Fall 2021 salaries in Ukrainian IT industry: AIN.UA survey results
The AIN.UA editorial board summarized the answers of IT specialists, and now we present the results of the extensive H2 2021 salary survey. The survey participants are developers, QAs, managers, marketers, data and business analysts, recruiters, content writers, and event managers — over 40 professions in total. We continue our traditional surveys by calculating an average salary level and analyzing salaries based on the company type and size, region, foreign languages proficiency, education, and other indicators.
Why do we need this? Such studies help businesses to know the labor market better. The salary surveys allow specialists at both sides of the recruiting process to evaluate their expectations more fairly, without cognitive distortions.
How was the study conducted? The editors of AIN.UA conducted an anonymous survey. There were over 4,000 participants. By analyzing their results, we calculated salary medians of those interviewed and classified them into four categories:
- Business: CEO · COO · GM/Admin director · Product Manager · Project Manager · Product Owner · Scrum Master · Producer · Marketing Manager · Affiliate · SEO · ASO · PPC · PR · SMM · Sales Manager · Business Developer · Analyst · Data Analyst · Business Analyst · Data Science · Researcher · Support/Call center;
- Development: Software Engineer · DevOps/Unix Admin · QA Engineer · UI/UX Designer · Cyber Security · DBA · Sys.Admin;
- Content: Writer · 2D/3D Artist · Graphic designer · Sound designer · Video designer;
- Special & Administration: HR · Recruiter · Finance Manager/Accountant · Lawyer · M&A specialist · Scout · Fundraiser.
After getting and analyzing the answers, we created detailed infographics about how the rate depends on the expertise, knowledge, and carrier for each position mentioned in the survey. The calculation includes the fixed part of salary in USD after taxes.
Portrait of respondents
The Fall 2021 Salary Survey had 4,176 specialists participating. Most of them are men (78.1%). Out of those, 41.6% work in the field of Software Engineering. As in the previous year, the most popular industry among women is marketing (21% of female participants). The median participant age is 31 years.
Product Owners, Game Designers, and Data Scientists have the highest median salary among Senior-level business professionals. According to the survey, it is $4,000 what is much higher than last year. The most vital start position is a Business Analyst with the $1,100 median salary at the Junior–level position.
The median salary of a Junior Marketing Manager increased to $800. SMM managers earn significantly less than other marketing positions at all three seniority levels. The numbers also confirmed that Junior and Middle SEO and PPC specialists who have had almost similar incomes are still equal. But on average, Senior SEO professionals earn 25% more in all cities of Ukraine. In Kyiv, the median of Senior-level SEO and PPC is the same.
The highest salary in the marketing field — $5,600 — belongs to the Marketing Manager. And the highest income named by SEO is $5,000.
The salary median of Junior Sales Managers has increased a bit compared to the previous report: from $567 to $600. But the Senior-level median has not changed — $1,500, although the maximum Sales Manager salary mentioned was $5,000. It is worth remembering that most sales managers have a fixed rate included in the calculations. But they also get bonuses and premiums more often, and we will recur to it further.
The median pay of Support/Call center workers is the same — $800. However, those who use English earn almost double as much as Ukrainian or Russian-speaking employees. Even more, the salary median of English-speaking professionals grew by one-third, and now it is equal to $1,600.
The highest salary among C-level specialiis much more common at large is much more common at large, successful companies). The GM median income is $6,300. While CEOs (at very young startups and big corporations), it is $4,750. The CTO’s median is a bit higher — $5,000. By the way, the medians of GM, CEO, CMO, and CPO have remarkably increased, and the CTO median has not changed.
For example, the median salary of the CMO is $2,800. It is less than the medians of the CPO ($3,500) and COO ($3,700). In total, the R&D companies have the highest C-level median ($8,000) and retailers the lowest — $1,000. It can be explained by an increased number of small businesses in retail. This time, the median of C-level respondents from product and outsourcing companies is $5,000.
There were only 16% women among the C-level participants. Their median income is $3,100 or 38% less than by men.
In addition, 29% of interviewed CEO/COO/GM/Admin directors worked in product businesses. One-fourth of the survey participants were developers, 13% and 10% worked in Marketing and Sales correspondingly before they got to C-level.
The salary medians of Junior HR and Recruiters decreased to $550, but in the case of Senior-level, it increased from $1,500 to $2,175. The medians for all Senior-levels (HR, HR Generalist, Recruiter) are similar: between $2,000 and $2,250. Product companies offer higher salaries for recruiters and HRs than outsourcing businesses.
Big-sized companies also pay HRs and recruiters more than small enterprises. For example, the salary median in companies with 1,500+ employees is $1,400, and it is two times more than in the case of companies with 21-50 people. Most of the Junior Recruiters who participated in the survey are from small companies, while Junior Recruiters who work for large businesses comprised only 10%.
