Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Six-figure salaries are the norm for Software Development Engineers in the United States, with median pay hovering around $97K per year. Total incomes of Software Development Engineers incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $25K from bonuses and close to $20K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $69K and $135K. While the specific employer and years of experience impact pay for this group, geography is the most influential factor. Job satisfaction for Software Development Engineers is high. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Men account for the majority of Software Development Engineers who responded to the questionnaire — 89 percent to be exact. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$68,709 - $121,281
(Median)
$69K
$97K
$120K
MEDIAN: $97,262
10%
50%
90%

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$20.35 - $63.55
(Median)
$20
$38
$64
MEDIAN: $38.00
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
$68,709 - $121,281  
   
Bonus
$1,474 - $24,761  
Profit Sharing
$1,515 - $19,642  
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).
)
$68,958 - $135,479  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,020
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
$20.35 - $63.55  
   
Hourly Tips
$15.00  
Overtime
$30.09 - $66.98  
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
$1,474 - $24,761  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,515 - $19,642  
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).
)
$68,958 - $135,479  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 70
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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 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 $114K per year. Career advancement for the typical Software Development Engineer often leads to becoming a Senior Software Development Engineer or a Senior Software Engineer; median salaries in these positions are $3K higher and $3K higher, respectively.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Many Software Development Engineers can be found at Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp, Yahoo! Inc., Expedia, Inc., and Dell, Inc., firms that are at the top of the field. Although Microsoft Corp offers the highest salaries (median pay is $117K), survey participants reported a rather limited pay range of $94K to $142K. Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks at Yahoo! Inc. ($117K), Groupon, Inc. ($115K), and Amazon.com Inc ($114K).

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. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Intel Corporation at $96K, and Zillow, Inc. where $102K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Software Development Engineers there earn up to $149K.

Popular Skills for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Software Development Engineers seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Algorithm Development, Object Oriented Programming, Java, and C are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include SQL, HTML, and Microsoft SQL Server. It is often found that people who know .NET are also skilled in C++.

Pay by Experience Level for Software Development Engineer (SDE)

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


Individuals with less than five years' experience take home around $100K. In contrast, though, people who have been on the job for five to 10 years report a six-figure median of $114K. Software Development Engineers see a median salary of $116K after reaching one to two decades on the job. People who have worked for 20 years or more actually report earning less than people who are in the middle of their careers; the veterans take home a mere $98K by contrast.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $102,947

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

Cupertino offers some of the highest pay in the country for Software Development Engineers, 38 percent above the national average. Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Sunnyvale (+19 percent), Mountain View (+13 percent), Redmond (+11 percent), and San Francisco (+10 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Software Development Engineers in Austin earning a whopping 26 percent below the national average. Workers in Atlanta and New York earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (22 percent less and 8 percent less, respectively).

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Experience Affects Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$103,000


Late-Career
up arrow 5%

Skills That Affect Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
up arrow 4%

Algorithm Development
up arrow 4%

Java
up arrow 3%

C
up arrow 2%

C++
up arrow 1%

.NET
up arrow 1%

C#
0%

National Average
$103,000

Python
up arrow 1%

UNIX
up arrow 1%

JavaScript
up arrow 4%

Linux
up arrow 4%

ASP.NET
up arrow 4%


SQL
up arrow 7%

up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 269 votes.

Gender

Female
11 %
Male
89 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
51%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
11%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 95%
dental benefits
Dental: 87%
medical benefits
Vision: 77%
dental benefits
None: 4%
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