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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. 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. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the specific employer, followed by the particular city and experience level. Most Lead Software Development Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$72,261 - $134,369
(Median)
$72K
$100K
$130K
MEDIAN: $100,200
10%
50%
90%

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$39.16 - $81.90
(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
$72,261 - $134,369  
   
Bonus
$-0.41 - $19,184  
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).
)
$73,443 - $147,692  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,133
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 - $81.90  
   
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 - $19,184  
   
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).
)
$73,443 - $147,692  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 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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Lead Software Development Engineers may progress into high-paying roles like Software Engineering, where median compensation is $136K annually. Lead Software Development Engineers moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Software Development Managers or Senior Software Architects. The median paychecks in those roles are $8K higher and $17K higher, respectively.

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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 leaders in the field that employ a large number of Lead Software Development Engineers. Amazon.com Inc pays the most with a median salary of $155K, though with a large amount of variation, going from a low of $101K to a high of $204K.

Popular Skills for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Lead Software Development Engineers report using a large range of skills on the job. 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 are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include PL/SQL, ASP.NET, and Microsoft SQL Server. It is often found that people who know .NET are 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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Lead Software Development Engineers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $83K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $96K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $114K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $119K.

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 will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+32 percent), San Jose (+30 percent), Boston (+17 percent), and New York (+15 percent). Minneapolis is the lowest-paying area, 12 percent south of the national average. Employers pay around 11 percent less in Atlanta and 3 percent less in Houston, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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%

UNIX
up arrow 3%

Java
up arrow 2%

Java/J2EE
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%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 254 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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