Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Generous salaries abound for Software Development Engineers in the United States, with average pay above six figures ($100K) per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $29K and $25K, respectively — total cash payment to Software Development Engineers can bottom out near $72K or peak near $145K depending on individual performance. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the company and years of experience. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to most. The vast majority of Software Development Engineers (83 percent) survey respondents are men. Most Software Development Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$70,855 - $125,932
$71K
$100K
$130K
MEDIAN: $100,251
10%
50%
90%

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$24.16 - $55.99
$24
$37
$56
MEDIAN: $37.15
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
$70,855 - $125,932  
   
Bonus
$3,143 - $29,393  
Profit Sharing
$1,989 - $24,845  
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).
)
$71,585 - $144,849  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,059
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
$24.16 - $55.99  
   
Overtime
$45.22  
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
$3,143 - $29,393  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,989 - $24,845  
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).
)
$71,585 - $144,849  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 30

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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' salaries tend to stay somewhat constant even when they advance into higher-level positions like Software Development Manager. On average, Software Development Managers get paid about the same as Software Development Engineers do. It is not uncommon for a Software Development Engineer to continue on to become a Senior Software Development Engineer or a Senior Software Engineer.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Dominating the field, Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp, Expedia, Inc., Zillow, Inc., and Yahoo! Inc. are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Software Development Engineers. Although the highest salaries can be found at Microsoft Corp where median pay is $123K, there is little variation in compensation; paychecks are spread only between $101K and $150K. Groupon, Inc., Amazon.com Inc, and Zillow, Inc. also offer top salaries for Software Development Engineers. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $122K, $122K, and $116K, respectively.

Dell, Inc., Expedia, Inc., and Yahoo! Inc. also rank near the bottom for pay, handing out $99K, $101K, and $110K-paychecks on average.

Popular Skills for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Software Development Engineers report using a large range of skills on the job. 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. Most people skilled in .NET are similarly competent in 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: $109,011

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

For those looking to make money, Software Development Engineers in Palo Alto enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 24 percent above the national average. Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Irvine (+12 percent), Sunnyvale (+12 percent), Redmond (+9 percent), and San Jose (+8 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Software Development Engineer's salary, with Atlanta Software Development Engineers earning salaries that are 27 percent less than the national average. Workers in Chicago and Kirkland earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (18 percent less and 16 percent less, 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 106 votes.
Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
56%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

▲12%

▲12%

National Average
$109,000

▼5%

▼8%

Skills That Affect Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries


▲5%


Linux
▼0%

National Average
$109,000


▼3%


C++
▼4%

C
▼4%

C#
▼5%

▼6%

▼9%


▼10%

SQL
▼11%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 106 votes.

Gender

Female
17 %
Male
83 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
56%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 94%
dental benefits
Dental: 86%
vision benefits
Vision: 80%
no benefits
None: 5%