How Much Do Solidity Developers Make in 2023?
The demand for talent is rising in the world of web3 as the game-changing technology enters another year of maturation in 2023.
Increasing global adoption has since led to a deluge of job opportunities as the demand for Solidity developers and job requisitions from both startups and established corporations alike rise.
Suffice it to say, Solidity developer salaries have skyrocketed through the roof over the past 24 months, which should come as no surprise to anybody who's following web3.
New and old developers are training with web3 technologies such as distributed ledger technology and digital currencies alike as they rise in popularity and use cases in the present, with many angling to get full-time (and cushy) remote Solidity developer positions.
The fact of the matter is that there is as yet a very small minority of developers with technical knowledge and practical experience with Solidity, with prospective employers falling over each other trying to offer them fat money contracts in exchange for their rare skillsets – with Silicon Valley experience often at a premium.
It's no longer just web3 and crypto-native startups and hedge funds dabbling in crypto that is driving the demand – more importantly, we're seeing traditional banking and financial institutions getting in on the act, with TradFi giants like Goldman Sachs hiring for Solidity developer positions to work with its institutional banking offerings.
What Are The Roles And Responsibilities Of a Solidity Developer?
The primary responsibility of Solidity developers is to create, build, implement, and manage robust code for smart contracts on blockchain protocols that support the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) using Solidity, the native programming language of the Ethereum protocol.
Solidity developers work for enterprise and institutional clients, blockchain projects, and web3 startups backed by venture capital, while other solidity devs freelance while contributing to a variety of ecosystems. Thanks to the global nature of web3, a good number of Solidity developers and software engineering professionals are able to work remotely.
What does a typical Solidity developer job description look like?
Here's what a Solidity developer's roles and job description look like based on industry job postings:
- Write and implement impeccable, secure, robust, and economical smart contracts
- Perform audits and penetration testing on smart contracts
- Develop integrations for specific applications
- Support partner integrations
- Catalogue Solidity code best practices and ensuring a high standard of quality
- Work with product managers, businesses, and various internal and external teams and stakeholders
- Liaise with project executives, leaders, and management teams
- Test out new tools and examine Github repositories to optimize and enhance product quality
These responsibilities are but a general expectation of what Solidity developers are often responsible for within the context of an organization and may vary depending on the exact requirements of a Solidity developer role or job opportunity.
Why Is There Such A Big Demand For Solidity Developers?
Solidity is the pre-eminent programming language for web3 used to create smart contracts and programs built on the Ethereum blockchain, as well as a host of other interoperable, EVM-enabled blockchain ecosystems. Solidity is undoubtedly the leading web3 coding language due to it boasting the largest community of developers and builders since its inception in 2014, with approximately 6,000 active developers using the language on Ethereum.
Solidity gained tremendous popularity due to its first-mover advantage as a smart contract language. It's the first language a software engineer or developer seeking to break into web3 learns in order to build decentralized apps (dapps) on Ethereum, and its adoption skyrocketed during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) mania.
Why is the demand for Solidity developers continuing to increase in 2023?
As web3 gains wider adoption and maturation as a technology – particularly the growth of the Ethereum ecosystem, its related blockchain protocols, and smart contracts – so does the demand for Solidity devs increases.
Let's take a look at some of the reasons why Solidity continues to generate high demand and interest among employers and aspiring developers who wish to make the jump to web3.
- The increasing popularity of distributed ledger technology. Solidity is the undisputed leading smart contract language, outranking every other coding language twice as much in terms of popularity.
- The rise of Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible blockchains. It's worth noting that many layer 1 smart contract platforms and sidechains use Solidity, such as BNB Smart Chain, Avalanche, Solana, Polkadot, Polygon, Optimism, and Arbitrum, to name a few.
- Establishment in the decentralized finance sector. The great majority of decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols are built on Solidity.
- Gateway to entering web3 development. The growing web3 industry is fast drawing traditional software engineers and developers from web2, and Solidity is widely accepted to be one of the fundamentals of breaking into web3 development.
- The demand for Solidity developers far outstrips the existing supply. There are not nearly enough Solidity developers to satisfy the needs of startups and enterprises seeking to enter web3.
How Much Do Solidity Developers Earn On Average?
Now, let's get to the meat of the matter: that is, determining the average earning power of a Solidity developer.
Solidity developers are known for earning above-average industry wages. According to Web3.Jobs, entry-level web3 engineers earn what qualifies as the sector's low salary of $50,000 to upwards of an eye-watering $750,000 at the highest salary ever recorded for a remote Solidity engineer (thus far).
