Software Architect Salary

The three highest-paying cities for Software Architects (San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego) are all in California. Individual bonuses, profit sharing and commission for Software Architects — as high as $22K, $17K and $60K, respectively — each contribute to the degree of variation within overall compensation, ranging from $85K to $169K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the particular firm, followed by geography and experience level. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Software Architects. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$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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For Software Architects, progressing to a Chief Technology Officer role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Chief Technology Officer can earn $147K annually. A Software Architect may also move into a role as a Senior Software Architect or an Applications Software Architect.

Software Architect Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Architect


Many Software Architects can be found at Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel Corporation, International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., Cerner Corporation, and Oracle Corp., firms that are at the top of the field. 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 also offer top salaries for Software Architects. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $148K, $132K, and $130K, respectively.

Workers at Cerner Corporation, General Electric (GE) Healthcare, and Siemens also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $109K, $111K, and $121K respectively.

Popular Skills for Software Architect


Software Architects report using a large range of skills on the job. 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 are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, 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.


Software Architects with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Individuals with fewer than five years of experience earn $95K on average, but those in the five-to-10 year group see a six-figure median of $109K. Software Architects bring in $126K after working for 10 to 20 years. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $139K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $121,608

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

There's tons of opportunity for Software Architects in California, which is home to the top three paying cities in the field. San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego all offer salaries above the national rate. Kansas City is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 14 percent. Phoenix and Atlanta are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 5 percent lower and 1 percent lower, respectively.

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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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