Your Guide to Landing the Best Paying Tech Jobs in South Dakota

As one of the country‘s hottest rising stars for technology salaries and careers, South Dakota commands attention. With average wages for IT occupations soaring 16% higher than the national median, the Mount Rushmore State offers phenomenal pay potential.

And thanks to substantial tech investments by leading South Dakota employers, more high-value openings emerge every year.

This guide will showcase the most lucrative IT roles currently available. We‘ll look in-depth at five jobs paying over $118,000 annually, the skills and education you need, plus insider tips for leaping into South Dakota‘s flourishing tech sector.

By the Numbers: The Vibrant Landscape for Technology Careers in SD

Fueled by expansion in industries like finance, energy, healthcare and agriculture – South Dakota built a sturdy foundation for technology jobs over the past decade. Highlights of the state‘s thriving tech sector include:

  • 16,300 tech workers filling roles across cybersecurity, software development, data science, and other IT occupations
  • $1.7 billion in total annual wages paid within the industry
  • 22 new tech business startups launched in 2021
  • 9th highest average salaries for technology positions among all 50 states
  • 3,000+ open tech job listings recently available

The numbers speak for themselves. Companies great and small hunger for skilled technical talent to drive strategy, deliver client solutions, and safeguard their data assets.

So whether you desire to base your technology career in bustling epicenters like Sioux Falls, or smaller vibrant college towns like Brookings, Watertown and Vermillion – South Dakota checks every box.

Let‘s drill down now into today‘s five hottest high-paying IT roles fueling South Dakota‘s tech economic engine:

IT Systems Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $118,481

The most in-demand tech pro in South Dakota today remains the systems engineer – the expert who architects and operates vast infrastructure powering modern business.

You will live on the bleeding edge, evaluating endless emerging technologies while strategizing large-scale improvements for your company‘s tech backbone. Expect to master servers, data centers, cloud platforms and operating systems enabling applications, security and productivity tools leveraging by thousands of employees.

With so many mission-critical services dependent on smooth systems functionality, you will also lead incident response during outages or cyber attacks. Savvy troubleshooting skills coupled with commanding technical knowledge equip systems engineers to isolate root causes and rapidly restore services.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Design and optimize network, server, storage and virtualization architectures
  • Proactively identify infrastructure risks – propose innovations to bolster reliability and efficiency
  • Develop expertise across hardware, operating systems, and software to effectively complete complex integration projects and technology upgrades
  • Monitor system health KPIs – usage, performance – to inform upgrades and capacity planning
  • Lead teams to execute disaster recovery and business continuity procedures

Key Skills & Competencies:

  • Expert-level experience with Windows or Linux server operating systems
  • Extensive infrastructure technology knowledge – networking, SAN, NAS, hybrid cloud
  • Virtualization platform expertise – VMware, Hyper-V, Nutanix
  • Superior analytical and problem-solving abilities
  • Project management and vendor management skills

Education & Certifications

  • Bachelor‘s degree in IT, Computer Science or Computer Engineering
  • 5+ years direct experience as a Systems Administrator or IT Infrastructure Manager
  • Relevant certifications: MCSE, VCP, CCNA, ITIL, CompTIA A+

IT Systems Lead

Average Annual Salary: $147,491

The technology workforce needs leaders – professionals who can effectively organize teams, processes and complex technical projects required to transform major operations.

As an IT Systems Lead in South Dakota, you will coordinate critical infrastructure initiatives while juggling hands-on system administration to install, upgrade and support enterprise hardware and software essential for core functions.

Vast end user populations will rely on the technologies you select, procure, integrate and maintain for accessing business applications, communicating across the company, and getting their jobs done each day.

With accountability for maximizing systems uptime and performance, leaders must master both managerial and technical competencies spanning networks, servers, operating systems, and security protocols.

