Software Developer Salary Guide 2024

Table of Contents

Software Developer Salary in United States for 2023

Average Annual Salary: $127,260

Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API. Updated at December 8, 2023

Best College Majors for Software Developers in 2023

Software Developer Salary Overview

Average Salary of Software Developers

The salary of software developers varies based on factors such as experience, location, and the industry they work in. On average, software developers earn a competitive salary that reflects their specialized skills and high demand in the job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2020, the median annual wage for software developers was $110,140 per year or $597 per hour. However, it's important to note that this figure can vary significantly depending on factors mentioned earlier.

Entry-Level Software Developer Salary

Entry-level software developers typically earn slightly lower salaries compared to their more experienced counterparts. As of May 2020, the BLS reported that the bottom 10% of software developers earned less than $64,240 per year, while the top 10% earned more than $170,460 per year. It's worth mentioning that entry-level salaries can vary based on location and industry. For example, software developers working in major tech hubs such as San Francisco or New York City might earn higher salaries due to the higher cost of living and increased competition.

Software Developer Salary by Experience

As software developers gain more experience in the field, their salaries tend to increase. Here is a breakdown of average salaries based on experience levels:
  • Junior Software Developer: Typically has less than 2 years of experience and earns an average salary ranging from $55,000 to $85,000 per year.
  • Mid-Level Software Developer: With 2 to 5 years of experience, mid-level software developers earn an average salary ranging from $85,000 to $120,000 per year.
  • Senior Software Developer: With over 5 years of experience, senior software developers earn an average salary ranging from $120,000 to $160,000 per year.
These figures can vary depending on the company, location, and industry.

Factors Affecting Software Developer Salaries

Several factors influence the salaries of software developers:
  • Location:

    Salaries can vary significantly based on the cost of living in different regions. For instance, software developers in major cities like San Francisco or New York City tend to earn higher salaries compared to those in smaller towns.
  • Industry:

    The industry a software developer works in can impact their salary. Those in high-demand sectors such as finance, healthcare, or technology may command higher salaries compared to developers in other industries.
  • Skills and Specializations: Developers with specialized skills and expertise in areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, or cybersecurity often earn higher salaries due to the demand for these niche skills.
  • Education: While a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is typically the minimum requirement for software developers, additional certifications or advanced degrees may lead to higher earning potential.

Other Compensation Benefits for Software Developers

In addition to their base salaries, software developers often receive various benefits and perks that enhance their overall compensation package. These may include:
  • Bonuses based on individual or company performance
  • Stock options or equity in the company
  • Healthcare benefits, including medical, dental, and vision coverage
  • Paid time off and vacation days
  • Flexible work arrangements, including remote work options
  • Retirement savings plans, such as 401(k) matching
It's important to note that the availability and extent of these benefits can vary depending on the employer. Overall, software development offers a lucrative career path with competitive salaries and various opportunities for professional growth. As the demand for skilled software developers continues to rise, the potential for higher salaries and advancement in this field remains strong.

Software Developer Salary Breakdown by Sector/Industry

Software developers are in high demand across various sectors and industries, thanks to the increasing reliance on technology in today's digital era. The salary for software developers can vary significantly depending on the sector or industry they work in. Let's take a closer look at the salary breakdown by sector/industry:

Information Technology (IT) Sector

In the IT sector, software developers play a crucial role in designing, developing, and maintaining software applications and systems. They are responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of computer networks, cybersecurity, and database management. The average salary for software developers in the IT sector is often higher than in other industries due to the specialized skills required. According to reputable sources such as Bureau of Labor Statistics and Glassdoor, the median annual salary for software developers in the IT sector is around $110,000.

Finance and Banking Industry

The finance and banking industry heavily relies on technology for efficient operations and data security. Software developers working in this industry develop and maintain financial software applications, trading systems, risk management tools, and banking platforms. Due to the complexity of financial systems, professionals with expertise in financial technology (fintech) often command higher salaries. The average salary for software developers in the finance and banking industry is approximately $120,000 per year.

Healthcare Sector

With advancements in medical technology and the widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs), software developers are crucial to the healthcare sector. They develop and maintain software applications used for patient management, medical billing, telehealth services, and diagnostic systems. The demand for software developers in healthcare is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The average salary for software developers in the healthcare sector is around $105,000 per year.

E-commerce and Retail Industry

The e-commerce and retail industry heavily relies on software developers to maintain and improve their online platforms, inventory management systems, and customer relationship management (CRM) software. These professionals play a critical role in ensuring smooth online transactions, personalized user experiences, and efficient supply chain management. The average salary for software developers in the e-commerce and retail industry is approximately $100,000 per year.

Government and Public Sector

Software developers in the government and public sector are responsible for developing and maintaining software applications that enhance public services, improve administrative processes, and ensure data security. They work on projects ranging from citizen-facing web portals to complex government systems. The average salary for software developers in the government and public sector is around $90,000 per year. It's important to note that these salary figures are just averages, and actual salaries can vary based on factors such as location, years of experience, education level, and the size of the company or organization. Additionally, certain sectors may offer additional perks such as bonuses, stock options, or flexible work arrangements. As the demand for skilled software developers continues to rise across industries, it is an exciting time for those considering a career in this field. Keep in mind that salaries can also vary depending on the specific programming languages, frameworks, or technologies one specializes in. Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and continuously improving skills can further enhance career prospects and earning potential. Overall, software developers enjoy competitive salaries across various sectors and industries, making it a lucrative career choice for many technology enthusiasts. Note: For information about Software Developer Salary Breakdown by Job Title/Level, please refer to Section V of this article.

