The demand for blockchain engineers, blockchain software developers, and other blockchain-related professionals increased rapidly in 2018, with salaries rising in parallel.

Hired CEO Mehul Patel told ComputerWorld last year that demand for blockchain engineers has increased some 400 percent since late 2017. Though “blockchain engineer” is only just now emerging as a standalone job title, demand for blockchain skills is increasingly being included as a highly desirable area of expertise for solutions architects, machine learning specialists, and back-end solution developers.

Why Work in Blockchain?

Growth in blockchain-related jobs is represented across almost all industries, from traditional tech to logistics, agriculture, healthcare, financial technology, and beyond. Moreover, crypto startups are raising significant venture capital, making it a lucrative and lively field of specialty.

The top U.S. cities for blockchain jobs are also among the most desirable. In order, the top five cities for finding blockchain jobs are:

  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Palo Alto

Other cities with a strong blockchain presence include Austin, Seattle, Denver, and Washington, DC.

Salaries in Blockchain Jobs

Salaries for those with coveted blockchain skills are high. In just the last six months of 2018, annual pay for the most experienced blockchain developers rose by more than $4000. The median annual salary for blockchain developers (as of January 2019) was $132,000, with the most experienced developers earning $176,000 and upward.

The fact that blockchain has grown so rapidly has also led to a shortage of experienced job applicants, so those who have the necessary skills are in a great position when negotiating for salary and other compensation. Those who prefer working remotely will find blockchain jobs to be welcoming too.

In-Demand Blockchain Skills

Here are some of the most in-demand blockchain skills currently:

  • Blockchain developers – who are responsible for implementation of blockchain projects or for integrating blockchain into existing projects and companies
  • Blockchain project managers – who oversee operations on blockchain projects and ensure milestones are met
  • Ethereum/smart contract developers – who know how to code smart contracts in Ethereum’s native programming language Solidity
  • Blockchain legal services – legal experts with experience navigating the laws and regulations surrounding cryptocurrency
  • Entry-level blockchain workers – such as full stack developers, content designers, and marketing professionals with blockchain experience

Job Sites for Blockchain Jobs

The following table shows standalone job sites for job seekers with blockchain skills. Some advertise strictly freelance and contract work, while others advertise traditional employment. The job sites are listed alphabetically along with self-descriptions from the sites themselves.

Site Name Description from Website
AngelList “Get a Job at a Startup. Apply privately to startup jobs with one application No middlemen. See salary and equity upfront.”
Blockchain Headhunter “Connecting Talent to Blockchain, Crypto & Fintech   Employers”
BlockchainJobz “We help graduates and employees that are looking for a new challenge by aggregating job opportunities at blockchain companies.”
BlockchainWorks “Discover the best blockchain opportunities. Get started to   access companies hiring, salary details, a personalized dashboard and our AI Recruiter.”
Blocktribe “Blocktribe is a specialist blockchain jobs platform where the blockchain employers advertise to blockchain talent.”
Coinality “Coinality is a free service connecting employers and job   seekers with opportunities that pay in digital currencies such as bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin.”
Coindesk Career Center “The CoinDesk Career Center is our way of bringing together our millions of passionate users with the hundreds of companies that are looking for talented employees to help their projects continue to grow.”
Cointelegraph Jobs “Welcome to a unique platform, Jobs in crypto, powered by Cointelegraph with a list of jobs opportunities inside the blockchain, fintech and crypto industries.”
Crypto Jobs List “Your #1 board to find and post blockchain jobs. Blockchain engineers, Solidity devs, crypto experts — this is for you.”
Cryptocurrency Jobs “Cryptocurrency Jobs curates the best new jobs at leading   companies and startups that use blockchain technology.”
Cryptogrind “Cryptogrind is the easy and secure way to find freelance   services or pay for jobs using bitcoin.”
CryptoJobs “On a mission to connect talented individuals to the best   blockchain projects, to accelerate the advent of a more decentralized world.”
CryptoRecruit “Cryptorecruit is the world’s first recruitment agency   specializing in recruiting exclusively within the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.”
Ethlance “The future of work is now. Hire or work for Ether   cryptocurrency.”


Building a Career in Blockchain

Since blockchain is a new job sector, there is no single prescribed path to success in the field. Therefore, people who want to work in blockchain may find that traditional pathways to professional employment aren’t a sure thing. What’s more, with an industry evolving and growing as fast as blockchain, employers need people who are committed to continually developing their skills.

Mastering the fundamentals of blockchain, such as features like decentralization and smart contracts, is mandatory. Programming skills in JavaScript, Scala, C++, and especially Solidity are necessary. Most successful blockchain professionals know multiple programming languages.

Blockchain developer working at his desk.
Two widely recognized certifications in blockchain are the IBM Blockchain Foundation Developer certification and the Blockchain Technology Certification from the University of California at Berkeley. Universities around the world are starting to offer degrees in blockchain. They’re not commonplace, but they definitely add weight to an aspiring blockchain professional’s CV.

Some people get into blockchain through front-end development, and that’s good because there is strong demand for UI/UX design and things like creating wallets to interact with blockchain. Front-end and full-stack developers who build skills in blockchain are well-positioned for careers in blockchain.

There’s no analogy to the “MD” or “CPA” designation that applies to blockchain professionals, so much of building a blockchain career requires networking in the blockchain community. This should be done both in person and online. These meaningful connections matter when you’re applying to jobs through blockchain job sites.

There is plenty of opportunity for those who want to get into blockchain professionally, and the industry will continue to grow as the technology matures. Blockchain is expected to become important in every industry where chain of custody, provenance, fraud, and security are issues, which means blockchain jobs should begin emerging across a huge range of industries, including many non-tech ones.

Technology jobs, in general, pay well, and tech professionals with blockchain skills will be able to command even higher salaries. In short, there is no better time to develop blockchain skills and use them to benefit your career. One great way to stay on top of what is happening in the blockchain space is to get our weekly investor briefing delivered for free!