Software Development Engineers in the United States can expect to earn a very comfortable salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $100K) surpassing six figures annually. Cash earnings for Software Development Engineers — which occasionally include more than $29K from bonuses and more than $25K from profit sharing — stretch from around $71K to approximately $144K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is residence, though the specific employer and tenure have a (lesser) impact as well. Most people on this career path report moderate levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. The vast majority (84 percent) of Software Development Engineers who answered the questionnaire are male. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$70,250 - $124,974
$70K
$100K
$120K
MEDIAN: $100,097
10%
50%
90%

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$24.16 - $55.20
$24
$37
$55
MEDIAN: $37.00
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
$70,250 - $124,974  
   
Bonus
$3,017 - $29,034  
Profit Sharing
$1,993 - $24,950  
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).
)
$70,829 - $144,395  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,104
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 - $55.20  
   
Hourly Tips
$15.00  
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
$3,017 - $29,034  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,993 - $24,950  
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).
)
$70,829 - $144,395  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 36

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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. Software Development Engineers most frequently advance into Senior Software Development Engineer and Senior Software Engineer roles even though the median salaries are $2K lower and $1K lower, respectively.

Software Developer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Software Development Engineer (SDE)


Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp, Expedia, Inc., Yahoo! Inc., and Zillow, Inc. are all popular places to work. Groupon, Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $133K. Microsoft Corp, 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 $110K, respectively.

Dell, Inc., Expedia, Inc., and Yahoo! Inc. also rank near the bottom for pay, handing out $95K, $99K, and $108K-paychecks on average.

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 Algorithm Development, Java, Linux, and C programming Language are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include SQL, C# Programming Language, and ASP.NET. 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.


Salaries can reach six figures almost right off the bat; beginning workers who have less than five years' experience bring in a median of $104K per year. Software Development Engineers see a median salary of $122K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $98K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $108,823

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

Cupertino is home to an above-average pay rate for Software Development Engineers, 35 percent higher than the national average. Software Development Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Palo Alto (+24 percent), Sunnyvale (+12 percent), Irvine (+11 percent), and Redmond (+10 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Software Development Engineers is geography, with workers in Atlanta earning a whopping 26 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Kirkland (16 percent less) and Dallas (11 percent less).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Software Development Engineer (SDE)

Gender

Female
16 %
Male
84 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 112 votes.
Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
56%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries



National Average
$109,000



Skills That Affect Software Development Engineer (SDE) Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 112 votes.

Gender

Female
16 %
Male
84 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
56%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 94%
dental benefits
Dental: 86%
vision benefits
Vision: 80%
dental benefits
None: 5%
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