The DevOps jobs market is growing, and there has been a rising demand for DevOps professionals. Companies of all scales have seen compelling evidence of the benefits DevOps has to offer in terms of productivity, improved quality of service, higher customer satisfaction, and cost savings. This theory is backed by many surveys – including this one by Atlassian. Even startups have seen the benefits of DevOps. I published a comprehensive list of the best DevOps practices for startups last month, which you can read here.
Many individuals who have practiced DevOps in their day-to-day work activities have shown significant levels of high productivity. You can read more about practicing individual DevOps here.
In this article, I will be presenting my findings after analyzing data from 1,104 job postings from Indeed to explore the current DevOps jobs market in the United States. The 1,104 job postings used here have been posted from mid-February to mid-March in 2021.
- The mean salary for a US-based DevOps professional is $120,766 per year.
- California, Virginia, Texas, Massachusetts, and New York are the top 5 states having the most DevOps job postings in the United States.
- New York City, Washington DC, Boston, Austin, and Reston are the top 5 cities in the United States with the most DevOps job postings.
- 68.98% of the DevOps job postings require a Bachelor’s degree. These postings specify that a DevOps professional must have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field.
- Companies hiring DevOps professionals post job titles such as “DevOps Engineer,” “Senior DevOps Engineer,” “DevSecOps Engineer,” “Azure DevOps Engineer,” and “Senior DevSecOps Engineer.”
- The most common DevOps tool skills required by companies hiring DevOps professionals are Git/GitLab, Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, and Ansible.
- The most common programming languages required by companies hiring DevOps professionals are Go, Python, Java, and Bash.
- MySQL is the most in-demand database skill for a DevOps professional, followed by MongoDB and Redis.
- The most popular cloud skills required in the job postings are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
- Communication skills are the most important non-technical skill for a DevOps professional.
The Average Salary Of A DevOps Professional in the US is $120,766 per year
As I mentioned earlier, I used Indeed.com to find and analyze various DevOps job postings in the United States. In that, I also analyzed the salary data.
Using the above histogram, we can infer that the average salary offered to a DevOps professional in the US is $120,766 per year.
However, it is important to note here that this is just an estimate that may vary significantly as more than 60% of the DevOps job postings on Indeed.com did not specify a salary range. We analyzed this salary data for only those job postings that specified a salary value.
Remote vs. In-Office DevOps Jobs
These job postings were posted on Indeed.com between mid-February 2021 to mid-March 2021, i.e., during the coronavirus pandemic. With the rise in work from home culture, I was curious to know how many jobs are completely remote versus how many require an in-office presence.
As you can see, 931 jobs out of 1,104 jobs fall in the in-office job type. This figure also includes those which are temporarily remote but will require an in-office presence in the near future. The completely remote number of jobs is 135, which is 12.19% of the total job postings.
Where are the most DevOps jobs located?
Next, I decided to find the locations with the most DevOps jobs. First, I decided to check at the state level. Unsurprisingly, California has the most DevOps jobs in the United States. In general, California ranks first in the most tech job openings in the United States, as per this article in the IEEE Spectrum article.
We can also infer from the above map that Virginia and Texas are the other two states that follow California in terms of the number of DevOps job openings.
We can also see that states like Nevada, Wyoming, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Mississippi are states where no DevOps job openings are posted during the mid-February to mid-March period. According to an article by Forbes, this is not big of a surprise as South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Mississippi are considered the least innovative US states.
Now, let us compare these numbers and gain more insight into the location of these jobs.
The above bar chart shows that California leads with the most DevOps job openings with 134 job postings, followed by Virginia with 111 job postings and Texas with 86 job postings. Even though the states of Massachusetts and New York rank 4th and 5th, they have less than half the number of DevOps job postings than the state of California.
Montana, Vermont, Maine, South Carolina, and Delaware have only one DevOps job posting from mid-February to mid-March.
I wanted to see the overview of the distribution of these DevOps jobs by location. So, I mapped the data from the dataset to the below bubble map.
