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Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salary

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Software Design Engineers earn an average of $84K annually. 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 $14K from bonuses and $29K from profit sharing. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Software Design Engineers. Nearly all receive medical and dental insurance and a strong majority get vision insurance. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$59,509 - $120,061
(Median)
$60K
$84K
$120K
MEDIAN: $83,673
10%
50%
90%

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$20.27 - $59.18
(Median)
$20
$46
$59
MEDIAN: $46.00
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
$59,509 - $120,061  
   
Bonus
$50.00 - $14,000  
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).
)
$59,702 - $130,873  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 159
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
$20.27 - $59.18  
   
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
$50.00 - $14,000  
   
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).
)
$59,702 - $130,873  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 11

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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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Software Design Engineers' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Senior Software Development Engineer. The average Senior Software Development Engineer brings home $106K per year.

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Popular Skills for Software Design Engineer (SDE)


Software Design Engineers generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Most notably, skills in .NET, C, ASP.NET, and C# are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 8 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include C++ 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.


Although employees with less than five years' experience earn around $76K on average, the five-to-10 year group has a much higher, six-figure median of $102K. Software Design Engineers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $110K. People who have worked for 20 years or more actually report earning less than people who are in the middle of their careers; the veterans take home a mere $103K by contrast.

Pay Difference by Location


Redmond offers some of the highest pay in the country for Software Design Engineers, 35 percent above the national average. Software Design Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+19 percent).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salaries


Late-Career
up arrow 19%


National Average
$87,000


Skills That Affect Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salaries

.NET
up arrow 8%

C
up arrow 5%

ASP.NET
up arrow 4%

C#
up arrow 2%

National Average
$87,000

SQL
up arrow 2%

Java
up arrow 3%

C++
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 43 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
29%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 95% dental benefits Dental: 91%
vision benefits Vision: 75% employee benefits None: 3%