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Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary (United States)

Salaries for Senior Software Development Engineers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($107K) per year. Total incomes of Senior Software Development Engineers incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $20K from bonuses and close to $11K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $76K and $147K. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is residence, followed by the specific employer and years of experience. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all employees, and a solid majority earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction for Senior Software Development Engineers is high. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary (?
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.
)
$73,778 - $135,105
(Median)
74K
89K
100K
120K
140K
MEDIAN: $102,834
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary (?
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.
)
$36.14 - $77.03
(Median)
36
45
52
64
77
MEDIAN: $51.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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
$73,778 - $135,105  
   
Bonus
$18.03 - $19,907  
Profit Sharing
$997 - $10,696  
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).
)
$75,649 - $147,477  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,310
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$26$52$78
Hourly Rate
$36.14 - $77.03  
   
Overtime
$19.87 - $72.12  
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
$18.03 - $19,907  
   
Profit Sharing
$997 - $10,696  
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).
)
$75,649 - $147,477  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 78
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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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While somewhat out of the ordinary, it is still possible for Senior Software Development Engineers to assume a position such as a Senior Software Architect, which usually pays $121K per year. Senior Software Development Engineers go on to become Lead Software Development Engineers more often than anything even though typical pay for the role is $103K. Senior Software Development Engineers who move into a Software Development Manager role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $112K.

Senior Software Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Senior Software Development Engineers include Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, CSG Systems International Inc, Dell, Inc., and Expedia, Inc. Senior Software Development Engineers flock to Yahoo! Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $144K lead the pack in compensation.
Employees at CSG Systems International Inc take home the smallest paychecks, and $97K is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $87K and quickly nearing the top at only $110K. Workers at Dell, Inc. and Expedia, Inc. also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $103K and $118K, respectively.

Popular Skills for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Survey results imply that Senior Software Development Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Linux, C++, C, and Java are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 11 percent, 8 percent, 6 percent, and 6 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Internet Information Server , Microsoft SQL Server, and HTML. For most people, competency in .NET indicates knowledge of 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. Individuals with fewer than five years of experience earn $92K on average, but those in the five-to-10 year group see a six-figure median of $101K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $113K in this role. Senior Software Development Engineers who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $119K on average. The majority of Senior Software Development Engineers have only 10 to 20 years of practice in the field. Workers with one to 10 years make up the second biggest group followed by those with more than 20 years under their belt.

Pay Difference By Location

Sunnyvale
up arrow 36%
up arrow 23%
Santa Clara
up arrow 19%
up arrow 15%
up arrow 14%
up arrow 13%
Mountain View
up arrow 7%
New York
up arrow 4%
San Diego
up arrow 2%
Boston
up arrow 1%
National Average
$107,000
Austin
up arrow 3%
Dallas
up arrow 3%
Atlanta
up arrow 9%
Chicago
up arrow 10%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Senior Software Development Engineers, busy Sunnyvale offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 36 percent above the national average. Other urban areas shelling out big bucks include Redmond, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Jose, where Senior Software Development Engineers typically earn around 23 percent, 20 percent, 19 percent, and 15 percent more than usual. In Chicago, salaries are 10 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers in Atlanta and Dallas also lean toward paying below-median salaries (9 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

National Average
$107,000

Skills That Affect Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

up arrow 11%
C++
up arrow 8%
C
up arrow 6%
Java
up arrow 2%
C#
0%
National Average
$107,000
UNIX
up arrow 2%
JavaScript
up arrow 2%
Java/J2EE
up arrow 3%
.NET
up arrow 4%
SQL
up arrow 4%
up arrow 5%
up arrow 8%
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 318 votes.

Gender

Female
8%
female alumni
 
Male
92%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
32%
10-19 years
46%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 71% employee benefits None: 6%