When major outages inevitably occur, technology leaders spring into action – driving communication strategies to inform stakeholders while marshalling technical teams to implement fixes that restore vital applications rapidly.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Oversee multi-year roadmaps for infrastructure and application upgrade initiatives
  • Lead cross-functional IT teams coordinating major migration and technology refresh projects
  • Develop trusted advisor relationships with business executives and vendors
  • Mentor and motivate staff while promoting collaboration between groups
  • Maintain hands-on system administration skills to install servers, troubleshoot complex issues

Key Skills & Competencies:

  • Infrastructure technology expertise – on-premise, cloud, hybrid environments
  • Network architecture knowledge across LAN/WAN protocols and load balancing
  • Superior stakeholder engagement and presentation abilities
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Strong business acumen and technology vision

Education & Certifications

  • Bachelor‘s degree in Information Technology, Computer Science or related discipline
  • At least 8 years overall experience in infrastructure support and engineering
  • Relevant certifications such as CCNP, MCSE, ITIL Managing Professional, CISSP

IT Support Team Lead

Average Annual Salary: $155,128

South Dakota employers seek proven IT professionals to spearhead client support teams ensuring responsive, accurate technical guidance enabling thousands of staff stay efficient and productive.

As leader of these frontline IT support squads providing computer and assistance for internal customers your responsibilities span:

  • Optimizing ticket assignment, escalation workflows and knowledge sharing to accelerate issue resolution
  • Analyzing support metrics to identify process bottlenecks – then guiding enhancements
  • Coordinating test cycles for operating system patches and application upgrades
  • Delivering monthly service reports and recommendations to senior management
  • Hiring and onboarding new help desk technicians and providing ongoing training plus support to amplify their success

You will be both manager and mentor for large groups relied upon daily by enterprise employees, external clients or key constituencies. Expert-level troubleshooting skills allow you to resolve more complex problems, while coaching team members to handle standard technical inquiries independently.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Provide first-tier support for the most complex user issues – lead troubleshooting efforts across networks, devices and applications
  • Monitor ticket queues organization-wide to promote prompt responses and expedite resolution
  • Develop staff schedule optimizing coverage for peak demand periods
  • Analyze support interactions to devise job aids and FAQs improving service quality and consistency

Key Skills & Competencies

  • 5+ years working in high-volume corporate IT support environments
  • Well-rounded technical expertise with Microsoft and Apple devices, iOS/Android mobility
  • Experience supporting ERP/CRM platforms like and SAP
  • Strong client management abilities fostering positive interactions
  • Excellent team building qualities able to rally and inspire

Education & Certifications

  • Associate’s or bachelor‘s degree in information technology field
  • Relevant certifications like ITIL, HDI Support Center Team Lead (HDI-SCT), Microsoft 365 Fundamentals (MS-900)

IT Support Lead

Average Annual Salary: $160,346

Every week South Dakota‘s largest employers receive thousands of calls, emails and chat session from employees requesting technical support spanning devices, software, applications, AV/Video systems and more.

Coordinating prompt, accurate responses for this high velocity demand channel is the domain of IT Support Leads. You will manage the frontline helpdesk workforce – providing direction, optimizing workflows and serving as primary escalation tier when lower-level staff get stuck addressing issues.

With deep familiarity of the organization‘s most critical apps empowering finance teams, sales squads, clinicians and other groups, support leads directly interface with VIP users to promote productivity. You‘ll run ongoing training plus mentorship to amplify helpdesk team capabilities and customer satisfaction ratings.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Triage high severity end user requests – conduct complex troubleshooting across various devices, operating systems and enterprise applications
  • Coordinate incident response procedures during major outage events impacting workforce users
  • Develop playbooks and job aids codifying standard operating procedures to assist staff
  • Provide Tier 1 orientation plus ongoing mentorship for recently onboarded IT support technicians
  • Gather user feedback evaluating quality of tech support interactions – identify areas for workflow enhancements

Key Skills & Competencies:

  • Well-rounded technical support expertise with cloud services, mobility systems and modern hardware
  • Superior customer service, written/verbal communications and relationship-building abilities
  • In-depth experience with Windows, MacOS and Linux desktop operating systems
  • Project management talents preparing plans, materials and budget estimates
  • Excellent leadership qualities able to inspire, motivate and develop team members

Education & Certifications

  • Associate‘s or bachelor‘s degree in IT, computer science or related area
  • 5+ years direct user support experience within enterprise IT environments
  • IT certifications like CompTIA A+, Customer Service Institute Certified Support Professional (CSCP)

Director of IT Applications

Average Annual Salary: $202,852

The technology leaders charting South Dakota‘s business future require visionary experts who can execute dynamic development initiatives propelling innovation for years ahead.

