Developers earn 12.5% more, Uzhhorod is among big IT hubs, 29% of CEO worked as developers — salary survey AIN.Capital for 2022
The editorial staff of AIN.Capital has collected the responses of IT industry employees and presents the results of a major salary survey of winter 2022-2023. A lot has changed since February 24, yet we continue finding out the average salary level and studying in detail the dependence of salaries on the type of company and number of employees, geography, proficiency in foreign languages, and 6 factors more. This year, unfortunately, a new section of the survey was added, dedicated to how the war affected the industry. Among other things, we learned how much IT specialists donate depending on their level of seniority.
The main conclusions of the survey:
- R&D offices gave up the top ranking in terms of remuneration, falling straight to third place, with product companies taking over the top spot and outsourcing and outstaffing companies finishing second.
- Every fifth respondent reported issues with salary payout. 8.7% of respondents indicated that their salaries were cut after the start of the full-scale invasion. Another 7% reported delays in salary payments.
- For the first time, the highest median salary for developers in Ukraine was recorded in Uzhhorod, not Kyiv, at $4,750. And that’s despite the fact that the median in Kyiv is also $500 higher than last year.
- Median salaries of Marketing Managers across all levels fell by ~$300.
- The salary gap between C-level female and male executives has shrunk from 38% to 27%.
- Junior Researcher, HR, and Recruiter salaries have gone up, while the salaries of Seniors have gone down by $300.
- Senior Video Designers raised their median salary by 17% compared to last year.
- The median salaries of Junior Developers in almost all programming languages have also increased.
- Among Automation QA, those who use Java have the highest salaries.
- Senior Content Developers in E-commerce will receive an average of $925, in Gambling & Betting – $2300, and the maximum this year is offered by GameDev – $3088.
Who was surveyed? Among those who filled out our questionnaire are developers, testers, managers, marketers, data and business analysts, recruiters, content producers, and investment specialists—over 40 occupations in total.
Why is it necessary? Such studies help businesses navigate the labor market. The results of salary surveys allow professionals on both sides of the recruitment process to assess their expectations more objectively without cognitive distortions.
How was the survey conducted? The editorial staff of AIN.Capital conducted an anonymous survey. Over 3,000 individuals completed the survey, mostly those who stayed to work in Ukraine. While analyzing the results, we calculated the median salaries of respondents, dividing them into 4 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.
Having collected the answers and analyzed them, we have created a detailed infographic of changes in the amount of remuneration depending on the expertise, knowledge, and work history for each position provided by the survey. The calculations were based on the fixed part of the salary in USD after taxes. Bonuses and gigs were calculated separately, and the analysis thereof is also available in the article.
Survey respondent persona
The autumn 2022 survey involved 3,007 respondents. Most of them are men (75.9%), of which 42% work in Software Engineering. Marketing remains the most popular sphere among women (15.3% of survey participants); however, the spheres of QA (14.3%) and HR/Recruiting (12.9%) have almost leveled with this undisputed leader of previous surveys. The median age was 32.
The residence map of IT workers has changed dramatically. For obvious and unfortunate reasons, Kharkiv, which had the second largest number of IT workers (8%) after Kyiv, now ranks fourth. A mere 3.5% of respondents indicated it as their place of residence. Kyiv has also significantly lost ground: from last year’s 59%, only 49.3% of respondents now live in it. The number of respondents from Lviv increased from 7% to 13.7%. Professionals also dispersed to small towns, and probably a certain number of them returned to their hometowns.
Data Analysts became the leaders in terms of median salary among business specialists of Senior and Team Lead levels. It amounted to $4,200 and exceeded the median of Product Owners, last year’s leaders. Within this occupation, the median has significantly increased at the Senior and Middle levels and slightly increased for the Junior level. The highest median of Junior level has Business Analyst ($1,165). They have maintained this leadership since last year. The median salary in the category of Game Designer has plummeted: slightly for Middle-level specialists and very noticeably for Seniors (from $4,000 to $2,700).
Median salaries in the category of Marketing Manager of all levels fell by an average of $300. Affiliate marketing employees earn the most at the Junior and Middle levels. SEO and PPC, like last time, have almost equal medians. The median salaries of PR specialists also remained practically unchanged.
Data Analysts reported the highest salary among respondents employed in the analytics field, with $8,800. Interestingly, the maximum salary indicated among marketers ($5,000) is indicated by the respondent of Team Lead level, engaged in SMM.
The median salary of Sales Managers of varying seniority levels has increased by $100-200 since the publication of the previous report. It should be noted that most sales managers receive a fixed wage, which was calculated, but also representatives of this sphere often get bonuses and incentives, which we will discuss in this article.
