Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Software Development Engineers in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $101K per year on average. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $30K and $25K, respectively — total cash payment to Software Development Engineers can bottom out near $72K or peak near $147K depending on individual performance. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geographic location, though the company and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to most. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The vast majority of Software Development Engineers (83 percent) who took the survey are men. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$71,555 - $127,888
$72K
$100K
$130K
MEDIAN: $101,057
10%
50%
90%

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$23.27 - $58.20
$23
$37
$58
MEDIAN: $37.18
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
$71,555 - $127,888  
   
Bonus
$3,659 - $30,015  
Profit Sharing
$2,008 - $25,394  
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).
)
$72,331 - $146,888  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,143
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
$23.27 - $58.20  
   
Overtime
$41.78  
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
$3,659 - $30,015  
   
Profit Sharing
$2,008 - $25,394  
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).
)
$72,331 - $146,888  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 25

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United States (change)

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Job Description for Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Software development engineers (SDE) work in a range of industries to apply the principles and techniques of computer engineering, information analysis, and computer science to design, build, and develop their employers’ computer systems and software. Experienced computer software engineers may work independently as consultants to various organizations, and may either build computer systems and software from scratch or customize existing systems and software which were purchased from vendors. They must make all software modifications as requested by their clients or employers and test all software to ensure that it works properly.

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Software Development Engineer (SDE) Tasks

  • Write, modify, and debug software for server applications.
  • Write code to create multi-threaded, networked server applications.
  • Use source debuggers, program dumps, and performance monitoring tools.
  • Test and document software for server applications.
  • Write, modify, and debug software for client applications.

Common Career Paths for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


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Software Development Engineers sometimes move into a Software Development Manager role, where the salary is similar. Software Development Engineers most frequently become Senior Software Development Engineers and Senior Software Engineers even though median compensation is $3K lower and $2K lower, respectively.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp, Expedia, Inc., Zillow, Inc., and Yahoo! Inc. are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Software Development Engineers. Microsoft Corp pays the most with a median salary of $123K, though there is little variation overall ($101K to $150K). Other employers shelling out big bucks include Groupon, Inc., Amazon.com Inc, and Zillow, Inc., where Software Development Engineers typically earn around $122K, $122K, or $116K, respectively.

Also approaching the lower end are Dell, Inc. at $99K, Expedia, Inc. at $101K, and Yahoo! Inc. at $110K.

Popular Skills for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Software Development Engineers seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Algorithm Development, Java, Object Oriented Programming, and Linux are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include SQL, .NET, and ASP.NET. Those familiar with .NET also tend to know C++.

Pay by Experience Level for Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Pay by Experience for a Software Development Engineer (SDE) has a negative trend. An entry-level Software Development Engineer (SDE) with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $104,000 based on 818 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Software Development Engineer (SDE) with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $122,000 based on 306 salaries. An experienced Software Development Engineer (SDE) which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $123,000 based on 95 salaries. A Software Development Engineer (SDE) with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $100,000 based on 22 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $110,289

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

For Software Development Engineers, Palo Alto provides a pay rate that is 22 percent greater than the national average. Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Irvine (+11 percent), Sunnyvale (+10 percent), Redmond (+7 percent), and San Jose (+7 percent). The lowest-paying market is Atlanta, which sits 27 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Chicago and Kirkland are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 19 percent lower and 17 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Gender

Female
17 %
Male
83 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 114 votes.
Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
55%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

▲11%

▲10%

National Average
$110,000

▼6%

▼9%

Skills That Affect Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries


▲4%


National Average
$110,000

Linux
▼1%


▼4%


C
▼5%

C++
▼6%

C#
▼6%

▼7%

▼10%


▼11%

SQL
▼12%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 114 votes.

Gender

Female
17 %
Male
83 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
55%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 94%
dental benefits
Dental: 87%
vision benefits
Vision: 81%
no benefits
None: 5%
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