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Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

On average, Lead Software Development Engineers in the United States earn six-figure salaries ($100K) annually, making for a very well-paid profession. In the world of Lead Software Development Engineers, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $19K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $25K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $73K and $148K. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the particular firm, followed by geography and tenure. Most Lead Software Development Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$72,277 - $134,558
(Median)
$72K
$100K
$130K
MEDIAN: $100,254
10%
50%
90%

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$39.16 - $82.09
(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
$72,277 - $134,558  
   
Bonus
$-0.41 - $19,210  
Profit Sharing
$594 - $24,793  
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).
)
$73,482 - $148,163  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,128
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
$39.16 - $82.09  
   
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
$-0.41 - $19,210  
   
Profit Sharing
$594 - $24,793  
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).
)
$73,482 - $148,163  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 50

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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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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 $136K on average per year. 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)


Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, Wipro Technologies Ltd., and Accenture Technology Solutions are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Lead Software Development Engineers. Although Amazon.com Inc boasts the highest average salary in town at $155K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $101K or as much as $204K.

Popular Skills for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Lead Software Development Engineers seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in JavaScript, C, C++, 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, ASP.NET, and Microsoft SQL Server. Most people 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.


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. Salaries for inexperienced workers average out to $97K, and those with five to 10 years' experience earn a higher median of $83K. Experienced professionals — those with 10 to 20 years in the field — see salaries in the six-figure territory, securing around $114K on average. 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 $120K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Lead Software Development Engineers, busy Redmond offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 36 percent above the national average. Lead Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+33 percent), San Francisco (+33 percent), Boston (+17 percent), and New York (+16 percent). Minneapolis ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 12 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Atlanta and Houston (7 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

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%

C++
up arrow 5%

Linux
up arrow 4%

Java
up arrow 3%

UNIX
up arrow 3%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 2%

HTML
0%

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%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 251 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
33%
10-19 years
45%
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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