10 programming languages that will land you a salary of $100k in the US
For Developers

February 15, 2024

10 programming languages that will land you a salary of $100k in the US

Drawn in by the allure of $100k+ salaries, remote work perks, and flexibility, everyone wants to be a software developer these days. Working as a programmer in the US can land you a six-figure salary, but if you want to make a lot of money as a developer, it might be worth brushing up on your skills or learning a couple of new programming languages out there. 

With hundreds of different programming languages out there, you may be wondering which you should choose to maximize your time. Don't worry! Index.dev highlights the top money-making programming languages for developers to learn in 2023. 

Various factors, such as demand, industry, language complexity, and the number of developers, determine salaries for programming languages. The developer’s experience and skill set also play a significant role in determining their salary. 

While some of the top money-making programming languages are the most loved, a few of them made it onto Stack Overflow's list of most dreaded languages. Perhaps these high salaries compensate for having to work with languages that most developers don't want to use.

So, to help eliminate the guesswork, we'll dive deeply into the top 10 highest-paying programming languages today. Let's jump right in and start things off!

For more on programming languages, read: 12 most in-demand programming languages to learn in 2023

Top 10 highest-paying programming languages these days

1. Solidity

The average salary of a Ruby developer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter

Solidity is a unique programming language that has seen an increase in popularity with the rise of smart contracts. Solidity works on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), a software that houses all Ethereum accounts and smart contracts. It is a relatively new language, so it is still gaining traction as blockchain technology continues to grow. 

Uses for Solidity include contracts for voting, crowdfunding, blind auctions, and more. Coders claim that Solidity is easy to learn and use and is comparable to the C-family of coding languages. 

💸The developers can expect a median annual salary of $160,940 according to ZipRecruiter, seeing salaries as high as $259,500 for senior positions. Even though it is still new to the coding world, the applications and future potential for Solidity are unlimited. Programmers fetch such high compensation for this language because it is still changing as blockchain unfolds. This is a huge necessity for developers looking for huge earning potential in the crypto and blockchain technology realm.

2. Erlang

The average salary of a Ruby developer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter

At number two we have Erlang. Erlang is a programming language that was designed to support the development of concurrent, distributed, and fault-tolerant systems and it’s highly used in telecommunications. 

Erlang executes codes and other functions on high availability without getting overworked. It has a fault-tolerant built-in support system that can troubleshoot issues, distribute information, segregate each data in the right subcategory, and perform quick actions for quick results. Most text messaging companies use this programming language, including WhatsApp, WeChat, etc. 

💸The developers can be assured that they will earn a median salary of $152,782/year according to ZipRecruiter, seeing annual salaries as high as $200,000 for senior positions. Despite its high average salary, around 45% of developers using Erlang said they dreaded (hated) using the language. That’s not great feedback, but this list isn’t about ‘the most loved programming languages.’

3. Clojure

The average salary of a Clojure developer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter

According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey, Clojure is the highest-paid language to know, with Erlang and F# coming next. In our list, Clojure is only third. It is a quite niche technology which has fewer jobs - a trade off between niche specialization and salary.

Clojure is a dynamic, general-purpose programming language that integrates scripting languages' approachability and interactive development with an efficient and robust infrastructure best for multithreaded programming.

Clojure is primarily a functional programming language that includes many immutable, persistent data structures. In practice, Clojure is often used to handle large amounts of data. Companies may use Clojure developers for data mining and AI.

💸While the median salary for Clojure developers reported by Stack Overflow is $106,644, according to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a Clojure Developer in the United States is $146,944 a year. 

Apply for jobs in Rust, Go, Scala, C#, Java, Ruby, and more. What’s in it for you? High-paid remote US jobs with stellar career growth. 

4. Scala 

The average salary of a Scala developer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter

In the top three spots, we find Scala. Scala is a smart addition for developers already using Java. These two languages exhibit many of the same properties, making Scala easier for programmers to learn if they already have a background in Java. Scala gets its name from its features that are highly scalable. 

Advantages of using this language include:

  • Concise code
  • Ease of use in writing, compiling, and debugging
  • The ability to use third-party libraries

Some of the most notable uses of Scala are seen in writing web applications, streaming data applications, and analyzing data to name a few. 

💸 While the average Scala developer salary is $146,664 /year, some offers reached peaks of approximately $200k per year. With the financial incentive and job opportunities this language provides, it is certainly a programming language to watch develop in the near future. 

5. Go

The average salary of a GoLang developer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter

The next language on this list was developed by a highly reputable company in the world of software development. Go or GoLang is the brainchild of Google and was designed to handle system programming, audio and video editing, and big data. It soon became the most demanding programming language in the US as it was very simple, efficient, and easily readable.

It is an open-sourced and general-purpose programming language. It can compile large amounts of data in seconds without being overburdened. Unlike other general-purpose programming languages, Go is multipurpose for cloud computing, data science, web development, and large-scale automation. 

The syntax used in this programming language is similar to the C programming language. So, most developers already familiar with C found it easy to learn and use Go. 

💸According to ZipRecruiter the average annual pay for a Golang Developer in the United States is $131,843 a year, seeing annual salaries as high as $199,000. With Google and other top companies dropping their degree requirement for employees, programmers that work with Go have the opportunity to demonstrate experience that sets them apart from the rest. 

Also read: 12 most in-demand programming languages in 2023 

6. C#

The average salary of a C# developer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter

C# is a relatively new addition to the C family of coding languages. This language is best applied in game development, virtual reality, as well as a desktop and mobile apps. A hybrid between C and C++, C# is highly versatile and widely favored earning it a spot on this list.

