Biggest pay raises over 30 years

Over the last generation, pay for some professions has risen much faster than the overall rate of inflation.

Computer programmer

fastest growing wages programmer
  • 1983 median wage: $24,596*
  • 2012 median wage: $68,848
  • Increase: 180%

It probably comes as little surprise that pay for computer programers is rising fast. Technology is becoming ever more pervasive, and there's not a lot of people that can do it.

"It's really a seller's market," said Don Shafer, vice president of professional activities at the IEEE Computer Society. "There just aren't enough people to write the code."

Shafer did say that in today's market, it's not enough to just know how to code. New entrants to the industry need to know how the code they are writing will be used, and understand the larger business objectives behind a program.

Because there are so few programers who are familiar with both the technicals and the larger picture, he sees wages continuing to rise in the field.

Source: CNN analysis of 45 professions in the Current Population Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Note: *Numbers are not inflation adjusted. Overall inflation from 1983-2012 was 131%
Some professions with high wage inflation, such as chief executives and personal financial advisers, were not tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1983, and are excluded from this list.

- Last updated November 08 2013 03:37 AM ET
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