You can see that most jobs are located on the east coast, particularly towards the north. On the west coast, we see that jobs are concentrated in California. We can also see there is a significant amount of concentration of DevOps jobs in Texas. This visualization gave me a brief overview as to what regions in the US have the most DevOps jobs. Finally, I wanted to find the top cities with the most DevOps job offers.
Companies based in New York City, Boston, Washington DC, Austin, Reston, and San Francisco have the highest job offers for a DevOps position. This is not very surprising because these cities are massive tech hubs in the United States.
The Most Popular DevOps Job Titles
Next, I analyzed the words and phrases that recruiters use to describe the DevOps positions. This provides valuable information and insights to many job applicants.
- Professionals looking for a DevOps job can optimize their LinkedIn profiles for the specific terms that recruiters are looking for. Finding these terms or phrases is important. It will help the recruiters find prospective employees and will likely consider them a better fit for the position if their LinkedIn profile is a 1:1 match for the job title they are recruiting.
- Second, these words and phrases can help aspiring DevOps professionals know where to upskill. For example, if we get to know that most DevOps job titles use the phrase “Azure DevOps Engineer,” it could help you focus on upskilling your skills with Microsoft Azure.
We can see that “DevOps Engineer” and “Senior DevOps Engineer” is the most popular job title in our dataset. We also see titles like “Azure DevOps Engineer” used, meaning that the prospective applicant should possess strong Microsoft Azure skills. “Lead DevOps Engineer” is another title in our dataset and is the 6th most popular job title, implying that employers are looking for leadership skills among prospective applicants.
After seeing the 3rd and 5th most popular job title in our dataset, I grew inquisitive about the titles – “DevSecOps Engineer” and “Senior DevSecOps Engineer.”
DevSecOps is a new field that is evolving as a subset of DevOps. DevSecOps, similar to DevOps, is made up of three words – Development, Security, and Operations. The key idea of DevSecOps is to integrate security decisions and actions within the DevOps cycle. With the rise in businesses moving online and the rise in cybercrimes, DevSecOps is a rising field within DevOps.
The Rise Of DevSecOps
I wanted to know how many job postings in our dataset are related to DevSecOps and so I analyzed every job title for words like DevSecOps and Security and below is the result of what I got
As you can see, 9.1% of the DevOps jobs are specifically DevSecOps jobs. And this number will keep rising! Many organizations with a DevOps framework are looking to shift to a DevSecOps mindset. From testing for potential security vulnerabilities to building business-driven secure applications, DevSecOps is here to stay for a long time. One of the significant benefits of DevSecOps is that it ensures that security is in-built into applications rather than bolted on later haphazardly.
Qualifications Required For A DevOps Professional
Does a college degree help you with a career in DevOps, and if so, how far should you be in academia for it? That was the next question that came to my mind.
My analysis shows that 69.65% of the jobs need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. Very few job postings looked for a candidate with a Master’s degree or a Ph.D.
Note that 27.71% of these jobs did not specify any degree requirements. That is a fair amount of job postings that are not looking for a degree requirement, but perhaps they are looking for work experience or any associated certifications. You can check this blog post by me for a list of DevOps certifications you must have to upskill yourself.
Top Skills For A DevOps Professional
Next, I decided to analyze each job posting’s job description and determine what necessary skills a DevOps professional should possess. Finding this was very important because it helps prospective DevOps job applicants which skills they should have, strengthen and list on their resume or LinkedIn profiles.
I started with the cloud skills a DevOps professional should have, and my analysis showed that AWS is the most popular and in-demand cloud skill in the DevOps profession right now. Almost 64% of the DevOps job postings demand having a solid knowledge of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
I noticed that most jobs would also require having multi-cloud knowledge. So, I analyzed the datasets’ job descriptions to find the frequency of job posts requiring multi-cloud knowledge. Here is what I observed.
Knowing both AWS and Azure seems to be the way ahead as 154 job postings have recruiters searching for a candidate skilled in AWS and Microsoft Azure. The analysis also showed that 135 job postings needed knowledge of the three top cloud services – AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Moving forward, I analyzed these job descriptions again, but this time to find out which is the most in-demand programming language in the DevOps domain.
