Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Lead Software Development Engineers in the United States see excellent average salaries — about $100K annually. Total cash compensation to Lead Software Development Engineers approaches anywhere from $74K on the lower end to $149K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $19K from bonuses and upwards of $30K from profit sharing. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the company, though the particular city and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. Work is enjoyable for Lead Software Development Engineers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$72,965 - $135,644
(Median)
$73K
$100K
$140K
MEDIAN: $100,360
10%
50%
90%

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$39.97 - $82.19
(Median)
$40
$66
$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
$72,965 - $135,644  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $19,207  
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).
)
$74,120 - $149,467  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,112
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
$39.97 - $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 - $19,207  
   
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).
)
$74,120 - $149,467  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 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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For Lead Software Development Engineers, progressing to a Software Engineering role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Software Engineering can earn $136K annually. The most common next step for a Lead Software Development Engineer is to become a Software Development Manager or a Senior Software Architect. The former position pays an additional $8K per year on average, and the latter position pays $17K more per year.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Lead Software Development Engineers fill the offices of leading firms Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, Wipro Technologies Ltd., and Accenture Technology Solutions. The biggest paychecks can be found at Amazon.com Inc — the median salary there is $155K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $101K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $204K.

Popular Skills for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Lead Software Development Engineers seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in JavaScript, C, C++, and UNIX are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 6 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like PL/SQL, ASP.NET, and Oracle. Those familiar with .NET also tend to 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. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $83K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $97K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $114K. Lead Software Development Engineers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $120K.

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 will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+34 percent), San Jose (+28 percent), Boston (+16 percent), and New York (+14 percent). Minneapolis is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 12 percent. Atlanta and Chicago are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 12 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively.

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Experience Affects Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$105,000



Skills That Affect Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries


C++
up arrow 4%

Linux
up arrow 4%

UNIX
up arrow 4%

C
up arrow 4%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 3%

Java
up arrow 2%

HTML
0%

National Average
$105,000

.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 6%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 230 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: 7%
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