Blockchain Technology Job Market and Salary Trends so Far

The rapid growth of the blockchain job market has led to a shortage of workers in this area of expertise.
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There were close to 2,000 blockchain technology related job openings during the month of August in the United States alone. This is a 300 percent increase compared to figures posted last year.

The blockchain industry has grown tremendously over the past two years in lockstep with the cryptocurrency industry. Right now enterprise adoption is driving its application in other industries. Use cases of blockchain technology outside cryptocurrency platforms are mainly in global supply chain networks, financial service markets, government protocol systems, and healthcare sectors.

As an emerging disruptor in the tech industry, blockchain has the potential to challenge traditional delivery models. Its integration into existing systems can give businesses a tremendous edge over competitors, hence the current rush for its adoption.

The exponential rise of blockchain has also caused an increase in demand for skilled practitioners, with over 1,520 companies currently looking for decentralized ledger technology professionals. Earlier this year, Techcrunch reported a severe shortage of talent in the sector. According to the statistics, there were about 14 job openings available for every blockchain engineer.

Burning Glass, Glassdoor, and Upwork Job Market Reports

The number of job postings related to blockchain has more than quadrupled since 2016. According to statistics compiled by Burning Glass Technologies, there were about 1,838 job posts related to blockchain in 2016. By the end of 2017, this number had climbed to 3,958. 2018 figures have dwarfed these statistics with over 5,000 vacancies posted so far.

According to a recent study carried out by Glassdoor, there were 1,775 blockchain-related job-openings advertised during the month of August, and this is in the U.S. alone. This is a 300 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

The freelance market is also experiencing an overwhelming demand for blockchain professionals. According to an Upwork report released in November 2017, robotics, bitcoin, and blockchain led the list of the top trending freelance job skills on the job site.

At the time, the network’s CEO, Stephane Kasriel, talked about the changing trends, pointing out that the sharp rise in demand for the top skill-sets was likely an indicator of their role in the “future of work.”

The volume of searches on the platform related to blockchain and bitcoin skills had propelled the two skill-sets to second and third place in the top ten list, respectively.

By July 2018, blockchain skills had topped the rankings, with year-over-year growth figures hitting 2,000 percent. Google Cloud Platform and Volusion software skills took second and third place, respectively. It is worth noting that many Google Cloud Platform positions that are currently in demand are also related to decentralized ledger technology.

Google Cloud supports blockchain and integrates with a number of decentralized technology apps. Major companies such as Bank of America, for example, regularly look for developers with well-rounded experience in cloud technologies, the blockchain, and finance.

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Blockchain Technology Job Salaries

On average, non-staff freelance blockchain professionals in the United States command up to $250 an hour. On the other hand, full-time blockchain engineers earn an average income of about $130,000 a year, which is substantially more than the $105,000 that general software developers get paid.

This is according to a study report released by Burning Glass CEO, Matt Siegelman. These figures, however, fluctuate according to the region. Developers in New York City, for example, can earn an average annual salary of $158,000. In some European countries, like Switzerland, many earn between $120,000 and $180,000.

So, why are blockchain workers paid such substantial figures? Firstly, their job skills are of a technical nature and this area is generally characterized by high market rates. Secondly, companies requiring this skill-set tend to be in cities with a high cost of living, an aspect that tends to push up average salaries. Thirdly, and most importantly, demand for experienced blockchain workers still outstrips supply, and so competition for the best in this area lifts wages.

The top five U.S cities that have the highest demand for decentralized ledger technology specialists include New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Chicago, and Seattle, according to Glassdoor. Outside the United States, London, Singapore, Toronto, Hong Kong, and Berlin top the list of cities with the highest number of blockchain job openings.

Current top five employers according to Siegelman’s report include ConsenSys, IBM, Coinbase, Figure, and Oracle. Financial consulting firms, KPMG and Accenture, also hire personnel in this area to advise clients looking to apply the technology.

Enterprise adoption is driving blockchain application in other industries.
Companies such as IBM, Coinbase, and Figure regularly hire experienced blockchain developers. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

What Companies Are Looking For

Tech companies involved in blockchain projects usually hire blockchain project managers, developers, designers, and legal experts.

Most companies that advertise these positions usually look for people with significant insight and experience handling big data, platform security, cross-platform connectivity, and decentralized systems. For developers, skills required usually include advanced knowledge of MS SQL Server, .NET, MYSQL, Javascript, Visual Studio, C and C++, JQuery, XCOD, XML, XSLT, HTML, Neural Networks, FTP, and experience in Agile Scrum methodologies.

How It Started

Invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 as a transaction ledger for bitcoin, blockchain has brought immense possibilities to the tech industry. Bitcoin’s fast rise in value in 2017 catalyzed its robust growth and use in the tech industry.

The high profitability of ventures in the sector inspired tech companies and industry enthusiasts to launch projects based on the platform and invest more in its development. Combined with the precipitous rise of initial coin offerings (ICOs), market trends subsequently triggered increased demand for blockchain development professionals, hence the current market situation.

Market Growth

Sectors requiring blockchain developers are becoming more aware that blockchain can bring substantial benefits. It can bring down operational costs, speed up transactions, and allow them to get rid of intermediaries and reliance on third parties for verification. 

The growth of the blockchain sector is first expected to intensify in the contractual space before expanding into the payments sector according to analysts. This is mainly because of the complexities involved.

Payment networks face more hurdles because partner institutions first need to analyze systems before signing off. Financial institutions also have to go through mandatory approval processes imposed by relevant government regulatory bodies. These bureaucracies ultimately slow down implementation time.

(Featured Image Credit: Pixabay)

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