72.4% of job postings needed knowledge of the Go programming language, while almost 55% of job postings needed a candidate skilled in Python. Java, Bash, and Ruby are the other three popular programming languages in our DevOps jobs dataset.
With the rise in database technologies, I also wanted to find the top database querying skills that a prospective DevOps job applicant should know. Here is what my analysis showed.
One hundred fourteen job postings needed someone experienced in MySQL, while 72 job postings needed a candidate experienced in MongoDB. Redis, PostgreSQL, and Cassandra were the other popular database skills that recruiters are looking for in candidates.
DevOps’ basic premise is to work with tools and technologies that help continuous delivery of high-quality software in a smaller period. The core idea of DevOps is to make the development team, and the operations team work together effectively, which is why a DevOps professional must be highly-skilled in certain DevOps tools.
These tools can be categorized into the following -
- Source code control tools like Git, GitHub, BitBucket, and GitLab.
- CI/CD and configuration management tools like Chef, Ansible, Puppet, and Jenkins.
- Container platforms like Kubernetes and Docker.
- Monitoring, alerting, and incident response tools like Splunk, Datadog, and Prometheus.
- Infrastructure monitoring apps like New Relic and Sensu.
- Agile Project management software like Jira.
- And others like Terraform, Consul, and Vault.
I analyzed the job descriptions in the dataset, and here are the tools that employers want DevOps professionals to know how to use.
Unsurprisingly, source code control tools like Git, GitHub, and GitLab rank most popular, with almost 56% of employers wanting their prospective employees to know how to use them. Having a distributed version control system like Git surely helps in implementing the core principles of DevOps.
Docker helps you separate your applications from your infrastructure. This helps individuals and organizations deliver software quickly. Kubernetes goes hand-in-hand with Docker as it helps in automating computer application deployment, scaling, and management. Again, both these tools highlight DevOps’ fundamental principles, and that’s why they are so popular.
Another core fundamental of DevOps is continuous integration and continuous delivery or CI/CD. Tools like Jenkins and Ansible help achieve this, and hence they make it in the list of top 5 DevOps tools. To know more about the different DevOps tools, you should check out this article.
Compliance Standards That A DevOps Professional Must Know
We saw about DevSecOps earlier and how it is a growing subset within the DevOps domain. With DevSecOps, you also need to know the various security compliance standards. If you are an aspiring DevOps professional, you should get ahead of the curve and know about some security compliance standards in the industry that almost every tech company needs to adhere to, for instance, GDPR.
So, I decided to analyze the job descriptions once again to determine which compliance standards are mentioned in the job postings.
As you can see, in 56 job postings, the employer expects the candidate to know the CIS compliance standard. 38 job postings expect the candidate to know about the NIST compliance standard and 33 job postings demand the candidate know about the ISO compliance standard. You should check my post on the CIS, NIST, and ISO compliance standards and the difference between them while you’re here. HIPAA is also an essential compliance standard, and as you can see, 41 job posts express the candidate should know about it.
If you are getting started in the DevOps industry or want to know about these compliance standards briefly, check out this blog post where I discuss many compliance standards like the GDPR, PCI DSS, NIST, HIPAA, and more!
Communication is The Most Important Non-Technical Skill in DevOps
DevOps jobs may be in a technical field, but they also need a great deal of non-technical skills. Some jobs may explicitly post these requirements, while others may not consider it implicit while applying to the position. Recruiters may not specify these skills at times, but they will look for these skills during job interviews.
I analyzed the job descriptions, and here are the top non-technical skills a DevOps professional should possess.
Communication is the most important non-technical skill for a DevOps professional, and this makes sense. A DevOps professional should be able to work with the entire engineering department and the operations department. DevOps professionals regularly need to communicate with people of all levels in the company, with or without a technical background. That’s why having excellent written, and verbal communication skills will take the DevOps professionals a long way in their DevOps journey! Teamwork is the second most popular non-technical skill for a DevOps professional. DevOps is all about collaboration, so again, the ability to work in teams should be excellent.
I want to thank you for reading this report. I hope this report gave you some valuable insights! We at Cloudanix would love to hear from you now! DevOps can be tricky to implement at times. Here is a free checklist that will help you if you are doing DevOps the wrong way!