The median salary for Junior Support/Call center fell from $638 to $490. The median of the Senior level also dropped by $100. Senior Technical Support has the highest median in this area, with $1,900. Specialists who work with English earn more than other specialists. Senior Support/Call center employees working in English get an average of $2,050.
The highest-paid C-level position is still General Manager (this position is much more common in large companies). GM’s median salary is $6,250. COO’s median has slightly decreased. CEO’s median (a position found in both young startups and large companies) fell from $4,750 to $4,000 this year, while Admin Director’s median increased by 35%.
CTO’s median has slightly increased and reached $5,200 ($5,000 last year). Medians of CPO, CAO, CFO, CHRO, and CSO have also increased. They decreased for CMOs and CLOs (approx. 5% decline for both).
This year, the highest C-level median is in outsourcing companies ($5,275), which is higher than last year’s median but significantly lower than last year’s median for R&D offices ($8,000). This year, the C-level median in R&D offices has plummeted by 35%. The lowest median salary in agencies is $2,800.
Among the respondents who indicated C-level, only 10% are women. Their median salary was $3,650, which is 27% lower than that of the surveyed men of the same seniority level. Interestingly, the number of women at the C-level has decreased since last year, possibly due to the departure of many women abroad caused by the start of the full-scale invasion. However, at the same time, the salary gap has narrowed (last year it was 38%).
29% of respondents at the CEO/COO/GM/Admin director level used to work in the Product sphere. A quarter of respondents were engaged in development, and this fully concurs with the results of previous surveys.
Special & Administration
Junior HR and Recruiter raised their median to $910 and $920 respectively. Junior Researcher’s median has doubled. Across all HR/Recruiter positions, median senior-level salaries fell by an average of $300, most of all for recruiters (from $2,250 to $1,700). Middle Recruiter and HR Generalist positions remained at the last year’s salary level. The highest salaries for recruiters, regardless of seniority, are offered by companies with over 1,500 employees (overall median of $2,600).
Junior specialists’ median salary in the financial managers and accountants category dropped from $678 to $490. However, the medians of Middle and Senior specialists increased by $100. Working in international finances still brings much more than working exclusively in the Ukrainian segment, although the median of the latter has increased from $635 to $990 compared to last year. The median salaries of those who work with Ukrainian and international financial affairs are almost equal to the median salaries of international specialists ($2,000 and $2,100 respectively). However, last year the difference between them was $900 in favor of international specialists.
The trend of slow salary growth among Junior and Middle lawyers continues. Nevertheless, Senior Lawyers’ salaries have suffered a loss ($2,400 last year and $2,050 this year). Interestingly, international lawyers have a lower median this year than the previous one. Those who work with Ukrainian legislation also earn less than last year. However, the median of those working with international and Ukrainian law has slightly improved, adding $100 to the previous year’s median.
The median of Senior M&A and Fundraising has increased noticeably compared to last year. However, the maximum remuneration is much lower. Last year the highest wage was $7,000; this year, it is merely $4,000. On average, specialists in this field indicated that they participate in 5 deals per year, with the maximum number being 40. 78% of respondents indicated they also have additional income outside their primary job.
In the Content sphere, Senior Video designer retains the highest median, currently at $3,200, compared to last year’s $2,650. Senior-level 2D/3D Artist’s median has increased and now stands at $2,900. Middle Writers’ median almost reached last year’s Senior level median and now stands at $1,200, while Senior Writers can expect a median of $1,600.
We also investigated in which companies the Content group is paid more and discovered that Middle and Senior level specialists could expect the highest remuneration in Retail companies ($2,300), while the lowest median is in R&D offices and outsourcing companies ($1,350 and $1,400 respectively).
In 2021, developers’ salaries were growing; it is believed that the market was extremely hot that year. Has anything changed with the beginning of the full-scale invasion? According to the survey, salaries have increased for almost every position in the Development category.
Speaking about the most well-paid programming languages, Ruby has the highest median at the Senior level for the second year in a row with $6,000. Junior Ruby developers also have the highest starting median of $1,300. The highest median salary among Middle Developers remained for Kotlin developers at $3,200, although it fell by $100 compared to last year.
Last year’s statistics also confirm the medians of Senior PHP and Unity developers. Their medians are the lowest. The medians of Junior developers across all programming languages have increased; the only juniors who earned less this year are Junior Swift Developers. Their median dropped by almost 20%.
Median salaries for some languages depending on the libraries and frameworks used:
⦁ The median salary of C# programmers using .NET is $4,000 (the median remained the same as last year), using Unity – $3,430.
