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Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Software Development Engineers in the United States take home approximately $95K annually on average. Total cash compensation for Software Development Engineers runs from $65K to $132K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $23K and profit sharing that can reach almost $17K. Residence is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and years of experience are driving factors as well. The majority of Software Development Engineers claim high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$65,388 - $119,631
(Median)
$65K
$95K
$120K
MEDIAN: $95,425
10%
50%
90%

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$15.78 - $59.66
(Median)
$16
$37
$60
MEDIAN: $37.00
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
$65,388 - $119,631  
   
Bonus
$1,002 - $22,637  
Profit Sharing
$1,013 - $16,886  
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).
)
$64,975 - $131,650  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,831
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
$15.78 - $59.66  
   
Overtime
$22.65 - $65.89  
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
$1,002 - $22,637  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,013 - $16,886  
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).
)
$64,975 - $131,650  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 77

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Software Development Engineer (SDE)

A software development engineer tests and documents software for client applications, server applications, and websites. The engineer uses source debuggers, visual development environments, program dumps, and performance monitoring tools to ensure the quality of the software. The engineer will work with designers and content producers to get the desired results for clients. The software engineer will write code to create many types of software, such as multi-threaded networked server applications and single-threaded or user interface event-driven applications (either stand-alone or those that access servers and services). The engineer may write code to create webpages or access database information and business logic servers. The engineer will be able to write as well as modify and debug software for client applications, server applications, and websites. Excellent communication skills are a must in order to work with clients and understand what is desired as an end result as well as communicate back to clients what is actually possible to achieve. A software development engineer should be able to function as part of a productive team working toward a common goal and should be able to provide and respond to constructive criticism. Education requirements vary depending on the employer, but an engineer should at least have a high school diploma or GED, and a college degree in information technology or computer sciences is desirable. A software development engineer should be well-versed in a number of different computer programming languages such as C, C++, Java, HTML, Python, or Perl. Experience building systems on a cloud infrastructure is also helpful.


Software Development Engineer (SDE) Tasks

  • Write, modify, and debug software for web sites.
  • Test and document software for client applications.
  • Use source debuggers and visual development environments.
  • Test and document software for web sites.
  • Work with with designers and content producers.

Common Career Paths for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


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Software Development Engineers who transition into new roles such as Software Development Manager may see a slight upturn in salary. The average Software Development Manager earns $112K per year. Senior Software Development Engineers or Lead Software Development Engineers are common next-step roles for Software Development Engineers moving up in their careers; annual pay for Senior Software Development Engineers is $6K higher on average, and it's $4K higher for Lead Software Development Engineers.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp, Yahoo! Inc., Expedia, Inc., and Dell, Inc. are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Software Development Engineers. Yahoo! Inc. offers the best pay with a median salary of $120K, though salaries there don't seem that varied, bottoming out near $94K and maxing out at just $136K.

With a median salary of $81K, Dell, Inc. provides Software Development Engineers with the lowest pay in their field; moreover, earnings are capped at only $104K, limiting employee salary growth.

Popular Skills for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Survey results imply that Software Development Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Object Oriented Programming, C, Java, and .NET are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include HTML, SQL, and Microsoft SQL Server. Most people who know .NET also know C++.

Pay by Experience Level for Software Development Engineer (SDE)

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


Software Development Engineers with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Although employees with less than five years' experience earn around $96K on average, the five-to-10 year group has a much higher, six-figure median of $108K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Software Development Engineers make a median salary of $112K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $115K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Software Development Engineers, Sunnyvale provides a pay rate that is 18 percent greater than the national average. Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Santa Clara (+12 percent), Redmond (+11 percent), San Francisco (+10 percent), and Bellevue (+9 percent). Software Development Engineers' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Software Development Engineers in Austin bring in salaries that are 23 percent lower than the national average. Employers pay around 21 percent less in Atlanta and 7 percent less in New York, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 15%



National Average
$99,000


Skills That Affect Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries


C
up arrow 4%

Java
up arrow 2%

C++
up arrow 1%

.NET
up arrow 1%

C#
0%

National Average
$99,000

Python
up arrow 2%

Linux
up arrow 3%

JavaScript
up arrow 3%

UNIX
up arrow 3%

PL/SQL
up arrow 3%

ASP.NET
up arrow 4%


SQL
up arrow 6%

up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 310 votes.

Gender

Female
11 %
Male
89 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 94% dental benefits Dental: 86%
vision benefits Vision: 75% employee benefits None: 5%
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