What’s a good salary for a Jira developer? (And how to increase it)

Written by
Sagi Bracha
June 20, 2023
min read

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Over the past two decades, Jira has grown to become the project and issue tracker of choice for 65,000 teams, including many technical ones. This means if you’re considering working as an administrator or developer and want to become more technical, Jira is a great bet. It offers competitive pay and a multitude of career options. 
Plus, most Jira admins get to work on the whole suite of Atlassian tools like Jira Service Management, Confluence, and more. From this role, you can branch out into software development, people management, and much else. 

But how much should you be paid to do it? And how can you increase that salary? We gathered the data. 

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The average Jira developer earns $101,000

We used a few different sources to arrive at $101,000. Some sources like Glassdoor distinguish between administrator and developer salaries, which they estimate to be $93,000 and $107,000 respectively. Others, like ZipRecruiter, do not make that distinction. They say the salary is $103,000. (Our total is an average of these three.)

Those salaries do vary quite a bit by location. If you work in San Francisco or remotely for a company headquartered there, you might earn $15,000 more than your peers. And if you’re an outlier on the high side, you may be earning $201,000 according to ZipRecruiter’s data.

Don’t take those numbers as the final word, however. Glassdoor claims its salary rankings are based on just 78 self-reported salaries (out of the 25,000 Atlassian developers out there) and ZipRecruiter doesn’t share its sources, but given the unevenness of the distribution of its salary chart, it’s safe to assume the number isn’t large. ZipRecruiter also likely bundles several related roles together, such as junior and senior titles.

How to increase your salary

Broadly, there are six things you can do to increase your salary. 

1. Learn to think like a developer

Being a developer has less to do with the ability to write code and more to do with a logical thought process, which is crucial if you’re to support developers. You’ll want to immerse yourself in the software development world’s methodologies like Agile, DevOps, and Scrum. Your customers—the developers using Jira to track bugs and manage software—will expect you to be familiar with terms like story points, Scrum Master, and “commit.” Learn about source control tools such as Git and applications like Atlassian Bitbucket and GitHub that developers use to manage code.

Here are a few pieces of Jira wisdom to get you started: 

  • Not everything needs to be configured or automated—everything has a hidden maintenance cost
  • If someone asks you to implement something, never do it without understanding why
  • Use a sandbox strategy to safely tear down and build up configurations

Learn more about Agile, and how it applies to business systems like Jira. 

2. Get certified

Atlassian, the parent company of Jira, offers at least five learning paths and they’re robust. Once you finish those, explore different areas of specialization, especially as they relate to your company’s growth plans. Is there an initiative to move more of your infrastructure to the cloud? Break out of server-based Jira and explore its cloud versions. 

Here’s the Jira certification path and an overview of how Atlassian certifications work.

3. Gain experience working with Atlassian ecosystem apps

Atlassian’s marketplace has more than 5,000 apps. Meet with your higher-ups and understand the direction they’ve set for the business, and look for crossover opportunities where you can get experience working with connected applications. 

4. Work as a consultant, or move in-house

As a Jira consultant, you’ll gain experience that’s almost impossible to acquire by working in-house: You’ll get to view dozens (perhaps hundreds) of different companies, instances, industries, and setups, and learn to problem solve at an advanced level. At the same time, you’ll also get experience doing the same thing over and over. Whereas working in-house, you may never get an opportunity to deploy Jira yourself, as a consultant, you may get to deploy it repeatedly and perfect your process. 

Rachel Wright has followed the consulting path and learned a tremendous amount about debugging. Plus, ZipRecruiter claims Jira consultants make $116,000, which is 15% more than someone in-house.

You can learn a lot with either career path—consulting or in-house—but you make yourself extra valuable if you switch back and forth. 

5. Land a remote job for a company based in California or Massachusetts

You’ll find that companies headquartered in competitive markets tend to pay more for Jira developers, even if they’re hiring remotely. You could of course move to California or Massachusetts, but it’s probably best to explore options remotely and get the best of both worlds. 

Pictured are Jira developer salaries for someone based in San Francisco, which are 30-60% higher than the average.

6. Join the Atlassian community.

Atlassian has a community that’s an online platform and hub where users, administrators, developers, and enthusiasts gather to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge and experiences. It’s one place for all users of Atlassian software, including Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, and more.

Atlassian also offers local communities with in-person meetings. Events are free, user-led meetups happening in cities all over the world. Join to meet people like you, learn, share knowledge, and hear about new opportunities.

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Jira is a great bet and offers plenty of growth 

Jira is project management and issue tracking software of choice for technical teams and if you want to work in that space or get into software development, being a Jira administrator can be your path in. While the average salary is $101,000, the range is great—and if you learn to think like a developer, collect certifications, strategically move roles, and look at companies based in San Francisco or Boston—you’ve got a shot at earning much more.

Written by
Sagi Bracha

Sagi is a Product Marketing Manager at Salto, overseeing Salto’s Jira, Salesforce and PLG business motions. Driven by data and audience insights, Sagi is excited about designing custom made, customer centric go-to-market strategies. Sagi also plays the keyboard in Salto’s band, and enjoys dancing and reading in her free time.

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