Developer salaries almost double with 5 years of experience and then begin to flatten out. The graph below shows how compensation changes per X years of experience. A graph of individual compensation over time won't look exactly like this because individuals typically only see large salary bumps when switching jobs. This graph shows what salaries at different experience levels look like at this instant [1, 2].
- New York City: 0 years of experience has a salary range of $70k-80k, 5 years of experience has a salary range of $115k-$130k
- Suburban Virginia: 0 years of experience has a salary range of $55k-65k, 5 years of experience has a salary range of $90k-105k
- If you got a job straight out of college, have kept it for a few years, and haven't received major raises each year, you can probably command a higher salary than you think on your next job change.
- If you're a more experienced developer, think about joining a startup. You'll get paid toward the high end of the inexperienced range in terms of salary, but you can likely negotiate a much higher equity stake.
- Hire inexperienced or minimally experienced developers, train them, and retain them.
- Continue to give raises to more experienced employees. These will easily out-pace the market.