There is no doubt about the fact that being employed as a DevOps engineer — an engineer who enables the DevOps culture in an organization is financially rewarding, challenging, and cutting-edge. If DevOps is a career you are interested in, then this article provides you with the information about DevOps engineer salary in the US, key roles and responsibilities of a DevOps engineer, and the tips to negotiate for better compensation as a DevOps engineer.

DevOps engineering comes with excellent opportunities for candidates with the appropriate technical skills. A DevOps engineer is an IT generalist with a broad knowledge of development and operations, including system administration, infrastructure management, coding, and DevOps toolchains. DevOps engineering is important in organizations, and it is the perfect career choice if you are hungry for interpersonal and technological challenges. It can be an intelligent job change if you have been pursuing software development, operations, or networking.

DevOps engineers perform a lot of monitoring, automation, configuring, testing, networking, and infrastructure as code (IaC). This means that you will be required to bring a huge variety of talents and skills to your job profile. 

There is no denying that a DevOps engineering role offers excellent job growth, a high salary, and upward mobility. However, is it really worth pursuing a career in DevOps engineering? Do you have what it takes? And what is the DevOps engineer salary in the US? After reading this article, you will have all the information you need!

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Key Roles and Responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer

DevOps Engineers utilize their skills to deliver software swiftly, constantly, and reliably. DevOps aims to reduce software delivery and feedback rotations. DevOps engineers generally arrange the various components in a cloud environment. They are the ones who ensure that the system keeps running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. DevOps professionals also keep everything up-to-date with the latest security updates and changes. They automate scanning, testing, and installation. 

The main responsibilities of a DevOps engineer include:

  • System analysis of the system in use and creating plans for improvements
  • Writing the documentation for server-side features
  • Performance assessment, monitoring, and suggesting performance enhancements
  • CI/CD management and deployment
  • Cloud installation and management
  • Constant testing at various stages of the development cycle
  • Infrastructure management
  • Assisting in implementing a DevOps culture

DevOps has progressed as a cultural phenomenon. Lately, organizations have set up specialist DevOps job profiles to help develop and support their culture. There are various tools and skills in the IT region of every organization; thus, providing support to DevOps is in fact, a full-time job. While DevOps has changed how software is developed, it has also primarily changed how software is deployed. All this is possible due to the lower cost and availability of cloud infrastructure, environments that are containerized, and the development of tools that allow automation. As a field, DevOps is undergoing job growth. Moreover, the career opportunities in DevOps are more lucrative than the average computer science or tech jobs. 

A DevOps engineer is responsible for:

  • Management of the system administration and cloud infrastructure for their organization: They have to identify and resolve the issues in their organization’s infrastructure on a need basis. DevOps engineers have to explore new solutions and technologies that can help their company improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.
  • Deploying highly scalable applications and integrating the infrastructure within the application deployment procedures: DevOps pros must know how to manage pressure well, as their work involves strict deadlines and should possess a proactive demeanor.
  • Designing, analyzing, and assessing the automation systems and scripts within the organization’s implementations: Mainly, DevOps concentrates on merging and automating processes. Thus, DevOps engineers have to combine application management and code. They must have a complete understanding of the development life cycles and DevOps practices and tools.
  • Management of the IT infrastructure of an organization is based on the supported software code: Thus, DevOps engineers must have a provision for the required resources and for obtaining the necessary deployment models. They also have to monitor how well the products perform and make improvements or corrections as and when needed. 

Read on to learn more about the DevOps engineer Salary.

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Tools Used By a DevOps Engineer

Following is a list of the various automation tools that DevOps engineers use as part of a DevOps methodology:

  • Developing CI/CD Pipelines: CI/CD processes mandate specific tools for automation. Some often used ones include GitLab CI and Jenkins.
  • Management of Source Code: GitHub
  • Testing: These tools help an engineer understand the working of an application and also help to check for errors. Examples of such tools include Selenium.
  • Containerization: A form of virtualization where applications are executed in isolated user spaces, known as containers while using a shared Operating System (OS). Tools for containerization include Kubernetes - an open-source container-orchestration system and Docker.
  • Configuration Management: This is required to configure and manage servers in DevOps. Some examples are Chef and Puppet.
  • Monitoring: These tools are required to help an engineer screen the app and ensure that it is working properly. Examples are Nagios and Prometheus.
  • Cloud Platform Integration: The cloud is a way of storing information on the Web instead of on your hard drive. There are various cloud suppliers available, for example, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform.

