I accepted a developer job making 60k/yr. Is this good money?

I accepted a frontend developer job paying $60,000/yr. I live in the south. I have no formal degrees, and I have approximately 2 years of professional (employed) developer experience. I also receive benefits and unlimited PTO.

The only big thing I am missing that I have always wanted is a girlfriend (and ultimately a wife).

What’s good money? That depends a lot on factors like location, job, your expenses/wants, etc. It’s above the national average and seems like a good salary for an early-career developer.

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@Ibaeni
Is that really above the national average for a frontend developer? I have seen different.

National average for all jobs

I think that seems a little low for 2 yrs experience, but it really can depend on where you are geographically and skills development-wise. If you have been looking for a while, then this might be the best you can do for now. Maybe spend some time and build the skill set and then look again in a few years.

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Hi again!

Welcome back :grinning:

You definitely have a running theme to all of your posts.
And so it seems like you are always asking the same type of questions which is “Am I underpaid?”

60k is nothing to laugh at but it is not the core issue.

Before you accept any type of offer, you should know the market rate in your area and you should feel comfortable asking for that salary. :grinning:

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The problem is, all sites provide a different answer. The average salaries are all over the place.

Well, that may be because they are indeed “all over the place” in a literal sense - different locations are going to have different averages - different sites may be weighting them differently. What a developer gets paid in Palo Alto, CA is not going to be the same as what a developer will get paid in Mobile, AL. And it also depends and the skill set and the experience. It can also depend if you include benefits.

What are comparable devs getting pain in that company? In neighboring companies? That is more important.

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“Good money” is relative to:

  • expenses
    1M is bad money if your groceries, rent and health expenses are 999k
  • time left alive
    1B is bad money if you will live only for one more day after paycheck
  • planned expenses
    100B is bad money if you plan to buy out amazon (the company)

To put it into perspective:

Plan on how much money do you need to live work-free for the rest of your (assumed long and healthy) life. Double this number because of inflation, health problems, possible wars and unforeseen expenses.
If you can earn that number in less than 20% of your ‘time left alive’ that is indeed a good money.
If you can earn it in less than 50% ‘time left alive’ that is ok money.
If you need to work more than 85% ‘time left alive’ that is bad money and I would advise agaist working there. You can call it ‘slave money’.

Those numbers are made up by me, that’s just advice to give you perspective. Modify according to your needs and changes happening in the world.

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I usually use this calculator, that uses 2019 numbers, but is still at least a starting point. Other tools would be something along the lines of glassdoor, to help you get an idea of where you stand.

Generally 60k can range from reasonable to the lower end, at least for within the US. Benefits+unlimited PTO+your general location are the biggest factors going against your salary. Having 2 years of previous experience is the primary factor going for increase.

So “good money” is ultimately relative to your area, other similar jobs in your area, along with the perks your company gives you, such as benefits and unlimited PTO. (unlimited PTO is somewhat rare)

If you feel like you could be making more, I’d look around at what other opportunities there are in your area for your skill set, at least to see if you could be making more doing similar work somewhere else. Otherwise I think what you’re seeing, the general costs of living and the perks you have make your pay reasonable.

Good luck, keep learning, keep growing :+1:

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Like most others said, depends on what you actually do and your skills.

For a wordpress dev? that’s pretty good.

Otherwise:

Personally, for me that’s slightly under the bare minimum I would take if I had no experience. I’d want to become a dev to earn MORE than I currently make, not less.

My opinion is a bit different in that I think like this: If becoming a dev is worth it / in demand, you shouldn’t have to take on low paying gigs.

I understand working hard on your own projects and learning but working for others for peanuts is not my thing.

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“The south” is very vague and could literally be any number of states. Are you still in Tennessee? (I looked up the last post I recall you made)

Given the 1.5x multiplier in minimum wage that I saw between Colorado and Tennessee last year, $60K there would be $90K here, which actually doesn’t sound that bad for 2 years of experience. I’d say you’re doing ok now, and just need to keep learning and gaining experience. In 2-3 more years, you might be able to change jobs again and get another salary bump anywhere in the range of $15K-$25K (or more, especially if you move out of state, or work remotely for an employer based in another state).

COL (cost of living) based on your location is typically a big factor to most salaries btw, as has been mentioned already. The question shouldn’t really be if it’s good money or not. Is that enough money for you to live on (given expenses like food, gas/transportation, rent, bills, etc) and save for the future? That’s the question you should be asking IMO.

There are developers who make upwards of $200K to $300K (and even higher) in the US, but those people tend to work for the big-name companies like Amazon, Google, et al, have many years of experience, and more than likely live in high-COL areas like the SF Bay Area or Seattle (heck, even the Denver CO area is getting there too now). You won’t be able to compare to them because of that.

Also, as already mentioned, you should keep looking around to see what other companies are paying, even if you’ve already landed a job. It’s useful to know what companies in your area are paying. Some states now have pay transparency laws (Colorado is one of them and it’s been really useful because every job posting now requires a salary), but if you’re not in one of those states, you can still find out how much jobs are paying, it’ll just require a little extra work.

