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How Much Do Software Engineers Make in 2024
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How Much Do Software Engineers Make in 2024?

11 minute read | February 7, 2024
Akansha Rukhaiyar

Written by:
Akansha Rukhaiyar & reviewed by Akita Emmanuel

Akansha Rukhaiyar

Reviewed by:
Akita Emmanuel

Ready to launch your career?

In today’s rapidly evolving tech landscape, understanding the financial rewards of a career in software engineering is more crucial than ever. This comprehensive guide delves into the expected salaries for software engineers in 2024, offering a detailed analysis beyond mere numbers. 

In this post, we’ll explore the many factors that influence these salaries, including experience, role, industry, location, and educational background, providing a holistic view of what software engineers can anticipate regarding compensation.

This post will also cover the essential skills required for various software engineering roles, especially those at the forefront of these technological advancements, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and other emerging technologies.

Whether you’re a recent graduate aiming to enter the field or an experienced engineer considering a specialization in AI or ML, understanding these dynamics is key to navigating your career path and salary potential in 2024.

What Is the Average Salary of a Software Engineer?

Software engineers can earn great money. The average salary of a software engineer in the US is $124,569.

Software engineer salaries depend on multiple factors, especially experience level, location, and industry. Due to these variables, the annual salary of a software engineer can fall between $65,123 to $84,014 in the USA.

Software Engineer Salary — By Experience

Your software engineering career path impacts how much you earn. Software engineer salaries based on experience level look like this:

Software Engineer Intern

Software engineering internships on your resume will help you land tech jobs faster than those who haven’t interned. A software engineer intern earns an average of $92,882.

how much do software engineers make, software engineer salary

Entry-Level Software Engineer

An entry-level software engineer with professional experience of 0-3 years can earn around $77,745 annually.

how much do software engineers make, Entry-Level Software Engineer salary

Mid-Level Software Engineer

Mid-level software engineers have 3-5 years of experience. They earn an average of $97,836 annually.

The pay scale range for mid-level software engineers is:

how much do software engineers make, Mid-Level Software Engineer salary

Senior Software Engineer

When mid-level software engineers specialize in niche roles or have been in the industry for more than 5-7 years, they will qualify as senior software engineers. They can explore product manager roles, community manager roles, etc. Their average yearly salary is around $122,900.

how much do software engineers make, senior software engineer salary

Software Engineer Salary — By Role

You can pivot within the software engineering field per your interests. Here are some high-paying software engineering roles you can explore.

Front-End Engineer

The software development cycle is divided into the front-end and back-end. Front-end engineers work on the client side of the website or app, i.e., elements that the user interacts with. They coordinate with front-end developers.

A front-end engineer can earn an average of $120,632.

how much do software engineers make, Front-End Engineer salary

Back-End Engineer

The back-end engineer works on the backend, i.e., the server side of the product. A back-end engineer can earn an average salary of $130,376.

how much do software engineers make, Back-End Engineer salary

Full-Stack Engineer

A full-stack engineer combines the expertise of both the front-end and the back-end. For example, the backend of an e-commerce website would be all the processes that happen behind the scenes to present information to the user based on their inputs. The front-end would reflect how this information is presented. Full-stack engineers work alongside full-stack developers.

A full-stack engineer can earn an average salary of $122,307.

how much do software engineers make, Full-Stack Engineer salary

Related Read: Full-Stack Developer vs. Software Engineer: Complete Comparison 

Quality Assurance Engineer

A quality assurance engineer ensures that the product fulfills the quality thresholds at the development stage.

Each part of the software development lifecycle requires a “fit for use” parameter. A QA engineer assesses the product at every step before it moves to the next part of the cycle.

A QA engineer’s average salary is $72,619.

how much do software engineers make, Quality Assurance Engineer salary

DevOps Engineer

DevOps (development + operations) combines development and IT operations. A DevOps Engineer ensures the smooth functioning of the IT infrastructure during software development. They earn an average salary of $130,376.

how much do software engineers make, DevOps Engineer salary

Software Engineer Salary — By Industry

Some industries value software engineers more than others. Here’s a glance at the top-paying fields for software engineers:

Tech

The technology field is the highest-paying industry for software engineers. According to Dice’s Tech Salary Report, the average salary for tech talent in the software engineering field was $111,348 in 2022.

Finance

With an increase in the digitization of finance and banking processes, the finance sector also has a high demand for software engineers. They can earn an average of $127,949 every year.

how much do software engineers make, finance salary

Retail

Retail engineers streamline the tech stack for e-commerce platforms and retail stores. During the pandemic, this role primarily involved shifting offline records and processes to online systems.

The yearly average salary of retail software engineers is $95,167.

Healthcare

Medical software engineers have a pivotal role in the healthcare industry. They maintain patient records and ensure that data-sharing across different hospital departments is smooth for the healthcare staff’s timely delivery of care. Their job duties include troubleshooting any issues with medical devices like X-ray imaging.

Software engineers in the healthcare industry earn an average of $134,298 per year.

how much do software engineers make, healthcare salary

Government

Prevalent use of government-funded apps and websites leads to high demand for software engineers and software developers.

