Software Design Engineer (SDE) Salary

Men make up the majority of Software Design Engineers in the United States, bringing in about $84K annually. With some bonuses approaching $15K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $30K, overall incomes of Software Design Engineers spread between $60K and $131K depending on individual performance. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Nearly all receive medical and dental insurance and a strong majority get vision plans. Most people in this profession are content with their work, and moderate levels of job satisfaction are reported. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$59,401 - $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
$59,401 - $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).
)
$59,555 - $131,183  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 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).
)
$59,555 - $131,183  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 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)


Survey results suggest that Software Design Engineers put a wide range of professional skills to use. 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. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include 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. Software Design Engineers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $111K. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $103K.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Software Design Engineers, Redmond offers exceptional salaries, 41 percent above the national average. 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
34%
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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