37 Honest DevOps Manager Salaries
The national average salary for a DevOps manager is upwards of $100,000 per year. DevOps managers reliably get paid so well because they’re doing tricky work that requires an expert hand: getting a company’s developers and a company’s network operations teams working together. For the men and women who are trained and capable of convincing leadership of the right direction, development teams of the right objectives, and operations teams why they should cooperate, a very nice salary awaits. Remember, DevOps is no big secret. These careers can be achieved by earning a DevOps Certification.
But not every DevOps manager will find a job offer that includes a $100,000 salary. In fact, most probably won’t. That’s because the high-paid DevOps managers skew the national average up. Taken by the number of jobs available and filled, most DevOps managers make closer to $80,000 per year. That's still pretty good, but there’s always room for improvement.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about moving into a new job as a DevOps manager, or maybe you’ve been working as one, and you’re thinking about looking for a better-paying job. We’ve assembled a snapshot of the current salaries that DevOps managers in 37 states can expect. And on top of that, we’ve assembled recommendations for certifications, training, and tools you can learn to improve your odds of earning a high salary.
What is a DevOps Manager?
Usually, a DevOps manager is the liaison between three groups within a company: the development team(s), IT operations team(s), and management. It’s not unusual for those three groups to have competing objectives and even conflicting values. A DevOps manager balances them. A DevOps manager keeps every step in a product’s lifecycle running smoothly while tackling technical problems for devs and operations, and all the while supports the organization’s goals.
DevOps managers are often technical experts in both software development and IT operations. And the DevOps managers with the best salaries are a mix between a hands-on technical expert and a hands-off coach. The precise job requirements for a DevOps manager can change drastically from company to company, mostly based on how much of a DevOps mindset and workflow the company has adopted.
Depending on the company, DevOps managers might be placed on a career ladder under DevOps engineers and DevOps architects. DevOps architects tend to be focused on the biggest-possible picture: designing a company’s DevOps approach, infrastructure and technological approaches from scratch. DevOps engineers tend to design new DevOps solutions within existing architectures and build new ways to optimize interoperability. DevOps managers usually work with individual teams of devs or IT operations teams to resolve fine-tuned, specific issues.
37 Real Salaries for DevOps Managers
If that broad description of what DevOps managers tend to do excites you, or you think it describes pretty well what you’re already doing, you’ll probably want to know how to land one of those triple-digit salaries. We’ve accumulated tons of data about DevOps manager positions all over the country and we’ve assembled them all here for you.
We’ve arranged the DevOps manager salary information into the 37 cities we drew them from. Not only that, we arranged the salaries into three categories: the average for that market, the high-end average, and the low-end average. High-end average usually includes the most highly trained and experienced DevOps manager positions, while the low-end average salaries tend to include entry-level spots.
From city to city, even within the same state, the snapshot of what a DevOps manager can expect to get paid changes drastically. Even the national numbers paint a different picture than the chart of 37 DevOps manager salaries.
The national average salary for a DevOps Manager is $103,700.
The average high for a DevOps Manager is $127,000.
The average low for a DevOps Manager is $80,730.
Salt Lake City
There are few places where the range between highest-paid and lowest-paid DevOps managers is less than $30,000. In those places it’s always because of a low high-end. For the most part, there’s usually a difference of about $50,000 between the high-end average and low-end average salaries for DevOps managers. But in just a few cities, that number drops to around $22,000. Those few cities are by far the statistical outlier. But in each, the high-end average is unusually low: cities like Salt Lake City ($103,000), Atlanta ($104,000), Dallas ($104,000), and Austin ($108,000).
This trend suggests that the norm for DevOps manager salaries is to offer a lot of room for improvement, no matter where you look. In the vast majority of markets we looked at, even the lowest range of salaries had at least $50,000 of growth that could be reached through training, certification and education.
The range of opportunities for both low-paid and high-paid DevOps managers, nationwide, is huge. The lowest national average salary for a DevOps manager is in Bayamon, Puerto Rico: $59,000. But the next 15 cities on the list all progress upward to $70,000. And even among low averages, the highest is in San Francisco, where even a low-paid DevOps manager can expect $116,000. The difference is even greater for high-paid DevOps managers.