DevOps Engineer Skill Set

A DevOps engineer needs to balance hard and soft skills to implement a DevOps methodology effectively. The technical skills that are required vary depending on the organization, team arrangement, and available tools. However, the following are the general set of skills a DevOps engineer is expected to hone:

Communication

The DevOps engineer is a link between the development and operations teams. As a result, DevOps engineers are required to hone interpersonal skills to act as a link and develop a collaborative environment. Thus, DevOps engineers should be able to collaborate and communicate effectively across teams to advise and give recommendations to their colleagues whenever necessary. 

Experience With DevOps Tools

DevOps engineers need to use certain tools to implement DevOps practices. This means that they need to have a good understanding of those tools, from developing to monitoring, and operating them. A DevOps engineer needs to be able to manage complex automated pipelines. They must also have experience in organizing and deploying CI/CD tools since constant integration and delivery are the core of a DevOps culture.

Project Management

Often, a DevOps engineer takes the lead in handling all the processes within a project, ensuring smooth communication amongst everyone working on the project and ensuring that everyone is clear of their goals and responsibilities.

Optimizing Release Cycles

A DevOps engineer represents the DevOps culture. To sustain the culture within the organization, they should continuously look for ways to enhance and speed up the release process, for example, by integrating new software.

Coding Knowledge

A DevOps engineer needs to have a varied set of coding skills and knowledge of various programming languages such as Java, Javascript, and Ruby. They should then be able to apply these coding skills to maintain an efficient automated pipeline or develop new tools as part of agile development practices. Most importantly, they should be skilled at writing secure code to shield the organization’s software from malicious attacks.

Infrastructure Knowledge

An essential element of DevOps is automation. This means that a DevOps engineer should have a detailed understanding of infrastructure as code, a concept that represents the modern practices of handling infrastructure so that infrastructure set-up is considered as code instead of a manual procedure. As a result, the DevOps engineers will need to understand how to model system infrastructure in the cloud using providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Terraform, AWS’ CloudFormation, or related products from Google Cloud Platform and Azure DevOps.

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DevOps Engineer Salary in the US (For Freshers and Experienced Professionals)

Let us now understand the compensation details of a DevOps engineer. Before we get into the salary details, we must realize that the role of a DevOps engineer is an extremely in-demand job as DevOps practices have become more prevalent across organizations. Based on multiple surveys, the average DevOps Salary in the US is approximately $105,017 per annum, with more experienced engineers drawing around $160,000 per annum.

Let us understand the factors that affect the salary of a DevOps engineer. Understanding how these factors affect the compensation in this field can help one develop an accurate career plan. While many factors affect the DevOps engineer salary, the most important ones are:

  • Your Employer: Different organizations offer different salaries to DevOps candidates. That is because the work requirements depend primarily on the type of organization they work with.
  • Skillset: A candidate’s skill set plays a significant role in determining their salary. Having the latest in-demand skills ensure that one is eligible for the most lucrative positions in the industry. The most popular skills include Jenkins, Amazon Web Services, Linux, and Automation Scripting.
  • Experience: Professional experience is a huge determinant of a DevOps engineer salary in the US. As a general rule of thumb, the more experience one has, the more one will earn.
  • Location: The cost of living varies between different cities. Thus, there is a significant difference in the average salary of DevOps engineers in different cities. 

Tips to Negotiate for a Better Compensation as a DevOps Engineer

Earning more is important to all of us. Following are a few tips that will help you to negotiate a better DevOps engineer salary:

  • Be deliberate with timing: One has the most leverage as a candidate when multiple job offers are in hand. From here, one can request employers to match other offers.
  • Focus on the organization’s requirements: While negotiating for a better salary, one must understand that it ultimately boils down to what one can do for the company.
  • Consider all benefits and perks: When negotiating a raise or assessing an offer, do understand that there are multiple benefits beyond salary. These can be sign-on bonuses, yearly bonuses, medical insurance, and so on.
  • Request for a transfer package: If you are being relocated, then always request a relocation package.
  • Do not share your present or expected compensation figure unless it is important: Even if you have an excellent idea of how much your skills are worth, it is best not to list a specific number while discussing salary.
  • Acquaint yourself with the organization’s and industry’s salary trends.
  • Do compare your offer with the prevalent market data before rejecting/accepting the offer.
  • Do not insist on written offers.
  • Practice your negotiation in advance: Practice your negotiation tactics aloud and review common contradictions. The best way to do this is to do mock negotiations with a friend and get some expert advice.
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Conclusion

DevOps is an excellent career choice for the year 2022 and beyond. If the cross-over between development and operations is something that you find fascinating, then DevOps is your answer. With swift job growth, six-figure salaries, and lots of upward mobility, the future for DevOps is rather bright. Take up the Post Graduate Program in DevOps from SimpliLearn if you want to pursue a career in DevOps engineering and get certified as a DevOps professional.

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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