Software Engineer Salary in US and How to Earn More

By | July 18, 2023
Software Engineer Salary in US
Software engineers earn competitive salaries in the US due to them been in high demand.

The average software engineer salary in US is between $35 and $57 per hour, with a national average of between $150 and $170,000 yearly, excluding add-ons, bonuses, and other incentives.

17% of software engineers working in large corporations put in hourly shifts of 50 hours weekly while the rest put in 40 hours of work weekly, working an 8-6 hours shift, including weekends and evenings.

Software Engineer Salary across States in the US

Let’s take a look at what software engineers earn hourly and yearly across the States of the United States in the table below:

States  Salary (hourly)     Salary (yearly) 
Alabama   45.5492,496
Alaska   45.84 97,135
Arizona   48.34  97,491
Arkansas   39.7483,025
California   43.02106,256
Colorado   42.27 99,248
Connecticut   47.5099,478
Delaware   42.0994,609
Florida   43.9591,858
Georgia  46.6598,909
Iowa43 4789,492
New Hampshire45.71101,865
New Jersey47.93103,669
New Mexico43.8085,998
New York47.37106,162
North Carolina36.1187,832
North Dakota45.6986,186
Rhode Island46.4196,637
South Carolina42.3787,653
South Dakota44.3582,489
West Virginia41.1790,644
Software engineer salaries across U.S. States

20 Highest Paying US Cities for Software Engineering Positions

Certain cities within the US pay good salary to software engineers, and these cities are home to a vast majority of software engineers.

Listed below is a breakdown of such cities, listed not in any particular order.

The State of California pays the highest amount of both wages and salary for software engineers.

San Francisco (California) ranks high on the top 20 cities paying software engineers good salaries to carry out their job with a salary payment of $149,159 estimated yearly.

          CitiesYearly Salary($)
San Francisco149,159
San Jose145,482
Mountain view140,994
Yorktown Heights140,828
Palo Alto137,236
New York132,200
U.S. cities that pay the highest salaries to software engineers

Lowest Paying Cities for Software Engineers

The table below represents the lowest five paying cities in the United States for software engineers:

                   CityYearly Salary ($)
Inland Empire/San Joaquin85,000
Las Vegas82,536
New Orleans72,933
U.S. cities with lowest salaries for software engineers

Software Engineer Salary Based on Skills in the US

Skills play a very important part in any profession, career path or even development, for with the right skills, job advancement becomes fast and relatively easy to come by.

Below are some of the top skills a software engineer needs to ensure an advantage and job increase, plus a good salary package to go along.

  • Scala

This skill is off the hook, with a 24.30% increase in your yearly pay, which will rocket to a high with all the added bonuses and incentives.

  • OS kenels

This skill also has the potential to land you some good salary yearly, with an estimated 17.55% average.

  • Apache Zookeeper

This can earn you up to 58℅ annually.

  • Mercurial (Hg)

This has the potential to earn 57℅ yearly as salary.

  • Crypography

This can earn 56% of salary yearly.

  • People management

This has the potential to earn 55% yearly.

  • Computer development

This is also a sought after skill which can earn 54% yearly as pay.

Some skills are already very popular with software engineers and the potential to earn high with them is no longer on the high side, such skills include:

  • Java script
  • Java
  • Sql
  • Python
  • C# programming language

Those are the major skills needed by a software engineer to increase their chances of earning more.

Software Engineer Salary Based on Experience in the US

There are many levels of software engineers and you need to be in the top level to earn more, including the added incentives and bonuses.

Software engineers have been known to rise to senior executive levels in a company, and depending on your years of work experience your salary gradually increases coupled with the level of skills you have under your belt.

Below is a ratio in percentages of how much software engineers earn by experience across the US.

There are various entry levels for software engineers and your entry level determines your level of pay.

  • Entry level (12%)

This is less than one year on the job. Estimated salary is nearly $77,445 total package yearly.

  • Early Career (3%)

This is 1-4 years on the job; with about $85,144 total package yearly.

  • Mid-Career (10%)

Estimated yearly total salary package is $102,675.

  • Late Career (21%)

The total salary package is estimated at $122,257 yearly.

  • Experienced (31%)

Experiences software engineers earn estimated yearly salary of $140,605.

Some experienced software engineers, especially those in executive positions receive added incentives and bonuses of up to a $1million yearly.

10 Highest Paying Companies for Software Engineers in the US

Amongst the throngs of companies and start – ups, some companies rank higher than others in pay for software engineers, and as usual such companies attract the largest crowd to their research and development offices, where the software engineer thrives.

Below is a list of the top 10 paying companies for software engineers, where they can rise to the pay threshold of a million dollars yearly, with added incentives.

Credit Karma$172,270
Infinite Computer Technologies$153,579
U.S. companies that pay the highest salaries to software engineers

More Benefits for Software Engineers across the US

Software engineers make more pay when all incentives are added to their salary, and this has seen some rise to the threshold of a million dollar earning yearly.

Most companies offer good incentives to their software engineers, especially the big corporations that really make use of software engineers. 

Incentives for software engineers include basic salary, cash bonus, and long term incentives.

Basic Salary: This is the monthly pay you get for reporting daily and diligently to work.

It’s not a hidden amount as you are aware of the pay even before you start work, it is stated yearly.

Cash Bonus:  This comes from your work performance and the tasks that you do during your work for a quarter or a full year.

It is based on a percentage of your yearly or quarterly salary depending on the company given the cash bonus, which is or doesn’t exceed 30%.

