Salaries of Ukrainian developers, managers, and 40 other IT professions in 2021
The editorial team of AIN.UA publishes the results of an extensive salary survey conducted in the first half of 2021. It was participated by technical specialists, managers, marketers, analysts, administrative staff, content producers, and investment professionals such as fundraisers or startup scouts – over 40 professions in total. In addition to the remuneration for the professionals mentioned above, we also found how the salary depends on the type of company, location, experience, skills, education, English proficiency, and other factors.
What is its purpose? Such studies help businesses navigate the labor market. And for specialists, they make the salary market more transparent and allow them to assess themselves objectively without cognitive distortions.
How was the study conducted? The editorial team of AIN.UA conducted the anonymous survey among more than three thousand respondents. We calculated the respondents’ median salaries and grouped them into four categories: Business, Development, Content, and Special & Administration. Each category comprises the following groups of professions:
- 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;
- Software Engineer · DevOps/Unix Admin · QA Engineer · UI/UX Designer · Cyber Security · DBA · Sys.Admin;
- Writer · 2D/3D Artist · Graphic designer · Sound designer · Video designer;
- HR · Recruiter · Finance Manager/Accountant · Lawyer · M&A specialist · Scout · Fundraiser.
Next, we analyzed how the remuneration changes depending on expertise, knowledge, and work history and shared our conclusions on each position. Finally, we compared our results with DOU, Serpstat, and Indigo salary surveys to get the most objective and weighted result. It is important to note that the calculations were carried out on a fixed part of salary in USD after taxes.
Portrait of responders
In total, 3,116 respondents took part in the first AIN.UA salary survey. Most of them are men, mainly employed in the field of Software Engineer (39%). The most popular profession among women is Marketing Manager (24.2%). The median age is 30 years.
Product Owners and Product Managers (no matter how different they are in various companies 🙂 get the highest median salary among business professionals. According to the survey, it amounts to $2,500.
The median salary of a Junior Marketing Manager is $535. Nonetheless, marketers with more than five years of experience earn three times the amount. Interestingly enough, the salary for this position in Kharkiv is higher than in Kyiv, $1,450 and $1,200, respectively. Business Analyst has the same tendency with $2,000 in Kyiv against $2,800 in Kharkiv.
The median remuneration of Affiliate and PPC is at the same level with $1,225. SEO earns 10-15% less with a median salary of $1,000. Be that as it may, the maximum salary among respondents employed in these professions is: SEO – $5,100, PPC – $3,500, and Affiliate – $4,000. It should be noted that SEO, PPC, and Affiliate contain two large niche flows: specialists working in high-risk niches – their conditions exceed the median; and those who work in all other niches – their conditions are inferior to the median.
Support/Call center has the lowest median amounting to $800. It is particularly remarkable that among specialists in the field, those for whom the primary language of service is English earn more – $1,200. It is twice what their counterparts operating in Ukrainian and/or Russian are getting.
According to the survey, General Manager and CTO are the highest-paying jobs. With a median salary of $5,000, they surpass the median of CEO at $4,000. It is due to the fact that GM is a position in an established company and CEO – both in very small startups, significantly inferior to GM, and in large established companies, significantly surpassing GM. But while in the case of GM most of the responses are centered around the median, CEOs’ responses range from strongly inferior to highly superior to the median. Product companies pay $500 more than outsourcing companies for this position.
The lowest median salary has a CMO with $2,300. It is inferior to CPO with $3,400 and CIO with $3,000. However, these specialists earn more in product companies – $3,700. At the same time, in some outsourcing companies, salaries are 20% lower.
Remarkably, a quarter of all CEO/COO/GM/Admin director respondents were previously employed in the Product area. Software Development accounted for 20% of all respondents, Marketing – 17%.
Special & Administration
Among HR/Recruiter specialists, HR Generalist has the highest median of $1,400. The median salary of Recruiter and HR is $1,000. Meanwhile, employees of product companies earn more. It is also interesting that HR earnings in Kyiv are 30% higher than that of Recruiter. It is probably due to the fact that 30% of a recruiter’s salary are bonuses.
Practicing both Ukrainian and international law, a lawyer can make more than what they would make if they practiced only one of the two. Such specialists’ median salary is $2,260 (only Ukrainian – $900, only international – $1,800).
The same is true for financial managers and accountants. Handling international finances, you can earn $2,050 while managing both international and Ukrainian finances can get you $2,000. At the same time, specialists working only in the Ukrainian segment receive less, with a median salary amounting to $620.
Among M&A and Fundraising, specialists with 3-4 years of work experience receive more. Simultaneously, for Junior specialists, the median salary is $700, and for Senior – $2,800. The median salary of Middle professionals is on par with the lawyers and amounts to $1,100. The highest remuneration among the respondents of this category is $5,000.
It should be noted that the salaries of Special & Administration in Kyiv are 15-25% higher than in other cities of Ukraine.
Of all the respondents working in the content field, 2D/3D Artist, a profession endemic to the game development industry, earn the most. Their median remuneration amounts to $1,500. At the same time, the figure is relevant for both outsourcing and product companies. A writer has the smallest median of $735, but with 4+ work experience, you can count on a salary of $1,300.
Interestingly, Middle Graphic Designer earns 30% less than Middle UI / UX Designer (median of $1,000 versus $1,450, respectively). The gap between the Senior level in the same professions is twofold.
According to the survey, Java Engineer has the highest median at $3,700. Ruby, Python, and Swift Engineer also receive high salaries, with a median of $3,500. At the same time, in the Senior category, Unity developers earn the least with $2,500. C Engineers have the lowest median salary regardless of the level in the company – $1,650.
- Interestingly enough, C# on .NET specialists get on average $200 more than C# on Unity specialists with a median of $2,700 versus $2,500, respectively.