This range suggests two things. One, the position of DevOps manager is still unclear in most job markets, and that means that well-trained and experienced DevOps managers can feel confident in how valuable their skills are. Two, there’s almost always a better job market for you to check out. If you think you’re overqualified and under-paid, you might be! Maybe in a job market a few pay brackets above where you are currently will pay you much more.
The national average salary for a DevOps Manager is above $100,000, but there are many jobs that pay much less than that. If you’re just starting out as a DevOps manager, you might see “average salary is $100,000” and expect that for your first job. But remember that’s an average of all salaries being paid — and high-paid DevOps managers skew those numbers upward. If you’re just starting out and you find yourself in a relatively low-paying market, you should be prepared for a starting salary much closer to $75,000.
The DevOps Manager jobs with the highest salaries are in the nation’s largest and most expensive cities. The places where high-paid DevOps managers are paid the most are cities like New York City, Seattle, D.C., San Francisco, and San Diego. Those are all notoriously expensive cities to live in. So, if you live in a very high-population, expensive city, don’t get too excited about landing a $150,000 per salary.
4 Salary Considerations for a DevOps Manager
If you do any work with DevOps, you know that getting it right can be a messy, confusing chore. DevOps managers who want to earn the best salaries have to be ready to make that chore less difficult and more profitable. A lot goes into getting that right.
For new DevOps managers who want to land their first gig, or existing DevOps managers who want to justify a better salary, there are four things to consider: experience in development and operations, expertise with DevOps tools, applicable certifications, and choosing the right business industry.
Experience Requirements for DevOps Managers
The exact experience a DevOps manager should have will change according to the company and position. But the best salaries for DevOps managers go to those with experience in three areas: software development, IT operations, and management.
A DevOps manager is responsible for shepherding development teams toward objectives and deadlines that are sometimes challenging. To do that effectively and convincingly, the best DevOps managers draw on firsthand knowledge of development difficulties and annoyances to efficiently clear the way for teams.
But it’s also important that a DevOps manager knows the technical limitations (and opportunities) that the IT operations teams can be faced with (as well as provide). The DevOps manager ideally operates between both teams, and has to know enough to speak their “language” comfortably in both.
But the reason that DevOps managers get rewarded with good salaries lies in the soft skills of management. Communicating problems and opportunities to both teams effectively, while representing the situation accurately to senior management is a daily task for DevOps managers. Experience with navigating the relationships in a large company will help boost a DevOps manager’s salary, as will experience with supervision and compliance.
4 Categories of Tools that DevOps Managers Need to Know
There are hundreds of DevOps tools. More detailed analyses of all the tools a DevOps team might use turned up 400 products in 17 categories. There’s no way a DevOps manager could learn all of them. It’s not even realistic to expect a DevOps manager to know the names of all 400. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.
The steps of the DevOps lifecycle loop back on themselves in a sort of figure eight: Plan, Build, Verify, Test, Release, Deploy, Operate, and Monitor. If you’re serious about qualifying for a great salary as a DevOps manager, you have to at least understand those categories. Below, we combine some of those into four categories and describe some of the tools that belong in each.
DevOps Tools for Planning and Coding
The planning stage includes gathering requirements, and because it’s a continuous cycle, those requirements usually come from the operating and monitoring tools (but we’ll cover those later). Tools like Confluence help keep development teams on track working toward the same objectives. Jira is also a popular option.
When it comes to actually implementing the plans and writing the code, Git is arguably the world champion. Source code management (SCM) helps track all changes to a project’s code despite hundreds of contributors.
Salary impact of planning and coding tools in DevOps: Huge. The process of DevOps is a snake eating its own tail, and each step is crucial to success. But the planning and coding tools are the head of the snake: where the thinking takes place. Knowing tools like Git, Subversion, Jira, and Targetprocess might be one of the most fundamental influences on a DevOps manager’s salary.
Verifying and Testing Tools Used in DevOps
One of the demands that DevOps makes on the development world is that code must be thoroughly verified and tested before it ever goes live. A DevOps manager might not be the person who personally confirms code quality and writes error reports, but they have to know the tools the company and teams rely on. Some of the industry’s favorite testing tools include Selenium, Parasoft, and Topaz.