⦁ Kotlin developers who develop Android applications in the Android Framework earn an average of $5,200. Those who work with Flutter have a median salary of $4,500.
⦁ iOS app developers who develop using UIKit and SwiftUI have a median salary of $4,850, and developers who work with Flutter have $2,400.
⦁ A PHP developer working on Laravel earns, on average, $3,500. Those programmers who work with Symfony have a median salary of $3,350 (last year, the median was $5,000).
⦁ The average salary of a Python developer working with Django is $3,500, and a Python developer working with Flask is $5,000.
Salaries of programmers vary depending on the role: the highest median salary of a Senior System developer is $5,500, Team Lead Architect earns the most at $6,000. Full Stack developers were the only ones who lost in the median salary at the Senior level (last year’s median was $4,300). Machine Learning specialists have the highest median salary among developers of the Middle level. Mobile developers have the lowest median salary of Junior level.
Whereas last year we wrote about the narrowing of the median gap among large cities, we are witnessing decentralization this year. We have already noted in the respondent persona section that this year, due to Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine, many people, including IT workers, left the cities of the East, South, and Central regions to move away from the front. The overall picture of programmers’ salaries has become fragmented due to such relocations. For the first time, the highest salary in Ukraine was recorded not in Kyiv but in Uzhhorod – $4,750. This is given that in Kyiv, the median salary is $500 higher than last year and amounts to $4,500. The median salary is also above $4,000 in Lviv ($4,000), Kharkiv ($4,000), and Poltava ($4,250).
Most regional centers of Ukraine have a median salary of more than $3,000. Among them is Dnipro, where the median salary fell by 10% and now amounts to $3,200. A similar situation is observed in Odesa ($3025), although the median salary there dropped by 22%. While last year there was not a single regional center where the median salary was below $2,000, this year, we have two such cities: Mykolaiv ($1,950) and Rivne ($1,713). This year we also did not receive any filled-out surveys from Kherson.
The QA/QC sector has seen an increase in salaries. Senior Automation QA and General QA median salaries increased by 5% and 7%, respectively. Senior Manual QA retained last year’s median. Testers who use languages get more than testers without knowledge of at least one programming language.
System Administrator earns the least of all professions in the Development category. Team Lead Sys.Admin has a median of $2,000, Senior – $1,366. Senior DevOps receives an average of $4,000 (this figure has not changed since last year’s survey). Team Lead DBAs can expect to earn approximately the same amount, with a median of $3,900.
UI/UX Designers this year have a higher median salary at the Junior and Senior levels; the median at the Middle level remained the same as last year. Middle 2D/3D Artists earn 12% more than UI/UX Designers, but at the Senior level UI/UX Designers are 11% ahead of them.
2% of respondents indicated that they work exclusively as freelancers. To calculate the median salaries by occupation, we multiplied the hourly rate by the number of working hours per month for each trade and derived the median.
Freelancers work from 80 to 200 hours per month. Last year’s survey showed that freelancers work at least 100 hours. Last year, the most frequent answer was 160 hours per month; this year, the most frequent response was 100 hours, although the number of those who work more than 160 has increased. Thus, on average, freelancers who filled out our survey form, work 140 hours.
Most of the sample respondents are involved in Software Development. Their median salary was $3,800. UI/UX Designers again became the first in terms of efficiency, and they earn the most from freelance – $4,000 per month, which is 32% more than last year. Marketers began to make money solely from freelance a little less often over the past year, though their median has increased and now amounts to $3,000. Lawyers earn the least amount from freelance work ($700).
Check out the vacancies in this category: Remote
Bonuses, shares, options, and additional earnings
5% of the surveyed specialists indicated that they own options and shares of companies. This figure has not changed since the last survey. Of these 5% holders, 65% hold options, and the rest hold options and shares or only shares. 31% of C-level professionals who participated in the survey indicated the ownership of shares and/or options. AIN.capital has already conducted a study on the topic, according to which options are more often issued in startups, starting from the first year of work. Although this practice is not widespread in Ukraine, most respondents would still prefer options to cash bonuses.
Fundraisers, M&As, and Sales Managers most often receive bonuses. Almost half of C-level also get bonuses, and their median monthly bonus is $2,250, the median of sales reps is $860 (14% less than last year), M&A – $900 (17% more). Specialists in the Content category, developers, and testers get bonuses the least often, and their median bonus ranges from $200 to $400.
16% of respondents indicated additional earnings. Most often, these are lawyers (33%), marketers (28%), and C-level (25%). Testers (9%) and HR/recruiters (7%) are the least likely to have additional income.
