$132,701
Avg. Salary
$75.55
Avg. Hourly Rate

Average additional compensation:

$11,811

Bonus

$6,013

Profit Sharing

$29,479

Commission

What am I worth?
How should I pay?

The average pay for a Principal Software Engineer is $75.55 per hour.

The average pay for a Principal Software Engineer is $132,701 per year.

$54.09
10%
$75.55
50%
$102.19
90%
MEDIAN $75.55
$102k
10%
$133k
50%
$170k
90%
MEDIAN $132,701
$101,712 - $170,132
$100K
$130K
$170K
MEDIAN: $132,701
10%
50%
90%

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$54.09 - $102
$54
$76
$100
MEDIAN: $75.55
10%
50%
90%

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$0$184K
Salary $101,712 - $170,132
Bonus $2,565 - $25,330
Profit Sharing $1,005 - $24,762
Commission $29,479
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).
)
$105,767 - $184,987
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 27 Nov 2018
  • Individuals Reporting: 4,645
Hourly Data $0$102
Hourly Rate $54.09 - $102
Overtime $39.74 - $96.76
Annual Data $0$184K
Bonus $2,565 - $25,330
Commission $29,479
Profit Sharing $1,005 - $24,762
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).
)
$105,767 - $184,987
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 27 Nov 2018
  • Individuals Reporting: 98

Job Description for Principal Software Engineer

Principal software engineers are in charge of most of the technical aspects of an organization's projects. You could consider them to be architects of sorts given the vast scope of work they do on a regular basis. Their primary function is being able to scale projects efficiently while maximizing performance and minimizing costs. They can also oversee development teams and coordinate strategies to make sure the technologies are interconnected and product lines are working smoothly. Most of the time, principal software engineers work on making sure standards are being followed when it comes to design, application requirements and proper maintenance. They also evaluate systems and networks to ensure all procedures are running correctly. A high degree of mathematics and engineering knowledge is needed to manage large scale business tasks. Principal software engineers use a computer (or computers) due to the complex data they process when making calculations and modifying strategy plans. The majority of their work is done indoors, with the exception being when they need to modify hardware controls and settings outdoors. As stated earlier, while principal software engineers supervise programmers and designers among other professionals to finish a project on time, they also have to respond to the IT managers in a given organization. It is essential that principal software engineers be proficient at building websites, troubleshooting code and improving the performance of existing programs. They also need to be excellent team players and able to handle stress well in addition to having an extensive knowledge of several programming languages. A bachelor's degree in computer science is usually the minimum educational requirement needed to become a principal software engineer, although a (CSDP) Certified Software Development Professional certification along with hands-on experience in a previous position is generally preferred. (Copyright 2018 PayScale.com)


Principal Software Engineer Tasks

  • Design, develop, integrate, test and deploy company's software.
  • Execute product specification, system design, development and system integration.
  • Develop new product concepts and development, deliver product prototypes.
  • Conduct new technology research, concept specification and design of individual software components.
  • Participate in product and program collaboration.

Principal Software Engineer Pay By Employer

$0$193K

Oracle Corp.
77 profiles
$130,103

Oracle
54 profiles
$133,074

EMC Corporation
48 profiles
$127,336

Dell, Inc.
43 profiles
$135,292

Raytheon Co.
30 profiles
$133,987

$148,692

Microsoft Corp
20 profiles
$172,554

BAE Systems Inc.
19 profiles
$119,698

Medtronic, Inc.
19 profiles
$122,656

$142,709

Common Career Paths for Principal Software Engineer


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As Principal Software Engineers transition into upper-level roles like Chief Technology Officers, it's possible that they won't see a change in salary. Chief Technology Officers earn the same amount as Principal Software Engineers on average. Many Principal Software Engineers choose to become Software Architects and Software Engineering Managers as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $24K less and $10K less, respectively.

Principal Software Engineer Job Listings

Popular Skills for Principal Software Engineer


Survey takers working as Principal Software Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Linux, Java, Database, and Software Architecture are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include C#, .NET, and C# Programming Language. Most people experienced in Software Architecture also know Java.

Pay by Experience Level for Principal Software Engineer

Pay by Experience for a Principal Software Engineer has a positive trend. An entry-level Principal Software Engineer with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $116,000 based on 91 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Principal Software Engineer with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $128,000 based on 495 salaries. An experienced Principal Software Engineer which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $137,000 based on 1,442 salaries. A Principal Software Engineer with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $142,000 based on 671 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $140,180

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

California is a land of opportunity for Principal Software Engineers. The state is home to the top three paying cities in the field, with Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and San Francisco all offering salaries above the national rate. Minneapolis ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 14 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Chicago (8 percent lower) and Dallas (6 percent lower).

Principal Software Engineer Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Principal Software Engineer?

Principal Software Engineer in Chicago:
Pros: Good people. Strong engineering culture.
Cons: Long slow downward spiral over the last several years. Increasing amount of work is moving to eastern Europe.

Principal Software Engineer in Santa Clara:
"Family Life is important."
Don't forget enjoying your family life and being thankful to the Almighty among all the races to excel, pseudo stress builders to be the best, stress to prove yourself to be the right always. Learn to ignore others' mistakes. Give your family importance over your work. WORK NEVER ENDS.

Principal Software Engineer in Boston:
"Stay away."
Pros: Flexible hours. Telecommuting. Challenging work.
Cons: Highly autocratic, top-down management. Extremely bureaucratic. Extremely cumbersome development processes. Constant change in priorities.

Principal Software Engineer in Redmond:
Pros: Work on challenging projects that change the world.
Cons: Managing expectations can be difficult.

Principal Software Engineer in Bedford:
"Work flexibility."
Pros: Work flexibility.
Cons: Compensation.

Principal Software Engineer in San Francisco:
"Learn to be a team player and also a leader at the same time."
Learn to be a team player and also a leader at the same time.

Principal Software Engineer in Dallas:
"How Is As Important As What You Do."
Success at Intuit requires senior technologists to have strong soft skills, and how you do your job is just as important as what you accomplish.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Principal Software Engineer

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 704 votes.
Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
13%
10-19 years
54%
20 years or more
31%

Experience Affects Principal Software Engineer Salaries

▲2%

National Average
$140,000

▼2%

▼9%

▼17%

Skills That Affect Principal Software Engineer Salaries

▼0%

▼0%

National Average
$140,000


▼1%



▼2%

Java/J2EE
▼2%


C++
▼7%

SQL
▼7%



▼10%

C#
▼12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 704 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
13%
10-19 years
54%
20 years or more
31%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 95%
dental benefits
Dental: 90%
vision benefits
Vision: 82%
no benefits
None: 4%