Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Compensation for Senior Software Development Engineers in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($106K). Total incomes of Senior Software Development Engineers incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $20K from bonuses and close to $15K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $78K and $152K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geography, though the specific employer and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$76,956 - $139,754
(Median)
$77K
$110K
$140K
MEDIAN: $106,237
10%
50%
90%

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$35.31 - $82.86
(Median)
$35
$54
$83
MEDIAN: $54.00
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$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$76,956 - $139,754  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,011  
Profit Sharing
$982 - $14,544  
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).
)
$78,403 - $151,943  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,349
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$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$35.31 - $82.86  
   
Overtime
$5.30 - $72.27  
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 - $20,011  
   
Profit Sharing
$982 - $14,544  
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).
)
$78,403 - $151,943  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 83
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Job Description for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Senior software development engineers typically develop and upgrade computer operating systems and application software. As experienced members of software development teams, they often perform a lead role in software development projects. Many senior software development engineers work for information technology (IT) companies, developing computer operating system software for computers and computer networks. Other senior software development engineers work for specific software publishers, creating applications for personal, business, and educational users. Across the field, the senior software development engineer's primary task is developing software that provides its users with consistent, high-quality performance.

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Senior 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 Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)


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As Senior 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. As Senior Software Development Engineers progress in their field, many go on to become Lead Software Development Engineers. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and median pay for the role is $103K. Another common career choice for Senior Software Development Engineers is to move into a Software Development Manager role — this promotion usually pays $113K.

Senior Software Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, CSG Systems International Inc, Dell, Inc., and Expedia, Inc. are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Senior Software Development Engineers. Those at Yahoo! Inc. can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $144K. Also paying near the top of the field are Microsoft Corp at $140K, Amazon.com Inc at $133K, and Expedia, Inc., where Senior Software Development Engineers annually earn $121K.

Salaries are easily beat at CSG Systems International Inc, where median pay comes to just $93K, the lowest in the field. What's more, with base pay starting at $87K and ending at $110K, range in salary is rather small. Dell, Inc., Thomson Reuters and Expedia, Inc. are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, showing salaries around $104K, $115K, and $121K.

Popular Skills for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Senior Software Development Engineers report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in C++, Linux, C, and Java/J2EE are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 8 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Microsoft SQL Server, ASP.NET, and Oracle. Those familiar with .NET also tend to know C++.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior 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. The relatively untested earn a median of $98K per year, but survey respondents who have racked up five to 10 years of experience report a six-figure median of $105K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $117K in this role. 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


Sunnyvale offers some of the highest pay in the country for Senior Software Development Engineers, 42 percent above the national average. Senior Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Redmond (+23 percent), San Francisco (+18 percent), Irvine (+17 percent), and San Jose (+17 percent). Falling short of the national average by 19 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Houston. Employers pay around 15 percent less in Atlanta and 8 percent less in Dallas, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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Experience Affects Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$110,000



Skills That Affect Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

C++
up arrow 8%

up arrow 8%

C
up arrow 5%

Java
up arrow 4%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 4%

JavaScript
0%

National Average
$110,000

UNIX
up arrow 1%

C#
up arrow 3%

HTML
up arrow 3%

Ajax
up arrow 3%

SQL
up arrow 4%

up arrow 6%

up arrow 6%

up arrow 8%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 240 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
33%
10-19 years
44%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 82%
vision benefits Vision: 72% employee benefits None: 7%
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