If you're in the market for a developer advocate job, it's important to know what to expect. Knowing your value as an employee is just as important as knowing your value when negotiating with a prospective employer. In this guide we'll explore how much developer advocates are paid around the world and the factors that can affect the salary. We are mainly using the 2022 Developer Relations Compensation Report, which is the first of it's kind and is based on data collected from 147 Developer Relations professionals between June and July 2022.
What is a Developer Advocate?
Developer advocates are professionals who advocate, evangelize, and educate developers on a specific technology, product, or service. They often help developers get comfortable with new features or tools by explaining them in easy-to-understand terms.
Developer advocates are often technical experts who can speak with authority on the technology they are advocating. They may also have business experience working with developers and understand how their products fit into the bigger picture of how businesses use technology to serve customers. To dig deeper into their definition, Karl Hughes makes a detailed overview of what a Developer Advocate is by chatting with 6 different Dev Advocates about their jobs.
Influences Affecting Developer Advocate Salaries
While Developer Advocacy can generally be considered a high-paying job, with a median total gross compensation, pre-tax, being equivalent to $180,000, there are still major differences between location, seniority levels and company's niche, to name a few.
The highest Developer Advocate salaries are in the United States, where the median salary for Developer Relations is $208K, followed by Canada with $148K, then Europe with $124K per annum. There is also good news for remote workers, since digital nomads earn a whopping $170K in DevRel.
The report also shows that there is a clear difference between salaries for different job titles. DevRel specialists earn a median $98K, while directors earn a median of $260K, which is understandable since director-level positions are more senior, but looking at this, it's interesting to be able to define seniority levels in specific job titles:
- Director of Developer Relations (and above) - $215K
- Developer Relations Lead - $170K
- Senior Developer Advocate - $146K
- Developer Relations Specialist - $96K
Software Development Experience
The report showed that advocates with previous software engineering experience reported 26.3% higher median salaries compared to those without software engineering backgrounds, which is why it seems a natural career progression for developers to become developer advocates, but it's also important to note that it is not essential.
Company Size & Industry
Both the field where the company is specialized in, as well as the employee count are important. Developer advocates working in companies with more then 10,000 employees reported earnings of $267K, while those working at small businesses and startups of 1-50 employees earn $131K.
The best niche to chase higher salaries is Cloud Infrastructure ($218K) with FinTech taking the second place ($205K).
There were also some demographical discrepancies comparing genders. Developer advocates who identified as male earned more in manager and senior roles, while thsoe identified as female, earned more in associate or entry level roles.
Looking Past the Compensation
As a developer advocate, you're likely to be offered a compensation package that includes base pay, bonuses, and other incentives such as paid time off (PTO) or stock options, but it is also important to look past that and learn more about the company you are applying for. The company's culture, remote working options, co-workers and company policies are all essential factors that play a huge role in the whole Developer Advocate experience. While bigger companies may provide more security or benefits in the long term, small start-ups can offer better career growth opportunities and closer relationships with colleagues.
We hope this developer advocate salary guide has helped you understand what the average developer advocate salary is, as well as how factors like location or company industry affect your compensation package.
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