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Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

On average, Senior Software Development Engineers in the United States earn six-figure salaries ($106K) annually, making for a very well-paid profession. Total cash earnings of Senior Software Development Engineers range from $78K on the low end to $151K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $20K and $15K, respectively. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geography, followed by the specific employer and years of experience. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$76,360 - $139,327
(Median)
$76K
$110K
$140K
MEDIAN: $105,826
10%
50%
90%

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$38.84 - $83.33
(Median)
$39
$55
$83
MEDIAN: $54.00
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
$76,360 - $139,327  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $19,988  
Profit Sharing
$986 - $14,795  
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).
)
$77,894 - $151,430  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,362
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
$38.84 - $83.33  
   
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
$0.00 - $19,988  
   
Profit Sharing
$986 - $14,795  
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).
)
$77,894 - $151,430  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 82
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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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For Senior Software Development Engineers, progressing to a Software Engineering role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Software Engineering can earn $136K annually. Given that the median pay is $103K, it may be surprising to find that a Lead Software Development Engineer is the most common role for Senior Software Development Engineers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Software Development Manager role — which pays $113K — is also typical for Senior Software Development Engineers, though less common by comparison.

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, Dell, Inc., and Expedia, Inc. are top-notch employers for Senior Software Development Engineers in this area. Yahoo! Inc. attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $144K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, and Expedia, Inc., where Senior Software Development Engineers typically earn around $139K, $133K, or $121K, respectively.

Senior Software Development Engineers will find the worst pay at CSG Systems International Inc, where the median salary crawls in at $95K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $110K, leaving little room for growth. 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)


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 6 percent and 8 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft SQL Server, ASP.NET, and Oracle. It is often found that people who know .NET are also skilled in 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. Professionals with less than five years' experience earn a median of $97K annually, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts report a weighty six-figure median of $104K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $117K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $122K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


Senior Software Development Engineers will find that Sunnyvale offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 42 percent. Senior Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Redmond (+23 percent), San Francisco (+18 percent), Irvine (+17 percent), and San Jose (+15 percent). Houston is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 19 percent. Employers pay around 15 percent less in Atlanta and 8 percent less in Dallas, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$110,000



Skills That Affect Senior Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

C++
up arrow 8%

up arrow 8%

C
up arrow 6%

Java
up arrow 4%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 3%

National Average
$110,000

JavaScript
up arrow 1%

UNIX
up arrow 1%

C#
up arrow 3%

HTML
up arrow 4%

Ajax
up arrow 4%

up arrow 5%

SQL
up arrow 5%

up arrow 6%

up arrow 8%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 254 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: 72% employee benefits None: 7%
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