46 skills startups want and what they pay

What skills should I learn to get a job at a startup? 

What are my skills worth?

Those two questions come up all the time, and frankly, the internet doesn’t have easily accessible information to answer them. Search for “startup skills” on Google and you’ll get vanilla advice about the top skills being “facing failure” or “hustle.” Sure. But you need to know a few things too.

To fill this gap we analyzed thousands of job postings and ranked the top skills that startups are looking for and what they pay for them.  If you’re thinking of joining a startup or even starting one, this list and the linked resources will get you up to speed on the startup labor market.

The average salary shown below is just that, the average. Depending on how good your skills are, which company you work for, and when you get hired, the pay can be higher or lower. We’ve also included pay for the top 10% of the Bay Area jobs for these skills to get a sense of how much top talent gets paid. Also, remember, there is also equity compensation and other perks for many jobs and these are not included in the salary figures.

Check out the sister article: 41 skills Indian startups want and what they pay

#1 – Javascript

  • Average pay: $81,929
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $113,690
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $170,000
  • Other must-have skills: Node.js, HTML5, CSS3, React.js, Angular.js, Ruby on Rails, PHP, SQL, JQuery.
  • Common job titles: Software Engineer, Full Stack Developer
  • Where to learn this skill: Lots of options, this course provides a great intro. 

#2 – Python

  • Average pay: $90,094
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $118,344
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $180,000
  • Other must-have skills: Python, SQL, MySQL, Machine learning, AWS, Linux, Django. 
  • Common job titles: Software Engineer, Data Scientist, Data Engineer
  • Where to learn this skill:  Again, plenty of options. Try this comprehensive course for R and Python.

#3 – Sales & Marketing

  • Average pay: $70,247
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $94,779
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $175,000
  • Other must-have skills: Product Marketing, Email Marketing, Saas, Sales Strategy, Leadership, Salesforce, Lead generation.
  • Common job titles:  Account Executive, Sales Development Representative, Business Development Manager. 
  • Where to learn this skill:  Checkout the digital marketing specialization on Coursera

#4 – Social media marketing

  • Average pay: $61,094
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $85,532
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $150,000
  • Other must-have skills: Digital marketing, SEO/SEM, git, Email Marketing, Content Creation, Google Analytics, Writing, Facebook Advertising.
  • Common job titles:  Marketing manager, Director of Marketing, Head of Marketing.
  • Where to learn this skill: a Northwestern course on social media marketing.

#5 – Business development

  • Average pay: $68,691
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $91,345
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $160,000
  • Other must-have skills: Sales, Sales Strategy, Business strategy
  • Common job titles:  Business development manager, Business development representative, account executive, sales development representative.
  • Where to learn this skill: Big list of business development courses on edX.

#6 – Java

  • Average pay: $89,332
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $121,392
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $180,000
  • Other must-have skills: Android, Scala
  • Common job titles:  Software engineer, Android developer, Backend Engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: Check out the Learn Java tutorial.

#7 – Node.js

  • Average pay: $85,388
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $112,701
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $170,000
  • Other must-have skills: Javascript, HTML5, CSS3, React.js, Angular.js, MongoDB, AWS.
  • Common job titles:  Software engineer, Full Stack Engineer, Full Stack Developer
  • Where to learn this skill: Lots of options, this course provides a great intro to the full MEAN stack. 

#8 – React.js

  • Average pay: $86,006
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $112,782
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $170,000
  • Other must-have skills: Javascript, Node.js, HTML5, Angular.js
  • Common job titles:  Software engineer, full stack developer
  • Where to learn this skill: A highly rated react.js course on Udemy.

#9 – Ruby on rails

  • Average pay: $90,351
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $118,568
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $180,000
  • Other must-have skills: Javascript, SQL, MySQL, Postgresql
  • Common job titles:  Software engineer, full stack developer, DevOps engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: Free Ruby on Rails tutorial.

#10 – HTML5/CSS/Front-end development

  • Average pay: $72,767
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $105,332
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $160,000
  • Other must-have skills: Javascript, Node.js, React.js, Angular.js, PHP, SQL, Postgresql, Jquery
  • Common job titles:  Software Engineer, Full Stack Developer, Frontend Developer
  • Where to learn this skill: Lots of options, this course provides a great intro to the MEAN stack. 

#11 – UI/UX Design

#12 – iOS Development

  • Average pay: $82,072
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $109,894
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $175,000
  • Other must-have skills: Android, Swift, Objective C, C
  • Common job titles:  iOS Developer, iOS Engineer, Software Engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: Free Udacity course on iOS Development.

