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Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Senior Software Development Engineers in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $105K per year on average. Final cash compensation to Senior Software Development Engineers varies from around $78K to approximately $151K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $20K and $12K, respectively. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geography, though the company and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$76,644 - $138,809
(Median)
$77K
$110K
$140K
MEDIAN: $105,226
10%
50%
90%

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$38.67 - $84.43
(Median)
$39
$54
$84
MEDIAN: $53.00
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
$76,644 - $138,809  
   
Bonus
$3.19 - $19,934  
Profit Sharing
$1,002 - $12,329  
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).
)
$78,249 - $150,690  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,364
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
$38.67 - $84.43  
   
Overtime
$5.21 - $73.45  
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
$3.19 - $19,934  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,002 - $12,329  
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).
)
$78,249 - $150,690  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 80

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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, where they can earn incomes averaing out to a slightly higher $121K per year. The most common promotion for Senior Software Development Engineers is a Lead Software Development Engineer position, which usually brings in $103K a year. Another standard transition for Senior Software Development Engineers seeking advancement is to assume a Software Development Manager role, where pay is often $112K.

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, Expedia, Inc., and Dell, Inc. are all popular places to work. Those at Yahoo! Inc. can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $144K. Soaring salaries can also be found at Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, and Expedia, Inc., where earnings of $138K, $131K, or $121K are standard for Senior Software Development Engineers.

Not only do salaries lack room to grow — pay ranges from $88K to just $109K — but CSG Systems International Inc offers the lowest pay in town to boot, with a median paycheck of $98K. Workers at Dell, Inc., Thomson Reuters, and Expedia, Inc. also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $103K, $115K, and $121K respectively.

Popular Skills for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Linux, C++, C, and Java are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 9 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft SQL Server, ASP.NET, and HTML. The majority of those who know .NET also 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.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Although inexperienced employees take home approximately $96K, those who have five to 10 years under their belts benefit from a six-figure median of $104K. Senior Software Development Engineers see a median salary of $116K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $122K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Senior Software Development Engineers in Sunnyvale enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 43 percent above the national average. Senior Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Redmond (+23 percent), Santa Clara (+21 percent), San Francisco (+18 percent), and San Jose (+16 percent). The lowest-paying market is Houston, which sits 19 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Atlanta (12 percent less) and Dallas (6 percent less).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$110,000



Skills That Affect Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

C++
up arrow 9%

up arrow 9%

C
up arrow 6%

Java
up arrow 4%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 2%

UNIX
up arrow 1%

National Average
$110,000

JavaScript
up arrow 1%

C#
up arrow 2%

SQL
up arrow 4%

Ajax
up arrow 4%

up arrow 5%

up arrow 6%

up arrow 6%

up arrow 8%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 273 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
6%
5-9 years
33%
10-19 years
45%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 82%
vision benefits Vision: 71% employee benefits None: 7%