8 Common Job Titles That Use Python Every Day

Quality assurance engineer, machine learning engineer, data scientist, oh my!

Simple fact: Python is one of the world’s most popular programming languages. That means knowing how to use it is an automatic win on any tech resume

But it’s one thing to know what Python is (and why it’s in demand). The next step is to understand the kind of real-world jobs that Python skills can lead to. 

With specific-use coding languages like HTML and JavaScript, it’s pretty cut and dried: you learn JavaScript, you become a JavaScript developer (in most cases). Because Python is a general use language, its jobs are little more all over the place—but that’s not a bad thing. More variation means more options (AND more opportunities to land jobs). But variety can also be confusing. 

The best way to decode Python jobs is to narrow them down based on what kind of work you want to do and what your current experience level is. To help you figure that out, we’ve broken down eight Python-related job titles, their general job focus, what experience level they’re suited for, what non-Python skills are recommended, and each job’s average salary. 

Study this list, and learn what your own Python future might hold in store.

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Entry-Level Python Jobs

Entry-Level Software Developer

If you’re looking to leverage Python skills into an entry-level tech job, entry-level software developer positions are a great place to start. 

While junior front end developer jobs (the kinds of positions that rely on HTML/CSS and JavaScript) often take the form of freelance work for individual clients, software developer jobs traditionally involve working on a development team for a larger tech company. 

Entry-level software developers are junior members of these teams, working under experienced managers to build, test, and iterate versions of a software product. Of course, developing software doesn’t always involve using Python, but Python is a common language used in the software development process. This means Python knowledge and experience is a key piece of the puzzle in landing your first software developer job.

Job Duties Include:

  • Assisting with writing, editing, and maintaining software programs
  • Testing code—running programs (often controlled with Python scripts) to test code for errors
  • Debugging code—analyzing code errors and fixing them
  • Code documentation—tracking version changes and logging errors

Non-Python Skills to Have:

Average Salary: $52,491

Quality Assurance Engineer

Quality Assurance Engineer positions are another ground-level gateway to tech…particularly if you know your way around Python. QA Engineers don’t actually build software, they’re simply responsible for testing it—and that’s why Python is so important for landing one of these jobs. Python’s golden touch for all things automation-related makes it a ubiquitous language in the software testing process. 

Job Duties Include:

  • Creating software test plans and test cases
  • Developing and executing automation scripts using open source tools (like Python)
  • Documenting and tracking software bugs
  • Monitoring debugging process results

Non-Python Skills to Have:

  • SQL
  • JavaScript
  • Understanding of best software testing practices
  • Ability and willingness to stay up to date on testing trends and methodologies

Average Salary: $61,459

Junior Python Developer

Junior Python Developer is one of the more obvious roles on this list. It’s literally an entry-level web developer who specializes in using Python to do things like:

  • build the back end infrastructure of websites and mobile applications
  • connect applications with third party web services
  • integrate a site or app’s back end with its front end technologies.

What differentiates this role from the software developer gig described above? For this job, the focus is entirely on Python and the Python-related aspects of a development project. 

Job Duties Include:

  • Writing reusable, testable, and efficient Python code
  • Integrating a product’s front end/user facing elements with back end/server side infrastructure
  • Implementing website or application security and data protection
  • Integrating website or application data storage solutions 

Non-Python Skills to Have: 

  • Familiarity with Python web frameworks (Django, Flask, Pyramid)
  • Understanding of server-side templating languages (e.g. Jinja 2, Mako, Chameleon)
  • Basic knowledge of front end languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript)
  • Testing and debugging skills

Average Salary: $80,994

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Python Full Stack Developer

Python Full Stack Developer is a role that straddles the line between entry and mid-level. Yes, it’s possible to enter the workforce in a full stack role, but the amount of skills required for full stack generally lends itself better to developers with at least some professional experience.

What is full stack? For a quick refresher, full stack web developers are programmers with a full complement of front end and back end skills. That means, along with knowing how to use Python (and probably languages like SQL and PHP) on the back end, a full stack Python developer is equally at home building front end code with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

Job Duties Include:

  • Developing front end website architecture (using programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript)
  • Developing back end website infrastructure (using programming languages like Python, PHP, and Rails)
  • Creating servers and databases 
  • Designing and developing APIs.

Non-Python Skills Include: 

  • JavaScript
  • React JS
  • Node JS
  • PHP 
  • Ruby on Rails
  • SQL

Average Salary: $109.835

GIS Analyst

One of Python’s most defining characteristics is its broadness of use. Sure, just like other coding languages, Python can serve as an entre to familiar developer roles. But Python can also lead to work in less obvious positions. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a perfect example. 

GIS is a system used by research institutions, environmental scientists, health organizations, land use planners, businesses, and government agencies to capture, store, analyze, and manage spatial or geographic data. This data allows users to do things like create maps, study population groups, model environmental impacts, and improve transportation and housing infrastructures.

Python’s scripting prowess allows GIS users to streamline their data analysis and management by removing redundancies and automating the process. And that’s why the developers of ArcGIS (an industry-standard GIS platform) have fully embraced Python as their language of choice for GIS work. It also means that Python skills are key to landing a job if you’re interested in GIS. GIS analyst is an entry-level position that involves studying and analyzing data collected and stored by GIS systems.