Financial and account managers have medians at the Junior and Middle levels increased to $678 and $1,000 correspondingly. However, the Senior-level median has not significantly increased compared to the last year. The work with international financial issues gives much more than the business only in the Ukrainian market: $2,200 and $635.
The lawyers have a similar situation. Those who work with both Ukrainian and international legal issues earn more ($2,600) than the local Ukrainian specialists ($1,200). In general, there is a positive trend concerning the lawyer salary medians, especially in the case of Junior Lawyers — $700 (instead of $350 in the last year).
The median of Senior M&A and Fundraising went down to $2,300, and for Middle increased to $1,484. It is a fun fact that the maximum salary of all survey participants in that category was $7,000. This person participated in 40 due deals per year, while other specialists said they have participated in 6 due deals on average. In addition, two-thirds of respondents stated they get bonuses for their primary job. Another third has additional income from freelance and part jobs.
The Kyiv salary median of Special & Administration is 38% higher than the national salary median. However, the salary in Kharkiv is 10% higher than in Kyiv.
In the Content field appeared a new leader: now Senior Video designer has the highest median — $2,650. The leader of the previous report, 2D/3D Artist, has lost not so much. The Senior-level median is $2,550. For Junior 2D/3D Artists, the salary median decreased by 40%, and now it is equal to $600. Junior Writers have the same median. But in the case of experienced Writers, it has grown to $1,250 at the Senior-level.
Based on the information collected during the survey, specialists with at least two years of experience can pretend to get Middle-level jobs. The average work experience of Middle-level specialists is four and a half years. To be promoted to the Senior-level, they need to work at least 3.5 years more.
There is no secret that after summer 2021, the developer salaries have increased. According to the survey, the highest median is by Ruby Engineers — $4,225. Java, Python, and TypeScript Engineers also have high pay — the median is $4,000.
The highest median among Middle Developers belongs to Kotlin developers — $3,300. PHP and Unity languages demonstrate the lowest median for the Senior-level. The salaries of programmers who use Swift got lowered at all seniority levels compared to the last year.
Here are the medians for several languages depending on used libraries and frameworks:
- C# developers on .NET — $4,000, and Unity — $2,775.
- PHP on Laravel ($3,475) brings 30% less than PHP on Symfony ($5,000).
- Salaries of specialists with Python on Django and Python on Flask became merely equal — $4,750 и $4,250 respectively.
The survey confirmed that the programmer salaries do change depending on their roles. So the highest median for the Senior-level is by the Embedded developers – $4,500. The difference between seniority levels for Front-end and Back-end developers is low. The Full Stack developer median is a bit higher — $4,300 at the Senior-level. There is a big gap between the System Developer on the Team Lead position and other developers on that position. The Team Lead System Developer median is $5,700; the closest comparable median has Team Lead Mobile Developer — $5,050.
The gap in salaries between the Ukrainian cities is shortening. Now the Kyiv developers earn $4,000. The foreign programmers have the same median salaries. In Odesa, the median is about to achieve the Kyiv level — $3,900. You can see the medians over $3,000 in the half of Ukrainian cities: for example, Dnipro ($3,550), Ivano-Frankivsk ($3,400), Lviv ($3,760), Chernivtsi ($3,500), and Kyiv suburbs Boryspil and Brovary ($3,200).
In other regional capitals, the salary median is not lower than $2,000. According to our calculations, the weakest medians are Lutsk ($2,000), Kherson ($2,220), and Khmelnytskyi ($2,200).
There is a remarkable growth in QA salaries. So, the general median in that field is $2,240. Senior Automation QA — $4,000, Senior General QA — $2,950, and Manual QA — $3,000. We can confirm the observation that a QA who uses programming languages (with a median of $2,525) earns 30% more than testers without that kind of knowledge (with a median of $1,800).
System Administrators earn less than their colleagues. E.g., a Senior System Administrator earns $1,400 on average. At the same time, the salary median of Senior DevOps is $4,000 what is comparable with the Senior Back-end programmer income.
Middle and Senior UI/UX Designers earn 15% more than 2D/3D Artists. Compared to the previous salary report, Senior UI/UX Designers got a raise of the same 15%.
2% of the respondents said that they are full-time freelancers. To calculate salary medians by profession, we multiplied the hourly rate by the number of working hours per month and got medians.
Freelancers work 120 to 160 hours a month. The exact numbers were in the 2020 report. One hundred sixty hours was the most common answer.
