I would like to start out by saying, I love my current job. The work is interesting, the hours are good, my coworkers are great, my manager is intelligent and competent, and my pay is good. This question is about long term career, not trying to find a new job or increase pay in the near-term.
How would a software engineer/architect, whom had a natural knack for the job and tended to be significantly more productive (by productive, I mean creating a working and valuable product from the company's perspective) than the average person in their field go about monetizing that productivity in the job market?
When someone hires you, they are taking a certain risk. It can be very difficult to judge a hire's value before they've worked in the company over the course of several months. This can mean that being very productive, does not necessarily translate directly into a higher paycheck. It is also difficult to objectively measure a developer's value, contrasted to sales, where you look at the money the salesman brings in. In a consultancy, you can often make extra money, even as a developer, by increasing your billable hours, but this is not the same thing as being payed for your productivity.
Are their any particularly technically challenging industries/subjects to work in where the pay is commiserate?
In the long term, what can an engineer do to leverage their ability to create software to make more money?