Generous salaries abound for Lead Software Development Engineers in the United States, with average pay above six figures ($102K) per year. Cash earnings for Lead Software Development Engineers — including $24K in bonuses and $15K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $76K to $154K depending on individual performance. While geography and experience level impact pay for this group, the company is the most influential factor. Most Lead Software Development Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$74,798 - $142,929
(Median)
$75K
$100K
$140K
MEDIAN: $102,075
10%
50%
90%

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$30.20 - $84.43
(Median)
$30
$61
$84
MEDIAN: $61.00
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
$74,798 - $142,929  
   
Bonus
$1,825 - $24,258  
Profit Sharing
$503 - $15,319  
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).
)
$75,944 - $154,096  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 509
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
$30.20 - $84.43  
   
Overtime
$47.50  
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
$1,825 - $24,258  
   
Profit Sharing
$503 - $15,319  
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).
)
$75,944 - $154,096  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 20
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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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As Lead Software Development Engineers transition into upper-level roles such as Software Engineering, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Software Engineering Directors earn $138K on average per year. The most common next step for a Lead Software Development Engineer is to become a Software Development Manager or a Software Architect. The former position pays an additional $7K per year on average, and the latter position pays $4K more per year.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Lead Software Development Engineers include Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Wipro Technologies Ltd., Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, and Accenture Technology Solutions. Although Amazon.com Inc boasts the highest average salary in town at $152K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $89K or as much as $196K.

Popular Skills for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Survey takers working as Lead Software Development Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Java/J2EE, C++ Programming Language, Java, and C++ are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 9 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include SQL, ASP.NET Framework, and Microsoft SQL Server. The majority of those 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.


Lead Software Development Engineers with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $88K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $96K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $117K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $127K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $107,909

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

For Lead Software Development Engineers, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 33 percent above the national average. Lead Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Redmond (+31 percent), Seattle (+25 percent), Bellevue (+23 percent), and New York (+22 percent). Falling short of the national average by 17 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Atlanta. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Minneapolis (15 percent lower) and Philadelphia (10 percent lower).

Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Reviews

What is it like working as a Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) at Accenture Technology Solutions?

Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) in Denver:
"Not satisfied with Work Environment."
Pros: Work Flexibility, Office Conditions, Professional, System, Company Stability.
Cons: Stress, Long hours, Management, Work Environment.

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Experience Affects Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$108,000



Skills That Affect Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



up arrow 8%

C++
up arrow 3%

C
up arrow 2%

JavaScript
0%

National Average
$108,000

Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
up arrow 3%

C#
up arrow 5%

up arrow 5%

up arrow 5%

up arrow 7%




SQL
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 75 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
48%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 80%
medical benefits
Vision: 73%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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