The DevOps Job Market

DevOps as a profession and discipline just keeps growing in demand. This year alone, more than 100 global conferences are dedicated to DevOps — and even the “best of” lists are staggering. Hundreds of companies (including Scalyr) are developing tools specifically for the DevOps field, and blogs dedicated to everything from current news and trends to making light of DevOps daily frustrations abound (RIP DevOps Reactions). Even a casual survey of the trending-up of “DevOps” in Google search over the past five years makes it pretty clear that demand for professionals in this space will only continue to rise.

The State of DevOps Jobs

For the past six years, Puppet has documented the rise of DevOps in industries around the world, surveying a total of 27,000 IT professionals, developers, and executives in what they call the “most comprehensive, evolving study of DevOps as it is practiced today.”

Puppet partnered with DORA for its 2017 State of DevOps report, which surveyed 3,200 IT professionals in industries ranging from tech and financial services to the nonprofit sector. Over the past three years, they’ve seen the percentage of respondents employed in DevOps nearly double, from 16% (in 2014) to 27% today.

The authors “feel this increase represents both an acknowledgement that DevOps works, and the fact that DevOps teams represent a strategy for shifting the entire organization from older ways of working to newer DevOps processes.”

So, Where Are These Jobs? And What Do They Pay?

We dug a little deeper to learn where in the U.S. these DevOps employment opportunities were surfacing, and also where they pay the most.

We chose two leading job sites for our research: Indeed and AngelList, and analyzed results for a recent three-month period. We used the sites to determine, state by state, which states have the most job offerings for DevOps careers.

Indeed, There Are a Lot of DevOps Jobs

Indeed is one of the most popular job sites for the tech industry as a whole. In general it’s less startup-focused than AngelList, and correspondingly has a much higher volume of DevOps postings.

The DevOps boom is substantiated by hard numbers here as well: from 2015 to 2016, “the role of DevOps Engineer has seen a 225% jump in postings on Indeed,” according to an SD Times report.

We found DevOps job postings from companies of all sizes. It didn’t take long (and we weren’t too surprised) to discover that California is the place to be when it comes to these job opportunities. California dominated the field with nearly 2,700 opportunities, handily dwarfing every other state. The closest contender was Washington, DC with more than 1,700, followed by Virginia, with a little over 1,300. That’s almost 400 more than New York, which came in fourth with 914.

AngelList – DevOps Early Adopters

As we expected, the startup-focused AngelList had fewer DevOps job postings. Even so, trends here reflected the early adoption of DevOps principles within smaller teams and by future stars. On a state-by-state basis California again emerged the clear and unsurprising winner. In fact, across all AngelList DevOps job postings for the three-month period studied, 50% were in California.

But then things got a bit more interesting. Virginia, 3rd on Indeed, came in 10th on AngelList. Texas — despite their Silicon Hills — ranked beneath both Colorado and Florida. 24 states had no DevOps job postings at all.

The Pay

Of the salaries for the DevOps jobs on Indeed and AngelList, 80% pay more than $90,000 starting. Of those, about 35% pay at least $115,000, and 17% pay more than $125,000.

Note that we didn’t break the postings or salaries down by job titles, career level, or seniority — but the results indicate that a DevOps career is likely to be a lucrative one. Since California leads the pack in DevOps job opportunities, we also took a look at the salary distribution for that state alone, finding that California DevOps jobs do pay a bit higher than the national numbers. Cost of living coupled with increased demand and competition for skilled DevOps professionals likely plays a role.

The Most In-Demand DevOps Skills and Proficiencies

As tech heavies Martin Fowler and Chef CTO Adam Jacob alluded to on Twitter a couple years back, it takes a full stack of skills to be a DevOps professional:


(Thanks D-Zone for this callout – check out What is a DevOps Engineer for more of the story.)

To learn exactly which skills were in the greatest demand, we decided to build a word cloud based on the skills and proficiencies referenced in the Indeed and AngelList DevOps postings.

However, we quickly discovered that the sheer volume of data entry needed to cull the word cloud from the thousands of job postings would just cause our research guy to quit. So, we went a different route.

First, we pulled together a list of the most in-demand DevOps skills from a variety of popular DevOps articles, and our own experience. The final list included just over 100 common skills, tools, and proficiencies. Then, we quantified the prevalence of each term across all open DevOps jobs.

The results:

The size of the word indicates the relative prevalence of each term against the others within the required skills of open positions. Linux, AWS, Python, and Agile led the pack. Interestingly “Communication Skills” featured highly as well — a good reminder that employers aren’t looking only for technical skills, but interpersonal savvy as well.

The Role of Scalyr in DevOps

We’re one of those many California-based companies, building log management and analysis tools for DevOps-centric organizations. We live and breathe DevOps, and if you’re reading this, we’re guessing you might, too. Our DevOps-focused log management and analysis tools aggregate and search logs, graph metrics, monitor server status, and sound the alert when things go wrong. We’ve introduced perhaps the fastest speeds in the industry (searching up to 1TB of log data/second). And guess what, we’re hiring. Interested? Check out our job postings or drop us a line today.