Salary impact of verifying and testing tools for DevOps managers: Significant. DevOps managers who can speak the lingo of software testing frameworks and quickly understand their results are valuable. Earning a good salary as a DevOps manager requires that you at least know how to read the outputs of the testing tools your teams use.
DevOps Tools for Releasing and Deploying
Software that’s ready to ship is called a release, and one of the more common ways of packaging it up is inside a container. Containerization makes release schedules, as well as fallbacks, rollbacks and recoveries possible and (hopefully) easier. Docker is one of the most popular containerization tools in use by DevOps teams, as are Jenkins and Saltstack. As for actually deploying, tools like Harness, Octopus Deploy and AWS CodeDeploy each operate very differently, and a DevOps manager has got to understand the tools their teams use.
Salary impact of releasing and deploying tools in DevOps: Significant. The category of DevOps tools that fall under releasing and deploying is probably the hardest to define. Tools like CloudBees Flow deal only with release orchestration, and Docker is all about containerization, while Maven enables continuous integration. It’s hard to nail down which tools, much less what sorts of tools, a DevOps manager should learn to justify a good salary. A lot of research has to be done individually on a case-by-case basis at this point.
Configuring, Operating and Monitoring Tools for DevOps
This category of DevOps tools is where the figure eight loops back on its beginning. It’s when data is collected about performance, but also when provisioning and configuration happens to keep the product running smoothly. This is another hard-to-encapsulate category of tools, because it includes tools like Chef and Puppet that automate configurations, Splunk that visualizes system performance data, and application performance monitoring (APM) tools like Instana that focus on containerized apps.
Salary impact of configuring and monitoring tools: Huge. The other “huge” category of tools in a DevOps manager’s toolkit was planning and coding — and it makes sense that configuring, operating and monitoring would be the other one. Combined, all these tools are the heart and soul of DevOps: a marriage of what fundamentally makes software development possible and what makes IT operations efficient. A DevOps manager who gets a handle on at least those ends of the DevOps loop can expect substantial salaries.
Top 4 Certifications for DevOps Managers
A DevOps manager, like anyone else in the IT industry, can leapfrog their career by earning the right certifications. Strong correlations exist between industry certifications and increased salaries. The difficulty for a DevOps manager is in how hard it can be to choose the right ones. Unlike network engineers or software developers, the tools, hardware and software of a DevOps manager aren’t always well-defined.
That said, there are some certifications that most DevOps managers should consider in order to qualify for higher salaries. Chef’s certification program offers badges that validate knowledge in different implementations of Chef. Red Hat certifies expertise with its Ansible automation product. Microsoft’s Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert is great for DevOps managers who work with Azure. And the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer — Professional is similarly valuable for AWS teams.
Chef Certification Program (with Badges)
Chef’s series of badges are intended to break down the many different ways Chef can be used within a DevOps production lifecycle while validating mastery over individual use cases. A DevOps manager who’s collected badges like the Basic Chef Fluency, Local Cookbook Development, and Extending Chef is on their way to being seen as an expert in automation with Chef.
Salary impact of the Chef certification program: Significant. Earning one Chef badge isn’t the end-all for anyone, least of all a DevOps manager. There are many badges that make up stepping stones to certifications, but earning specific badges can help validate a DevOps manager’s familiarity with a specific element of their teams’ processes.
Red Hat Ansible Certification Program
Ansible is a Red Hat product and their certification program features seven courses in implementing the automation software under different circumstances. There are a few general certifications, like the Simplicity in Automation Technical Overview, or Ansible for Network Automation. But Microsoft Windows Automation and Certified Engineer for Linux 8 obviously relate to the specific environment that Ansible gets deployed in.
Salary impact of the Red Hat Ansible certification program: Significant. Just like the Chef program, if your company doesn’t use Ansible, it’s not exactly worthwhile to earn any Red Hat Ansible certifications. But if you’re a DevOps manager of a team that relies on Ansible for network automation, earning the cert that illustrates — for example — how to manage your entire network infrastructure with Ansible will help justify moving your salary upward.
Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert
This certification depends on a team already relying on Azure. But for DevOps managers working with administration and development teams that rely on Azure, the entire family of Microsoft DevOps certifications can help illustrate the approaches to collaboration, code, source control, compliance and continuous integration.
Salary impact of Microsoft Certified: DevOps Engineer Expert: Considerable. As the name suggests, this certification is intended more for DevOps engineers than it is for DevOps managers, but don’t let that discourage you. Azure offers opportunities for testing, delivery, monitoring, code and infrastructure automation. A DevOps manager who can harness those potentials for their teams should reel in a great salary.
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional covers every use case for a DevOp team within the AWS ecosystem of tools, apps and services. As if that’s not enough, the certifying exam also tests for quite a lot of knowledge of DevOps principles. But for teams that use any of AWS’ tools or services, a DevOps manager with this certification is a tried and tested expert in their use.
Salary impact of AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: Considerable. AWS offers tons of tools that a DevOps team can make use of. This certification probably applies to DevOps engineers more than DevOps managers because it tests each and every tool that AWS offers. But for companies that rely on Amazon, a DevOps manager with the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional is a vetted expert and could easily justify a great salary.
What Type of Companies Need DevOps Managers?
DevOps is young, and that means that not every company and industry is using it. For some DevOps managers that might sound discouraging. For others, that might sound like an opportunity. There’s debate about whether all companies need to adopt DevOps, or only organizations that use software to innovate within their sectors.
The most obvious industry a DevOps manager should look for work is the software development industry. In addition to that, financial institutions and national restaurant chains are increasingly interested in paying the salaries necessary to attract great DevOps managers.
DevOps is fundamentally meant for software development. It’s hard to imagine that there could be any company in the software game left that hasn’t already incorporated DevOps into their business model. But that should be good news for a DevOps manager: plenty of opportunities to marry your skills and experience with the way that a company interprets DevOps. You don’t have to convince anyone that it’s a worthwhile investment. They already know. You do, however, have to compete with all the other DevOps professionals in the field already.
Career impact of the software development industry for a DevOps manager: Huge. There’s much more competition in the software development industry for DevOps roles, but that’s because there’s also much more opportunity. For a DevOps manager who gets in at the ground floor and dedicates themselves to building a career in software, the career and salary opportunities are practically limitless.
Financial and Insurance Institutions
Global, international and national banking and insurance corporations are increasingly looking for DevOps professionals. These massive institutions have long been trying to develop proprietary software for their specific needs, and as word spreads that DevOps is the right mindset for creating reliable, efficient software, more companies are investing in DevOps managers who can show their teams the way.
Career impact of finance and insurance institutions for a DevOps manager: Considerable. The difficulty with finding DevOps jobs in finance and insurance is that sometimes the companies themselves don’t know what they’re looking for. Brand new DevOps managers should be careful that they don’t accidentally land a job that expects the impossible: change everything about development and operations, immediately, without any cost or loss of productivity.
National Restaurant Chains
National restaurant chains often have internal software development teams to maintain everything from their extremely complicated supply chain logistics software to the apps they hope customers will use to maximize profit. A DevOps manager who can help these national chains ensure deliverability and scalability in every sector will be a highly valued asset, well worth their salary.
Career impact of national restaurant chains for a DevOps manager: Considerable. Sometimes the positions that are available for a DevOps professional are unclear if the industry or company is just beginning to adopt DevOps. That can be a great opportunity to help lead the way and make a name for yourself. On the other hand, there’s a distinct possibility it’ll end up being a headache and not be worth the frustration the salary brings you.
How to Increase Your Salary as a DevOps Manager
A good DevOps manager is a great addition to literally any company that’s trying to improve a software deliverable. For IT professionals who want to land their first gig as a DevOps manager, or a DevOps manager trying to improve their salary prospects, there are many options available.
The best bet is to foster and maintain a curious mindset about every piece of technology and software that could improve the continuous improvement and delivery of your company’s product and development pipeline. After that, choosing specific DevOps tools and skills to improve and deliberately pursuing training and certification for them is a sure-fire bet to gaining prominence and higher salaries.
Hopefully the 37 DevOps manager salaries we dug up help you compare your own salary and decide if a move or promotion is right for you. And if you plan to try, don’t forget the training and certifications we listed as you make your plans.