Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Lead Software Development Engineers in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $100K per year on average. In the world of Lead Software Development Engineers, overall income ranges from $74K near the bottom to $149K at the top; this can include more than $19K from bonuses and more than $30K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the particular firm, though geography and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$72,706 - $135,608
(Median)
$73K
$100K
$140K
MEDIAN: $100,207
10%
50%
90%

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$39.05 - $82.19
(Median)
$39
$65
$82
MEDIAN: $65.00
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
$72,706 - $135,608  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $19,138  
Profit Sharing
$595 - $30,000  
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).
)
$73,825 - $149,297  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,105
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 - $82.19  
   
Overtime
$1.30 - $84.40  
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
$0.00 - $19,138  
   
Profit Sharing
$595 - $30,000  
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).
)
$73,825 - $149,297  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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 who transition into a Software Engineering role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $136K per year. A common career progression for a Lead Software Development Engineer is to become a Software Development Manager or a Senior Software Architect. Compared to Lead Software Development Engineers, the first group earns $8K more on average, and the second group earns $17K more.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Lead Software Development Engineers include Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, Wipro Technologies Ltd., and Accenture Technology Solutions. Employees of Amazon.com Inc can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $155K; however, pay is widely dispersed from bottom to top, ranging from $101K to $204K.

Popular Skills for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Survey results imply that Lead Software Development Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in JavaScript, C, C++, and Linux are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 6 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include PL/SQL, ASP.NET, and Oracle. Those proficient in .NET are, more often than not, also skilled 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.


For Lead Software Development Engineers, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $83K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $96K on average. Those with 10 to 20 years of experience under their belts can expect their paychecks to flourish around the six-figure median of $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 $120K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Redmond offers some of the highest pay in the country for Lead Software Development Engineers, 36 percent above the national average. Lead Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+34 percent), San Jose (+29 percent), Boston (+17 percent), and New York (+15 percent). Minneapolis ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 12 percent below the national average. Workers in Atlanta and Chicago earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (11 percent less and 4 percent less, respectively).

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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%

C
up arrow 5%

Linux
up arrow 4%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 3%

Java
up arrow 2%

UNIX
up arrow 2%

HTML
0%

National Average
$104,000

.NET
up arrow 2%

C#
up arrow 3%

SQL
up arrow 3%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 3%

ASP.NET
up arrow 4%

Oracle
up arrow 4%

PL/SQL
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 231 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
7%
5-9 years
33%
10-19 years
46%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 84%
vision benefits Vision: 71% employee benefits None: 6%
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