What are typical software engineer salaries?

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Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

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Eagle in Pennington, New Jersey

76 months ago

javier in Portmore, Jamaica said: a softwae engineer came to my school talking about [SE] he said that this is one of the best paying jobs in the united states. is that true

Far from it. More than working in the service industry, but far below other professions (law, medicine, accounting, etc.). Also far less respect and stability.

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camel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

75 months ago

I specialize in Unix and Perl. I have a BA (in Liberal Arts). Currently I make $94,000 per year.

My last job I made $71,000. Before that I was making $60,000.

The way to make more money is to specialize in a technology that fewer people are using. Lots of Java programmers out there. Not as many people specializing in Perl, but there are lots of Perl jobs!

Also, you must be flexible enough to relocate and move around. It sounds like "job hopping" but really it's the best way to move up the ladder when you are first starting out.

A top earner can make around $130,000 per year, before moving into management positions.

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sk smith in New Delhi, India

72 months ago

The Salary Depend on Knowledge and Experience for every Software Developer .


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eagle1970 in Rochester, New York

71 months ago

Moximi in Chicago, Illinois said: blah blah blah

This article explains why some software developer jobs pay top figures and others don't :

The author of this article mentions how he got a $76,000 contract programming job within six months of launching his career and how he recently got an e-mail for a recruiter asking for candidates with 2 years of programming experience for a six figure job in New York:

Let me know if you need anything else.

Thank you

Looks to me like another marketing scam. If IT/programming/software engineering was the prestigious career that it isn't then we wouldn't see postings like the above directing people to their marketing websites. Proceed with caution and a critical mind!

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Pathik in Falls Church, Virginia

47 months ago

Well, I'm a software engineer and getting parid around 95+, But do not jump in to it just because it pays well. As technology is changing every few months or years you have to keep updated with it otherwise you will get kicked off. Do not jump in to it just by seeing at salary, unless you like it and really want to make a career in it .

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Ha in Gaithersburg, Maryland

46 months ago

Most software engineering jobs will require a BSCS, or possibly BSEE. You'll be lucky to find one that's OK with a BA.

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YoungBuck_Not in Fountain Valley, California

42 months ago

Many of these comments are incorrect. Your salary is affected by your experience, your desirability to organizations that are looking for senior developers (i.e. you've been doing this for years, your Resume shows you've been doing what they're looking for, etc.), the breadth of your skills (are you experienced in a number of disciplines? can you do user interface and services and database?) because they might be able to hire just you instead of two less-skilled resources, and, finally, because cost of living varies across the country, the job location (smallish town? huge metropolis?) is a major factor too. Degrees and certifications aren't even one-tenth as important in the industry as experience, flexibility, skill-set, proven track record, etc. That's why almost every software development job usually says "X degree preferred or equivalent experience". Degrees tend to hold more weight when the "engineer" part of "software engineer" is actually for real: i.e. you will actually be working in engineering, as opposed to helping some giant business manage and monitor their transactions. For a huge number of software "engineers", the heaviest math they need to master is how to "increment a number" (add 1 to a number), or maybe handle basic currency math (add, subtract, multiply, divide and percentages). Or Calendar math: adding/subtracting dates and dealing with ranges of dates.

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Matt in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

40 months ago

Eagle in Pennington, New Jersey said: Far from it. More than working in the service industry, but far below other professions (law, medicine, accounting, etc.). Also far less respect and stability.

You must be young. Everyone is brought up to believe doctors and lawyers start off making 100k+ their first year out - that isn't the case anymore. Law schools graduates twice as many students per year than jobs available, and the current starting salary for lawyers is around 45k. I went to law school, I know. Get your facts straight next time.

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Jerry in Plainfield, Illinois

35 months ago

I never went to school for Computer Science nor have a degree either, I am at 120k right now, but it sure took me quite a while to get here, so...

And unlike medicine or law, the software industry evolves rapidly, truthfully, there haven't been many weekends that go by without me studying up the "Next Big Thing", so to be successful at this gig, you have got to LOVE to code. But like ParaDiddle mentioned, "you can't replace a 100k developer with two 50k developers" and the truth is, the executives (at least the ones I've dealt with) do realize that, so, there really isn't another profession more cut-and-dry than software development - the more you know, the more you will make.

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Kelly in Oviedo, Florida

7 months ago

I got a degree in Computer Science from University of Central Florida and started working before I even finished school making $17/hr in 1995. Once I graduated in 1996 my salary was around $35K but quickly jumped when I changed jobs, by the time I was 24 (1999) I was making $60K and had the title Senior Software Engineer. I then took time off but was able to land a job 3 years later making around $70K as a Systems Engineer where I worked from home most of the time. After being with that job for about 6 years my salary had grown to $88K. I also contracted for a California company during that time which paid $65/hr. Finally I landed a full telecommute position for a company in New Jersey and I now make $117K a year with full benefits. My advice to anyone who loves to code, put your time in and get the experience. 10 years is a solid amount of time - specialize in something like database work or web development, even mobile development now. I am specialized in C# and work on web applications, services and GUIs. After you have your time in, then find a contracting position (get your LLC) or full time position for a company that is based in a state that pays more than the state you live in. Florida does not pay that great compared to California and New Jersey however it's cheaper to live here so it works out great for me. I also recommend smaller, start up companies because you learn more and have greater value to the company. It's true what Jerry said - you can't replace my 15+ years of experience for a couple new grads. They can't do what I can do and won't be able to for many, many years. Experience is the key to success in the world of development.

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