Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salary

A sizeable majority of Software Design Engineers in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $84K per year. Overall cash earnings for Software Design Engineers stretch from $60K on the lower end to $131K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $15K from bonuses and $30K from profit sharing. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Almost all receive medical and dental insurance and a fair number get vision plans. Most workers in this position report moderate levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$59,394 - $120,849
(Median)
$59K
$84K
$120K
MEDIAN: $84,159
10%
50%
90%

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$20.13 - $59.60
(Median)
$20
$48
$60
MEDIAN: $47.00
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
$59,394 - $120,849  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,649  
Profit Sharing
$201.34 - $29,799  
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).
)
$59,546 - $131,183  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 146
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
$20.13 - $59.60  
   
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
$0.00 - $14,649  
   
Profit Sharing
$201.34 - $29,799  
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).
)
$59,546 - $131,183  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 10
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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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While Software Design Engineers do not often become Senior Software Development Engineers, the job pays $106K per year on average.

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Popular Skills for Software Design Engineer (SDE)


Software Design Engineers seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, skills in .NET, C#, C, and ASP.NET are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 14 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like C++, Embedded / Real-Time / RTOS, and Java. Those proficient in .NET are, more often than not, also skilled in SQL.

Pay by Experience Level for Software Design Engineer (SDE)

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


Individuals with fewer than five years of experience earn $74K on average, but those in the five-to-10 year group see a six-figure median of $102K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $112K. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $103K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Software Design Engineers, working in the bustling city of Redmond has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Software Design Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+21 percent).

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Experience Affects Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salaries


Late-Career
up arrow 18%


National Average
$87,000


Skills That Affect Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salaries

.NET
up arrow 14%

C#
up arrow 5%

C
up arrow 5%

ASP.NET
up arrow 3%

SQL
0%

National Average
$87,000

Java
up arrow 5%

Embedded / Real-Time / RTOS
up arrow 6%

C++
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 37 votes.

Gender

Female
10 %
Male
90 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 94% dental benefits Dental: 91%
vision benefits Vision: 78% employee benefits None: 4%
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