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 $107K) surpassing six figures annually. With some bonuses approaching $20K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $13K, overall incomes of Senior Software Development Engineers spread between $79K and $152K depending on individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geographic location, though the company and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$77,269 - $140,034

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$38.78 - $83.84

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$77,269 - $140,034  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,051  
Profit Sharing
$980 - $13,018  
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).
)
$78,793 - $152,132  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,340
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$38.78 - $83.84  
   
Overtime
$5.21 - $72.72  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,051  
   
Profit Sharing
$980 - $13,018  
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).
)
$78,793 - $152,132  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 81
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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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Senior Software Development Engineers may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Software Engineering. The latter position pays an average of $136K annually. 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 $113K on average.

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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 among the top companies that take on many Senior Software Development Engineers. Senior Software Development Engineers flock to Yahoo! Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $144K lead the pack in compensation. Soaring salaries can also be found at Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, and Expedia, Inc., where earnings of $140K, $133K, or $121K are standard for Senior Software Development Engineers.

CSG Systems International Inc offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $92K. There's also little variation in pay at the company, with pay ranging from $87K to $111K. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Dell, Inc. at $104K, Thomson Reuters at $115K, and Expedia, Inc., where $121K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in C++, Linux, Java, and Java/J2EE are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 8 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft SQL Server, ASP.NET, and Oracle. Most people familiar with .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.


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 $98K, incomes in the five-to-10 year group are significantly higher, averaging to the comfortable six-figure sum of $106K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $118K. Senior Software Development Engineers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $122K.

Pay Difference by Location


Sunnyvale is home to an above-average pay rate for Senior Software Development Engineers, 44 percent higher than the national average. Senior Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Redmond (+22 percent), San Francisco (+18 percent), San Jose (+16 percent), and Bellevue (+15 percent). Houston is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 20 percent. Atlanta and Dallas are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 15 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively.

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Experience Affects Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$111,000



Skills That Affect Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

C++
up arrow 8%

up arrow 7%

up arrow 5%

C
up arrow 4%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 4%

National Average
$111,000

JavaScript
up arrow 1%

UNIX
up arrow 2%

C#
up arrow 3%

HTML
up arrow 3%

Ajax
up arrow 3%

SQL
up arrow 4%

up arrow 5%

up arrow 6%

up arrow 8%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 224 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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