22 Best Jobs for Software Engineers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 29, 2022 | Published April 5, 2021

Updated September 29, 2022

Published April 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Video: Becoming a Software Engineer

Are you interested in a career as a software engineer but are not sure how to start preparing for it? We have you covered!

The software engineering field provides a variety of opportunities for professionals who want to advance their careers. The best jobs for software engineers are those that give professionals the opportunity to work in specialty areas, maximize their earnings and take on leadership roles. By doing more research about the best jobs for software engineers, you can determine what education and skills you need to achieve your career goals. In this article, we define software engineer jobs and review 22 of the best jobs for software engineers to help you identify one or more career tracts.

Related: What Is Software Engineering?

What are the best software engineering jobs?

The best software engineering jobs allow software engineering professionals to enhance their career through niche areas and leadership roles. These include team lead, project management and senior software engineering positions and those that require specialty knowledge in specific programming languages and types of software.

22 examples of the best jobs for software engineers

Here are 22 good jobs for software engineers that allow software engineering professionals to explore new career tracts and specialty roles:

1. Video game designer

National average salary: $60,588 per year

Primary duties: Video game designers work for entertainment or gaming companies to assist with brainstorming, designing and testing video games. They may also work with team members to determine how to revamp an existing video game on the market. To become a video game designer, candidates should earn a bachelor's degree in an area like software development, software engineering, game design or computer science.

2. SQA engineer

National average salary: $80,699 per year

Primary duties: An SQA engineer, also called software quality assurance engineer, works for software engineering or development corporations to measure the quality of software programs, repairs or updates that employees complete for clients. They may also help software development teams set realistic deadlines to maintain quality and enhance client satisfaction. For those considering a career as an SQA engineer, a bachelor's degree in software engineering, computer engineering or computer science is the minimum education requirements. However, a master's degree in software engineering or quality assurance.

3. Cyber security engineer

National average salary: $81,158 per year

Primary duties: Cyber security engineers evaluate computer systems, networks and software programs to determine potential weak points for security breaches. They may also complete standard coding as part of their job responsibilities. To qualify for a cyber security engineering role, individuals need to first complete a bachelor's degree in an area like cyber security, software engineering or computer science, followed by a few years of experience in a software engineering or IT security role.

4. Applications engineer

National average salary: $87,710 per year

Primary duties: An applications engineer designs software applications and updates or revamps existing software applications to align with a client's needs. They typically collaborate with software engineers and software developers to create the application components for larger software programs. Applications engineers usually earn bachelor's degrees in either software engineering, computer programming or computer science.

5. Software project manager

National average salary: $92,026 per year

Primary duties: A software project manager oversees a team of software engineers and software developers to ensure they design, test or revamp software programs in a timely manner. Software project managers also assign team roles, monitor project budgets, communicate with managers or clients and help their team troubleshoot and test programs throughout the process. To become a software project manager, candidates typically earn a bachelor's degree in either software development or software engineering, followed by a few years of work experience in a software developer or engineering role.

Related: Learn About Being an IT Project Manager

6. Software test engineer

National average salary: $97,752 per year

Primary duties: Software test engineers work for software companies to test software programs and determine additional ways to improve programs. They do this by creating automated scripts to run through the program, developing evaluation criteria and communicating with software developers and engineers if they do encounter errors. Software test engineers can benefit from earning a bachelor's degree in software engineering, and previous experience as a software engineer.

7. Full stack engineer

National average salary: $108,274 per year

Primary duties: Full stack engineers design, code and test the front and back end components for software programs and applications. They usually receive projects directly through clients or from a manager and have to complete coding projects by a set deadline. Full stack developers also run tests and troubleshoot problems with software to ensure functionality. To work as a full stack engineer, candidates need to complete a bachelor's degree program in an area like software engineering or web development.

8. Javascript engineer

National average salary: $109,621 per year

Primary duties: A JavaScript engineer specializes in using the JavaScript coding language to design visual components for the user-side of websites. They typically collaborate with web designers and front end developers as they complete coding projects. JavaScript engineers can benefit from obtaining a bachelor's degree in an area like software engineering or computer programming and earning programming certifications in JavaScript.

9. Software development engineer

National average salary: $111,190 per year

Primary duties: A software development engineer, or software engineer, designs, codes and tests software programs and applications. They can work for corporations across industries but can also work for software companies or as self-employed individuals. To work as a software engineer, candidates should have excellent coding skills and preferably a bachelor's degree in software engineering.

Related: Learn About Being a Software Engineer

10. Mobile engineer

National average salary: $117,200 per year

Primary duties: Mobile engineers specialize in designing, coding and testing applications for phones and other mobile devices. They can work for a particular phone company to develop applications for company products, or they can work for corporations and software engineering firms to develop apps for clients. Mobile engineers usually have bachelor's degrees in software engineering and sometimes pursue master's degrees in a relevant area like mobile application development. For those looking to create applications for a specific phone brand, they can benefit from earning company certifications.

