Blockchain jobs are the most lucrative in software development

A surging demand for blockchain specialists is seeing salaries skyrocket, in a good sign for long-term faith in the technology.
31 October 2018

Investors in digital currencies like Bitcoin might be (quietly) rueing their earlier optimism, but demand for specialists in its underlying technology is driving salaries for blockchain-based jobs sky high.

Blockchain engineers can now expect to make between US$150,000 and US$175,000, according to tech recruitment firm Hired in a report by CNBC, making them the highest paid roles in software development.

Since last year, the number of vacancies advertised for blockchain and crypto positions in the US has increased by 300 percent, driven by a surge in demand chiefly from software giants, crypto exchanges, and finance and accountancy firms.

Salaries for blockchain engineers are now at least US$25,000 higher than software engineers on average, putting these roles on more of a level with hyper-specialised in the realms of artificial intelligence and the like.

Blockchain engineers will need to code in a number of programming languages. A glance at a New York-based ‘Senior Blockchain Engineer’ vacancy on LinkedIn requires Python, Go, C++, JavaScript and SQL, while applicants will be expected to hold knowledge in areas such as networking, database design and cryptography computing.  

“There’s a ton of demand for blockchain,” said Mehul Patel, CEO of Hired to CNBC. “Software engineers are in very short supply, but this is even more acute and that’s why salaries are even higher.”

It’s unlikely a seasoned software engineer would be walking straight into one of these lucrative openings, though; the same position mentioned earlier required at least two years’ working with blockchain technology and experience in Hyperledger application development, as well as “hands-on” experience with big data distributed systems.

“There’s a mindset here of taking a long-term view of planning,” Patel added. “If you’re going to build blockchain technology, you have to get that talent.”

Indeed, the growth of openings for blockchain specialists and high salaries are indicative of some pretty strong faith in the longevity and ongoing adoption of both blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency in the coming years.

This comes as members of the blockchain community continue to remove barriers in the technology’s path. Earlier this month, management consultancy firm Accenture developed a landmark solution to blockchain’s interoperability challenges, enabling communication between multiple blockchain platforms, such as Bitcoin, Hyperledger Fabric, R3 Corda and Quorum.