Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary (United States)

Compensation for Senior Software Development Engineers in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($107,280). Total cash compensation runs from $73,778 to $135,105, depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $19,907 and profit sharing that reaches $10,696. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by geography, but the specific employer and tenure are influential factors as well. Most Senior Software Development Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. 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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While somewhat out of the ordinary, it is still possible for Senior Software Development Engineers to assume a position such as a Senior Software Architect, which pays an extra $13,230 per year. Senior Software Development Engineers go on to become Lead Software Development Engineers more often than anything else despite lower paychecks (-$4,186). Senior Software Development Engineers can find higher salaries (+$4,302) when they move into a Software Development Manager role, another well-traveled path for those in this field.

Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Job Listings

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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 all popular places to work. For Senior Software Development Engineers, comfortable salaries can be found at Yahoo! Inc.; in fact, typical earnings are around $143,693, the highest in the area.
Employees at CSG Systems International Inc take home the smallest paychecks, and $96,930 is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $88K and quickly nearing the top at only $110K. Dell, Inc. and Expedia, Inc. are other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($102,928 and $117,645, respectively).

Popular Skills for Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Senior Software Development Engineers report using a deep pool 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. At the other end of the pay range are skills like 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.
Senior Software Development Engineers with less experience do not necessarily bring home smaller paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to have little impact on salary. At career start, salaries are typically $100K, which quickly surpasses six figures to $101K after five to 10 years. After 10 to 20 years, compensation comes in at $113K. Senior Software Development Engineers who stay in the field for several decades see their salaries grow less quickly after 20 years, with incomes eventually hovering around $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, Sunnyvale provides a pay rate that is 36 percent greater than the national average. Redmond, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Jose also offer top salaries for Senior Software Development Engineers. Workers in these cities can expect to earn about 23 percent, 20 percent, 19 percent, and 15 percent more, respectively. In Chicago, salaries are 10 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers in Atlanta and Dallas also lean toward paying below-median salaries (-9 percent and -3 percent, respectively).

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

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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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