Software Architect Salary

Demand for Software Architects runs highest in California; the three top-paying cities in the United States are San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego. Cash earnings for Software Architects — including $22K in bonuses and $17K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $85K to $169K depending on individual performance. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the particular firm, followed by geography and tenure. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$82,731 - $151,365
(Median)
$83K
$120K
$150K
MEDIAN: $116,131
10%
50%
90%

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$32.07 - $103.25
(Median)
$32
$72
$100
MEDIAN: $71.00
10%
50%
90%

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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
$82,731 - $151,365  
   
Bonus
$982 - $22,350  
Profit Sharing
$1,000 - $16,916  
Commission
$0.00 - $59,598  
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).
)
$84,750 - $168,867  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,799
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$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$32.07 - $103.25  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $97.59  
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$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$982 - $22,350  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $59,598  
Profit Sharing
$1,000 - $16,916  
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).
)
$84,750 - $168,867  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 164
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Job Description for Software Architect

Software architects create customized software solutions such as web services, user interfaces, coding programs, and databases, and they are employed primarily by large corporations and agencies which create software for other companies. These architects must always strive to create efficient and satisfactory software solutions for end-users, and they are often responsible for creating standard coding practices and programs for other software designers within their companies.

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Software Architect Tasks

  • Conceive, experiment with, and present architectural approaches for software applications, including web, client, server, and others.
  • Ensure architectural integrity and consistency across the entire product.
  • Design new software applications.
  • Design new operating system components.
  • Conceive, experiment with, and present architectural approaches for operating system components.

Common Career Paths for Software Architect


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Software Architects who transition into a Chief Technology Officer role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $147K per year. A Senior Software Architect or an Applications Software Architect is a typical transition from a Software Architect role.

Software Architect Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Architect


Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel Corporation, International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., Cerner Corporation, and Oracle Corp. are among the top companies that take on many Software Architects. Intel Corporation does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $162K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $110K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $199K. Oracle Corp., International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., and Hewlett-Packard Company are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Software Architects earning around $148K, $132K, or $130K at each firm, respectively.

Cerner Corporation, General Electric (GE) Healthcare, and Siemens are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($109K, $111K, and $121K respectively).

Popular Skills for Software Architect


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in C++, C, Java/J2EE, and Linux are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 8 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include ASP.NET, HTML, and .NET. Those proficient in .NET are, more often than not, also skilled in Software Architecture.

Pay by Experience Level for Software Architect

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Software Architects, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Folks with fewer than five years of experience earn around $95K on average, but respondents who have racked up five to 10 years benefit from a six-figure median of $109K. Software Architects who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $126K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $139K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $121,608

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Software Architects in San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego — the highest-paid cities for Software Architects in California and the United States — enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle with compensation above the national average. The smallest paychecks in the market, 14 percent south of the national average, can be found in Kansas City. Employers in Phoenix and Atlanta also lean toward paying below-median salaries (5 percent lower and 1 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Software Architect Salaries



National Average
$122,000



Skills That Affect Software Architect Salaries

C++
up arrow 8%

C
up arrow 7%

Java/J2EE
up arrow 4%

Linux
up arrow 4%

Software Architecture
up arrow 3%

Oracle
up arrow 3%

Java
up arrow 2%

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
up arrow 2%

National Average
$122,000

JavaScript
up arrow 2%

C#
up arrow 3%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 3%

.NET
up arrow 4%

SQL
up arrow 4%

up arrow 5%

up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 449 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
57%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 92%
dental benefits
Dental: 80%
medical benefits
Vision: 69%
dental benefits
None: 7%
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