.NET Developers Still Doing Well, Survey Says

Developers continue to show gains in salary and have better job security than most others, according to Visual Studio Magazine's second-annual salary survey.

Even though the economy's still in the doldrums, .NET developers continue to buck the trend, according to figures from the 2013 Visual Studio Magazine Salary Survey.

The salary survey, which started last year, showed annual average compensation of $94,381, an increase of more than $1,000 over the previous year, which saw an average salary of $92,754. That may not appear to be much, but in an environment in which many are struggling to simply find or keep jobs, it's encouraging for Microsoft-focused developers.

In all, 60 percent of respondents reported a higher salary than the previous year; just 9.7 percent said they made less. Slightly less than 30 percent -- 29.7 -- had no change in salary. Only 4.3 percent were laid off in the last 12 months.

A profile of the average survey-taker shows that he's male (by an 8:1 ratio), 46 years old, with 12.5 years of development on Microsoft technologies, and has a college degree or better (73 percent). In addition, he tends to stay in one place: nearly 43 percent have been with their current employer for a decade or more.

In terms of which languages are most popular, .NET continues to rule the roost. Microsoft's C# was the most-used language in the last year at 66.7 percent, and Visual Basic .NET came in at 45.6 percent. Web development languages are increasingly popular, too. HTML/CSS was the second most-used language, with 56.2 percent of respondents using it, and JavaScript, which became officially supported with Visual Studio 2012, next at 48.2 percent.

Once again, education made a significant difference in salary. High-school graduates reported an average salary of $87,322, while four-year college grads (34 percent) averaged $91,646. Additional degrees pushed average salaries into six figures: a developer with a Master's earned, on average, $103,951. Interestingly, those with a Doctorate earned slightly less, at $101,754.

Men continue to earn more than women, with an average base salary of $96,079, while women lag behind, at $85,035.

As for the future, most survey respondents see a positive outlook for .NET developers. Asked about the best technologies for job security, 82 percent say the best track is to stay with Visual Studio and the .NET Framework. SQL Server came in second, at 65.3 percent, with the Web-focused technologies of HTML/JavaScript (54.6 percent) and ASP.NET (51.6 percent) rounding out the top four.

The highest salaries by area of expertise shook out a little different. Those with a focus on SharePoint enjoy the biggest income, at an average of $103,188. SQL Server again came in second, at $97,840, followed closely by .NET Framework devs, at $97,290. Those listing Visual Studio as their primary expertise earned, on average, $90,682.

The salary survey was conducted from Nov. 16 - Nov. 23, 2012, and 1,031 readers responded. The survey was featured in the January 2013 issue of Visual Studio Magazine.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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