Software Engineering Salaries Jump, Demand for AR/VR Expertise Skyrockets

Illustration showing AR/VR engineers poised to see a big salary jump.
Illustration: iStockphoto

By: Tekla S. Perry

It’s a good time to be an engineer specializing in augmented reality or virtual reality. That’s the conclusion of the latest report by job site Hired, which just released its annual state of software engineers report. To compile its data, Hired reviewed 400,000 interview requests from 10,000 companies made to 98,000 job seekers throughout 2019.

Demand for AR and VR engineers, in the form of job postings on Hired’s site, was 1400 percent higher in 2019 than in 2018. Salaries for engineers in these specialties climbed into the $135,000 to $150,000 range, at least in the largest U.S. tech hubs. Demand for gaming engineers and computer vision engineers is also on the upswing; both climbed 146 percent in 2019.

Meanwhile, demand for Blockchain expertise, a shooting star in 2018 with 517 percent greater demand than in the previous year, slowed dramatically, increasing only 9 percent.

What are these developers getting paid? Hired took a look at salaries in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Toronto, and London. Salaries climbed across the board, with London showing the most growth at 13 percent year over year, Toronto and New York following at 7 percent, and the already high San Francisco Bay Area salaries growing a not-too-shabby 6 percent. In spite of the growth in demand, AR/VR engineering salaries for most regions have yet to make it into the top ten among engineering specialties. But stay tuned for a change in the rankings next year.

This article originally appeared in IEEE Spectrum on 11 February 2020.