DevOps is a promising IT field that combines software development (Dev) with operations (Ops) to increase innovation, collaboration, and automation while decreasing the time it takes to deliver secure, high-quality products. This guide will discuss several DevOps career paths you can follow, along with their roles and responsibilities, and salary ranges.
DevOps career outlook
The DevOps workflow has a profound and positive impact on the software development process regarding quality, speed, and reliability. As such, the DevOps career outlook is a bright one. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, software developers, DevOps engineers, quality assurance analysts, testers, and related jobs are expected to grow by 25% from now until 2031. That growth rate is five times faster than the average rate for all other occupations, and it represents over 411,000 new positions expected to be filled by DevOps and similar professionals.
DevOps career paths
There are several DevOps career paths you can pursue in this exciting and in-demand field. Here are some examples of the top DevOps career paths and what each entails, plus what you can expect in terms of your DevOps salary.
DevOps Software Tester
DevOps Software Testers test software applications to make sure they meet stakeholder expectations. This DevOps career involves responsibilities such as:
- Test planning.
- Designing and implementing automated testing frameworks.
- Implement continuous testing processes and workflows.
- Quality assurance.
To be a DevOps Software Tester, you must be familiar with DevOps, software development, and testing principles. You must also know your way around testing frameworks, continuous testing tools, and quality assurance frameworks. You can learn more about the various DevOps tools and software by reading our product highlight: Best DevOps Tools and Solutions.
Talent.com places the average DevOps Software Tester salary at just over $93,000 per year.
Junior DevOps Engineer
One of the most common entry-level positions in this field is the Junior DevOps Engineer. A Junior DevOps Engineer works under Senior DevOps Engineers and has several responsibilities, such as:
- Troubleshooting issues.
- Writing scripts.
- Completing standard system administration tasks.
Junior Engineers may also be tasked with enhancing and maintaining DevOps processes.
To become a Junior DevOps Engineer, you should have a solid understanding of operating systems, cloud infrastructure, and programming languages. You should also be well-versed in DevOps principles and practices, including automation, continuous integration and deployment, monitoring, and source code management.
Glassdoor estimates that the average DevOps salary for a Junior Engineer is just over $107,000 per year.
A DevOps Engineer builds, maintains, and enhances DevOps processes and infrastructure. They often work alongside development, testing, and operations teams, ensuring the software delivery pipeline is smooth and efficient. Managerial in nature, the DevOps Engineer position absorbs several roles and responsibilities.
If you choose to take on this challenging title, you may find yourself taking on the following tasks:
- Writing scripts that deploy.
- Debug, and test software.
- Building reusable code for your organization.
- Collaborate with developers, getting feedback to determine software condition.
You will also need to keep projects on track by troubleshooting issues as they pop up while also keeping team members motivated to meet goals. And you may also need to adapt to changes on the fly using Agile principles, make sure that computer systems and networks are running as they should, and, most importantly, promote a culture that leads to the timely development of high-quality software.
Indeed.com claims that the average salary for a DevOps engineer is just over $124,000.
Interested in becoming a DevOps Engineer? Check out our tutorial How to Become a DevOps Engineer for more information.
A DevOps Architect is in charge of designing and implementing DevOps processes and infrastructure to meet an organization’s specific needs. Responsibilities of this DevOps career path begin with collaborating with developers, IT operations, executives, and other stakeholders to discover the company’s requirements and devise a DevOps strategy that fulfills them.
DevOps Architects work with development teams to ensure infrastructure matches software application needs while being scalable. Additionally, they are responsible for:
- Designing and implementing systems for testing.
- Deployment and monitoring to enhance software delivery processes.
- Evaluating and selecting new technologies and tools to optimize DevOps pipelines.
A DevOps Architect should have a broad knowledge of system administration, infrastructure design, and software development. They should be well-versed in how cloud infrastructure, containerization, and orchestration work, while also having familiarity with automation tools and frameworks that can help enhance software delivery. To be able to recommend proper technology to stakeholders, DevOps Architects must stay up-to-date on the latest DevOps trends. And since they must foster collaboration between teams and stakeholders, DevOps Architects should also have strong communication skills.
According to Glassdoor, the average DevOps Architect earns over $130,000 annually.
DevOps Release Manager
A DevOps Release Manager manages the release of software to ensure it is delivered on time, up to par, and within budget. Choose this DevOps career, and you will plan and coordinate software releases by working with development, testing, and operations teams.
To ensure that software releases remain reliable, predictable, and repeatable, DevOps Release Managers must:
- Design and implement automated release processes.
- Manage change requests, ensuring that any changes are made in a manner that is both auditable and controlled.
- Identify and mitigate potential risks that could negatively impact release, plus create contingency plans to fix them.
- Communicate with stakeholders via status updates and release schedules to keep everyone on the same page.
DevOps Release Managers should have extensive knowledge in release management, software development, system administration, automation tools and frameworks, and change management while having strong communication skills.
Talent.com estimates that the average DevOps salary for a Release Manager is $120,000 per year.
DevOps Automation Engineer
A DevOps Automation Engineer optimizes the software development lifecycle by automating the software delivery pipeline. They design and implement automation frameworks to boost the efficiency of developers and operations teams, plus CI/CD pipelines to automate software delivery.
To make sure software applications are thoroughly tested before being deployed, DevOps Automation Engineers also:
- Design and implement automated testing frameworks.
- Automate the provisioning and configuration of infrastructure using infrastructure-as-code (IaC) tools.
Choose this DevOps career path, and you will also find yourself working with development, testing, and operations teams to keep the software delivery pipeline as smooth and efficient as possible.
DevOps Automation Engineers should understand DevOps and software development principles, automation tools and frameworks, CI/CD tools, testing frameworks, and IaC tools while also having strong collaboration skills.
Glassdoor estimates that the average DevOps Automation Engineer makes $107,000 per year.
SEE: 5 Practices that Makes a DevOps Leader
DevOps Security Engineer
DevOps or DevSecOps Security Engineers must ensure that software applications and their supporting infrastructure are secure. DevSecOps stands for Development, Security, and Operations. Such engineers design and implement secure architectures for software and infrastructure, manage vulnerabilities, protect against known security threats, and create automated scanning and testing processes.
Other responsibilities of DevOps Security Engineers include:
- Threat modeling to spot potential threats.
- Design strategies to minimize potential threats.
- Communicating security-related information to developers, IT teams, and executives.
Anyone interested in becoming a DevOps Security engineer should be familiar with DevSecOps principles, security frameworks and regulations, vulnerability scanning tools, automation tools and frameworks, and security threat modeling frameworks. Since they must relay security-related news to stakeholders, DevOps Security Engineers should also be strong communicators.
Talent.com estimates that the average DevOps Security Engineer earns $135,000 annually.
SEE: Progress Beyond On-premises: Managing Edge DevOps Challenges