Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Software Development Engineers in the United States can expect to earn a very comfortable salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $96K) surpassing six figures annually. In the world of Software Development Engineers, total cash compensation can vary between $66K and $133K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $24K and $17K, respectively. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geographic location, followed by the specific employer and years of experience. Software Development Engineers who took the survey are largely men, dominating at 89 percent. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. The majority of Software Development Engineers claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$66,036 - $120,181
(Median)
$66K
$96K
$120K
MEDIAN: $96,127
10%
50%
90%

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$16.97 - $60.98
(Median)
$17
$38
$61
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
$66,036 - $120,181  
   
Bonus
$993 - $24,314  
Profit Sharing
$1,016 - $17,152  
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).
)
$65,769 - $132,843  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,830
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
$16.97 - $60.98  
   
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
$993 - $24,314  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,016 - $17,152  
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).
)
$65,769 - $132,843  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 71
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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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As Software Development Engineers make advancements in their career path to positions such as Software Development Manager, their salaries may climb. Software Development Managers make $113K annually on average. When Software Development Engineers are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Senior Software Development Engineers or Lead Software Development Engineers. Those roles pay an additional $6K and $3K, respectively.

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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 among the top companies that take on many Software Development Engineers. Software Development Engineers in search of the best pay head to Yahoo! Inc., where the median salary rolls in at $120K. Although pay is top-notch overall, it does seem to be curbed at $136K, which isn't dramatically higher than the lower-end figure of $98K.

Pay for Software Development Engineers is the lowest at Dell, Inc., which has a median salary of $81K. In addition, there's little room to grow there, with salaries maxing out at $104K.

Popular Skills for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Object Oriented Programming, C, .NET, and Java are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include HTML, SQL, and ASP.NET. For most people, competency in .NET indicates knowledge of C++.

Pay by Experience Level for Software Development Engineer (SDE)

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


Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $97K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $109K. Software Development Engineers see a median salary of $113K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $107K.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Software Development Engineers that is 20 percent greater than the national average, Sunnyvale offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Redmond (+13 percent), Santa Clara (+11 percent), San Francisco (+9 percent), and Bellevue (+8 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Atlanta Software Development Engineers earning much less — 25 percent less — than the national average. Employers pay around 24 percent less in Austin and 7 percent less in New York, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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Experience Affects Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



Late-Career
up arrow 7%

National Average
$100,000


Skills That Affect Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
up arrow 4%

C
up arrow 3%

Java
up arrow 1%

C#
up arrow 1%

.NET
up arrow 1%

C++
0%

National Average
$100,000

PL/SQL
up arrow 1%

Python
up arrow 2%

JavaScript
up arrow 3%

UNIX
up arrow 3%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 3%

Linux
up arrow 4%

ASP.NET
up arrow 4%

SQL
up arrow 7%

up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 280 votes.

Gender

Female
11 %
Male
89 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
12%
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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