Software engineering is an extremely popular field in the tech industry, partially because of its reputation for providing job security and prosperity. Even relative newcomers to tech can achieve an impressive software engineering salary with the right skills and hands-on experience. According to Glassdoor, an entry-level software engineer makes an average of $99,214 annually.
Before you get started on this career path, it’s important to know how much a software engineer makes. In this article, we discuss the average software engineering degree salary, as well as what you can expect to earn at various levels of your career and at various top companies, such as Amazon and Microsoft.
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How Much Do Software Engineers Make?
The average software engineering salary is $106,018, according to Glassdoor. How much a software engineer makes depends on a number of factors. Some regions have higher average salaries than others. Additionally, some companies, like big technology firms, pay more than others.
Entry-Level Software Engineering Salary
An entry-level software engineer makes between $79,000 and $125,000, according to Glassdoor. Given the popularity of the software engineer career path, it’s no surprise technology companies are willing to pay their entry-level employees well. Entry-level employees usually have less than one year of experience and are just starting their careers.
Senior Software Engineering Salary
The average senior software engineer salary is $146,104, with most people making between $117,000 and $184,000. Generally, these experts have at least four years of experience and a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering or Computer Science.
Highest-Paid Software Engineers by State
|State||Average Software Engineer Salary|
This data sourced from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the highest-paid software engineers live in states that are home to large tech hubs, like Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City. Additional states that show high employment of software engineers include Texas and Virginia.
Software Engineering Salary by City
|City||Average Software Engineer Salary|
|San Francisco, CA||$129,185|
|New York, NY||$116,234|
|Los Angeles, CA||$114,762|
As you can see, the average software engineer salary varies by city. Traditional tech hubs tend to offer the highest salaries, due in part to the higher cost of living, and in part to the presence of big tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Meta, which all offer generous compensation packages.
With that said, you don’t need to work in a traditional tech hub to earn a good salary. Cities like Portland and Atlanta are becoming known for their growing technology ecosystems. While the salaries may not be as high in these cities as in others, the lower cost of living makes up for it.
These salaries should also be taken with a pinch of salt. Some companies, especially big tech companies like Amazon, are known for compensating their entry-level employees more favorably than smaller companies that do not have as many resources.
Top Companies for Software Engineers
What are the top companies hiring software engineers in the US? Google, Facebook, Apple, Apple, and Microsoft are among the best employers in terms of salaries for software engineers. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to work at a tech giant to earn a good salary as a software engineer.
|Company||Average Software Engineer Salary|
Google Software Engineer Salary and Jobs
The average Google software engineer salary ranges from $168,000 to $270,000, but this number will vary depending on your level of experience. As a software engineer at Google, you will likely be working on products like Google Chrome, Android applications, Google Maps, or Gmail. You’ll need experience using Python, and gaining skills in C++ and Java will also be beneficial.
Facebook Software Engineer Salary and Jobs
Software engineer salaries at Facebook are generous, so you can expect a good deal of competition at the application stage. Facebook, or Meta, hires software engineers on a wide range of teams. The company prides itself on creating innovative products that can bring the world closer together.
Apple Software Engineer Salary and Jobs
At Apple, your software engineer salary could include benefits like bonuses, stock options, or profit sharing. Software engineers at Apple develop secure products with the user in mind. The projects you take on might focus on Apple TV, Apple Watch, or iOS. Experience with Swift, Objective-C, and Python can help you get hired.
Microsoft Software Engineer Salary and Jobs
Software engineers at Microsoft are involved in coding, testing, designing, and maintaining products to ensure they are of the best possible quality. The average Microsoft software engineer salary ranges from $160,000 to $241,000.
Amazon Software Engineer Salary and Jobs
Amazon hires software engineers who are impressive problem-solvers who enjoy finding innovative ways to utilize the newest technologies. At Amazon, software engineer salaries are determined by several factors, such as your level of education and technical skills.
Other High-Paying Companies for Software Engineers
You don’t have to work at a tech giant to make an impressive software engineering salary. Below, we share how much a software engineer can make at other leading companies. Any major business that relies heavily on software is a great place to look for job opportunities in this field.
- Samsung Electronics: $179,678
- Intuit: $164,697
- Visa: $162,664
- Wayfair: $161,486
- Walmart: $155,015
- CDK Global: $126,725
Average Software Engineering Salary by Degree
The average software engineering degree salary is $86,000, according to PayScale. If you return to school for a master’s degree in the field, your salary is likely to increase. This is because many upper-level managerial roles require a master’s degree along with many years of experience.
|Degree||Average Software Engineer Salary|
Benefits for Software Engineers
Stock options, free meals and snacks, gym memberships, and 401(k) plans are just a few of the many benefits software engineers earn. No review of software engineer salaries is complete without a brief discussion of these additional benefits. This is because salary comprises only a part of a software engineer’s compensation package.
