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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 per year. Cash earnings for Software Design Engineers — which occasionally include more than $15K from bonuses and more than $30K from profit sharing — stretch from around $60K to approximately $131K. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Software Design Engineers. Almost all get medical and dental insurance, and a fair number get vision plans, too. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$59,586 - $120,541
(Median)
$60K
$84K
$120K
MEDIAN: $84,221
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
$59,586 - $120,541  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,582  
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).
)
$59,740 - $130,872  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 151
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 - $14,582  
   
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).
)
$59,740 - $130,872  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 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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Though not the most common occurrence, Software Design Engineers sometimes become Senior Software Development Engineers, where the average income is $106K per year.

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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 .NET, C, C#, and ASP.NET are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 11 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include C++ and Java. It is often found that people who know .NET are 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.


The average beginner in this position makes around $75K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $101K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $111K. Software Design Engineers who claim more than two decades of experience actually make somewhat smaller average paychecks of $103K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Software Design Engineers, busy Redmond offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 34 percent above the national average. Software Design Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+20 percent).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

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 11%

C
up arrow 5%

C#
up arrow 3%

ASP.NET
up arrow 3%

SQL
0%

National Average
$87,000

Java
up arrow 4%

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
2%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 94% dental benefits Dental: 91%
vision benefits Vision: 77% employee benefits None: 4%
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