Software Architect Salary

Home to the three top-paying cities for Software Architects in the United States (San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego), California dominates the job market for the field. With bonuses occasionally running north of $22K, profit sharing proceeds sometimes surpassing $18K, and a few commissions as high as $60K, total income for Software Architects can range between $83K and $165K according to individual performance. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the specific employer, followed by geography and experience level. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Most Software Architects report high levels of job satisfaction.

$80,550 - $148,292
(Median)
$81K
$110K
$150K
MEDIAN: $113,351
10%
50%
90%

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$35.35 - $102.01
(Median)
$35
$74
$100
MEDIAN: $74.00
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
$80,550 - $148,292  
   
Bonus
$968 - $21,787  
Profit Sharing
$988 - $17,541  
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).
)
$82,757 - $165,450  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,585
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$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$35.35 - $102.01  
   
Overtime
$17.45 - $84.49  
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$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$968 - $21,787  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $59,598  
Profit Sharing
$988 - $17,541  
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).
)
$82,757 - $165,450  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 150
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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' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Chief Technology Officer. The average Chief Technology Officer brings home $146K per year. With an annual salary of $121K, Senior Software Architect is the most common role for Software Architects to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into an Applications Software Architect role — which usually pays $108K — is also typical for Software Architects, though less common by comparison.

Software Architect Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Architect


Dominating the field, Hewlett-Packard Company, International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., Intel Corporation, Oracle Corp., and General Electric (GE) Healthcare are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Software Architects. Although Intel Corporation boasts the highest average salary in town at $160K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $109K or as much as $204K. Software Architects will also find cushy salaries at Oracle Corp. (+$138K), International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. (+$132K), and Hewlett-Packard Company (+$129K).

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include General Electric (GE) Healthcare at $111K, Siemens at $121K, and General Motors Corporation, where $123K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Software Architect


Software Architects seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in C, C++, Java/J2EE, and Software Architecture are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 8 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include ASP.NET, SQL, and HTML. For most people, competency in .NET indicates knowledge of Software Architecture.

Pay by Experience Level for Software Architect

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


For many Software Architects, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. In this occupation, salaries for the relatively untested average out to $88K, but folks in the five-to-10 year range enjoy a much heftier median of $106K. Software Architects bring in $124K after working for 10 to 20 years. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $136K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Software Architects in San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego — all located in California — not only make more than the national average for those in this profession but represent the highest-paid cities in the country for Software Architects. Kansas City is the lowest-paying area, 19 percent south of the national average.

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Experience Affects Software Architect Salaries



National Average
$120,000



Skills That Affect Software Architect Salaries

C++
up arrow 8%

C
up arrow 8%



Linux
up arrow 4%

UNIX
up arrow 3%

Oracle
up arrow 2%

Java
up arrow 1%

National Average
$120,000

JavaScript
up arrow 1%

C#
up arrow 3%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 3%

up arrow 5%

SQL
up arrow 6%

up arrow 6%

up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 472 votes.

Gender

Female
5 %
Male
95 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
58%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 80%
vision benefits Vision: 67% employee benefits None: 7%
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