Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Average pay for Lead Software Development Engineers in the United States is more than reasonable, with annual salaries pushing past the six-figure mark ($101K). Cash earnings for Lead Software Development Engineers — which occasionally include more than $20K from bonuses and more than $31K from profit sharing — stretch from around $75K to approximately $152K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the company, though geography and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Most Lead Software Development Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$73,812 - $139,358
(Median)
$74K
$100K
$140K
MEDIAN: $101,495
10%
50%
90%

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$40.86 - $80.08
(Median)
$41
$65
$80
MEDIAN: $64.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$73,812 - $139,358  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $19,962  
Profit Sharing
$993 - $30,913  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$75,008 - $152,235  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,094
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$40.86 - $80.08  
   
Overtime
$1.00 - $84.29  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $19,962  
   
Profit Sharing
$993 - $30,913  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$75,008 - $152,235  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 46
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Job Description for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)

A lead software development engineer will lead efforts to create software that fits certain needs within a company. Work may be done for a consulting company that provides software solutions to various companies, or it may be done directly for a company. This software can have various purposes. In any case, the engineer will often try to make the format of the software easier to use for the end user.

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Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Tasks

  • Write, modify, and debug software for web sites.
  • Test and document software for client applications.
  • Use source debuggers and visual development environments.
  • Test and document software for web sites.
  • Work with with designers and content producers.

Common Career Paths for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


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At the upper end, Lead Software Development Engineers who move into a Software Engineering role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Software Engineering Directors is a much higher $138K per year. Lead Software Development Engineers typically move into roles as Software Development Managers or Senior Software Architects, and those positions pay $7K more and $16K more, respectively.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Dominating the field, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, Wipro Technologies Ltd., and Accenture Technology Solutions are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Lead Software Development Engineers. Although Amazon.com Inc leads the field in pay with a median salary of $151K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $98K on the low end all the way up to $182K at the top.

Pay for Lead Software Development Engineers is the lowest at Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, which has a median salary of $72K. In addition, there's little room to grow there, with salaries maxing out at $98K.

Popular Skills for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Lead Software Development Engineers seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in UNIX, C++, C, and Java are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 7 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Internet Information Server, SQL, and ASP.NET. Most people who know .NET also know ASP.NET and Java.

Pay by Experience Level for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Salaries for inexperienced workers average out to $98K, and those with five to 10 years' experience earn a higher median of $86K. Experienced professionals — those with 10 to 20 years in the field — see salaries in the six-figure territory, securing around $116K on average. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $122K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $106,439

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Lead Software Development Engineers will find that Redmond offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 33 percent. Lead Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+33 percent), Bellevue (+27 percent), San Jose (+24 percent), and New York (+14 percent). Trailing the national average by 14 percent, Atlanta is the market with the smallest paychecks. Workers in Minneapolis and Dallas earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (14 percent less and 5 percent less, respectively).

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Experience Affects Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$106,000



Skills That Affect Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

up arrow 7%

C++
up arrow 5%

Java
up arrow 3%

C
up arrow 3%

JavaScript
up arrow 2%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 2%

Linux
up arrow 2%

HTML
up arrow 1%

National Average
$106,000

.NET
up arrow 3%

Oracle
up arrow 3%

C#
up arrow 4%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 4%

SQL
up arrow 5%

up arrow 5%

Internet Information Server (IIS)
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 209 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
31%
10-19 years
47%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 92%
dental benefits
Dental: 84%
medical benefits
Vision: 72%
dental benefits
None: 6%
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