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 ($107,280) per year. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by residency, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Almost all employees enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage in this occupation. Vision coverage is also available to most. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took 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  
PayScale
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  
PayScale
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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Though it's uncommon, some Senior Software Development Engineers move into roles as Senior Software Architects, bringing in an extra $13,230 per year. More often than not, a Lead Software Development Engineer role is the next step for Senior Software Development Engineers moving up in the field, a transition which actually results in a $4,186 pay cut. Many Senior Software Development Engineers choose to take on a Software Development Manager role instead, where salaries typically go up by $4,302.

Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) 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. Yahoo! Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $143,693.
Senior Software Development Engineers will find the worst pay at CSG Systems International Inc, where the median salary crawls in at $96,930. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $110K, leaving little room for growth. Other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include Dell, Inc. ($102,928) and Expedia, Inc. ($117,645).

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 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 pay less than market rate include Internet Information Server (IIS), 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.
For many Senior Software Development Engineers, experience and pay seem to be weakly connected; experience does not necessarily lead to more money. Compensation exceeds six figures—$101K—after five to 10 years, a solid increase from typical starting salaries of $100K. After spending one to two decades on the job, pay usually hovers around $113K. As Senior Software Development Engineers reach 20 years on the job, salary increases slow down a bit, averaging $119K. The largest number of Senior Software Development Engineers have 10 to 20 years of experience, followed by those with one to 10 years. Workers who have been working for more than 20 years are the least common.

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, working in the bustling city of Sunnyvale has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Those in search of high salaries should also consider checking out cities like Redmond, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Jose, top-paying markets where Senior Software Development Engineers rake in more than the national norm (+23 percent, +20 percent, +19 percent, and +15 percent). Trailing the national average by 10 percent, Chicago is the market with the smallest paychecks. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Atlanta (-9 percent) and Dallas (-3 percent).

Related Job Salaries

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%
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