Portuguese tech salaries in 2021. Yay or nay?

Talking about the best-paying Portuguese cities, having a PhD, the gender gap, remote work, and more.

Unlocking tech talent stories

April 19, 2021

In these times of deep change, tech professionals (and may we say, professionals in general?) are telling us they feel increasingly more motivated by factors like work-life balance and career-growth opportunities than the usual — and more “material” — perks like compensation and benefits. However, salaries are still clearly important and remain an essential part of employee attraction and retention.

We surveyed more than 4000 portuguese tech professionals this year to understand how the market has changed and what trends we could spot for the future (know that you can also bring new knowledge on this matter by having some fun with our survey’s raw data — you still have until the 28th of April to take part in the challenge). A lot of data regarding salaries grabbed our attention, so here are the main takeaways.

Let’s break it down:

Gender gap is still a thing. Apparently, and not surprisingly, men still earn 16% more than women in tech jobs. This industry has been known to be male-leading for many years, but we might be spotting a shift in the right direction, since this disparity has decreased 7% since last year.

Contracting offers the big bucks. Contractors earn, on average, an astonishing 54% more than permanent employees. Although this type of employment is still much less preferred than accepting long-term contracts with companies, professionals who do it are paid more than double and perhaps the stigma and fear around it are slowly dissipating. Commonly associated with a lot of risk, insecurity and trouble, contracting is gathering more fans who want to strip off corporate shackles and make their own path.

Having a PhD seems to pay off in the end. Although university degrees are not the only way to get into tech, and we ourselves are incredibly supportive of reskilling through coding bootcamps and self-teaching, getting a doctoral degree still translates into higher pay. The difference between PhD and all the other educational levels is huge, with a gap of more than €15k average to bachelor degrees.

Stay in the metropolis if you want to have a higher pay. Lisbon is, by far, the best paying Portuguese city for tech professionals. Porto is still far behind the capital, which offers 18,4% more than the total average.

The best way up is to aim for managerial roles after all? At least our report says that, generally speaking, being a solo developer will limit your chances of salary progression. CTO is, by far, the highest-paying role among our respondents, followed by technical team leaders. A senior CTO earns, on average, €63K, while a mobile apps developer with the same level of experience takes home€41K.

Report about Tech Careers

Tech Careers Report PT 2021 — Landing.Jobs

Remote is the way to go. It seems that tech professionals who already had fully remote jobs, or flexible ones, even before the pandemic are largely better paid than the ones with a full-office job. And the companies who have not implemented a remote or flexible culture amidst the pandemic also pay worse.

Portugal is still underpaid when compared to other countries. Portuguese techies who work abroad earn, on average, 33% more than the ones still here. Among the continents who offer better salaries, North America stands out.

Did the pandemic enforce salary stagnation? 42% of tech professionals said that they haven’t experienced a salary change in the last 12 months, something that may have been influenced by the unprecedented reality we’re living.

Go, Perl and Kotlin are the top 3 paying languages. Mobile dev languages like Kotlin, Swift and Objective-C are experiencing a good salary moment, while VBA and PHP hang on the other end of the spectrum. Having said that, almost all languages pay more than the average salary of other industries, so know that staying in tech or moving into tech is a wise choice.

Report about Salary per Language

Tech Careers Report PT 2021 — Landing.Jobs

Tech is still (and increasingly more) the way to go

However affected the tech industry may be by the pandemic, the fact remains that in Portugal (and in Europe) the demand is greatly higher than the talent available, which also helps professionals negotiate better deals and leverage their entry in the market. It’s also still one of the best paying industries out there, with numerous reskilling and upskilling schools and tools available and growing.


The Tech Careers Report PT 2021 is sponsored by tb.lx.

About tb.lx

tb.lx by Daimler Trucks & Buses is a startup within the corporate based in Lisbon, Portugal and founded in 2018. With the vision to live in a world of sustainable and connected transportation, tb.lx is developing data-driven software and connectivity services for several global Daimler brands like Mercedes-Benz, Fuso or Freightliner. These new customer-centric products improve vehicle efficiency, costs and sustainability for users all around the world, such as fleet managers, drivers, operators, cities. Learn more about this industry-changing company at www.tblx.io.

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