Job Duties Include:

  • Analyzing spatial data through the use of mapping software.
  • Discovering patterns and trends through spatial mapping of data.
  • Designing digital maps with geographic data and other data sources.
  • Developing mapping applications and tools.
  • Managing a digital library of geographic maps in various file types.

Non-Python Skills to Have:

  • Background in Geography, Surveying, Engineering or a related field.
  • SQL
  • Proficiency in front end languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) 
  • Experience with mapping tools such as ArcGIS, QGIS, and Carto.
  • Experience with GPS measuring tools.

Average Salary: $50,000

Mid-to-Senior Level Python Jobs

Senior Python Developer

Coming back the more familiar terrain of developer jobs, we land on Senior Python Developer. This is really just the mid-to-senior-level variant of a junior Python developer. Again, these are back end developers with a focus on Python, but who have 3-5 years of experience on their resume. Senior Python Developers are usually less involved in hands-on scripting and coding, and more likely to be leading a team or project managing. 

Job Duties Include:

  • Building efficient back end features in Python
  • Integrating front end components into applications
  • Managing and overseeing testing and bug fixes
  • Preparing technical documentation of development projects
  • Coaching and managing junior team members

Non-Python Skills to Have:

  • 3-5 years of Python development experience
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Proficiency with fundamental front end languages (HTML, CSS and JavaScript).
  • Familiarity with JavaScript frameworks (React JS, Angular, Vue JS)
  • Proficiency with additional server side languages (Ruby, Java, PHP)
  • Familiarity with database technology (MySQL, Oracle, MongoDB)

Average Salary: $117,822

Data Scientist

Data Scientists are mid-to-senior-level roles responsible for interpreting and extracting meaning from fields of data. It’s a broad title that ranges in specifics, but—generally speaking—data scientists have backgrounds in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or other quantitative fields. They mine a company’s data to find patterns, make predictions, and inform a product’s course based on what they learn from their audience and from consumers at large. 

Because of Python’s ability to automate and analyze data fields, it’s become the premier programming language used in the data science profession—in other words, you probably don’t have much of a shot of working in data science without knowing how to use Python. If you’re trying to find a way to combine Python skills with a background or interest in math or science, this is the field for you.

Job Duties Include:

  • Mining and analyzing data from company databases
  • Assessing the effectiveness and accuracy of data sources and data gathering techniques
  • Developing custom data models and algorithms to apply to data fields
  • Using predictive modeling to increase and optimize customer experiences, revenue generation, ad targeting and other business outcomes 
  • Developing processes and tools to monitor and analyze model performance and data accuracy

Non-Python Skills to Have:

  • Experience with data science toolkits (R, Weka, NumPy, MatLab
  • Experience with data visualisation tools (D3.js, GGplot)
  • Proficiency in using query languages (SQL, Hive, Pig)
  • Experience with NoSQL databases (MongoDB, Cassandra, HBase)
  • Good applied statistics skills (distributions, statistical testing, regression)

Average Salary: $121,031

Machine Learning Engineer: $141,029

Machine Learning Engineer is another mid-to-senior level, hard science-based Python role. ML  Engineers develop machines, software programs, and other computer systems capable of “learning” and applying learned knowledge without specific instructions. That’s right: artificial intelligence. But it’s not science fiction—this is the real kind of work people can do with Python, since Python’s ability to handle algorithms and data automation make it a natural programming tool for machine learning.

ML engineering is considerably less penetrable than some of the other Python roles covered here—ML Engineers often have deep mathematical and computer science backgrounds that can include college degrees, but it’s important to see the scope of jobs Python is capable of unlocking. 

Job Duties Include:

  • Understanding computer science fundamentals (data structures, algorithms, computability and complexity)
  • Performing advanced computations and working with algorithms
  • Collaborating with data scientists to build data models
  • Building algorithms based on statistical modelling procedures 
  • Applying machine learning algorithms and libraries

Non-Python Skills to Have:

  • Understanding of data structures, data modeling and software architecture
  • Deep knowledge of math, probability, statistics ,and algorithms
  • Ability to write extensive code in Java and R (in addition to Python)
  • Familiarity with machine learning frameworks (like Keras or PyTorch) and libraries (like scikit-learn)
  • BS in Computer Science, Mathematics or similar field; Master’s degree is a plus

Average Salary: $141,029

How to Learn Python Skills and Find Python Jobs

How to Learn Python

Now that you have a sense of common Python jobs, how do you go about actually learning Python skills? 

The first thing you need to do is check out our complete guide on How to Learn Python. But in the meantime, you can get your feet wet with the extensive, free tutorials available from the Python Foundation’s official website. 

And when you’re ready to get really serious, you can enroll in a paid, instructor-led class like our Skillcrush Python Course. This online course is launching in October, and will teach you everything you need to know to start working with Python.

How to Find Python Jobs

And once you have those Python skills and you’re ready to look for Python jobs? That part’s easy. Here’s a list of go-to sources for Python job listings:

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Scott Morris

Scott Morris is Skillcrush's staff writer and content producer. Like all the members of Skillcrush's team, he works remotely (in his case from Napa, CA). He believes that content that's worth reading (and that your audience can find!) creates brands that people follow. He's experienced writing on topics including jobs and technology, digital marketing, career pivots, gender equity, parenting, and popular culture. Before starting his career as a writer and content marketer, he spent 10 years as a full-time parent to his daughters Veronica and Athena.