What are the Highest Paying Programming Languages in 2023?

This article analyses data from 5,508 software engineering job listings to help you figure out which programming languages have the highest salary.

What are the Highest Paying Programming Languages in 2023?

Software engineers have a wide array of job opportunities in various industries, from web development to software testing. This diversity translates into significant differences in salaries and job availability for different programming languages, making it crucial for programmers to understand which languages offer the highest pay in 2023.

We've analysed data from 5k job listings on RemoteOK (the worlds largest job board) to determine which programming languages are paid the most and the least...

Let’s get started!

Highest Paid Programming Languages in 2023

When searching for a programming language job, it’s important to compare the pay being offered by an employer to averages across the industry. Is the pay much higher than average? Much lower? Doing this will help you contextualize the job offer as you start weighing your options and choosing favorites.

Here’s a concise list of the top paying programming languages in 2023:

LanguageMedian SalaryNumber of Jobs

In 2023, the highest paid programming language is Swift, with a median salary of $116,000, and some positions offering over $170,000 annually. Developed by Apple, Swift not only leads in compensation but was also highly favored in a 2015 Stack Overflow survey.

Most loved programming languages over time

The Swift language is often used to create iOS and macOS apps, however, listings are rare and on the decline e.g. there were only 30 Swift jobs in our dataset. That means competition is fierce! For a less competitive option, you might want to consider Python or Ruby. Ruby has the highest number of jobs available while offering a solid median compensation rate to programmers.

Based on the Stack Overflow 2021 developer survey, however - the numbers are a little different:

Highest paying Programming Languages according to Stack Overflow

According to the Stack Overflow survey, the highest paying programming languages are:

  • Clojure
  • F#
  • Elixir
  • Erlang
  • Perl

These are all quite niche technologies however which have few jobs - it's a trade off between niche specialism and salary.

Which Programming Languages Pay The Least in 2023?

Now, it’s time to have a look at the other end of the spectrum—which programming languages pay the least?

Here’s a list ranked according to data from 2023:

LanguageMedian SalaryNumber of Jobs

Typically the lowest paid software development roles tend to be for Frontend Developer roles. This is due to simple market dynamics i.e. there are more frontend web developers than their backend equivalents; typically programmers begin learning about web development, before moving on to backend development and architecture. The number of frontend vs backend developers can also be seen in data published by Indeed:

Frontend vs backend developer jobs

Apart from frontend technologies, PHP roles are often paid comparatively lower.

Once again, you need to strike a balance between earning potential and job availability that you’re comfortable with. PHP and HTML are the least paid and regularly see salaries as low as $50,000. While this might be enough for you, many programmers will opt for more profitable programming languages in order to make the most of their skill.

What are the Most in Demand Programming Languages in 2023?

Pay and job availability aren’t the only ways to analyze the state of the programming job market–we can also investigate which languages are the most in-demand. To do that, we can look at the year-on-year increases in the number of job offerings for a given language.

Here are two up-and-comers:

Golang: (+53%)

  • 2022: 140 jobs
  • 2023: 215 jobs

Python: (+40%)

  • 2022: 120 jobs
  • 2023: 169 jobs

The programming languages that have seen the greatest increases in demand are Golang and Python. Both of these languages are fairly safe options when it comes to choosing a language with the future in mind.

If we instead consider the number of monthly active users (MAU), the fastest growing programming languages are Javascript, Python and Java:

Fastest growing programming languages

What are the Least in Demand Programming Languages in 2023?

Just like there are programming languages that experience increases in demand, there are languages that are currently seeing decreases. While there might be an eventual resurgence in interest, it might be a good idea to avoid putting your faith in a programming language that’s currently trending downwards.

Here are two examples of this point:

C++: (-21%)

  • 2020: 77 jobs
  • 2021: 61 jobs

Java: (-17%)

  • 2020: 162 jobs
  • 2021: 134 jobs

Older languages with a heavy enterprise focus, such as C++ and Java, have been falling out of popularity in recent years. Despite the fall in number of jobs, the pay for these jobs is still high (both are in the top 5 paid languages).

These languages are slowly becoming a more niche skillset. Much of the world still runs on C++ and Java, however, so it's unlikely that demand for these languages will disappear any time soon.

What are the Most Popular Programming Languages in 2023?

We determine a programming language's popularity not by the number of developers, but by the number of jobs. Ultimately, the job market is the best benchmark of a programming language's popularity. With that in mind, let’s look at the most popular programming languages in 2023 based on demand:

LanguageNumber of JobsMarket Value

If you are looking for the most popular and highest pay in 2023, you can consider Python and Golang, whose median range is $105,000.

If we instead consider the number of monthly active users (MAU), the most popular programming languages are Javascript, Python and Java:

Programming language popularity over time

Where can you learn these programming languages?

Based on the salary and job information above, you can see that learning certain languages can be a significant boost to your earning potential... but where can you quickly learn these languages?

Here's our 7 affordable course suggestion for the programming languages mentioned above:

  1. Python: Python Masterclass 2023: Beginner to Advanced (4.7 rating, 25k students)
  2. Swift: Swift - The Complete iOS App Dev Bootcamp (4.7 rating, 353k students)
  3. Go: The Ultimate Go Course 2023 (4.6 rating, 143k students)
  4. Javascript: The Fastest Javascript Course (6hrs) (4.6 rating, 2.4k students)
  5. Rust: Rust Programming For Beginners (4.7 rating, 5.5k students)
  6. Clojure: Clojure, The Complete Beginner's Guide 2023 (4.7 rating, 780 ratings)
  7. Typescript: Mastering TypeScript - 2023 Edition (3,087 ratings, 19k students)


Well, that’s all for this article on the factors that might impact your decision about which programming languages to learn.

Our recommendation would be to aim for a traditional software development career path i.e. don't try and learn the language which pays the most as your first language. Instead, learn the basics of Frontend Development before experimenting with more advantages backend technologies.

Tip: in addition to learning the highest paid programming language, you should also learn to market yourself better. And to do this, you'll need a great resume. To create a stand-out resume which showcases your skills, see our recent article comparing the best AI powered resume builders.