A software engineer working for the government can earn an average of $111,000 per year.

how much do software engineers make, government salary

Software Engineer Salary — By Popular Companies

Now it’s time to look at what the most coveted organizations in the software engineering field pay. Remember, these organizations may have intricate hierarchies for software engineers at different experience levels. These figures will present an average of these salary bands for each organization:

Google

Google is part of the FAANG group of companies. Most budding software engineers aim to work at Google.

A fresh college grad or someone with only internship experience can expect a yearly starting base salary of $147,987.

how much do software engineers make, salary at Google

Amazon

As another FAANG tech company, Amazon pays its software engineers well.

Entry-level software engineers can expect a total pay of about $177,000. This includes the base pay, bonuses, and stock options. As you progress through levels of experience (starting from L4 till L10), you can expect to hit $547,000 as a principal software engineer, which is the 4th level.

Wells Fargo

The software engineering salary at Wells Fargo is determined across 6 levels. You start as an associate software engineer in your first year. You can earn a total starting salary of $99,000 at this level, with a base salary of $95,000 plus additional cash compensations.

how much do software engineers make, salary at Wells Fargo

Boeing

At Boeing, software engineers start with a total salary of $89,000. When they gain 2-3 years of experience, they can earn $105,000 as an L2.

how much do software engineers make, Boeing salary

Microsoft

Microsoft is not a part of the FAANG cohort. Their indicator for the level of experience is also unlike other organizations on this list. Entry-level software engineers start at the software development engineer (SDE) level. They earn a total starting salary of $163,000. Microsoft has 13 levels, with the highest being Distinguished Engineer and Technical Fellow.

how much do software engineers make, Microsoft salary

Meta

Facebook, or Meta, is one of the most sought-after companies in the FAANG club. It has 7 levels, i.e., E3 to E9. You can start with a total salary of $192,000. E3 to E4 is a significant jump, with the total annual salary amounting to $303,000.

how much do software engineers make, Meta salary

McKinsey & Company

At McKinsey, your starting position will be that of a junior engineer. The base salary varies depending on your background and credentials. The average annual wage for entry-level engineers is $115,000.

Once you reach SE I, the salary jumps to $132,000. There are 7 levels in total.

how much do software engineers make, McKinsey salary

Software Engineer Salary — By Education

Building a successful career in software engineering is possible regardless of your educational background. There will be some variation in salary depending on your education level:

No Degree

You can become a software engineer without a degree. Companies are open to candidates with a solid knowledge base from other sources like software engineering bootcamps. They also take cognizance of software engineering certifications as an indicator of proficiency.

With certifications and/or bootcamp knowledge, you can earn close to an applicant with a degree if you show your expertise during the software engineering interview. Talk about your background and learning journey in your software engineering cover letter to compensate for the lack of a degree.

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Bachelor’s Degree

The average salary of an entry-level software engineer with a bachelor’s degree will be $77,073.

how much do software engineers make, with Bachelor's Degree

Master’s Degree

For candidates with a master’s degree, the average software engineer salary will be $77,977. A master’s degree becomes more relevant when you have the practical experience to pair with it.

how much do software engineers make, with Master's Degree

Software Engineer Salary — By Location

Depending on location, the salary of a software engineer can vary significantly. Here’s what you can earn as an entry-level software engineer in the following locations:

US

The cost of living within major states and cities in the US determines the software engineer’s salary. Here are the top-paying locations:

San Francisco

The average salary of a software engineer in San Francisco is $96,466 due to high living costs.

how much do software engineers make, salary in San Francisco US

Seattle

Entry-level software engineers in Seattle earn an average of $85,153. The annual salary range as per percentiles is:

how much do software engineers make, salary in Seattle US

San Jose

Entry-level software engineers in San Jose, California (another popular choice among tech talent) earn an average of $96,852.

how much do software engineers make, salary in San Jose US

Boston

Software engineers in Boston, Massachusetts, earn an average of $86,951.

how much do software engineers make, salary in Boston US

New York

The average annual salary of a software engineer in New York is $90,678. Their salaries fall in the following percentile range:

how much do software engineers make, salary in New York US

UK

In the United Kingdom, the average entry-level software engineer salary is around £50,784. The top-paying organizations in the UK for software engineers are:

  • Palantir
  • Two Sigma
  • Citadel
  • Jane Street
how much do software engineers make, UK salary

India

In India, software engineers earn an average of INR 6,05,713 (approximately USD $ 7,200) per year at the beginning of their careers. The top-paying companies in India for software engineering include:

how much do software engineers make, salary in India

Germany

The average junior software engineer salary in Germany is 44,116 euros (approx USD$46,000) per year.

how much do software engineers make, salary in Germany

In Germany, you can cross 100K+ salaries at senior levels in the following organizations:

  • Trade Republic
  • Github
  • Spotify
  • Stripe
  • Yelp

Australia

Software engineers, at the beginning of their careers, can expect an annual salary in the range of AUD $71,779 to $108,801 (in Australian dollars). The average salary in Australia for a software engineer is AUD $90,290 (approximately USD $ 57,000).

