How Much Do Software Engineers Make?

Software engineering is one of the highest paid professions in the U.S. and these roles are in demand, too. Today we're breaking down how much you can earn as a software engineer depending on factors like your location, experience level, and responsibilities.
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Software engineers build all kinds of software tools from the apps on your mobile device to patient records systems at a hospital, software engineers are working hard to make useful digital products.


Software engineers use hard skills like coding languages, libraries, frameworks, and unit testing and soft skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork. You can learn more about what a software engineer does on or designated Software Engineer Career page. This post is all about software engineers and their salaries.

What Factors Determine a Software Engineer’s Salary?

Not all software engineers earn the same yearly salary. There are many factors that determine an individual software engineer’s salary. We’ll dive into these below.


Experience Level

Just as with most jobs, experienced software engineers can earn higher salaries than entry-level software engineers. This is because they have time to work on a wider variety of projects, improve their soft skills, and learn new hard skills like additional coding languages. 



While titles aren’t everything, they do sometimes affect the income you can earn as a software engineer. A Senior Software Engineer or Principal Software Engineer can earn more than a Junior Software Engineer or Software Engineer I.



The company or organization you work for plays a large role in the salary you can earn as a software engineer. All companies have their own ways of determining the yearly salaries that they pay but, generally, public sector organizations and nonprofits pay less than the market rate, while private companies pay more than the market rate.


Geographic Location

While the pandemic has allowed workers to take jobs far from home and work remotely, it is still true that salaries for all kinds of jobs vary by location. This variation has to do with economic factors like the cost of living in a certain place, the demand for software engineering roles in the area, and the number of other local employers.


Additional Skills

Coding, debugging, testing, problem-solving are all core skills for software engineers to have. However, having skills beyond the basics can give software engineers an edge and give them the chance to increase their earnings. A software engineer with leadership skills, project management skills, or business acumen may have the opportunity to take on more responsibility and earn a higher wage in return.


Average Salary for a Software Engineer in the United States

Now, to answer your question on a general level, the average salary for a software engineer in the United States is $119,925 per year. This is more than double the average salary for workers across other sectors. This role even makes the U.S.News list of best 100 jobs to have in 2022.  There are expected to be more than 400,000 jobs in the field available for job seekers this year.


Average Salary for a Junior Software Engineer in the United States

The average salary for a Junior Software Engineer in the U.S. is $70,000 – not bad for an entry-level role. While this amount may not be up in the six-digit range yet, the growth potential for junior software engineers who stick in the field is hugely promising.


Average Salary for a Senior Software Engineer

A Senior Software Engineer, on the other hand, makes an average salary of $130,000 according to Glassdoor. They can up their earnings even more by rising to Senior Software Engineer II ($143,000) or Senior Software Engineer Manager ($174,00).

Ready to learn more about becoming a software engineer? Check out our Complete Guide to a Software Engineering Career to learn about job opportunities, skills to leverage, and career tips.

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