- PHP on Symfony specialists ($3,800) get three times of what PHP on Laravel ($2,650) specialists get.
- The salary of Python on Django specialists is higher than of Python on Flask specialists with a median of $3,200 versus $1,250.
In terms of cities, IT specialists from Lviv get the highest salaries with median salary amounting to $3,500, Kyiv ($3,200), Kharkiv ($2,925), Ivano-Frankivsk ($2,500), Ternopil ($2,350) and Odesa ($2,000). At the same time, the median salary of a developer working outside Ukraine is $3,565.
Among testers, Java is the most popular language. It is used by 17% of specialists in the field. At the same time, 44% do not work with programming languages at all.
QA specialists with 3+ work experience earn on average $2,000. In turn, the remuneration of testers in Kyiv is higher than in other cities of Ukraine.
Among the readers surveyed, 5% were freelancers. In order to calculate the median salaries by profession, we multiplied the rate per hour by the number of working hours per month for each of them and deduced the medians.
The analysis showed that most often freelancers work from 120 to 160 hours per month. Most of the respondents in the sample are engaged in SEO and Marketing. The median salaries of these specialists were $1,600 and $1,000, respectively. At the same time, freelance developers earn the most. For example, the median salary of Fullstack PHP developers with 3+ years of experience is $2,100. Overall, Software Engineer’s median is $2,400. Data Analysts get the same level of salary.
Writers have the lowest median salary. Working an average of 80 hours per month, freelancers earn $550.
Check out jobs available for freelancers in the Remote collection
Bonuses and options
Only 1% of the surveyed specialists are owners of the company’s stock options. Those who own them are predominantly C-level specialists, less often – Team leaders. Earlier, AIN.UA already conducted a survey on the topic, according to which options are more often issued in startups, starting from the first year of operation. Even though this practice is not common in Ukraine, most respondents would still prefer options over cash bonuses.
In terms of bonuses, HR, Marketing Managers, and Sales Managers receive them most often. Despite this, the highest median at the C-level is $1,500, followed by sales – $600. Interestingly, large companies are more likely to give employees a bonus. Thus, 36% of respondents working in teams of 1,500+ people receive bonuses regularly.
Salaries based on English proficiency
Among all respondents, more than 34% speak English at the Upper-Intermediate level. At the same time, Software Engineers most often know the language at the Intermediate level. Remarkably, only 8% of respondents are fluent in English.
Knowledge of English significantly affects the salary. The study has shown that having an Intermediate level and above in non-technical professions helps earn at least $200-300 more. For example, a marketing manager’s median salary with Elementary English is $650 versus $1,800 with Advanced English. HRs with Pre-Intermediate get 15% lower remuneration than colleagues with Upper-Intermediate.
For developers, English affects salaries starting at the Middle level. The salary gap of Software Engineers with Elementary and Advanced English is a mere $25-35. On the other hand, the Middle Software Engineer’s median remuneration with the Upper Intermediate level is $2,500 versus $1,500 with the Pre-Intermediate. The gap is even more significant for Senior Developers with Pre-Intermediate and Advanced and amounts to $1,500.
Among testers, the highest median salary of Automation QA specialist with the Advanced level is $3,200, and the lowest for Manual QA specialist with Pre-Intermediate is $600.
Salaries by industry
A quarter of the respondents who completed the survey are employed in the E-commerce industry. At the same time, without C-level, Product Managers with work experience of 4+ years have the highest median salary in the industry at $2,300. Among FinTech representatives, Software Engineers earn the most with $3,000.
Arguably, the industry does not affect the amount of remuneration. For example, FinTech developers are paid on par with their counterparts at GameDev. The same applies to non-technical professions.
Salaries by university
The survey has shown that graduates of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute get the highest salaries. The median remuneration of technical professionals (Software Engineer, QA, DevOps, UI/UX Designer, Cyber Security, DBA, Sys.Admin) at the Senior level is $4,300. At the same time, among the Juniors, graduates of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv get the highest salaries. Remarkably, the remuneration of respondents without higher education is equivalent to the remuneration of their counterparts holding a degree.
Among non-technical professions, graduates of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute also have the highest salaries. Graduates of the Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics have the lowest median salary.
Salaries by company size
The size of remuneration also depends on the size of the company. In general, the larger the company, the higher the salary of its employees. However, there are exceptions. For example, a Junior QA Engineer in a company with up to 20 employees gets more than when a team has 100 to 200 people. The same tends to be true for Junior UI/UX Designers whose median salary in a company with 50-100 employees is higher.
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Salaries by company type
In general, salaries in product and outsourcing companies are somewhat at the same level. It is true for both technical and non-technical professions. Senior Software Engineers at a product company have the highest median of $4,200. Specialists working for specialized agencies get the lowest salaries. In particular, a Junior Developer’s median salary is $450, while a beginner marketer’s median salary is $400.
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AIN.UA · DOU · Indigo
In this section, we have compared our median salaries across some professions with other industry reports. In particular, with the latest reports from the Ukrainian community of DOU developers (a survey among developers/testers/other professionals), a salary survey of the Indigo recruitment agency (a survey among Product Roles/Project Managers/CMOs), as well as the AdTech report of the Netpeak Group.
It makes it possible to obtain more weighted and accurate data and analyze in detail the salaries of Ukrainian professionals in terms of positions and specializations.
By conducting a sizeable anonymous salary survey, the AIN.UA team helps create a more transparent labor market. Based on its results, business representatives can navigate the salary issue, and specialists can assess their remuneration level across more than ten criteria. The study also aims to determine the ‘suggested salary’ for most positions in our jobs.ain.ua section, which already contains more than 1,200 offers for technical and non-technical professions