how much do software engineers make, Australia salary

Singapore

The average entry-level software engineer salary in Singapore is SGD 54,431, which is approximately USD $40,000. The top-paying cities in Singapore are:

  • Singapore
  • Ubi
  • Outram
  • Geylang
how much do software engineers make, salary in Singapore

South Africa

In South Africa, the average yearly salary for a software engineer with around 0-2 years of experience is R42,503 (approx. USD $2,200). The highest-paying cities are Cape Town, Northern Suburbs, and Pretoria in Gauteng. Facebook is the highest-paying organization.

how much do software engineers make, salary in South Africa

Factors Affecting Software Engineering Salaries

The salary ranges for different kinds of software engineering roles and industries seem variable. Multiple factors determine this range for software engineering salaries:

Educational Background

Earlier, if you didn’t have a college degree, you would not be eligible for half the software engineer jobs, especially in the tech industry.

In recent years, many companies (such as IBM, Accenture, and Bank of America) have dropped degree requirements for most of their software engineering openings. As long as you demonstrate the right technical skills, that’s sufficient.

Your educational background can include a software engineering bootcamp. You can also prove your knowledge and expertise through free coding resources.

Experience

You can become an entry-level software engineer with zero experience. For other specialized roles, or even for specific industries like healthcare, you need to show some experience in the field. This experience can come through entry-level opportunities like internships and open-source projects.

Skills

Software engineering requires the following technical skills:

  • Programming languages
  • Data Structures and database systems
  • Algorithms
  • Debugging

You must supplement these with soft skills like communication in a team-based environment, problem-solving, critical thinking, and attention to detail.

The kind of software engineering skills you need also depends on the specific role you are applying for. For example, a quality assurance engineer will not require advanced programming skills, but a full-stack software engineer will. Skim through the job posting to understand which skills the role commands.

Location

Salaries differ by location because of specific cost of living and local taxes. Company leaders are divided on whether location-based salaries lead to unfair compensation that is not based on merit. But as of now, a software engineer working in the US will earn more than a software engineer in Germany, even when they are at par with each other skill-wise.

Organization

The kind of company you work for will also drastically affect your salary range. When going through organization-wise salaries, ensure that you’re looking at the pay band that applies to you and not just the average salary for software engineers.

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How To Boost Your Software Engineering Salary

You can boost your software engineering salary with these methods:

Gain Experience

When you gain diverse experience within the same industry or company or with a particular tool or skill, you can command higher salaries. Consistency in experience building is a positive indicator.

Negotiate the Job Offer or Ask for a Salary Review

Sometimes, simply asking can help increase your salary. Request a salary review with human resources to negotiate at the end of the quarter or the financial year.

Prepare yourself for this discussion by keeping a record of your accomplishments at work. These can be minor but positive comments from managers, your role in high-stakes projects, etc.

Specialize

Niching down is the best way to qualify for higher salaries. Software engineers who have specialized in fields like cloud computing, IoS, and cybersecurity will earn higher salaries.

Develop Leadership Skills

It doesn’t matter if your role is not leadership-based. You can volunteer to head projects and pursue leadership courses in your free time. Soft skills do not directly translate to higher salaries. However, developing leadership skills will help you bring more value to the table. That will eventually lead to higher salaries.

Consider Consulting

If you are not happy working in-house, then after 3-4 years in the field, you can provide independent professional services.

In these freelance programmer roles, you can charge high hourly rates. Software consulting includes assessing the client’s technological needs, examining gaps in their current software, and helping them ideate new technology solutions.

How Much Do Software Engineers Make FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about software engineer salaries:

What Are the Highest Paying Software Engineering Jobs?

The highest-paying software engineering jobs across countries, industries, and specific job roles are:
Country: USA, specifically San Jose and San Francisco
Field: The tech industry
Role: Backend engineer and DevOps engineer
Company: Google and Amazon

What Can Software Engineers Earn per Hour?

Entry-level software engineers can earn approximately $37.10 per hour. Software engineering is a good career to consider if high compensation is your priority.

Can You Make Six Figures as a Software Engineer?

Entry-level software engineer (1-3 years) salaries do not touch six figures unless you work in high-paying jobs in tech fields. If you are a mid-level (3-5 years) or senior software engineer, you can make six figures quite easily.

Can You Make 500K as a Software Engineer?

Yes, you can make 500K as a software engineer. When you work in a lucrative field like tech, build authority and your personal brand in the niche, and show your indispensability to your hiring managers, you can command 500K salaries.

Are Software Engineers in Demand?

Yes, software engineers are in demand. Most companies work with a lot of data and require innovative software to become efficient. The constantly evolving nature of technology creates a need for software engineering professionals across multiple career paths.

Since you’re here…
No one wakes up knowing how to code – they learn how to code. Tens of thousands of students have successfully learned with our courses, like our Software Engineering Bootcamp. If you’re a total newbie, our Software Engineering Career Track Prep Course will be a perfect fit. Let’s do this!

About Akansha Rukhaiyar

Akansha is a freelance writer for SaaS B2B brands, with a parallel interest in writing for mental health services and education websites. She has worked with globally diverse clients and loves to incorporate The Office references in her writing in the most accessible ways