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It depends, I live in Central FL. I’ve worked in multiple positions, starting with IT Department Student Worker, when I was going to college in Maine, to a Data Recovery Analyst, to an IAM Admin, to a Cyber Security Analyst to now a Linux Sys Admin III

Anyway as a student worker I was making around $8/hr, at the two smaller computer repair shops, I made about $10/hr. When I was working in Data Recovery (for only three months, it was a small business, and they needed someone more specilized, than my skill set, however I learned a lot) this was my first salary position, at 30k/yr

After that I got a contract to hire position at a large business in Orlando. When I started working there it was known as the System Access Group, and Job Title was Serice Desk Analyst 2, they later renamed that group to Identity Access Management, and changed the Job title to IAM Administrator, since that was more accurate to the actual position responsibilities. As a contractor I started at $21/hr. After a year, as a contractor, I was hired on full time and went up to $23/hr(it was still an hourly position).

After a year working on that team a position opened on the Network Security Team (now called Cyber Security Team), this position started at $28/hr ( $58,240 and is an “exempt” position, which is basically Salary). After 5 years on the team, through a manager change, a CIO change, Job Title Change, and Team Name Change, I ended up at $73k/yr(below industry average, the company was not for profit, and sadly with not for profit orgs, they often do pay below the industry average).

I recently took a Linux Administrator III at basically the same Salary, which is below other organizations pay for the position in my area. It is a smaller org, they orginally offered 66k/yr. However, I’m only 1mile away from the office so I can walk or ride my bike to work. I get more PTO than in my previous position, and Holidays don’t come out of the accrued PTO balance, and also a seperate Sick leave bucket (Everything came out of the same PTO in my previous position). At my previous position, 40hrs/wk was full time (which is standard I know), and they expected at least 42hrs/wk, if you didn’t put that in the time tracking system, which didn’t even really determine your pay, unless you clocked less than 40hrs and didn’t have PTO to cover it, they’d talk to you manager, and your manager would talk to you, they couldn’t write you up or dock your pay, but it was frustrating. My current position, full time is 37.5hrs/wk, which seems weird, and not much, but it’s nice having an extra 2.5hrs per week where you’re not expected to be working. I’ve only been in the new position for 6 months, everyone across the org got a 2% raise at the end of last year including myself, which boosted me over my previous salary, still close to it though. I plan on either getting a business off the ground in the next 3-5yrs, or hunting for a new position at a new org which whether it’s in Cyber Security or as a senior Linux Sys Admin, should pay a decent bit more.

At this point I have over 10 yrs in the industry, an Associates Degree in programming, and some Certs, the college in Maine, I got a Computer Repair Cert, and got my Associates Degree after Moving to FL, then I did Get CEH, back in 2013, and have maintained it with ECE credits so far, I’m considering letting it lapse this year, but a cert from here, should give me enough credits to renew it if they accept it.

All that being said at least based on Salaries here in Central FL, and I know some people who who have worked as Devs and my own experience with what Salaries are offered in my Area(Central FL), I’d say 60k/yr is decent with 2yrs experience as entry level positions around here seem to start around 20-23/hr. If you stay there for 2-3yrs and you haven’t gotten a pay increase you’re happy with, start looking for a new position. With 4 or 5 years of experience you should be able to request 75-80k easily (at least in Central FL), depending on the state, you could get closer to 100k+ though.

However, like others have said, if you’re making enough to cover your expenses, and you’re happy with what you have after those expenses and you’re happy with your benefits, then it’s enough

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Well, yes, afaics you live in an enormous country. Even in a small country the wages vary drastically dependent on area; average is just that, an average. Sure, that figure may be low based on an average of the salaries for developers with similar experience within your geographic area. Or it may not be. But if the wage pays all your bills, then

  1. if you have very little money left over after that, then you may want to look for a higher paying job. But a. jobs are not fungible, so that may not be feasible, and b. living paycheck to paycheck may not be anything to do with the incoming wage.
  2. if you have some money left over to enable you to save & buy luxuries &c. then the wage is probably good: that’s a judgement call you make.
  3. if you have lots of money left over then the wage is almost certainly good.

All of those are based on your outgoings.

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That’s probably about the market rate for a junior frontend developer, but as everyone has said, job markets and salaries are extremely localized. The best thing you can do is talk to your coworkers, former coworkers, and any other friends you have who are in the same field. Decreasing the stigma around discussing salaries is the only way to achieve equitable pay. Is it a meaningful pay/benefits increase over your last job?

it depends. If it’s a job in SF Bay Area, probably not. That’s where apprenticeship position usually starts at in SF. And you not gonna survive on your own in SF with $60k/yr unless you have a very frugal lifestyle and can live with 4 roommates.
In other states like TX or FL, that’s decent salary.