I keep having discussions about this topic and I want the input of the community.

As far as I've heard, .NET is the current leader in $/hr or $/project ranking. How does .NET rank against Java or J2EE?

21 accepted

PayScale.com has some great comparisons for you:

Based on those links (I gave US links, but you can find other countries on that site as well), both Java and C++ pay slightly better than C#.


To be strict, programming languages don't pay salaries, companies using them do. I would say that C/C++ are the languages for which companies are willing to pay top dollar because these are the languages normally used to develop real time/embedded/low level programs. And people able to do such type of development are deservedly getting the top pay.


The highest paid "programming languages" are the proprietary dialects used by large ERP products like SAP, Sage, and SAS.

Here in Washington DC, SAP Engineers earn as much as $300,000/yr and SAP consultants routinely charge over $275 an hour.

Anecdotally, I've been offered $250/hr to do QlikView development.


Certainly... COBOL


I use JobStats for UK salaries and contract rates. JobStats monitors job and contract listings for technologies and related skills, and the salaries/rates offered.

Now, although it's UK-based, I suspect that the technologies sampled and the relative rates won't differ too much from the US market (I assume you're from the US).

C#/.NET register as 36-40k. Java/J2EE comes in as 40-45k, for what it's worth.


After reading and rereading, I still don't think I understand the question.

Payment is often an issue of supply and demand and of industry. There are generally fewer .NET developers around since it has been around for a shorter period of time, it requires commercial tools, it locks you to a platform, and few schools teach it.

Some industries also prefer a specific technology. For example, most of the financial industry, where pay is high, uses C++ on Linux. On the other hand, lots of low-paying IT jobs here in Pittsburgh rely on .NET.

However, I fail to see a connection between the cost of a developer and the choice of language here, since the productivity of the developers may depend on the language. .NET also carries the cost of lock-in to MS technologies.


In my experience (dare I say),

  • Companies that adopt paid-for solutions tend to pay more.

  • Companies that opt for opensource/free solutions tend to pay less.


languages are like tools in a toolbox. You can pigeonhole yourself into one language, but you will be more successful (and make more money) in understanding how languages work and picking the right language (tool) for the project you are working on. I would focus instead on learning as many languages as you can.


Out of context, this question doesn't really have an answer.

In your case, you're trying to use the breadth of the .NET framework as a motivator to utilize it. Maybe you should ask "How can I make a business case for .NET?" with a little more information.

In my specific case, we're a 100% Java shop at the moment. .NET isn't a worthless skill but we don't have any .NET projects. So, the salary range goes like this:

  • Java: a wage defined according to our documented salary schedule.
  • .NET: zero.

That's a bit facetious but still true.


Experience and level is what we pay people for not language used

a person with 2 years Java experience will not get paid more than a person with 5 years .NET experience and vice versa It also depends what kind of job you did, did you do basic winform or did you use WCF, winsock programming

It all becomes evident in the interview, then you can really see if the person was a Wizard Driven Programmer or someone who actually understood what he was doing and how to fix it when it would break....


I recommend glassdoor.com. I've used it to compare my salary with others in positions in other companies. It's also helpful to see not just what other companies pay, but at what level they get paid.


Well, according to http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=python+programmer&l1=Sunnyvale%2C+CA , a Python programmer in Sunnyvale makes an average of $96,000 -- a Java programmer, $90,000, and a .NET programmer, also $90,000 -- in the same locality. I'm sure other sites, localities, etc, will give different numbers, but this general result matches what Dr. Dobbs' reported years ago on a survey of 3500 professionals -- see http://www.ddj.com/architect/184415424 -- Python programmers had the best salaries then, too.


Salary is more or less an issue of supply and demand. This means you can demand the highest salary in places where the supply of coders is smallest. Generally, this will be in niche markets with old/obsolete languages.

The downside to this is that the world isn't exactly overflowing with companies looking for CMS-2 coders. So you are going to have to move where the jobs are after every job is done. That can be a good lucrative gig for someone just out of college, or someone older with no kids at home to worry about and no working spouse. For the rest of us, moving every 0.5 to 2 years really sucks.


You should put a focus on leveraging the knowledge and experience of the people you have working for you. Switching technologies incurs a significant cost.

Edit: Unless you are hiring for a brand spanking new project which allows you to hire fresh people with specific skill sets. Now, if you need to integrate this software with existing products, that will open a whole new can of worms.


Your salary doesn't depend on the language you work with,but the way you work with it.

That said,I can ensure you .NET will be the future unless Anders H. decides to leave his workplace again. :P

A C# developer is paid better than a VB.NET developer.

From the other side,C++ developers are paid very well too


In my opinion that is a question of; first, Supply and demand of industry; that means the market pays more for those use tools (language, plataforms) suited for that specific market and this is related to industry wages averages payd to IT professionals. Secondly it is a question about profession availability and experience.


seriousely, cobol and fortran have the best paid. Mostly because lack of resource and huge base of running code to maitains in large organisation ( banks.... )

Edit : i spoke for western europe ( france , luxembourg )


Certain niche markets make it difficult to find the "best" salaries. For instance, in the defense market Sharepoint and .Net experience is highly sought after. However, I've seen situations where a PHP developer with a Top Secret clearance had a $105k salary. This is a good topic but there are just too many variables.

Certain niche markets make it difficult to find the "best" salaries. For instance, in the defense market Sharepoint and .Net experience is highly sought after. However, I've seen situations where a PHP developer with a Top Secret clearance had a $105k salary.

This is a good topic but there are just too many variables.