Companies, especially big tech companies, like to add additional incentives to encourage the best talent to join their teams. The most common benefits you’ll encounter as a software engineer include the following:
- Stock options: These are shares in a company that are accessible after working for a certain period. Stock options are usually made available within four years of working.
- Food: Free breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks are common at top tech companies.
- Travel assistance: Many tech companies offer either local travel cards with credit, a travel stipend, or a commuter bus to help their employees get to work.
- 401(k): A 401(k) retirement account may be available to you so that you can plan for your financial future. Some employers offer 401(k) matching schemes.
- Health, dental, and vision insurance: Many large tech companies offer health, dental, and vision insurance plans to give their workers peace of mind that they are covered in case of an illness.
Before you evaluate a job offer, take into account every benefit for which you will be eligible. While a higher salary may be important to you, benefits like 401(k) matching or a health savings account may be equally, if not more, important in your eyes.
How to Increase Your Software Engineering Salary
At the beginning of your career, you may find that your salary isn’t as high as you would have liked, especially if you are working at a smaller company with limited resources. Luckily, there are a variety of strategies you can use to make yourself more valuable to your employer and negotiate a better software engineering salary.
Master Important Software Engineering Skills
Expanding your skill set by learning new programming languages and up-to-date technologies is a great way to make yourself more marketable on the job market, and can help you qualify for a raise in your current role. For example, some popular software engineer skills include cloud computing and coding languages like R, Python, Java, and SQL.
Get a Software Engineer Certification
A software engineer certification can provide evidence of your abilities and prove to your employer that you are driven and motivated to constantly improve your skills. Some popular software engineer certifications include Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional and Certified Software Development Professional.
Specialize Within the Software Engineering Field
Specialized skills within the field are often more in demand and can lead to even bigger paychecks. For example, machine learning engineers, cloud engineers, and DevOps engineers all make more than the average software engineer. According to Glassdoor, machine learning engineers make an average salary of $130,680.
Software Engineering Salaries vs Related Jobs
In this section, we will compare software engineer salaries to the salaries you can earn in closely related fields. Because so many fields in tech require similar skills, many engineers are able to transition into new specializations as they progress in their careers.
Data Science vs Software Engineering Salary
If you compare data science vs software engineering salaries, you’ll find that the average data scientist earns more than a software engineer, though this depends on several factors. According to Glassdoor, the average data scientist makes $124,817.
Cyber Security vs Software Engineering Salary
According to Glassdoor, the average salary in cyber security is lower than in software engineering, with cyber security professionals earning $84,981 and software engineers earning $106,018. Once you have a few years of experience, however, the salaries are much more similar.
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Computer Science vs Software Engineering Salary
Computer scientists also make a slightly higher annual wage compared to software engineers. Glassdoor reports that computer scientists make $116,009, although the entry-level salary is closer to $90,000.
What You Can Earn as a Software Engineer
How much you earn as a software engineer will depend on several factors, including your level of education, location, and employer, but the typical software engineering salary ranges from $84,000 to $135,000.
As a software engineer, you will be able to develop in-demand technical and soft skills that can help you thrive in multiple roles across several industries. If you’re looking for a job in tech that offers a good salary and job prospects, software engineering is a field that is definitely worth considering.
Software Engineering Salary FAQ
You might need a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, or a similar field of study to work as a software engineer. However, a growing number of software engineers start their careers by attending a coding bootcamp. This is an alternative to college where you build practical projects and skills over a short period of time, typically under six months.
How do I get a high salary in software engineering?
To get a high salary in software engineering, you’ll need a few years of relevant, hands-on experience, impressive skills, and possibly an advanced degree. A master’s degree might help you advance to a managerial role, which will come with a higher yearly salary.
How do I negotiate my salary as a software engineer?
To negotiate your annual salary as a software engineer, it is important to do a bit of research to ensure you know what other people in the role are making. Read about the company, as many businesses have specific guidelines regarding salary negotiation. In general, you can begin discussing salary once you have advanced to the late stages of the application process.
Which company pays the highest salary for a software engineer?
Google is one of the companies known for paying the highest salaries to software engineers. Additional companies where you can make an especially high software engineering salary include Meta, Apple, and Samsung Electronics.
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