Salaries depending on the level of English
The level of English proficiency has increased this year, though not significantly. The number of respondents who are fluent in English has not changed. The number of those who speak English at the Advanced level has increased by 2.6%, the number of respondents with Upper Intermediate level has risen by 4%, and only 8% of respondents are fluent in English. Their number increased due to those who had Intermediate level and below.
For technical specialists, the knowledge of English, at least at the Intermediate level, allows counting on a higher salary. Starting from this level, Juniors have an advantage of $200. The median of Middle level with Intermediate English is separated from the median of Pre-Intermediate plus $700. For Senior developers to feel the difference, they need to have at least an Upper Intermediate level of English.
The situation is almost the same for non-technical specialists. Juniors and Middles need to have at least Upper Intermediate so that the difference in medians is noticeable. A Senior level professional can count on a median of more than $3,000, starting from the Advanced English level.
For clarity, we will examine the impact of English on the salary level across several occupations:
⦁ Senior recruiter with a Pre-Intermediate level of English earns on average $1,000, Junior recruiter with Upper Intermediate level of English can make the same amount. An advanced level of English allows you to earn an average of $2,000, even for Middle-level specialists.
⦁ Junior marketers do not depend on the level of English. Still, from the Middle level, the language plays a significant role: Intermediate level allows one to earn an average of $1,000, while the fluent level allows one to make $1,638 on average.
⦁ Like marketers, developers do not depend much on the knowledge of English at the Junior level. Only basic knowledge of English significantly reduces the level of salary expectations. Senior developers have the same median of $4000 for all who know English at the Elementary to Intermediate level. At the Upper Intermediate level, they already make an average of $1,000 more.
⦁ Senior employees of the Content category who know English at the Advanced level earn twice as much as those who know English at the Pre-Intermediate level. Those who speak the language fluently get three times more than the latter.
Salaries depending on the industry
24.9% of our respondents are engaged in E-commerce; this is the most popular industry in the field of IT, which is confirmed by the third survey in a row. FinTech again retained second place, followed by HealthTech. Gambling & Betting gave up fourth place to DataTech.
We were able to identify differences in median salaries depending on the industry.
⦁ Senior marketers in HealthTech, on average, earn $1,400, while in GameDev, the median salary of marketers is $2,600.
⦁ Middle and Senior Project Managers in GameDev have the lowest median ($1,750 and $3,000, respectively). And the highest median salary for PM is in the DataTech industry.
⦁ The highest median salary of a Junior Software Developer is in the field of HealthTech ($1,250), and the second highest median awaits a beginner developer in the field of GameDev ($1,150). The lowest median salaries of Middle and Senior Software Developers are in the HealthTech industry, and the highest – Gambling & Betting ($5,500 for Seniors).
⦁ The Content category has the largest spread of medians at the Middle and Senior levels. For example, a Senior level specialist in an E-commerce company will get an average of $925, in Gambling & Betting – $2,300, the maximum of this year is offered by GameDev – $3,088.
Salaries depending on the university
This year, graduates of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy reported the highest salaries among technical trades. The median remuneration for technical professionals (Software Engineer, QA, DevOps, UI/UX Designer, Cyber Security, DBA, Sys.Admin) at the Senior level is $5,100. The second and third places are shared by Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and National Aviation University, with a median salary of $5,000 for both. Among non-technical professions, same as last year, the highest salaries were indicated by graduates of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute ($3,400 at the Senior level).
The new data contradict last year’s conclusions about the insignificant impact of higher education on salary. Lack of higher education insignificantly affects the median of Junior and Middle levels. Lack of higher education negatively affects the median salary of Junior technical specialists and Middle-level non-technical occupations. At higher levels of seniority, this inequality is exacerbated. Both non-technical and technical Senior professionals have the lowest medians for those who indicated no higher education.
C-level salaries are also dependent on having a graduate degree. Top managers who indicated no higher education also indicated salaries in the bottom 30% of the lowest wages for employees of this level.
Salaries depending on the company size
The results of both previous salary surveys indicated that the amount of remuneration also depends on the company’s size. Namely, the larger the company, the higher the salary of employees, as is commonly believed. This has already been confirmed by the results of previous surveys and was again confirmed in the autumn 2022 survey. It is safe to say that the C-level salary depends on the company’s size.
Check out vacancies in Ukrainian startups: Startup
However, several exceptions do not fit the rule “Bigger company – higher salary.” The median salary of analysts does not tend to grow with the company’s size. The highest Senior Analyst median salary is reported in companies with 101-200 employees ($4,200) and 500-800 employees ($4,500). Senior UI/UX Designers earn the most in small companies with 21-50 employees ($4,100) and slightly less in huge companies with 1,500+ employees ($3,900). The median salary in companies of other sizes ranges from $3,000 to $3,500. Junior Sales Managers earn the least in large companies. In small companies with less than 20 employees, the median salary of a Junior Sales Manager is $800. In contrast, companies with 501-800 employees have an average of $400, and a $200 flat rate in giants with 1,500+ employees. However, it should be remembered that Sales Managers receive bonuses and allowances for meeting and exceeding sales targets more often than others.