Long term incentives: These are incentives that help boost your yearly pay; they often turn into cash in the long run.

They include bonus, profit sharing, and commissions, and units of shares. 

Common Benefits Companies Offer Software Engineers

Some of the common benefits to expect from most companies as a software engineer include:

Commuter assistance: For software engineers who have to move from one end of the town to another they are given assistance to help cushion the effect of paying transport fares daily to work or engaging the services of car hire companies.

Referral program: The name speaks for itself. The more you get referrals the more you earn.

Relocation Assistance: When making that big money move up, the need to relocate becomes important or you need an apartment facelift.

The big companies are there to assist at such times and this assistance also add up as a benefit.

Food Program: As a result of relocating, food sometimes become overly expensive and employees find it tough and rough to meet up with their family food supply or needs.

Large firms offer food incentives to their staff in the form of cash, vouchers, or coupons

Education Assistance: We all understand the need for a sound education, especially for the kids and how hard and difficult it is for them to quickly adjust and integrate into another environment, mostly if the family relocated to a bigger city or town.

The family has to make adjustments in many forms and finding the right school of choice is very high on the priority list.

Large organizations help out such parents with funding towards the education of the kids, even the singles, widowed, separated, or divorced all have a say in such bonus.

Health Insurance/Health Savings: Due to the nature of their work, software engineers get a good and healthy incentive for their healthy needs.

A sick dog is as useless as an old lion. They are well motivated with enough health schemes that add up yearly to make their pay a bumper package.

Vision Assistance: Vision for a software engineer is very important. All firms want to ensure that their staff have and are able to maintain good eye sights through their working years.

So, they provide a vision assistance benefit that will keep the vision of their engineers bright.

With all these benefits added up, software engineers can earn in the region of a million plus in incentives.

Related Job Titles to Software Engineer in the US

Here is a breakdown of related jobs to software engineers and how they are paid; the salary figures are exempted of add-ons and bonuses.

  • Software developer: $106,710
  • Developer: $54,132
  • Full Stack Developer: $108,045
  • Application Developer: $87,804
  • Backend Developer: $122,876
  • Frontend Developer: $106,975

Software Engineer Job and Salary Outlook in the US

With the daily increase in the use of technology in all spheres of human endeavor, it has become imperative that the software engineering job will blossom in the coming years.

Whatever we do now as humans, the technology needed to carry out that phase of work is already been thought of.

We now have artificial intelligence as a field of study in our schools and automation in everything and anything you can think of is now possible.

With the 2019 figures released by the BLS saying that the industry in the next 10 years will witness a 22% growth, that is, over a million people will seek to become software engineers in the United States alone.

With companies like Apple, Uber, and Facebook paying their experienced software engineers over a million dollars as salary; the industry is bound to grow in leaps.

And with the Covid-19 pandemic, software engineers will get more daring and rearing to explore avenues yet unheard of in the health sector.

How to Increase Your Pay as a Software Engineer in the US

If you are looking to make more money as a software engineer, here are some ideas you can consider:

  • Improve your skills

If you don’t have the much needed skills, you will not be amongst the constantly sought after group of software engineers.

In any profession, software engineers inclusive, an added bonus to getting rapid pay rise is your skill.

We have highlighted above some major skills that pay more that you can acquire as a software engineer.

  • Get higher education

Getting more or higher education in software engineering makes you more knowledgeable of the job.

This will definitely translate to higher pay.

  • Relocate

If you have the needed skills and education, but still been underpaid, then you can consider moving to the cities with the highest pay for software engineers and earn more.

Even though some of these cities have high cost of living, however, we have seen cases of software engineers who get over a million dollars yearly as pay there, inclusive of the add-ons and bonuses.

Software engineers are in high demand in these cities and it will be better for the engineer to find his/her niche and get paid handsomely for his/her work.

  • Work for high paying companies

Another way you can increase your salary is by working with the highest paying companies like Apple, Credit karma, Twitch, etc.

Surely, getting hired by these companies is not easy, however, you can find out what they want and how to meet their demands and scale through their interview process.

With good and strategic preparation, you can be successful getting a job with them.

What Duties Do Software Engineers Do?

Almost every home, office, facility, name it, has one form of device been used in such a place; such devices are the creation of software engineers.

What exactly do software engineers do?

From creation to building and then design and the final product, the software engineer is the person behind the scene working with computer engineering language to create applications and devices that help run our daily lives; whether at home, office, facility, they are involved.

They go right down to the end of that application or device life span, maintain, and can put off an application/device from the stall, if a little minute default is noticed.

They work alongside a team of developers, writers, and programmers from conception to birth.

Basically, the software engineer performs the following duties:

  • Carry our tests based on customer survey; analyze such test and create software tailored towards that particular need.
  • Most times we hear about upgrading. it’s the duty of the software engineer to be in constant touch with devices or applications already put out, and since they carry out maintenance work on such devices they know the life span, so they simply upgrade the system to meet current trends in that sector.
  • They are involved from the original concept to the birth and development of the device or application.
  • They carry out continual and routine maintenance on all software in and out of the marketplace.
  • They work with a team to create better applications and devices for our use.

So in our technology driven age, the software engineer is a demi god, for through them everything technology wise is created, and through them it dies and fades away, like smoke.

Learn more about what software engineers do.


With the projected increase in software development, coupled with technological advancements in various fields, the demand for software engineers is expected to rise and steadily grow; so will be their salaries.

Information sources: Indeed, Career Explorer, Payscale, Hack Reactor, Dice Insights, Salary, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics