15 Highest Paying Programming Languages in 2017

The technology world continues to dominate economically and socially, pushing millions of people searching for their first careers or changing their professional focus toward computer science, programming, and other tech-related jobs. Despite this, employers continue to seek highly-skilled programmers and compensate them in accordance to that demand. As these areas of focus continue to grow and expand to new platforms and industries, it’s important to choose which programming language to study and learn to maximize your earning potential and secure your future in the world of technology. But with anything, experience matters, so finding contract or freelance opportunities in the tech industry will move the needle significantly when it comes time to negotiate a full-time salary. Plenty of resources are available in this area, offering specialized sorting criteria to find the best possible match for your current professional situation.

While I covered this same topic last year, the highest-compensated programming languages has shifted in 2017, with the following languages garnering the highest salaries. If you’re considering a career in technology, consider learning these programming languages to secure the highest possible pay:


With salaries averaging $110,000 per year or higher, Go has shot up the list of highest paying programming languages in recent years. Created within Google in 2009 as an open-source development platform, notable services like Uber, SoundCloud, Netflix, Google, and Dropbox utilize elements of Go for internal and infrastructure functions.


Developed with the purpose of addressing many issues with Java, programmers familiar with Scala can garner as much as $110,000 per year depending on experience and expertise. Intercompatibility with Java is a key feature of Scala, so developers familiar with both will have a significant leg up on the competition when it comes time to hunt for jobs.


One of the oldest and most familiar programming languages is also among the most lucrative for developers and programmers. The baseline language used by Apple platforms, Objective-C programmers can expect to see salaries between $100,000-110,000 per year.


A programming language that transcompiles flawlessly to JavaScript, CoffeeScript has become a popular language for those seeking a more readable and streamlined version of JS. Programmers with CoffeeScript expertise may earn as much as $105,000 per year.


An open-source language used primarily for statistical computing and graphics, R has become increasingly important as data-driven analysis and predictive modeling have expanded to a multitude of industries. R programmers earn an average of $100,000 per year.


A Microsoft-maintained open-source programming language, TypeScript is used to develop JavaScript applications on both a client-side and server-side basis. If you’re fluent in TypeScript, you can expect to earn as much as $100,000 per year.


For more than 40 years, SQL has been the basis of thousands of programs and data management solutions since 1974. Tech giants like Google, Helix, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon continue to utilize SQL and compensate SQL programmers in the $70,000-90,000 range.


One of the world’s most popular programming languages is also among the most lucrative for those who know how to use it. Remaining a major player in the client-server web application space, an estimated 9 million developers have utilized Java, with salaries reaching as much as $117,000 for the most qualified candidates.


A widely popular language used for general-purpose programming, Python is known for its readability and simplified syntax compared to C++ or Java. Python experts can reliably expect to see salaries approaching $99,000.


While JavaScript’s popularity has dropped off considerably in the last few years for more streamlined versions of HTML and CSS, the majority of modern websites still use it for various elements of interactivity. Programmers with JavaScript expertise are rewarded with salaries reaching as high as $110,000.


General purpose, fast, portable, and widely popular, C++ remains a major programming language and those who maintain a level of expertise in C++ may see job offers ranging between $90,000-100,000 per year.


A product of Microsoft’s .NET Framework initiative, C# continues to be a popular solution for object-oriented programming and its syntax is similar enough to C++ and Java, but those programmers with expertise in C# may earn as much as $107,000 annually.


Powerful and reliable, Perl has become known as the Swiss Army knife of scripting languages, used primarily for system administration, network programming, finance, and graphic user interfaces. Those familiar with Perl may see a salary as high as $110,000.


Primarily aimed at web development on the server-side, PHP is a dominant programming language that relies on C and C++ for its implementation language. Developers who are familiar with all three will have a better chance at landing a high-paying job focused around PHP, with salaries as high as $120,000.


One of the largest and most significant new programming languages released in recent years is Swift, Apple’s language used for its modern operating systems like macOS and iOS. Average salaries often reach $80,000 per year, but higher-end positions in Swift programming may reach as high as $120,000 annually.

As the shortage in qualified top tech talent in the market continues and employers look to fill critical gaps in their competitive software development initiatives, candidates with expertise in any of the programming languages above will have a significant advantage when it comes to salary negotiations. Sharpen up your skills and mastery of these languages and your wallet will thank you for years to come.