In this category, most professionals work in the Software Development and Marketing fields. The salary median of the first is $2,250. In the Marketing field, it is $900. It’s fun to know that the most successful freelancers are UI/UX Designers ($2,700) who work 90 hours a month on average. On the other hand, Data Analysts make a bit less — $2,640. The SMM managers have the lowest median. By working 50 hours a month on average, freelancers earn $816 in social media.
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5% of the respondents confirmed they have options and shares. 46% of them have C-level jobs; 19% are Team leads. Another survey of AIN.UA says that the employees often get options from startups and starting from the first year of work. Although it is not a prevalent practice in Ukraine, most of the respondents choose options instead of bonuses.
Speaking of bonuses, they are traditional for Sales Managers and Fundraisers. The highest bonus median is by C-level specialists — $2,000, then sales managers $1,000, lawyers $800 (30% of them confirmed having bonuses), and fundraisers $750.
The extras are rare for developers and QAs, and the median is about $200-$300.
Salaries by English proficiency level
Compared to the previous survey, the English level has not grown. Although about 34% of the interviewed has the Upper-Intermediate English proficiency level, only 8% have fluent English.
According to the study, knowing English (at least at the Intermediate level) helps techies receive a higher salary. A Junior with English gets an additional $100-$150. The difference for a Middle developer is significantly higher: the Upper-Intermediate level ensures a double income compared to those with Elementary English.
For non-technical jobs, English is crucial for Juniors. If you are fluent in English, you can start with the median of $1,000, and if not, then only $450.
Now let’s compare the correlation between English knowledge and salary in different professions.
- On average, a Senior HR with Pre-Intermediate English earns $1,200 (like a less experienced Middle HR with Upper-Intermediate). The median for Senior HRs with Advanced or Fluent English is $2,850 and $3,000 respectively.
- Almost the same picture you can see in Marketing. Junior Marketing Manager with Pre-Intermediate can have $475 and with Upper-Intermediate $740.
- A Senior developer with fluent English can expect a median salary of $5,250. Without knowing the foreign language, even an experienced programmer cannot jump over $3,700.
Salaries by industry
29% of the respondents work in e-commerce. The second place belongs to FinTech. Last year, GameDev was in third place, and now it lost its position against HealthTech, Gambling & Betting, and DataTech industries.
After analyzing the answers, we could determine a tiny difference in the salary medians based on the industry that can feel only the Senior-level technical professions. For example, the Senior QA median in GameDev is $2,325. And in FinTech and e-commerce, it is $3,500. The Senior Software Developer median in e-commerce is $4,050. The same specialists who work in Game Development can get $4,875.
Salaries by education
The Ivan Franko National University of Lviv graduates get the highest salaries among technical professionals based on the received data. The Senior-level technical specialists (Software Engineer, QA, DevOps, UI/UX Designer, Cyber Security, DBA, SysAdmin) is $4,700. Speaking of non-technical jobs, the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute graduates have the highest income ($3,000 at the Senior-level).
The best-paid Junior specialists have graduated from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with a median of $1,100 for technical jobs. The leaders by non-technical salary medians among Juniors are graduates of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University.
The lack of higher education impacted only the Junior level of technical professions: the salary median is $600 (the lowest median among technicians). Such inequity disappears with higher seniority.
Salaries by company size
Our previous salary survey showed that the remuneration depends on the company’s size. In general, the bigger the company is, the higher the salary. Our new survey also partly confirmed that trend. So we can be sure by saying that the C-level salaries depend on the company’s size.
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But we also can provide you with some exceptions. For example, the Junior QAs have similar incomes working for businesses of different sizes. The most common medians are $640-$665 and $875. But it is not growing with the company’s size; it’s chaotic and can go up and down. For Software Developers, the median grows to 501-800 employees. For more extensive personnel, it gets even lower a bit. A similar picture is usual for Junior Sales Managers: their rate grows to 201-500 employees, and then it noticeable falls.
Salaries by company type
Product and Outsource have almost identical salary medians for technical professions. But in the case of Senior-level non-technical positions, the Outsource wins. The highest median for technical occupations is in the R&D offices ($4,950), and the lowest is in tech departments of non-technology businesses ($1,800). The lowest median for Junior-level non-tech jobs is provided by retailers ($500).
It confirms the previous survey. Unfortunately, we must admit that non-technical specialists of specialized agencies have the minimum income. Therefore, although the salaries for Juniors have increased, the Seniors still have the lowest income compared to other company’s types — $1,500.
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By conducting the extensive anonymous salary survey, the team of AIN.UA contributes to a more transparent labor market. Business representatives can now learn the compensations, and specialists can evaluate income by over ten criteria. Moreover, the study aims to determine a suggested salary for most of our openings on recruitika.com, where you can find over 7,000 technical and non-technical jobs.