to make an impact on the team, applying the skills you’ve learned
- A company with a start-up culture, in a friendly and fast-paced environment
- All the free coffee and beer that you can drink
- You will have to complete a C++ test (20 questions total – 60 minutes). Please be aware that applicants that do not submit the test will be automatically disqualified. The test is available at this link: http://uw0vei.com/testing/bhr7k
- If successful, you will be invited to a face-to-face interview with several members of the team.
- If you’re a match and are enthusiastic to join Atlas City adventure, you will receive an offer.
Blocksmith is blockchain studio based in London that works with startups and corporates helping them building their blockchain solutions and applications.
- Build new things from scratch in the blockchain space
- Learn fast about new frameworks and protocols and go deep in the layers around blockchain (ex: Ethereum Smart Contracts, Cosmos, Blockchain Architecture, etc)
- Share knowledge internally and externally, as well as, the company’s vision, opportunities, and challenges
- Can bring an entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit to the team
- Be a contributor to management decisions about the company
- At least two years of experience as a software engineer
- Huge appetite for learning new challenging concepts and tools
- Excitement about blockchain future
- Any blockchain knowledge is a plus, the rest you will learn with us
- Salary: 35£ – 50k£ based on experience
- After 6 months you will be eligible for equity
- Location: London or Berlin with availability to travel
Blockchain Developer Salary: Conclusion
So, there you have it.
Blockchain Developer jobs are hot right now and if you have the necessary experience, then it will be sensible to make hay when the sun shines. There is a lot of money to make in this space, and if you have the ability to give the required value, then you can pocket yourself a considerable sum here.