What am I worth?
What your skills are worth in the market is constantly changing.
Get your pay report
How should I pay?
When you get pay right, you attract and retain the best talent.
Price a job

Average Principal Software Engineer Salary

Avg. SalaryShow Hourly Rate
Profit Sharing
What am I worth?
Get pay report
How should I pay?
Price a job
The average salary for a Principal Software Engineer is $137,455.
Is Principal Software Engineer your job title? Find out what you should be paid
Use our tool to get a personalized report on your market worth.What's this?
United States (change)
How it works:
Enter city & years of experience
Add pay factors like skills & education
Find your market worth with a report tailored to you
$106k - $177k
$3k - $27k
Profit Sharing
$2k - $26k
$0 - $24k
Total Pay
$110k - $193k
Find your market worth – how it works:
Tell us about your job and pay factors like skills and educationTell us about your job and pay factors like skills and education
Find your market worth with a report tailored to youFind your market worth with a report tailored to you
Negotiate your pay with confidenceNegotiate your pay with confidence

What Do Principal Software Engineers Do?

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.

Job Satisfaction for Principal Software Engineer

4 out of 5
Highly Satisfied

Popular Employer Salaries for Principal Software Engineer

The top respondents for the job title Principal Software Engineer are from the companies Oracle Corp., Oracle and Dell, Inc.. Reported salaries are highest at Comcast Cable, Inc. where the average pay is $143,990. Other companies that offer high salaries for this role include Oracle Corp. and Raytheon Co., earning around $137,735 and $136,106, respectively. Fidelity Investments pays the lowest at around $109,500. Northrop Grumman Corporation and Dell, Inc. also pay on the lower end of the scale, paying $119,684 and $130,236, respectively.

Career Paths

Explore the most common career paths for Principal Software Engineer. Thickness and color of lines indicates popularity of movement from one job to the next. Visit our career path planner to research other job paths.
Principal Software Engineer
More common (> 20%)
Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Less common (< 8%)

Principal Software Engineer Job Listings

Search for more jobs

What Are Popular Skills for Principal Software Engineers?

Skills in Software Development, Software Architecture and Java are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Linux and C++ Programming Language.

What is the Pay by Experience Level for Principal Software Engineers?

An entry-level Principal Software Engineer with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $109,960 based on 5 salaries. An early career Principal Software Engineer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $121,783 based on 84 salaries. A mid-career Principal Software Engineer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $127,683 based on 584 salaries. An experienced Principal Software Engineer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $138,685 based on 2,272 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $142,736.
Employees with Principal Software Engineer in their job title in San Francisco, California earn an average of 24.3% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in San Jose, California (19.4% more) and New York, New York (12.3% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Austin, Texas (3.0% less).

Years of Experience

This data is based on 4,375 survey responses.
Entry Level
Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career