• IT that grows your business

  • 11th April 2023

IBM i Developers – What Salary Should You Expect to Pay?

what salary 1 1 - IBM i Developers - What Salary Should You Expect to Pay?

IBM i Developers – What Salary Should You Expect to Pay?

800 500 Finley Austin

Highly Valued and Hard to Replace.

In the world of information technology, there are various programming languages and platforms that are widely used for different purposes.  

One such platform is IBM i, formerly known as AS/400, which is a powerful and reliable system for business computing.  

IBM i developers are known for their expertise in this unique platform, and their skills are highly valued in the industry. However, when it comes to salaries, there are several factors to consider.

IBM i developers are known for their deep understanding of the IBM i operating system, RPG (Report Program Generator) programming language, and other related technologies. They are responsible for developing, maintaining, and enhancing applications that run on the IBM i platform, including business applications, databases, and web services.  

IBM i developers are also skilled in other programming languages such as COBOL, CL (Control Language), SQL (Structured Query Language) and Java which are commonly used in IBM i development. 

Unlike many systems where developers write code and the database is managed by a database administrator, IBM i developers tend to encompass a wide range of skills needing a deep understanding of DB2, object security and the IBM i operating system in addition to their dev skills.  

One of the reasons why IBM i developers are highly valued in the industry is because of the scarcity of talent. IBM i is a specialised platform, and finding skilled developers who are proficient in RPG and other related technologies can be challenging.

As a result, IBM i developers are often considered to be hard to replace, and their expertise is in high demand. 

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So what should you expect to be paying for an IBM i developer?  

You will not be employing an IBM i developer straight from school, college or university in the same way you may find an individual with experience in HTML, python or some Microsoft languages. This means you will be employing someone with experience gained on the IBM i in a commercial setting within another company.


You are unlikely to find developers with just a few years of experience as the majority have been working on the system for decades. The average salary of IBM i developers can vary depending on various factors, such as their level of experience, geographic location, and the size and type of employer.  

According to Glassdoor data, the typical IBM Software Developer’s salary is £40,944 per year. Software Developer salaries at IBM can range from £18,000 – £87,073 per year. This estimate is based upon 127 IBM Software Developer salary report(s) provided by employees or estimated based on statistical methods. However, it’s important to note that these figures are approximate and will vary based on specific circumstances. 

Experience plays a crucial role in determining the salary of an IBM i developer. As with any profession, more experienced developers tend to earn higher salaries compared to those with less experience. IBM i developers who have a solid track record of working on complex projects, have specialised skills such as system administration or performance tuning or have obtained relevant certifications, may command higher salaries due to their expertise. 


Geographic location is another factor that can impact the average salary of an IBM i developer. Salaries can vary significantly depending on the cost of living and demand for IBM i skills in a particular region. For example, cities with a high demand for IT professionals and a higher cost of living, such as London, may have higher average salaries for IBM i developers compared to smaller cities or towns. 

Size & Type of Employer

The size and type of employer can also affect the average salary of an IBM i developer. Large corporations or organisations with complex IBM i environments may offer higher salaries to attract top talent. Similarly, employers in industries that heavily rely on IBM i for their business operations, such as manufacturing or finance, may also offer competitive salaries to IBM i developers. 

In addition to the factors mentioned above, other factors that can impact the average salary of IBM i developers include the demand for IBM i skills in the job market, the level of competition among employers for skilled IBM i developers, and the overall economic conditions. 

Why is There a Shortage of IBM i Developers?

The shortage of IBM i developers in the UK is a challenge that has been observed in recent years.  However, due to various factors, including an ageing workforce, limited awareness among newer generations of developers, and a shift towards other platforms and technologies, the availability of skilled IBM i developers in the UK has become limited. This has led to a fluctuation in salary standards in this sector based on the demand.  

IR35, the UK tax legislation, designed to determine the employment status of contractors and freelancers, particularly those who provide their services through an intermediary, such as a limited company may also have had an impact on the number of software development contractors and the related salary range.  

In conclusion, IBM i developers are highly valued in the IT industry due to their specialised skills and expertise in a unique platform. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of the average salary of IBM i developers, it’s clear that their skills are in high demand and their contributions to the IT industry are highly valued and hard to replace. 

Richard Austin

KFA Connect – Director

12th April 2023

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