6 Tech Jobs That Pay $50k a Year
Share this Article
BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
- The average American makes about $55,630 a year.
- Graphic designers, vloggers, and tech sales representatives make an average of $50k a year.
- People can break into tech without a college degree.
- Tech employers have embraced skills-based hiring practices, dropping degree requirements for middle-skill jobs.
You're not alone if you went into tech hoping to score a six-figure salary. However, not every tech position fetches a top salary, especially in entry-level careers without degree requirements. The highest salaries go to high-skill positions, such as software engineers and computer programmers.
Top-paying careers in tech often require a bachelor's degree or higher. That said, people can break into the tech industry without a four-year degree and make a starting salary of $50,000 or more. Want to learn more about tech jobs that pay $50K a year and how you can start? Continue reading to find out what you need to land a good-paying job in tech.
Is $50k a Good Yearly Salary?
An average salary in the United States starts at about $50,000, so yes! This salary is considered “good” as it is at or above the national average. For a single person living in a state with a low cost of living, making the average annual salary can cover monthly expenses. However, the same may not be said for a high-cost-of-living area with a larger household.
The cost of living is measured to record price differences in housing, food, transportation, and other expenses from region to region. What a person or family needs depends on the size of the household and where they live.
According to the Council For Community and Economic Research's 2022 Cost of Living Index, Manhattan, New York; Honolulu, Hawaii; and San Francisco, California rank as the top three most expensive cities in the country. Kalamazoo, Michigan; Muskogee, Oklahoma; and Harlingen, Texas have the lowest cost of living.
Find the Right Tech Bootcamp For You
What Do You Need to Make $50k a Year?
Earning a college degree pays off when it comes to making more money and finding job security. Bachelor's degree holders make an average of $1,330 a week, while people with a high school diploma make $810 a week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Computer and information technology majors totaled more than 2.4 million in 2019, for which the median annual wage was $85,000. College degrees let people in tech major in a specific area. For instance, graphic designers have a better chance of getting hired with a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a similar major.
Not every career in tech requires a four-year degree — or any college education. People launch lucrative tech careers after graduating from a coding bootcamp or vocational training.
Tech Jobs That Pay $50k A Year
Tech workers get paid based on their experience, education, and talent. The occupations listed below represent the most notable positions that pay $50,000 or more. However, many other tech jobs also offer similar pay — if not more.
Graphic designers traditionally worked in print, but nowadays, they can use their skills to work in tech to design motion graphics, websites, or marketing campaigns. Employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor's in graphic design, but others have non-related majors and proper training. Graphic design serves as the foundation for other creative tech careers, such as game designers, UI/UX designers, and web designers.
Tech companies need graphic designers to make products more visually appealing. Graphic designers may hold in-house positions as web designers or art directors, or they work freelance as logo designers or package designers.
Salary Range: $35,000-$66,000
Unlike bloggers who create written content, vloggers create video content for specific niche markets —such as tech. They may have a college degree or not. Vloggers create, produce, and usually star in short videos, which they upload online to Youtube or directly to a website. The videos may feature the vlogger reviewing a sponsored tech company's product and services.
Famous tech bloggers, such as Lewis Hilsenteger and Marques Brownlee, have millions of subscribers on Youtube. They often generate income from ad revenue and paid partnerships.
Salary Range: $25,000-$51,000
Digital Marketing Specialist
Tech companies hire digital marketing specialists to work on multichannel campaigns to promote new and existing products and services. They also work to maintain a company's digital presence and advertise upcoming events or campaigns. This role requires conducting intel, strategy development, primary and secondary market research, and tracking marketing goals. Digital marketing specialists often have a bachelor's degree in marketing or communications.
A digital marketing specialist needs strong communication and writing skills and good time management. They work with project managers and sales teams to generate new business and cultivate existing clients.
Salary Range: $39,000-$71,000
Social Media Manager
Social media managers oversee social media strategies to grow and maintain a brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. The job often requires experience in consumer branding and technical skills in video and photo editing using Adobe creative suite products, including Photoshop and Premiere. Employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor's in journalism or marketing.
Social campaigns aim to build awareness and deepen engagement with online communities, often through giveaways. Job requirements include creating metrics to measure social media engagement and track campaign performance.
Salary Range: $36,000-$81,000
Information Technology (IT) Support
End-users and customers rely on IT support specialists (sometimes called help desk technicians) to troubleshoot hardware and software problems.
Tech companies need IT support personnel to serve as the face of the company and provide support services for email, servers, printers, networking, and cloud applications. Because of this, IT support specialists need great communication skills and the ability to de-escalate stressful situations. The job may require an associate degree or bachelor's degree.
Salary Range: $38,000-$76,000
Tech Sales Representative
Tech sales representatives sell products and solutions to meet customer needs. They often handle specific accounts and maintain business relationships with their clients. Sales may occur over the phone or in person.
Tech sales representatives need a technical understanding of the products and applications. They often attend trade shows or visit businesses to cultivate new and existing relationships with vendors and customers. Employers may hire people with a high school diploma but prefer candidates with a bachelor's in business.
Salary Range: $40,000-$90,000
Frequently Asked Questions About Tech Jobs That Pay $50k
Which tech job has the highest salary?
Computer and information systems managers make some of the highest salaries in tech. According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers —a position that requires at least a bachelor's degree — earned a median annual salary of $159,010 as of May 2021.
They can make even more with experience and depending on the industry. The top 10% of computer and information systems managers earned more than $208,000 annually, while the lowest 10% of these tech workers made less than $95,220 a year.
Information, finance and insurance, and computer systems design firms paid these high-skilled workers the most, with annual salaries of $165,940-$162,150 as of May 2021.
What tech jobs make $100k a year?
Senior tech workers often make $100K or more annually. Specific positions offer higher-than-average entry-level salaries. Computer hardware engineers, computer and information research scientists, and computer network architects make a median salary above six figures.
Computer hardware engineers made a median annual salary of $128,170 as of May 2021, while computer information and research scientists earned $131,490 and computer network architects earned $120,520 a year. All tech careers have the potential to earn more by gaining industry experience, taking on higher-level roles, earning advanced college degrees and credentials, or switching fields.
For example, web developers made a median annual salary of $77,200 as of May 2021, but they can make a median annual wage of $123,870 in publishing. Similarly, graphic designers in the top 10% of earners made more than $98,260 a year in 2021.
How can I make 6 figures in tech without a degree?
If you have a high school diploma but not a college degree, you could make six figures in tech. After all, some of the most famous techies dropped out of college: Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs.
Careers that, on average, make six figures —such as computer hardware engineers, computer network architects, computer and information research scientists, and computer systems analysts — usually require a bachelor's degree or higher. But employers have begun to abandon degree requirements for middle-skill and some high-skilled jobs. In fact, employers dropped degree requirements from 2017-2019 for about 46% of middle-skill jobs, according to a 2022 study from Harvard Business School's Burning Glass Institute.
People in tech can work their way to a higher salary by advancing to positions as IT managers and sales directors. As of May 2021, these professionals made median annual salaries of $135,230 and $102,520, respectively.