11. Cloud engineer

National average salary: $117,668 per year

Primary duties: Cloud engineers specialize in helping organizations set-up and maintain cloud storage systems for important data. They complete standard coding activities as part of their jobs and typically understand how to implement cloud storage systems using cloud providers. Cloud engineers can benefit from obtaining one or more cloud certifications and earning a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, software engineering or data science. Also, cloud engineers should acquire a few years of professional experience in software engineering roles or other cloud-related positions.

12. iOS engineer

National average salary: $119,951 per year

Primary duties: An iOS engineer specializes in creating applications for Apple devices. They typically work for corporations across industries that want to create company applications for employees or customers to access on the Apple store. To become an iOS engineer, candidates need to obtain a bachelor's degree in software development or software engineering and can also benefit from obtaining iOS certifications.

13. Android engineer

National average salary: $120,901 per year

Primary duties: Android engineers specialize in designing, coding and testing applications for Android mobile devices. To work as an Android engineer, candidates need to earn a bachelor's degree in either computer science, software engineering or software development. They can advance their qualifications by earning certifications to design Android applications.

14. Data scientist

National average salary: $121,858 per year

Primary duties: Data scientists work for corporations across industries to help company leadership professionals discover ways to improve a business. Data scientists look at both company and industry data to help them focus their search. They do this by writing standard code, mining through data and collecting relevant data to determine trends or patterns. For those looking to become data scientists, they can benefit from earning a bachelor's degree in either data science or computer science, followed by a master's degree.

Related: Learn About Being a Data Scientist

15. Development operations engineer

National average salary: $122,745 per year

Primary duties: A development operations engineer, or DevOps engineer, coordinates between the IT and software teams and business departments to determine how new software, automated systems or integrated workflows could benefit business operations. They may also be responsible for using code to integrate or automate existing company software. To become a DevOps engineer, individuals should earn a bachelor's degree in an area like software engineering or computer science. There are also DevOps certifications that can help professionals gain in-depth knowledge.

Related: Learn About Being a DevOps Engineer

16. Backend engineer

National average salary: $123,762 per year

Primary duties: A backend engineer designs the server-side components for a website or web application. They collaborate with Python developers and front end engineers to combine their work with front end features. To work as a backend engineer, individuals can either earn certifications in computer programming, web development and backend development, or earn a bachelor's degree in either software engineering, web development or computer programming.

17. Software engineering lead

National average salary: $125,108 per year

Primary duties: A software engineering lead is an experienced software engineering professional who uses their advanced knowledge to guide a team of software engineers in the completion of daily tasks. They monitor deadlines, evaluate individual performance, and provide guidance to junior software engineers. Software engineering leads typically have a bachelor's degree in software engineering combined with a few years of experience in a software engineering role.

18. Application security engineer

National average salary: $125,589 per year

Primary duties: An application security engineer specializes in maintaining the security of web or software applications. They do this by conducting penetration tests, implementing cyber security measures and including secure code to strengthen the security of an application. To become an application security engineer, candidates need to earn a bachelor's degree in either computer programming, software engineering or cyber security. They can also benefit from earning cyber security certifications.

19. Data engineer

National average salary: $131,189 per year

Primary duties: Data engineers create data systems to help with data analysis, storage or machine learning activities. They also help integrate data and create data processing mechanisms to make the job of a data scientist much easier. For those considering a career as a data engineer, they should earn a bachelor's degree in an area like software development, software engineering, computer science or computer engineering.

20. Software architect

National average salary: $135,591 per year

Primary duties: Software architects develop plans for software programs or applications, including what needs the programs should fulfill and the technical requirements for a project. They work closely with software engineers to convey their vision and ensure that a software engineer's work reflects their original project objectives. To work as a software architect, individuals can benefit from earning a bachelor's degree in an area like software development or software engineering, followed by a few years working as a software engineer or computer programmer.

Related: Learn About Being a Software Architect

21. Computer vision engineer

National average salary: $144,734 per year

Primary duties: A computer vision engineer specializes in coding for machine learning activities. This involves using code to create algorithms to help computers collect, interpret and mirror the movements of digital images. Computer vision engineers typically hold a bachelor's degree in either computer science or computer engineering.

Related: Learn About Being a Computer Engineer

22. Machine learning engineer

National average salary: $150,804 per year

Primary duties: Machine learning engineers design and test machine learning systems to help computers sort and interpret data. They work closely with data scientists to create production-level models and create automated instructions that help computers select data figures based on a data scientist's needs.

To become a machine learning engineer, individuals typically earn a master's degree in an area like computer science or computer engineering. However, they may also hold a PhD in the subject. They can also benefit from working in entry-level software engineering or computer programming roles to enhance their understanding of coding.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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