Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary (United States)

Lead Software Development Engineers in the United States can expect to earn a very generous salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $103,897) surpassing six figures annually. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the company, but the particular city and years of experience are influential factors as well. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all workers, and the greater part earn dental coverage. The majority of Lead Software Development Engineers claim high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$71,788 - $129,698
(Median)
72K
85K
99K
120K
130K
MEDIAN: $99,202
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px
Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$39.89 - $82.15
(Median)
40
50
65
74
82
MEDIAN: $64.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$71,788 - $129,698  
   
Bonus
$497.70 - $18,488  
Profit Sharing
$828 - $24,847  
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).
)
$73,226 - $143,046  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,322
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28$56$84
Hourly Rate
$39.89 - $82.15  
   
Overtime
$22.35 - $83.37  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$497.70 - $18,488  
   
Profit Sharing
$828 - $24,847  
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).
)
$73,226 - $143,046  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 58
Is Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) your job title? Get a personalized salary report!
Location:
Years in Field/Career:
Location:
Years in Field/Career:
United States (change)

Job Description for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)

A lead software development engineer (SDE) plays a very important role for a large number of businesses and corporations due to the reliance on computers and technology of this modern age. The qualifications required involve a number of high-level technical skills as well as important character traits associated with being an effective leader. An advanced knowledge of computer programming and familiarity with a multitude of the most widely used computer languages is required. The types of companies that hire for a lead SDE vary in services, product, design and use of the software, so adaptability and flexibility as to the functionality required in the software is a highly useful skill to have.
Read More...
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)

Add this chart to your site:   640px 640px    300px 300px   Copy and paste this HTML:
Lead Software Development Engineers may receive a large increase in pay with career advancement. Those who transition into an upper level Software Engineer and Development Director position may earn an additional $31K per year. Career advancement for Lead Software Development Engineers often leads to becoming Software Development Managers or Senior Software Architects, where they can earn $7,685 or $16,612 more per year.

Lead Software Development Engineer Job Listings

Search for more jobs:
job title / company
location

Popular Employer Salaries for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Lead Software Development Engineers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Amazon.com Inc, where typical salaries come to $152,421, though the large difference in pay between employees at the top ($100K) and those starting out ($177K) creates a rather diverse pay scale.
The smallest paychecks in the field are found at Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, with a median salary of $73,000, less than half of the top paying company's rate. Employees at Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc can also expect below-average earnings of $140,677 and $152,421.

Popular Skills for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Lead Software Development Engineers seem to wield many skills on the job. C++ and JavaScript are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 5 percent and 4 percent respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Internet Information Server (IIS), ASP.NET, and Microsoft SQL Server. Most people familiar with .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.
Lead Software Development Engineers with less experience do not necessarily bring home smaller paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to have little impact on salary. Starting out, salaries fall in the $84K range but grow to $100K after five to 10 years. Earnings jump to six figures after one to decades in the field, and experienced workers make around $112K. After 20 years in the field, Lead Software Development Engineers see their salaries growing more slowly, eventually averaging out to $116K. The largest number of Lead Software Development Engineers have 10 to 20 years of experience, followed by those with one to 10 years. Workers who have been working for more than 20 years are the least common.

Pay Difference By Location

up arrow 30%
San Jose
up arrow 27%
San Francisco
up arrow 23%
New York
up arrow 14%
Los Angeles
up arrow 13%
up arrow 9%
Boston
up arrow 8%
Bellevue
up arrow 6%
Denver
up arrow 4%
Austin
up arrow 4%
National Average
$104,000
Dallas
up arrow 1%
Chicago
up arrow 3%
Houston
up arrow 5%
Atlanta
up arrow 11%
Minneapolis
up arrow 12%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Lead Software Development Engineers, working in the bustling city of Redmond has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Lead Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+27 percent), San Francisco (+23 percent), New York (+14 percent), and Los Angeles (+13 percent). Trailing the national average by 12 percent, Minneapolis is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers in Atlanta and Houston also lean toward paying below-median salaries (-11 percent and -5 percent, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid
Job Title:
Years in Field/Career:
Location:
United States (change)
- OR -

Experience Affects Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

National Average
$104,000

Skills That Affect Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

C++
up arrow 5%
JavaScript
up arrow 4%
Java/J2EE
up arrow 3%
UNIX
up arrow 2%
Linux
up arrow 2%
Java
up arrow 1%
HTML
up arrow 1%
National Average
$104,000
SQL
up arrow 1%
Oracle
up arrow 1%
C#
up arrow 2%
.NET
up arrow 2%
PL/SQL
up arrow 3%
Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 4%
ASP.NET
up arrow 5%
Internet Information Server (IIS)
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 358 votes.

Gender

Female
7%
female alumni
 
Male
93%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
7%
5-9 years
34%
10-19 years
47%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 70% employee benefits None: 7%