Software Engineer Salary in California and How to Earn More

Software Engineer Salary in California
The software engineer salary in California is quite high, however, you will also have to think of the high cost of living in California too to decide if the State is right for you.

Software Engineer Salary in California and How to Earn More

The software engineer’s salary in California is estimated $109,794 yearly (25% above national average).

The state of California is a major player in the tech industry across the US; she plays host to a vast array of high tech companies within her major cities.

Software engineers in California gross as much as $109,794 yearly salary and $5000 as added bonus incentive.

It however also has a 138.5 high rate of living, which is way expensive; this may be due to her location on the West Coast of the US.

Software Engineer Salary across Cities in the State of California

California pays high when it comes to the tech industries, its major cities play host to a number of high tech paying companies.

This has stood the State out in terms of development with her software people earning as high as $107,794 as yearly salary and as low as $82,974, which is still above the national average for software engineers across the US.

Highest Paying California Cities for Software Engineering Jobs

The State of California has many cities and towns, and is home to a vast number of companies, but some of these cities pay higher than others.

The table below shows the top 10 cities where software engineers get paid high in the state of California:

CityYearly Salary ($)
San Jose145,366
San Francisco144,542
Palo Alto140,257
Mountain View138,379
Santa Clara134,817
Los Angeles114,035
San Diego111,617
Cities with highest salaries for software engineering jobs in California

Software Engineer Salary Based on Skill in California State

Skills play an intriguing role in the advancement of any profession, the more skill set, soft or technical a professional acquires, the more the pay becomes, and the software engineering field is not left out of this.

Below listed are the core skills a software engineer needs in the State of California to be on top of the game:

  • Scala: +24.30%, with this skill you are guaranteed a take home of $26,679 as added on yearly
  • OS Kernels: +17.55%, earns an additional $19,268 for having this skill
  • Big Data: +17.35%, earns $19,049 to their salary yearly
  • Microservices: +16.13%, which amounts to $17,709 as yearly added on
  • Machine Learning +11.71%, amounts to $12,856 yearly add on
  • Data Structures: +10.39%, amounts to $11,407 add on yearly.

Software Engineer Salary in the State of California Based on Experience

The more experienced software engineers get the better salaries and take home in California.

Listed below are the levels of earnings and years of experience for the software engineering industry:

  • – 1 year earns $123,721 yearly
  • 1- 2 years earns $127,111 yearly
  • 3 – 5 years earns $135,000 yearly
  • 6 – 9 years earns $145,389 yearly
  • 10 years plus (+) earns $166,566 yearly.

10 Highest Paying Companies for Software Engineer in California State

The State of California has tech companies littered all over, but some pay higher than others.

As an aspiring software engineer, you might want to seek out the high paying ones.

Below in a table are the best paying companies and what they pay software engineers yearly in California:

CompanySalary Yearly ($)
Capital one203,878
Practice Fusion167,361
Snap Inc163,927
Companies that pay highest salaries to software engineers in California

More Benefits for Software Engineers in California

Apart from their monthly earnings, software engineers also get some benefits attached to their salaries.

These benefits come as the company deems fit, in cash or as incentives.

Below are some of the incentives you can hope to get in addition to your salary if you are working in California:

  • Cash bonus. Software engineers get cash incentives in the state as high as $4000 yearly.
  • Long term incentives. These can come in the form of investments and other incentives which in the long run can translate to monetary values.
  • Stock bonus. Software engineers are issued company stocks whose dividends are shared as the company deems fit; quarterly, semi-yearly, or yearly.
  • Health insurance. The health of the software engineer is very important and companies have health savings insurance for their staffs, which can also translate to cash yearly.
  • Vision assistance. The long effect of gazing continually at the computer screen makes the vision of the engineer very important. Companies undertake vision assistant to help keep their engineer’s vision strong and healthy.
  • Gym membership. Getting stress due to constant workings on and off, with long hours sometimes gets on the nerves of workers, so companies set up gym membership for their software engineers to ease the burden of stress.

What Related Job Titles to Software Engineer Earn in California State

Some related jobs to software engineers in the state of California earn lesser or higher than the software engineer.

Highlighted below are some similar professions to software engineering and how much they get paid across board:

  • BackEnd developer earns $148,920 yearly.
  • Full Stack developer earns $129,471 yearly.
  • Application developer earns $102,100 yearly.
  • Web developer earns $83,539 yearly income.
  • Developer earns $53,513 yearly.

Software Engineer Job and Salary Outlook in California State

The State of California has an upward swing and is a leading State per software engineering jobs.

The State of California is amongst the top 5 high paying States across the US and her software engineers are very happy with the salary they get.

Despite the high cost of living, software engineers still throng to its major cities like San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, and others, and these cities don’t come cheap in living standards.

However, with the high income they get 63% of software engineers in California don’t mind, as they are well satisfied.

How to Increase Your Salary as a Software Engineer in California

For a software engineer in California to get an increase in pay, consider the factors below:

  • Move to higher paying companies. Some companies pay high, so as a software engineer, it will be a good move to move to such big time paying companies and get hired.
  • Get a better education. Getting a good degree and relevant certification will help boost your climb up the ladder of top earners.
  • Relocate to a bigger city. Living in a small town or city most times doesn’t translate to high pay, so the best option is to move to cities paying higher salaries, such as San Jose, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale.
  • Network with others. Join like-minded groups and hookup with people outside your local area; some advertised job openings are done internally and such help to boost your salary when it occurs.

More Career Opportunities for Software Engineers in State of California

The State of California offers like every other states career opportunities in other professions in the software industry, and some of these professions earn more or lesser than the software engineer.

Let’s take a look at some related career opportunities that software engineers can get into in California and the salary they earn:

  • Nuclear engineer earns $136,000 yearly.
  • Computer hardware engineer earns $129,000 yearly.
  • Computer network architect earns $128,000 yearly as salary.
  • Aerospace engineers earn $123,000 yearly across the state of California.


California, with its hub of high tech industries and a crazy array of startups, is readily looking to hire software engineers.

However, the high cost of living and the stiff competition in getting a software engineering job with the big companies there makes it only for the strong hearted engineers.

Information sources:,,,,,