Men make up the majority of Software Design Engineers in the United States, bringing in about $81K annually. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Work is enjoyable for Software Design Engineers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$62,758 - $124,675
$63K
$81K
$120K
MEDIAN: $80,548
10%
50%
90%

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$23.55 - $64.75
$24
$40
$65
MEDIAN: $40
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$62,758 - $124,675  
   
Bonus
$1,932 - $21,365  
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).
)
$59,686 - $139,440  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 62
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$23.55 - $64.75  
   
Overtime
$36.00  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$1,932 - $21,365  
   
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).
)
$59,686 - $139,440  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 11

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United States (change)

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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

  • Test and document software for client applications.
  • Write, modify, and debug software for client applications.
  • 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.

Common Career Paths for Software Design Engineer (SDE)


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Software Design Engineers may progress into high-paying roles like Senior Software Engineer, where median compensation is $108K annually.

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Popular Skills for Software Design Engineer (SDE)


Survey results suggest that Software Design Engineers use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, facility with C#, .NET, and ASP.NET are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 16 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include C++ Programming Language, Embedded / Real-Time / RTOS, and SQL. Experience with .NET is often linked with knowledge of C#.

Pay by Experience Level for Software Design Engineer (SDE)

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


The average inexperienced worker earns $79K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $83K. After 10 to 20 years, professionals can make it pretty big; the median salary sits in the six-figure neighborhood of $105K. 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

National Average: $82,016

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

Home to some of the best pay for Software Design Engineers, Seattle offers exceptional salaries, 41 percent above the national average. Software Design Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Redmond (+17 percent).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Software Design Engineer (SDE)

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 13 votes.
Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
47%
5-9 years
32%
10-19 years
11%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salaries


Late-Career
up arrow 26%


National Average
$82,000


Skills That Affect Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salaries

C#
up arrow 22%

.NET
up arrow 16%

ASP.NET
up arrow 10%

C
up arrow 7%

C# Programming Language
up arrow 5%

National Average
$82,000

Java
up arrow 1%

C++
up arrow 2%

SQL
up arrow 7%

C++ Programming Language
up arrow 12%

Embedded / Real-Time / RTOS
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 13 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
47%
5-9 years
32%
10-19 years
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 81%
dental benefits
Dental: 74%
vision benefits
Vision: 70%
dental benefits
None: 18%
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