Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary
Senior Software Development Engineers in the United States see excellent average salaries — about $114K annually. Total cash compensation to Senior Software Development Engineers bottoms out near $82K and approaches $161K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $21K from bonuses and almost $39K from profit sharing. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is location, though the specific employer and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Most Senior Software Development Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. Most enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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.Read More...
Those hoping to become senior software development engineers need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or mathematics, as the position demands expertise in those disciplines. Many employers prefer individuals with master’s degrees for senior positions; for higher-level positions in particular, extensive experience in software development typically is required. Senior software development engineers need to have expert-level knowledge of different computer languages, computer logic, and skill in developing and expanding flow charts. Familiarity with software design methods - as well as writing, editing, and debugging computer programs - is a must. Programming language knowledge is also a essential, as is deep technical knowledge of computer operating systems. Employers also may require senior software development engineers have expertise in a specific computer operating system. Given the specificity of their field, they also must have expertise in software development tools and the ability to function within the time-sensitive constraints of the development cycle.
Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Tasks
- Write, modify, and debug software for server applications.
- Write code to create multi-threaded, networked server applications.
- Use source debuggers, program dumps, and performance monitoring tools.
- Test and document software for server applications.
- Write, modify, and debug software for client applications.
Common Career Paths for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)
Although some Senior Software Development Engineers become Software Engineering, this progression is not the norm. However, the latter position does pay a little more at $139K. Senior Software Development Engineers most often move into Lead Software Development Engineer or Software Development Manager roles. However, the former pays $15K less on average, and the latter pays $3K less.
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 Amazon.com Inc, CSG Systems International Inc, Microsoft Corp, Expedia, Inc., and Yahoo! Inc. Senior Software Development Engineers flock to Amazon.com Inc for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $152K lead the pack in compensation; however, Amazon.com Inc also provides employees with a wide spectrum of compensation ranging from $111K at one end to $207K at the other end. Senior Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks at Microsoft Corp ($148K), Yahoo! Inc. ($144K), and Expedia, Inc. ($121K).
CSG Systems International Inc doles out the lowest salaries in town — median pay is $92K — not to mention workers can only make as much as $111K and scope of pay is rather limited. Also approaching the lower end are Dell, Inc. at $109K, Thomson Reuters at $115K, and Expedia, Inc. at $121K.
Popular Skills for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)
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, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $97K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $110K. Senior Software Development Engineers see a median salary of $123K after reaching one to two decades on the job. 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 $127K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Senior Software Development Engineers, busy Sunnyvale offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 35 percent above the national average. Senior Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Redmond (+21 percent), New York (+21 percent), Bellevue (+20 percent), and Seattle (+11 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Senior Software Development Engineers in Bloomfield earning a whopping 24 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Miami (22 percent lower) and San Diego (7 percent lower).
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