These initiatives rely on custom applications, backoffice systems modernization, mobility platforms, advanced analytics and other complex solutions requiring substantial investments of time and money to conceptualize, build, test and launch.

As Director of IT Applications you will be accountable for these mission-critical undertakings from blueprint through rollout and beyond – coordinating large-scale projects introducing new technologies adopted by thousands fulfilling strategic plans.

You‘ll interface extensively with executives and stakeholders while marshaling resources across software engineering, quality assurance, IT infrastructure support and business units. Masterful program management skills allow Directors to deliver objectives on time and budget by guiding unified teams skillfully toward milestones.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Establish trusted advisor relationships with company leadership to understand key initiatives and objectives
  • Perform evaluations and risk assessments for existing systems – compile reports identifying upgrade options
  • Construct persuasive proposals for replacing legacy platforms with secure modern apps and infrastructure
  • Engage contractors and oversee offshore development resources based on technology/skillset needs
  • Present regular milestone reports to keep stakeholders updated and ensure alignment

Key Skills & Competencies:

  • Overall accountability for design through deployment of business software applications
  • Expertise leading Agile software development initiatives utilizing Scrum/Kanban
  • Deep technical knowledge around IT systems integration and solution architecture
  • Strong financial management skills with history managing seven-figure development/IT budgets
  • Excellent executive presence and communication talents

Education & Certifications

  • Bachelor‘s degree required, Master‘s preferred in Management Information Systems or Technology Management
  • At least 10 years IT project/program management experience including application development
  • Relevant IT certifications – PMP, CSM, ITIL, CPTE

How to Get Hired for Lucrative Tech Jobs in South Dakota

Beyond competitive salaries, South Dakota tempts technology talent with low cost of living, pristine outdoor recreation and welcoming Midwest sensibilities.

Landing a supremely paid IT leadership role does require proper preparation tailored to expectations of employers in banking, agriculture, energy and other stalwart state industries.

Here are insider tips to fast track your candidacy amid tight competition for the best tech openings across the Mount Rushmore State:

Educational Investment Pays Off

While extensive pedigree requirements are uncommon for junior infrastructure support roles, South Dakota companies absolutely emphasize degrees for more advanced positions.

Recruiters actively target graduates holding four-year IT and computer science programs when sourcing Systems Engineers, Application Architects, Security Analysts and other specialty occupations.

Certifications directly applicable to the position remain tremendously valuable as well. Displaying technical and managerial credentials like PMP, CISSP, CCNA or AWS Solution Architect Associate on your resume conveys vital skills.

Ongoing learning matters too – highlight seminars plus training programs focused on emerging technologies that you undertake to showcase commitment staying current.

Master the Art of Networking

Attending technology community meetups and conferences allows invaluable access to peers plus IT decision-makers who may lack awareness regarding your track record and capabilities initially.

With a small market size, word-of-mouth referrals go far in South Dakota. Get involved with local IT leadership groups, connect through LinkedIn with key hiring managers and identify contract work opportunities to demonstrate abilities while expanding professional networks.

Consider Location and Employment Sectors

Most high-value IT roles concentrate around the state‘s largest cities like Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen and Watertown – allowing proximity for client meetings and collaboration.

However secondary population centers still host major institutions along with regional IT staff for national corporations that present solid openings too.

Across sectors, heavy technology investment in banking, manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture and hospitality translate into the greatest abundance of lead IT positions like Cybersecurity Director, Infrastructure Architect and Application Development Manager.

Master the Interview Process

Clinching lucrative senior offers means thoroughly preparing stories demonstrating essential non-technical qualities that inspire the confidence of interview panels.

Expect probing questions assessing communication skills, leadership traits, creative thinking, adaptability and especially your problem-solving instincts when confronted with high-pressure technology crises.

Discussing lessons learned managing large incidents or system outages make an impression regarding the resilience and poise expected steering major IT initiatives day-to-day.

South Dakota‘s surging demand for top-tier talent to architect infrastructure expansions, securely manage data, and craft innovative solutions cements a bright tomorrow for skilled technology leaders ready to realize their career ambitions and earnings potential.

With some of the country‘s most competitive salaries on offer here for sought-after IT experts across practically every industry, the Mount Rushmore State beckons.

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled