What's the going rate for a junior developer in Portland?

We’ve all heard about—or directly suffered through—the shortage of development talent that plagues the startup scene. And it’s no different in Portland. Talent is at a premium. But what exactly does that scarcity do to the costs for today’s startups? Ted Timmons spent some time digging into that question.

My career and education was decidedly nontraditional. I’ve done a lot of hiring but not for entry-level coders. This means I couldn’t use my own knowledge to answer this. I reached out to peers and I’m summarizing the knowledge here.

The salary numbers given were $50k to $110k. The upper end of that was certainly based on Bay Area wages; for Portland, $70k to $75k range seems appropriate for a junior engineer.




Agree? Disagree?

For more, see Ted’s post on the starting salary for software engineering in Portland, Oregon. And, of course, to see who is hiring or to post a job, check out the Silicon Florist job board.

(Image courtesy Aaron Hockley. Used under Creative Commons.)

  1. Oh and big kudos to those companies who hire and develop junior engineers and interns – it can be done at any company size if it’s planned out right, and I’ve seen a lot of hiring situations where two juniors is a better plan than one senior engineer – there needs to be a balance in skill levels on a team – not just all “rockstars”.

  2. $18/hr for an engineering intern is the standard, and $50-65K for a junior engineer is what I recommend depending on what their skills look like and the complexity of the role.

    Doesn’t matter if they have a degree, a bootcamp education, or are self taught- it’s about what they can do with what they know, and how they can grow in the role. As a recruiter, I’ve seen great developers at a multitude of ages, backgrounds, and educations come in at the junior level and kick ass.

    Pay ranges at 70K+ for someone just starting out in a junior role – in any career path – is just silly. I don’t care what Google is paying.

  3. I am just graduating, and I guess I am getting way above average. I had three offers, all between 70-80k. I have done a few internships and some part-time jobs.

  4. I’m in contact with numerous companies for junior level developers and work in concert with two different code schools in the area. 70-75K for a junior dev with no professional experience in Portland is high and in my experience not realistic. I totally agree with what Will stated, 60K for a college grad and somewhere 45 – 60K for a code school graduate. Also, I think we should all be promoting hiring junior developers as there just aren’t enough senior developers to fill the need. At some point we have to realize that we are all just poaching from one another and commit to growing the dev community.

  5. As a recruiter I have seen $60k be the general baseline for new grad Software Engineers with a Computer Science degree in 2013. In my experience companies really low ball junior Developers if they don’t have a bachelor’s degree, the offers are more in the $40K range. As a recruiter I work with the larger corporate organizations so take this with grain of salt.

  6. omg Sasha! You are getting a bad deal!

    Robby- “3 month course” is one of the premier ones, like Hackbright or Dev Bootcamp. Just like schools, there’s a vast difference in attractiveness to employers.

  7. So, $18/hr for a Jr. PHP Engineer doing some php/js/query, no benefits, no salary, paid 40 hours a week, usually 50-60 workable is… what. 😡

  8. It really depends on a number of factors. If entry means… “just finished a 3 month course”… this median is a bit high.

    If they’ve been a hobbyist dev/student for a year or two and are ready to get serious (and are still basically… a jr.) then these numbers aren’t too far fetched.

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