Career Opportunities For Python Developers

Career Opportunities For Python Developers

An overview of the career opportunities for Python developers.

An in-depth look at job titles, career opportunities, and potential salaries for software professionals with skills in the Python programming language.

The Python language was created in 1991 by Guido van Rossum and coders quickly began to see its advantages. By the early 2000s it had begun to gain ground against larger rivals such as C++ and Java and in recent years has emerged as a challenger even to more specialized languages such as R.

The TIOBE index of software quality ranks Python as the #1 software as of September 2022, officially toppling C from the number 1 spot in 2021. Java and C++ come in at the number 3 and 4 spots and employers are taking notice. Python has been called the 2nd best choice language for every task, which can be taken as either a compliment or as criticism. Either way, developers with skills in the language are in huge demand by employees worldwide and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
So why is this language is showing up in job descriptions from New York to New Delhi, and Moscow to Melbourne? What opportunities does this present to developers eager to leverage the language in their code and in their careers?
Today we take a look at why Python has become so popular, who’s hiring Python developers, how much they are willing to pay, and why you should be learning it if you want to turbocharge your career.

Who’s hiring Python Developers?

Python has become a key tool for developers throughout a wide range of industries, particularly where big data and analytics are involved. As the world gets bigger and data gets messier, analytical software tools are in big demand.
Here are some key areas where the language is used today.

  • Retail Banking
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Robotics and Hardware Automation
  • Healthcare
  • Data Science and Business Analytics
  • Ecommerce
  • Bespoke Web Development
  • Software Development
  • Government Bodies
  • Scientific Institutions

All of the above sectors either have very specific data and/or automation needs. Python is a highly efficient tool in both of these key areas.

Who’s using Python?

Many of the biggest household name companies in the world were created with Python at their core, including such behemoths as:

  • Spotify
  • Reddit
  • Dropbox
  • Amazon
  • Netflix
  • Quora
  • Uber
  • Google
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook/Instagram/Youtube

What do all of these companies have in common? They are all essentially large software platforms with huge user bases and a continuous need for complicated algorithms to make sense of their massive amounts of data.
Every one of the above companies either started out with Python, has migrated its code to Python, or uses a significant amount of Python in their code. No wonder this so-called ‘second-best’ language made the TIOBE top spot this year.

Data Science

Although Python is used in a wide range of industries, particularly where software development, automation, or data analysis/analytics are required, the field of Data Science has a particular affinity for this language. In the past R was the language of choice for data scientists but Python has increasingly taken its place. As the need for complicated manipulation and analysis has grown so has the need for experts who can carry out and automate these tasks.

Data analysts and especially data scientists have come to rely heavily on Python. These roles pay well, have excellent career progression, and are in high demand wherever companies, governments, medical or scientific institutions have heavy data requirements.

If you are looking to pivot into a data science role from another discipline, whether that be statistics, mathematics, or software development, then learning Python is an excellent way to gain entry into these potentially lucrative and intellectually rewarding roles.

What are the career options for Python Developers?

The Glassdoor listings of the 50 best jobs in America for 2022 place Full Stack Engineer at #2, Data Scientist at #3, Machine Learning Engineer at #6, Data Engineer at #7, and Software Engineer at #8. All of these roles will likely require Python to some degree making the famously easy-to-master language a possible entry point to well-paid positions within these fields.

What is a typical job title for a coder who knows Python?

With Python as a key skill on your resume, you can consider any of the following roles: 

  • Python Developer
  • Python Software Engineer
  • Backend Python Developer
  • Full Stack Python Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Analyst

While these roles will require more than Python coding skills alone, they all either require or would significantly benefit from someone with a degree of proficiency in the language.

Freelance Python Developers

All of the above roles can be within the framework of traditional employment with a company but the possibilities are wider than this. Not only can you be a developer or analyst working remotely, it is increasingly a career choice for many Python professionals to work as freelancers.
There are drawbacks and benefits to both paths, but in brief, as a freelancer, your time will be more valuable to clients who will pay you by the project or by the hour. Your skill set will have a more narrow focus on the project work with less workplace distraction. If you prefer coding to office politics, then freelancing is an excellent choice.
Finding work as a freelancer is up to you, but there is a multitude of excellent platforms including Upwork, Freelancer, Monster, or Indeed. In the beginning, you will likely earn less than a salaried position but over time, as your portfolio grows the potential to match or even exceed a full-time job are a real possibility.

Career paths for Python Developers

While you may may swear now that you will only every love to code, depending on where you are in your career trajectory, there will probably come a time when you want to leave the trenches and climb higher up the hill of command. When that time comes, here are some of the typical career paths available to ambitious Python Developers:

  • Lead Software Engineer
  • Software Project Lead
  • Lead Data Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Lead Business Analyst
  • Director of IT

Salaries for Python related roles: what can you expect to earn?

See Careerfoundry.com

The highest paying roles for Python developers are still in the US followed closely by Australia and then Germany, but the skillset draws competitive salaries worldwide.
The average base salary for a Python developer in the US in 2022 according to Indeed.com is $108,529. The top company hiring for the role is Selby Jennings with an advertised salary of up to $250,000 for the position of Senior Fullstack Software Engineer with Python.
Selby Jennings is a London-headquartered financial services recruitment agency, so absolutely not typical by any means. However, the financial services sector does deal with large amounts of critical real-time data and tends to pay at the higher end of the scale so these salary levels are certainly not impossible.
At the junior end of the scale, you can still aim high with $82,000 named as the average base salary by Indeed.com, but the lower end of the scale would be about $50,000. Glassdoor.com data for 2022 sets the average Python developer salary at just under $89,000 with $43,446 at the low end and $130,000 at the top.
If we take another look at those top 50 US jobs on Glassdoor.com we see that the median base salaries tell another story.

  • Full Stack Engineer: $101,794
  • Data Scientist: $120,000
  • Machine Learning Engineer: $130,489
  • Data Engineer: $113,960
  • Software Engineer: $116,638

These are median salaries with both high and low-lying outliers excluded so the absolute top end for roles that are Python-heavy, may well be considerably higher.

Python Developer salaries by industry

The sector you choose to apply your skills in will also have a bearing on your earning potential. As in the above case with Selby Jennings, you can see that financial services tends to be a more lucrative area. Other industries that reward at the higher end include biotech, energy, legal, accounting, and insurance.
Although it may seem obvious to aim for tech companies as a developer, the reality is that you may find higher salaries, less competition, and a better work-life balance as a developer in a non-tech related field.

How Do Python Programmers Compare to Their Peers?

Of course, no programmer exists in a vacuum and it’s common for a developer to work in multiple languages throughout their career. If we focus on job title exclusively however, this data from Glassdoor.com gives us an idea of how professionals with expertise in different languages fare against each other.

Final Thoughts

The utility of Python, combined with how relatively easy it is to learn compared to other languages has made it a hugely popular choice with developers and tech-savvy entrepreneurs seeking to develop innovative business models.
If you are looking for a way into tech from another career or are looking to pivot your current career in tech in another direction learning Python can be an excellent way to do this.
From academia to financial services your skillset will be in high demand and salaries are some of the highest in the field of software development. Add to this the efficiency of the code and how easy it can make your life as a developer compared to other languages and Python is an excellent choice for career development and potential future earnings.

 

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