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Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salary

Software Design Engineers in the United States take home an average $84K annually. Total cash compensation for Software Design Engineers runs from $60K to $129K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $13K and profit sharing that can reach almost $29K. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. The majority of individuals in this role claim moderate levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$59,635 - $118,557
(Median)
$60K
$84K
$120K
MEDIAN: $83,502
10%
50%
90%

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$19.39 - $58.76
(Median)
$19
$46
$59
MEDIAN: $45.00
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$59,635 - $118,557  
   
Bonus
$400.00 - $12,522  
Profit Sharing
$204.26 - $29,361  
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).
)
$59,604 - $128,773  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 186
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$19.39 - $58.76  
   
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$400.00 - $12,522  
   
Profit Sharing
$204.26 - $29,361  
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).
)
$59,604 - $128,773  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 15
United States (change)

Job Description for Software Design Engineer (SDE)

A software design engineer (SDE) is a key member of a software development company. He or she helps identify problems and figures out how to create programs that will automate or ease those situations. Typically, the design engineer will look at existing processes and then work to design or refine software to increase the efficiency or ulity of users. This can involve creating a new product or iterating on existing software products to improve them.

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Software Design Engineer (SDE) Tasks

  • Write code to create single-threaded or user interface event driven applications, either stand-alone and those which access servers or services.
  • Use source debuggers and visual development environments.
  • Test and document software for client applications.
  • Write, modify, and debug software for client applications.

Common Career Paths for Software Design Engineer (SDE)


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Software Design Engineers who go on to become Senior Software Development Engineers may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Senior Software Development Engineers is $105K annually.

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Popular Skills for Software Design Engineer (SDE)


Survey results show that Software Design Engineers use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in ASP.NET, .NET, C#, and C are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 7 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Java and C++. Most people familiar with .NET also know SQL. Most people who know C# also know C++ and SQL.

Pay by Experience Level for Software Design Engineer (SDE)

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


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $77K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $100K. Software Design Engineers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $105K. Survey participants with more than twenty years of experience only make around $103K on average, though; this group reports a lower median than the one claimed by mid-career individuals.

Pay Difference by Location


For Software Design Engineers, busy Redmond offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 17 percent above the national average. Software Design Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+16 percent).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 21%

Late-Career
up arrow 19%


National Average
$87,000


Skills That Affect Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salaries

.NET
up arrow 7%

ASP.NET
up arrow 7%

C#
up arrow 6%

C
up arrow 5%

National Average
$87,000

SQL
up arrow 2%

C++
up arrow 6%

Java
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 49 votes.

Gender

Female
10 %
Male
90 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 95% dental benefits Dental: 87%
vision benefits Vision: 72% employee benefits None: 4%