In the real world, a Python can suffocate the life out of you, but as a technical career path, mastering Python will keep you living comfortably for a long time. The salary trend for Python development has been almost steadily upward since 2012. Part of the reason for that is undoubtedly its popularity in data science and machine learning projects. While it's a general-purpose programming language, the fact that the language is being used for those hot big data programming projects means increased demand and increased salary for Python professionals.
According to Indeed, junior Python developers in Silicon Valley earn an average of $88,000. After a couple of years’ experience and gaining the senior Python developer title, the average salary increases more than 65 percent to $147,000. Experienced developers working as contractors can expect rates above $50 per hour.
Location matters. The top salaries are found in either Silicon Valley or New York, where Python developers were ranked eighth on one list of the top 10 tech jobs. While Python developers will do well wherever they live, salaries in Silicon Valley are more than 42 percent above the nationwide average. But the nationwide average salary for Python developers – about $102,000 – is plenty rewarding.
If you don't know Python already, it's fairly easy to learn. Since Python skills add six-to-eight percent to the average software engineering salary, it's worth making the effort. Python's in the top-10 growing skills, according to Dice, with a 21 percent increase in demand.
Adding Python to your tool kit will give you many more options when looking for a job, even if you already know other in-demand languages like C++, Java, or Ruby. After all, in most projects, the goal isn't to use a specific language; it's to use the language that's most appropriate to solving the problem. The more technical skills you master, the better you'll be able to solve to problem of finding a job.