Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Lead Software Development Engineers receive generous compensation in the United States — earning an average of $101K per year, their standard salaries shoot well into the six-figure range. Cash earnings for Lead Software Development Engineers — including $20K in bonuses and $31K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $75K to $152K depending on individual performance. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the specific employer, followed by the particular city and experience level. Most Lead Software Development Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$73,812 - $139,358
(Median)
$74K
$100K
$140K
MEDIAN: $101,495
10%
50%
90%

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$40.86 - $80.08
(Median)
$41
$65
$80
MEDIAN: $64.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$73,812 - $139,358  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $19,962  
Profit Sharing
$993 - $30,913  
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).
)
$75,008 - $152,235  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,094
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$40.86 - $80.08  
   
Overtime
$1.00 - $84.29  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $19,962  
   
Profit Sharing
$993 - $30,913  
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).
)
$75,008 - $152,235  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 46
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Job Description for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)

A lead software development engineer will lead efforts to create software that fits certain needs within a company. Work may be done for a consulting company that provides software solutions to various companies, or it may be done directly for a company. This software can have various purposes. In any case, the engineer will often try to make the format of the software easier to use for the end user.

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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 $138K per year. Career advancement for the typical Lead Software Development Engineer often leads to becoming a Software Development Manager or a Senior Software Architect; median salaries in these positions are $7K higher and $16K higher, respectively.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Many Lead Software Development Engineers can be found at Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, Wipro Technologies Ltd., and Accenture Technology Solutions, firms that are at the top of the field. Although Amazon.com Inc heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $151K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $98K to $182K.

Relative to other names in the field, compensation is very low at Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp — the median salary comes to just $72K, less than half of the top paying employer's rate.

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 UNIX, C++, C, and Java are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 7 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Internet Information Server, SQL, and ASP.NET. Most people familiar with .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, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $86K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $98K on average. After one to two decades on the job, professionals can reap plentiful salaries that average out to the six-figure sum of $116K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $122K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $106,439

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Surpassing the national average by 33 percent, Lead Software Development Engineers in Redmond receive some of the highest pay in the country. Lead Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+33 percent), Bellevue (+27 percent), San Jose (+24 percent), and New York (+14 percent). In Atlanta, salaries are 14 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Minneapolis (14 percent less) and Dallas (5 percent less).

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Experience Affects Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$106,000



Skills That Affect Lead Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

up arrow 7%

C++
up arrow 5%

Java
up arrow 3%

C
up arrow 3%

JavaScript
up arrow 2%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 2%

Linux
up arrow 2%

HTML
up arrow 1%

National Average
$106,000

.NET
up arrow 3%

Oracle
up arrow 3%

C#
up arrow 4%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 4%

SQL
up arrow 5%

up arrow 5%

Internet Information Server (IIS)
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 209 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
31%
10-19 years
47%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

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