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Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salary

Software Development Engineers in the United States can expect wages of $95K per year on average. Cash earnings for Software Development Engineers — which occasionally include more than $21K from bonuses and more than $15K from profit sharing — stretch from around $64K to approximately $131K. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by location, but the company and years of experience are influential factors as well. Job satisfaction for Software Development Engineers is high. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$64,176 - $119,309
(Median)
$64K
$95K
$120K
MEDIAN: $94,780
10%
50%
90%

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$15.68 - $59.79
(Median)
$16
$36
$60
MEDIAN: $36.00
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
$64,176 - $119,309  
   
Bonus
$993 - $20,802  
Profit Sharing
$1,011 - $15,480  
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).
)
$63,849 - $131,043  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,842
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
$15.68 - $59.79  
   
Overtime
$22.98 - $65.44  
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 - $20,802  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,011 - $15,480  
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).
)
$63,849 - $131,043  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 76

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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 may enjoy a small increase in earnings as they climb the career ladder to roles like Software Development Manager, which pays $112K on average annually. 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 $7K and $4K, 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 top-notch employers for Software Development Engineers in this area. 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.

Pay for Software Development Engineers is the lowest at Dell, Inc., which has a median salary of $80K. In addition, there's little room to grow there, with salaries maxing out at $103K.

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 Object Oriented Programming, C, Java, and .NET are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include HTML, SQL, and Microsoft SQL Server. 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.


For Software Development Engineers, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Whereas the median salary for inexperienced employees is approximately $96K, incomes in the five-to-10 year group are significantly higher, averaging to the comfortable six-figure sum of $107K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $110K in this role. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $113K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Pay Difference by Location


For Software Development Engineers, working in the bustling city of Sunnyvale has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Software Development Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Redmond (+12 percent), San Francisco (+12 percent), Bellevue (+10 percent), and San Jose (+8 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Software Development Engineers in Los Angeles earning a whopping 27 percent below the national average. Austin and Atlanta are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 23 percent lower and 20 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 14%



National Average
$99,000


Skills That Affect Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries


C
up arrow 5%

Java
up arrow 1%

C++
up arrow 1%

.NET
up arrow 1%

C#
0%

Python
0%

National Average
$99,000

Linux
up arrow 2%

JavaScript
up arrow 2%

UNIX
up arrow 3%

PL/SQL
up arrow 3%

ASP.NET
up arrow 4%

Microsoft SQL Server
up arrow 4%

SQL
up arrow 7%

up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 334 votes.

Gender

Female
10 %
Male
90 %

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%