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DevOps Engineer Salary: GCP Guide for 2021

Written By

Chase Bolt

With DevOps engineering being an emerging field, It can be confusing to know what fair compensation looks like especially if you are new to the profession. A ‘fair’ DevOps engineer salary differs from one company to the next. Furthermore, it can difficult to differentiate your role as a DevOps engineer with your colleagues within the development profession. 

In this article, we examine how much a DevOps engineer salary is in the current market, and highlight all you need to know about the profession. 

Table of Contents

What is a DevOps Engineer? 

A DevOps engineer is an IT professional with extensive knowledge of both Development and Operations. They manage a set of processes, tools, and methodologies crucial to balancing needs throughout the software development lifecycle. They are responsible for conducting testing at the earliest in the development cycle, as well as doing maintenance and updates to keep a healthy build environment.

Why are DevOps Engineers so Popular? 

DevOps is gaining popularity because it is giving businesses an agile way to create and improve products, services, and processes, unlike before. The value of DevOps and DevOps engineers to businesses lies in the fact that it bridges the gap between software development and IT operations. 

A Harvard Business Review study targeting businesses implementing DevOps found that;

  • 66% grew their bottom lines 
  • 67% increased productivity 
  • 66% had an increase in innovation
  • 67% got better customer relevance 
  • 64% increased their product quality. 

These findings show the impact DevOps is having on the most critical aspects of doing business. Essentially, the profession is proving crucial to achieving better profit margins, increasing consumer trust, overall company growth. 

What is the Average DevOps Engineer Salary? 

The average DevOps engineer salary in San Francisco is at $161,000/year. Currently, the entry-level DevOps engineer salary is $141,000/year. In contrast, a senior DevOps engineer can take home a salary of up to $257,000/year. Salaries in this field are high due to both the skill set level needed and the growing demand for DevOps engineers.

But, it is important to note that DevOps salaries are affected by a variety of factors. They include:

  • Areas of specialization
  • The employer 
  • Location 
  • Experience 

What does a Google Cloud Platform DevOps Engineer Do? 

In general terms, a DevOps engineer is responsible for writing code that is used with cloud platforms. A Google Cloud Platform (GCP) DevOps Engineer is a professional whose specialty is working with the Google Cloud Platform. GCP is a collection of Google’s total computing power accessible to users as cloud integration services. Essentially, with GCP, you get access to Google’s;

  • Infrastructure 
  • Hard disk drives 
  • Computers 
  • Networks 
  • Raids 

Therefore, a Google Cloud Platform DevOps engineer possesses high-level skills in using GCP, its interface, resources, and technologies to; 

  • Build efficient and reliable software delivery pipelines
  • Monitor services
  • Analyze data
  • Deploy software
  • Manage incidents, and
  • Learn and recover from incidents.

GCP has several similarities to its competitors:  Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s Web Services (AWS). Nonetheless, being a GCP DevOps engineer has some challenges and advantages unique to Google. Essentially, working with Google means working within Google's huge ecosystem. The benefits of this aspect include; 

  • Offers practicality
  • Everything is kept in one account
  • Guarantees top-level security out of the box
  • Comes with many services ready to implement

All this points to the fact that working with GCP guarantees a much smoother development cycle compared to both AWS and Azure.


Furthermore, due to Google's unique technologies, GCP offers impressive analytics and machine learning tools in the form of Google's BigQuery and Dataflow. This allows DevOps engineers to sort, manipulate, and act on large chunks of data in record time.

What's the difference in salary between GCP, AWS, and Azure?

Apart from the Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s Web Services are the other cloud computing platforms you can specialize in as a DevOps Engineer. 

Using Stack Overflow’s salary calculator, the information compiled in the following graph is based on the 50th percentiles of DevOps Engineers with certifications in at least one of the certifications. We are selecting Engineers working in San Francisco, California, with a certificate and a bachelor's degree in a related area.

gcp, aws, azure 2019 annual salary grouped bar chart comparison
Annual Salary Comparison between AWS, GCP, and Azure, 2021 - Source: Stack Overflow

The case of DevOps Engineers for GCP is a little trickier, though compared to Azure and AWS specialists. The previous graph doesn't account for the fact that there's a significant shortage of specialized GCP professionals since many organizations working with GCP actually offer larger salaries to certified engineers. 

Essentially, since 2017, the growing need for GCP-certified DevOps engineers who have passed the bar and have proved themselves capable of managing a crisis, delivering quick deployment, and working with Google's analytical tools while designing and developing software pipeline has made this professional a rare and sought-after person.

Recruiters from small and large organizations are looking for competent GCP DevOps engineers but having difficulty finding qualified personnel. For instance, a GCP DevOps engineer salary in the 50 percentile with a bachelor's degree and no experience starts at $144,000 a year in many companies. In contrast, the entry level salary for an AWS DevOps engineer is $145,000 per year. Azure DevOps engineers, on the other hand, starts at $146,000 per year. 

It's challenging to find skilled DevOps engineers with experience that have in-depth knowledge of GCP, as well as Google's technologies and tools.  This aspect explains why their average income is already higher compared to an AWS DevOps engineer salary.


Years of experience AWS GCP Azure
0 $145,000 $144,000 $146,000
2 $151,000 $150,000 $152,000
4 $158,000 $157,000 $159,000
6 $165,000 $164,000 $166,000
8 $173,000 $171,000 $173,000
10 $180,000 $179,000 $181,000
DevOps Engineer annual salary bar chart based on years of experience
DevOps Annual Salary Growth Based on Role Experience

GCP DevOps engineers looking to succeed in the market must have extensive knowledge of Kubernetes since Google is directly involved in its development. While working with GKE, all features are available, response time will be faster, and support is considerably better. 

This means that the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is always superior, faster, and will support the latest version of Kubernetes. Any company wanting to use Kubernetes in their operations will spend less money and use less time by choosing the Google Cloud Platform.

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