That said, what makes Solidity developer salaries higher than the industry norm?
Obviously, however, behind the gaudy numbers, compensation will vary depending on experience, skills, roles, and expected contributions, just as much as regional variations will come into play.
Depending on geographic location, experience, and skill, Solidity developers can easily command higher salaries on the pay scale.
We believe that the best measuring stick as far as providing a realistic Solidity developer salary scale is to categorize them according to experience/skill level.
That is, from being a Solidity developer intern to an entry-level Solidity developer position, and finally, to junior and to senior-level positions within the industry.
Let's take a look at each position as follows, with the average salary range (from average low salary to higher salary) indicated for each position based on surveys conducted by web3.career.
Solidity Developer Internships (US$25,000-$50,000)
Granted, it's quite hard to find internships for Solidity development roles. But in the very seldom occasions they do pop up, they are generally paid over several months, rather than on a full-time, salaried basis.
Entry-Level Solidity Development Positions (US$45,000-$90,000)
Entry-level Solidity developers may find employment with pre-seed to early-stage startups, established web3 outfits, or open-source collaborative projects.
The lower end of the salary scale for these positions tends to be offered to remote Solidity developers in locations where the cost of living is significantly more affordable, and for developers working on projects working on a shoestring budget, such as community-owned and funded projects.
Meanwhile, the higher end of the compensation scale is more likely to be offered to a Solidity developer working for startups or companies flush with cash, such as those which have just received massive funding rounds.
Junior-Level Solidity Developer Positions (US$90,000-$120,000).
Junior Solidity developers are often tasked to take on more complex tasks, besides overseeing and training entry-level Solidity developers themselves. The compensation is commensurate with the added responsibilities that junior-level Solidity developers tend to have.
Senior Solidity Developer Positions (US$120,000-$250,000).
Senior Solidity developers enjoyed peak demand in 2021 and 2022, and commensurate to their seniority and expertise, command above-average industry salaries compared to web2 developers. The average salary on the lower end of the spectrum, typically given to senior devs working remotely in low-cost centers range from US$120,000, ranging to as much as $250,000 in major web3 innovation capitals.
Freelance Solidity Developer Rates
Last but not least, let's not count out the lucrative potential that freelance Solidity developers possess on the open market. According to a survey of job postings and job boards, freelance Solidity developers can command as much as US$80-100 per hour, which can rise to as much as US$350 per hour, depending on the freelancer's expertise.
Token and Stock Option Incentives for Solidity Developers
Other companies and startups may offer additional financial incentives to Solidity developers in the form of token-based equity, particularly for open-source protocols, while venture-backed startups may offer equity in the company in the form of employee stock options.
Being paid in equity may be attractive to certain people, but it's worth noting that it can be risky; generally, individuals who find this form of compensation attractive are individuals who have already "made it," or lack the skills needed to command cash incentives. After all, most startups fail, therefore individuals with expertise would naturally expect fiat or liquid assets as compensation.
The final word on Solidity developer salaries in 2023
Regardless of where they choose to work, individuals who combine Solidity coding skills with market-making experience may have the luxury of receiving multiple job offers, with many such cases of competing employers falling over themselves to offer talent extremely high salaries to bid for the best talent.
There's no question that learning Solidity has become a prerequisite skill in the web3 space for writing smart contracts on Ethereum moving forward, especially if you wish to ply your trade in retail or investment banks, hedge funds, or trading outfits.
If you want to take your career up several notches, learn Solidity. Solidity engineers, Solidity developers, and Solidity programmers are always going to be in great demand in the near future, much more so than the existing supply, as web3 continues to evolve. Coding robust smart contracts with the object-oriented programming language and the salary scales, regardless of location, reflects exactly that.
Ultimately, web3 is here to stay. The industry is at the forefront of changing how we interact and think of the web in the future – forever. More and more major players across industries are recognizing the importance of harnessing these emergent technologies full of inexhaustible potential that we have barely scratched the surface of yet.
The demand for web3 professionals and Solidity developers isn't on the wane – and the sector has, and will continue to be a fertile, rampant ground for lucrative career opportunities for those that want to work on exciting projects, unmissable remote work opportunities, fat money contracts and salaries, and a career that's built to last over decades as extremely compelling factors to do so.
Want to take the first step? Learn Solidity and get your hands dirty with it sooner than later before the opportunities pass you by.