Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Salaries for Lead Software Development Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($100K) per year. Total cash compensation for Lead Software Development Engineers runs from $73K to $147K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $19K and profit sharing that can reach almost $25K. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the company, but geography and experience level are influential factors as well. Most Lead Software Development Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$72,074 - $133,633
(Median)
$72K
$100K
$130K
MEDIAN: $100,113
10%
50%
90%

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$39.05 - $82.01
(Median)
$39
$65
$82
MEDIAN: $64.00
10%
50%
90%

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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
$72,074 - $133,633  
   
Bonus
$289.06 - $19,165  
Profit Sharing
$596 - $24,688  
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).
)
$73,260 - $146,934  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,144
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$29$58$87
Hourly Rate
$39.05 - $82.01  
   
Overtime
$11.75 - $84.18  
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
$289.06 - $19,165  
   
Profit Sharing
$596 - $24,688  
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).
)
$73,260 - $146,934  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 49

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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.

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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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Lead Software Development Engineers may progress into high-paying roles like Software Engineering, where median compensation is $136K annually. A common career progression for a Lead Software Development Engineer is to become a Software Development Manager or a Software Architect. Compared to Lead Software Development Engineers, the first group earns $8K more on average, and the second group earns $5K more.

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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 the median salary comes to $155K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($101K) and those starting out ($204K) creates a rather diverse pay scale.

Popular Skills for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Survey results imply that Lead Software Development Engineers deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in C++, JavaScript, UNIX, and Linux are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 6 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include PL/SQL, Internet Information Server, and ASP.NET. Those educated in .NET tend to be well versed in 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.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $83K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $97K. Between 10 and 20 years, pay surpasses six figures; at this stage, the average professional scores around $114K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $119K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Lead Software Development Engineers will find that Redmond offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 36 percent. Lead Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+32 percent), San Jose (+30 percent), Boston (+17 percent), and New York (+15 percent). With compensation 12 percent below the national average, Minneapolis is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Atlanta (11 percent less) and Chicago (4 percent less).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$104,000



Skills That Affect Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

C++
up arrow 6%

up arrow 5%


up arrow 5%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 3%

Java
up arrow 2%

HTML
up arrow 1%

National Average
$104,000

SQL
up arrow 2%

.NET
up arrow 2%

C#
up arrow 3%

Oracle
up arrow 3%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 4%

up arrow 5%

PL/SQL
up arrow 7%

Internet Information Server (IIS)
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 261 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
33%
10-19 years
46%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

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