#13 – Communication skills

  • Average pay: $58,123
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $84,165
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $150,000
  • Other must-have skills: …
  • Common job titles:  Account manager, customer success manager, executive assistant.
  • Where to learn this skill: Here is a WikiHow page on how to communicate effectively.

#14 – SQL/MySQL/PostgreSQL

  • Average pay: $84,792
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $112,298
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $170,000
  • Other must-have skills: Python, HTML, AWS, NoSQL, Ruby on Rails, PHP
  • Common job titles:  Software Engineer, Data Engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: Fifty best ways to learn mySQL.

#15 – Angular.js

  • Average pay: $75,785
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $113,690
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $170,000
  • Other must-have skills: Javascript, Node.js, HTML5, React.js
  • Common job titles:  Software engineer, full stack developer
  • Where to learn this skill: Angular.js tutorial.

#16 – Customer service

  • Average pay: $50,090
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $65,087
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $120,000
  • Other must-have skills: Relationship management
  • Common job titles:  Customer  success manager, account manager
  • Where to learn this skill: Free online customer service courses.

#17 – Machine learning/artificial intelligence

  • Average pay: $87,919
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $118,602
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $180,000
  • Other must-have skills: Python, Data Science, R
  • Common job titles:  Data Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: A beginners guide to AI/ML.

#18 – Project Management

  • Average pay: $73,522
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $96,430
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $157,000
  • Other must-have skills: Leadership, Agile
  • Common job titles:  Product manager, Project manager
  • Where to learn this skill: Free edX project management course.

#19 – Android

  • Average pay: $78,894
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $108,966
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $175,000
  • Other must-have skills: Java, iOS Development, Mobile app design
  • Common job titles:  Android developer, Android engineer.
  • Where to learn this skill: Google’s Android Development Course.

#20 – PHP

  • Average pay: $68,792
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $105,915
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $160,000
  • Other must-have skills: Javascript, HTML, CSS,  SQL, JQuery
  • Common job titles:  Software engineer, full stack developer
  • Where to learn this skill: Learn PHP Online

#21 – Data analysis

  • Average pay: $75,597
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $98,775
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $160,000
  • Other must-have skills: R, Python
  • Common job titles:  Data scientist, data analyst
  • Where to learn this skill: Free online data analysis curriculum.

#22 – Photoshop

  • Average pay: $55,438
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $81,892
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $120,000
  • Other must-have skills: Graphic design, Adobe Illustrator, Sketch.
  • Common job titles:  Graphic designer, UI/UX Designer, Visual designer
  • Where to learn this skill: Udemy photoshop course.

#23 – C++

  • Average pay: $89,442
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $117,050
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $180,000
  • Other must-have skills: C
  • Common job titles:  Software Engineer, Senior Software Engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: Google for Education ++ Course.

#24 – Growth hacking

  • Average pay: $63,824
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $91,906
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $150,000
  • Other must-have skills: Social media marketing, SEO/SEM, Facebook advertising, Email marketing, Digital Marketing.
  • Common job titles: Growth Hacker, Head of Growth, Marketing Manager, Head of Marketing
  • Where to learn this skill:  Coursera has a specialization in social media marketing.

#25 – Product management

  • Average pay: $92,888
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $120,642
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $180,000
  • Other must-have skills: Leadership, product development.
  • Common job titles: Product manager
  • Where to learn this skill: Lots of courses on product management. Carnegie Mellon also has a degree.

#26 – Graphic Design

  • Average pay: $59,059
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $87,595
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $140,000
  • Other must-have skills: Photoshop, Illustrator
  • Common job titles: Graphic designer, Visual designer, UI/UX Designer
  • Where to learn this skill: Format magazine has a list of free graphic design resources.

#27 – MongoDB

  • Average pay: $83,948
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $115,899
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $175,000
  • Other must-have skills: Node.js
  • Common job titles:  Software Engineer, DevOps Engineer, Full Stack Engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: MongoDB University

#28 – Linux

  • Average pay: $85,181
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $115,914
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $180,000
  • Other must-have skills: Linux, Python, AWS, Docker
  • Common job titles: DevOps Engineer, Software Engineer, Site Reliability Engineer.
  • Where to learn this skill: Free Linux Courses

#29 – SEO/SEM

  • Average pay: $67,713
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $93,938
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $158,000
  • Other must-have skills: Social media marketing, digital marketing, content marketing, social media, Facebook advertising.
  • Common job titles: Marketing manager, Digital Marketing Manager
  • Where to learn this skill: Lots of courses on SEO/SEM at Coursera and Udemy

#30 – Swift

  • Average pay: $83,932
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $111,461
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $175,000
  • Other must-have skills: iOS development, Objective C, C
  • Common job titles: iOS Developer, iOS Engineer,
  • Where to learn this skill: Download the swift ebook.