C# has been applauded as being one of the best specialization languages for game development. This language has received a multitude of outstanding reviews for its ease of use, interesting content, and challenging but rewarding coursework.

💸The average annual pay for a C# Net Developer in the United States is $116,250 a year, seeing annual salaries as high as $185,000. With the gaming industry not slowing down, and virtual and augmented reality gaining traction, C# is going to be another language that will need to be in developers’ skill sets in the near future.

7. Perl

The average salary of a Perl developer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter

A niche but highly profitable language to know, Perl is a front-end and back-end programming language mainly used for system administration, graphical user interface development, and network programming.

It is a dynamic cross-platform programming language that is object-oriented and procedural, which is prominently used for quick prototyping and for large-scale development projects. 

The benefits of learning Perl are not only intrinsic but monetary as well. Programmers familiar with this language are said to make 54% more than their counterparts.

💸According to ZipRecruiter the average annual pay for a PERL Developer in the United States is $114,161 a year, seeing annual salaries as high as $171,500. The scarcity of this language among programmers makes it a valuable asset to those looking to set themselves apart from the crowd.

8. Ruby

The average salary of a Ruby developer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter

Ruby is an open-sourced scripting programming language that works on all platforms, including Windows, UNIX, MacOS. It is concise, runs tasks effortlessly and has an easy to use syntax. Ruby developers are typically skilled in object-oriented programming, and may also be familiar with other technologies and frameworks that are commonly used with Ruby, such as the Ruby on Rails web development framework, the Sinatra web framework, and the RSpec testing framework.

Since it supports multiple programming models, it increases the developers’ productivity. It is highly used in website development and server-side systems and particularly well-suited for web applications, automation assistance, data processing, and scientific computing. 

💸 According to ZipRecruiter the median salary in 2023 for Ruby developers is $109,936. However, the highest salary can hit $122,000. Not only can Ruby developers command high salaries, but, because of the popularity of the programming language, many jobs are available.

Apply for jobs in Rust, Go, Scala, C#, Java, Ruby, and more. What’s in it for you? High-paid remote US jobs with stellar career growth. 

9. Java

The average salary of a Java developer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter

Java is the back-end sibling of JavaScript and is primarily used in the E-commerce and financial sectors. The language is highly secure, which makes it a desirable language to use in these fields and it translates well to app development, such as mobile banking. 

With its high-level, object-oriented nature and wide platform independence, it is an invaluable asset for DevOps, virtual reality, big data, mobile chatbots, and continuous integrations alike. The language is platform-independent, allowing it to run on any device that supports its environment and find its way into every operating system, mobile application, and software framework. What's more, Java boasts enhanced productivity, performance, and security capabilities - making it a great choice all around. However, Java is not as easy for beginners to pick up and is recommended for those with a stronger knowledge of the basics of coding. 

💸According to ZipRecruiter the average annual pay for a Java Developer in the United States is $107,362 a year, seeing annual salaries as high as $161,500. Java is another highly sought-after skill in the workforce. The time and dedication spent learning Java are rewarded with plenty of employment opportunities.

10. Rust

The average salary of a Rust developer in the US, according to ZipRecruiter

Rust salaries and popularity are on the rise. Similar to C++, but with more advanced features like memory safety or safe concurrency, has made it a perfect choice for high performance big applications. Its recent usage in web3/blockchain, VR, AI, web development, and operating systems has also been a key factor. 

Rust is one of the fastest-running typed programming languages that ensures safety. Unlike many other highest paying programming languages that are too complex and not user-friendly, Rust tries to maintain a healthy balance between high technical capacity and a smooth user experience. 

It is fast and memory efficient. It has a user-friendly compiler that handles any crashes smoothly. Additionally, Rust supports complex codes that execute more tasks in minimal encodings. 

💸According to ZipRecruiter the average annual pay for a Rust Developer in the United States is $104,733 a year. The average pay range can vary greatly depending skill level, location and years of experience, seeing annual salaries as high as $134,500 and as low as $74,000. Rust is already being used in current virtual realities, most notably the Metaverse. The potential Rust has for future development and improvement in the VR realm is an enticing reason to pick up the language. 

Apply for jobs in Rust, Go, Scala, C#, Java, Ruby, and more. What’s in it for you? High-paid remote US jobs with stellar career growth. 

Summing up 

Programming languages may pay more than others because of factors such as demand, complexity, industry usage, and the number of skilled developers using the language. Typically, programmers are paid higher in finance, healthcare, AI, and blockchain industries, due to the complexity and demand of their work and skill shortage. 

Rust, Solidity, and Go are gaining popularity due to their efficiency and adaptability in software development. As demand for developers skilled in these languages increases, their salaries are likely to rise too.   

The top 8 highest paid jobs in IT field in 2023

As a programmer, your success, retention and job satisfaction depends on focusing on what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at. 

So, if you’re a brilliant developer looking for remote US jobs with any of these skills, Index.dev may be able to help you very quickly. Index.dev engineers earn competitive salaries that surpass the market average in most countries, upskill and stay competitive in the job market.  Join Index.dev for long-term US jobs with high compensation. 

Are you a tech company looking to get your project into the Fintech, AI, Healthcare, IoT world? Partner with Index.dev for senior, high-performing Java, C#, Scala, Rust, Go, Clojure, and Solidity developers, 100% vetted and coachable. Start over