Salaries depending on the type of company
This year, R&D offices lost first place in salaries and dropped to third place, putting product companies first and outsourcing and outstaffing companies in second place. The median salary of senior specialists in R&D offices fell from $4,950 to $4,250 in technical positions and from $2,750 to $2,500 in non-technical roles. In product companies, the median salary has increased to $5,000 for technical specialists and $2,950 for non-technical Senior specialists. The median salary of Seniors in outsourcing and outstaffing was $4,400 for technical specialists and $2,850 for non-technical specialists.
For Middle-level tech professions, the median salary in product companies, outsourcing companies, and R&D offices is almost identical; for non-technical specialists of this level, the median salary is significantly lower only in R&D companies ($1,100), product and outsourcing companies keep almost the same, much higher than in other types of companies, median salary ($1,750 and $1,700, respectively). The highest salary for Junior level technical professions is in R&D offices ($1,230), for non-technical jobs – in outsourcing and outstaffing companies ($1,000). We still have to state that non-technical specialists of all levels earn the least in specialized agencies.
he highest median among CTOs is in R&D offices ($7,190), the lowest is in technology departments of non-technical companies ($1,700). CMOs, CLOs, CAOs, CFOs, CHROs, and CPOs have the highest median in R&D offices ($4,400) and the lowest in agencies ($2,050).
Check out vacancies in Ukrainian product companies: Product
Support of employees in times of full-scale war and donations
Every fifth respondent had problems with the payment of salary. 8.7% of respondents indicated that their salaries were cut after the start of the full-scale invasion. Another 7% reported delays in the payment of salaries.
We assumed that the stability of salary payments and the possibility of keeping them at the pre-war level or even increasing them should increase along with the increase in the number of employees of the company. Indeed, the results of the survey showed that in small companies (up to 20 people), the number of employees whose salaries were neither delayed nor cut is 64.2%. In companies with a size from 21 to 500 employees, the percentage is higher: 74.2%-76.8%. Larger companies (501-1500 employees) offered stable payment of salary to 82.9%-83.8% of employees. The largest percentage of those who were paid salaries on time and in full or received a raise was in companies with more than 1500 employees at 91.2%.
The largest number of people who lost their jobs at the beginning of the full-scale invasion worked in companies with less than 20 employees (6.1% of all those who work or worked in companies with up to 20 employees). Companies with more than 500 employees had the least layoffs (0.5%-1.5%).
Depending on the type of company, the number of employees who had certain problems with compensation also varies. The largest number of those who have not been paid salaries for some time were among employees of retail companies (10.2%). 40.7% of Retail employees also faced salary cuts. Salaries were delayed most often in the tech departments of non-tech companies (17.5%), and they also had the highest percentage of layoffs (7.5% of employees of tech departments lost their jobs at the beginning of the full-scale military aggression of Russia). Agencies came second by the number of layoffs (4%). Salary cuts were also quite frequent in agencies (28.6%).
The invasion’s least tangible (financial) impact was on the employees of outsourcing and outstaffing companies (90.2% indicated that the pre-war salary was maintained or increased). R&D offices come second (86.3%), followed by product companies (80.8%). In product companies, the most frequent problem (10%) was salary cuts. Among respondents working in telecom, no one indicated that they had lost their job at the beginning of the invasion.
71% of respondents said that the company helped with relocation at the beginning of the full-scale war.
The survey results showed that IT specialists donate up to 10% of their salary to the Armed Forces of Ukraine:
⦁ 58.4% of respondents donate up to 10% of their salary to the Armed Forces every month.
⦁ 26.9% donate 10-25%.
⦁ 6.7% of respondents donate 25-50%.
⦁ 2.1% of respondents donate more than 50% of their income.
⦁ 5.9% do not donate at all.
11% of Junior level specialists do not donate, and the largest percentage of those who donate more than half of their income is among freelancers (9.7%).
By conducting a sizeable anonymous salary survey, the AIN.capital team helps to create a more transparent labor market. Based on the survey results, business representatives can navigate salary matters, and specialists can assess the level of their remuneration against over 10 criteria. Furthermore, the survey aims to determine the suggested salary for most of the positions in our recruitika.com vacancies section, which already offers over 9,000 technical and non-technical vacancies.