Renewed interest in the crypto sector and the exploding DeFi scene have created a skills gap in blockchain recruitment, with more high-level jobs on the market than can be filled. For those with any degree of familiarity with blockchain, this is good news: there’s a strong chance that that expertise and experience can be leveraged to gain a pay rise or start a promising new career.
What kinds of cryptocurrency jobs are out there?
Even the briefest of searches on LinkedIn and other recruitment sites will show a vast number of opportunities in the blockchain space. Developers are particularly in demand, unsurprisingly; it can take a long time to become proficient in the most sought-after technologies, and the increase in interest has pulled all the available talent off the market. Companies are now reduced to trying to poach candidates from competitors by offering more money and better perks.
But the growth of the sector means there are jobs across the full spectrum of roles – marketing, communications, admin, HR, legal, social media, business development, and just about anything else a fintech company needs.
Can you work for Bitcoin?
One of the attractions of a job in the blockchain space is the opportunity to work for crypto. Some jobs will pay directly in crypto. This is particularly common for less formal roles, and for DeFi companies that hire employees from around the world. Payment may take the form of bitcoin, stablecoins, or other major cryptos. There are many platforms enable customers to connect with freelancers, organise brief tasks, and pay in the crypto of their choice.
In other cases, DeFi companies will offer a time-related or performance-related bonus, paid in the native token of the initiative (e.g. in governance tokens). Regular salaries will again typically be paid in BTC, ETH, or stablecoins.
Lastly, you can go down the do-it-yourself route, if you are being paid in fiat (which is increasingly common in the industry), setting aside a proportion of your monthly pay to make recurring purchases on an exchange like Coinbase, or use a scheme like Australia’s Get Paid In Bitcoin.
Top 10 highest-paying cryptocurrency jobs
The range of pay for crypto jobs varies considerably, depending on the role, responsibilities, and your experience. Nonetheless, even entry level blockchain jobs can offer a significantly higher salary than comparable jobs in other sectors.
- Blockchain developer: $80,000–$175,000
Building applications and other solutions using blockchain can encompass many skills and come in many forms, from the backend devs who deal with the software’s actual interaction with the blockchain to the frontend devs who build the web interfaces customers use to access the app’s functionality. Even junior roles can expect a solid payday, but for senior developers, you can be looking at a decent six-figure sum – plus bonuses.
- Smart contract engineer: $100,000–$250,000
A special case of blockchain developers, smart contract engineers use languages like Ethereum’s Solidity to build decentralised software including trustless DeFi applications. The stakes are very high, since mistakes can be extremely costly when millions or even billions of dollars are locked in the protocols they create. That’s why the salaries for top devs can be a quarter of a million USD or even more, plus additional incentives.
- Blockchain data scientist: up to $175,000
The blockchain offers a wealth of data, but it’s not easy to understand in its raw form. Data scientists build tools to gather and interpret this information to provide actionable and valuable business insights, as well as applications like tracking provenance or tracing specific transaction flows.
- Blockchain quality engineer: up to $120,000
It’s vital that blockchain systems work exactly as intended, without any unusual edge cases or faults that could put data and money at risk. Quality engineers test systems with a wide range of automated and manual tools to ensure they work precisely as intended. You’ll need a keen grasp of front-end and back-end development, as well as the workings of the underlying blockchain, to do that job properly.
- Marketing manager: up to $200,000
There’s a lot of money on the line when it comes to blockchain. It’s not enough to have a great project and top devs: you also need people to know about it. Marketing in all its many forms gets the word out and ultimately leads to new users – and without effective marketing, even the best tech is likely dead in the water. That’s why the top marketing roles can earn almost as much as the top dev jobs.
- Content manager: up to $150,000
Content strategy is an enormously important element of marketing. A senior content manager will develop the project’s strategy from start to finish, building a list of compelling topics and a content schedule, and ensuring all content is optimised for SEO to gain maximum traffic. Since this is a major funnel for conversions and a job that requires considerable expertise, the salary can be well into six figures.
- Blockchain compliance officer: up to $100,000
With authorities taking more and more notice of the crypto space and clear regulatory frameworks being introduced, any major blockchain company will likely need to consider this aspect of their business. The compliance officer will ensure the company keeps up-to-date with all necessary regulation, enabling the business to maintain best practice and continue operating legally.
- Community manager: up to $50,000
Crypto and DeFi projects rely on their communities for success, since these groups include investors, users, developers, businesses, governance participants, and more. Keeping all the different stakeholders informed, engaged and civil, enabling the core team to get on with what they need to do, isn’t always an easy job – but it is a critically important one.
- Blockchain project manager: $60,000 to $140,000
Any blockchain project will need to match the work of the development team to the needs of the business. It’s easy for execs and devs to misunderstand each other, and for one or other group to become disappointed or frustrated because they’re coming from very different starting points. That’s why a good project manager is critical: they act as a ‘translator’ and ensure everyone is on the same page and on track to deliver what’s needed.
- Crypto trader: $0 to $1,000,000+
For some people, crypto trading is a full-time job. There are formal positions with trading firms, which will teach you the skills you need to trade successfully, and will often take promising candidates out of university. Salaries can be in the region of $60,000 for these entry-level jobs. But if you really know what you’re doing, going it alone can be far more profitable. If you’re truly successful, then there is practically no limit to what you might earn. Of course, the risks of serious losses are correspondingly high too.