Software Architect Salary
A substantial slice of final earnings for Software Architects (roughly a third) arrives through commissions. Median overall income in this area is approximately $125K. Cash earnings for Software Architects — including $24K in bonuses and $20K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $87K to $174K depending on individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the company, though geography and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. Work is enjoyable for Software Architects, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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.Read More...
Software architects must always ensure the cost-efficiency of their software and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their fields. They are often expected to design and implement programs, and then follow-up to debug and ensure the software is functioning well in all aspects. They may also administer training manuals and programs to employees to help them grow accustomed to new software.
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
For Software Architects who go on to become Chief Technology Officers, career progression may result in slightly increased compensation. On average, a Chief Technology Officer earns $148K annually. Software Architects most often move into Senior Software Architect or Applications Software Architect roles. However, the former pays $2K less on average, and the latter pays $15K less.
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 General Electric (GE) Healthcare are all popular places to work. For Software Architects, comfortable salaries can be found at Oracle Corp.; in fact, median earnings sit around $173K, the highest in the area. Software Architects can also look forward to large paychecks at Intel Corporation ($170K), Amazon.com Inc ($143K), and International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. ($132K).
Workers at Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, Cerner Corporation, and General Electric (GE) Healthcare also face smaller salaries than the rest of the field — average earnings for these employers come to $101K, $108K, and $111K respectively.
Popular Skills for Software Architect
Software Architects seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in C++ Programming Language, C++, Java, and Java/J2EE are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 6 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include ASP.NET, ASP.NET Framework, and HTML. Most people skilled in .NET are similarly competent 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 do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Folks with fewer than five years of experience earn around $97K on average, but respondents who have racked up five to 10 years benefit from a six-figure median of $112K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $128K. 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 $145K.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Software Architects that is 48 percent greater than the national average, San Jose offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Software Architects can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Santa Clara (+26 percent), San Francisco (+21 percent), Boston (+14 percent), and Seattle (+14 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Kansas City, 14 percent below the national average. Employers in Chicago and Dallas also lean toward paying below-median salaries (4 percent lower and 2 percent lower, respectively).