#31 – AWS

  • Average pay: $94,167
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $122,986
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $180,000
  • Other must-have skills: Python, Node.js, SQL, Linux, Docker
  • Common job titles: DevOps Engineer, Software Engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: Tutorial.

#32 – Business operations

  • Average pay: $62,297
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $83,575
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $140,000
  • Other must-have skills:
  • Common job titles: Operations Manager, Director of Operations, Head of Operations
  • Where to learn this skill: Here’s a Coursera course in Operations Management.

#33 – JQuery

  • Average pay: $72,764
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $104,335
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $160,000
  • Other must-have skills: Javascript, HTML, CSS, PHP
  • Common job titles:  Software Engineer, Front End Developer
  • Where to learn this skill: JQuery Learning Center

#34 – Git

  • Average pay: $69,944
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $99,252
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $155,000
  • Other must-have skills: Social media marketing, Facebook advertising
  • Common job titles: Marketing manager, digital marketing manager
  • Where to learn this skill: Learn git.

#35 – Django

  • Average pay: $82,039
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $114,143
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $170,000
  • Other must-have skills: Python
  • Common job titles: Software engineer, backend engineer, full stack developer
  • Where to learn this skill: Getting started with Django

#36 – Salesforce

  • Average pay: $71,613
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $91,664
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $160,000
  • Other must-have skills: Sales and Marketing
  • Common job titles: Sales Development Representative, Account Executive
  • Where to learn this skill: Salesforce tutorial

#37 – Adobe Illustrator

  • Average pay: $57,461
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $88,482
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $135,000
  • Other must-have skills: Photoshop, Graphic Design, Sketch
  • Common job titles: Graphic designer, Product Designer, UI/UX Designer
  • Where to learn this skill: Tutorials from Adobe

#38 – Business strategy

  • Average pay: $76,368
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $100,677
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $180,000
  • Other must-have skills: Business development
  • Common job titles: Business development manager
  • Where to learn this skill: Business strategy courses on Coursera.

#39 – Sketch

  • Average pay: $74,488
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $95,487
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $140,000
  • Other must-have skills: UI/UX Design, Photoshop, Illustrator
  • Common job titles: Product designer, UI/UX Designer, Designer
  • Where to learn this skill: Check out this intro to Sketch post on Medium.

#40- Restful services

  • Average pay: $80,852
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $112,327
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $175,000
  • Other must-have skills:…
  • Common job titles: Software engineer, Backend Developer, Full Stack Developer
  • Where to learn this skill: Build a restful service. 

#41 – C

  • Average pay: $82,871
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $111,707
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $175,000
  • Other must-have skills: iOS Development, C++, Swift, Objective C
  • Common job titles: iOS Developer, Software Engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: Wikibooks about C programming.

#42 – Docker

  • Average pay: $90,988
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $125,133
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $160,000
  • Other must-have skills: Linux, AWS, DynamoDB
  • Common job titles: DevOps Engineer, Software Engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: Docker tutorial for beginners.

#43 – Agile

  • Average pay: $91,686
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $118,306
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $170,000
  • Other must-have skills: Project management
  • Common job titles: Product and Project Manager
  • Where to learn this skill: The agile coach

#44 – R

  • Average pay: $87,128
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $110,854
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $180,000
  • Other must-have skills: Python, Machine Learning
  • Common job titles: Data Scientist, Data Analyst
  • Where to learn this skill: List of free R tutorials also try this comprehensive course for R and Python.

#45 – Scala

  • Average pay: $107,869
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $133,935
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $200,000
  • Other must-have skills: Java
  • Common job titles: Software engineer, Data engineer
  • Where to learn this skill: Scala Exercises

#46 – WordPress

  • Average pay: $55,676
  • Average pay in the Bay Area: $79,868
  • Top 10% pay in the Bay Area: $140,000
  • Other must-have skills: Content writing
  • Common job titles: Marketing director, Digital Marketing Manager
  • Where to learn this skill: learn.wordpress.com

One thought on “46 skills startups want and what they pay

  1. Pingback: 41 skills Indian startups want and what they pay – UsableInk

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