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Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Senior Software Development Engineers in the United States can expect to earn a very generous salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $108K) surpassing six figures annually. In the world of Senior Software Development Engineers, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $20K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $14K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $77K and $150K. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is geography, followed by the specific employer and tenure. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
$75,070 - $136,455
(Median)
$75K
$100K
$140K
MEDIAN: $103,058
10%
50%
90%

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$38.61 - $85.00
(Median)
$39
$54
$85
MEDIAN: $53.00
10%
50%
90%

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Show Annual Salary Show Hourly Rate
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
$75,070 - $136,455  
   
Bonus
$17.44 - $19,955  
Profit Sharing
$1,014 - $14,414  
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).
)
$76,857 - $149,647  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,330
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$29$58$87
Hourly Rate
$38.61 - $85.00  
   
Overtime
$5.30 - $73.25  
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
$17.44 - $19,955  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,014 - $14,414  
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).
)
$76,857 - $149,647  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 79
United States (change)

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 median income is $121K per year. The most common career progression for Senior Software Development Engineers leads to becoming a Lead Software Development Engineer, where pay is typically $103K. However, many Senior Software Development Engineers also opt to become Software Development Managers, a position that pays $112K on average.

Senior Software Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Senior Software Development Engineers fill the offices of leading firms Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, CSG Systems International Inc, Dell, Inc., and Expedia, Inc. Yahoo! Inc. offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $144K. Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, and Expedia, Inc. also offer top salaries for Senior Software Development Engineers. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $136K, $131K, and $119K, respectively.

Senior Software Development Engineers will find the worst pay at CSG Systems International Inc, where the median salary crawls in at $97K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $108K, leaving little room for growth. 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 $119K respectively.

Popular Skills for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Senior Software Development Engineers seem to exploit 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 between 5 percent and 11 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Internet Information Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and ASP.NET. 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.


For Senior Software Development Engineers, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Whereas the median salary for inexperienced employees is approximately $102K, incomes in the five-to-10 year group are significantly higher, averaging to the comfortable six-figure sum of $95K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Senior Software Development Engineers make a median salary of $114K. Senior Software Development Engineers who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $120K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Senior Software Development Engineers, working in the bustling city of Sunnyvale has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Senior Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Santa Clara (+23 percent), Redmond (+23 percent), San Francisco (+18 percent), and San Jose (+15 percent). The lowest-paying market is Houston, which sits 24 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Two other places where employers salaries are below the median are Chicago and Atlanta (10 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$108,000



Skills That Affect Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

up arrow 11%

C++
up arrow 8%

C
up arrow 5%

Java
up arrow 3%

Java/J2EE
0%

National Average
$108,000

C#
up arrow 1%

UNIX
up arrow 1%

JavaScript
up arrow 2%

.NET
up arrow 4%

SQL
up arrow 4%

Oracle
up arrow 4%

up arrow 8%

up arrow 9%



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 310 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
46%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 83%
vision benefits Vision: 71% employee benefits None: 6%