Comparison to Similar Careers

Software development is a highly sought-after career field that offers excellent salary prospects. To better understand the earning potential of software developers, let's compare their salaries to those of other similar careers in the technology industry:

Systems Analyst

A systems analyst focuses on improving computer systems within an organization. While their work may overlap with software developers in certain areas, their primary focus is on identifying and solving complex business problems through technology solutions. On average, systems analysts earn around $92,040 per year[^1]. Compared to software developers, systems analysts generally earn slightly less.

Web Developer

Web developers specialize in building and maintaining websites. They work closely with designers to bring the visual concepts to life through coding and programming languages. The average annual salary for web developers is around $73,760[^2]. Although web development requires similar skills to software development, the salaries tend to be lower due to the specific nature of their work.

Database Administrator

Database administrators manage and organize large sets of data to ensure their accessibility, security, and integrity. Their responsibilities include designing, implementing, and maintaining databases. The average annual salary for database administrators is approximately $98,860[^3]. While this role shares some similarities with software development, the expertise required in managing databases often leads to higher salaries.

IT Project Manager

IT project managers oversee the planning, execution, and delivery of technology projects within an organization. Their responsibilities involve coordinating teams, managing budgets, and ensuring project objectives are met. IT project managers earn an average salary of around $93,730 per year[^4]. Although they may not be directly involved in software development, their role is crucial in overseeing the successful implementation of technology projects.

Computer Systems Administrator

Computer systems administrators are responsible for the maintenance and operation of an organization's computer systems. They manage hardware, software, networks, and ensure smooth functioning of the IT infrastructure. On average, computer systems administrators earn approximately $84,810 per year[^5]. While their role may not involve software development, it complements the work of software developers by providing a stable and efficient technology environment. In conclusion, while there are several career paths within the technology industry that share similarities with software development, software developers tend to enjoy higher average salaries. However, it's essential to consider factors such as experience, location, and industry when comparing salaries. Ultimately, software development offers lucrative opportunities and continues to be a promising career choice in the ever-evolving world of technology. [^1]: Bureau of Labor Statistics - Systems Analyst [^2]: Bureau of Labor Statistics - Web Developer [^3]: Bureau of Labor Statistics - Database Administrator [^4]: Bureau of Labor Statistics - IT Project Manager [^5]: Bureau of Labor Statistics - Computer Systems Administrator

Understanding Job Benefits and Compensation Packages for Software Developers

As software development continues to be a lucrative career choice, it is essential for professionals in this field to understand the various job benefits and compensation packages that come with their roles. In this section, we will delve into the key aspects that Software Developers should consider when evaluating their overall remuneration.

Base Salary

The base salary forms the foundation of a Software Developer's compensation package. It reflects the amount an individual is paid on an annual basis for their work. The base salary can vary significantly depending on factors such as experience, location, industry, and company size.

Bonuses and Incentives

Software Developers often have access to additional forms of compensation beyond their base salary. These can come in the form of bonuses and incentives, which are designed to reward exceptional performance or specific achievements. Common types of bonuses include signing bonuses, performance-based bonuses, profit-sharing, and stock options.

Health and Retirement Benefits

Employers understand the importance of employee well-being, which is why they offer health and retirement benefits as part of the compensation package. These benefits typically include health insurance coverage, dental and vision plans, disability insurance, and retirement savings options such as 401(k) plans or pension schemes. Software Developers should carefully review these benefits to ensure they meet their specific needs.

Paid Time Off

Paid time off (PTO) is a crucial component of any compensation package as it allows employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Software Developers are often entitled to vacation days, sick leave, and personal days. It's important for professionals in this field to understand the company's policy regarding PTO and how it accrues over time.

Training and Professional Development

In the rapidly evolving field of software development, staying updated with the latest technologies and trends is vital. Many companies offer opportunities for Software Developers to enhance their skills through training programs, conferences, workshops, and certifications. These opportunities not only contribute to personal growth but also enhance the value of the employee to the organization.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexibility in work arrangements has become increasingly important in recent years. Many companies now offer flexible working hours, remote work options, or even compressed workweeks. Software Developers should explore the possibilities of flexible work arrangements and discuss them during the negotiation process if they value such flexibility.

Additional Perks

Some companies provide additional perks to attract and retain top talent in the competitive software development industry. These perks can include free meals and snacks, gym memberships, company outings, and even childcare assistance. While not all organizations offer these perks, they can be a valuable consideration when evaluating different job offers. Understanding the various job benefits and compensation packages available to Software Developers is essential for making informed career decisions. By carefully considering these factors, professionals can ensure they are adequately rewarded for their skills and contributions.

Salary Negotiation Strategies for Software Developers

When it comes to salary negotiation as a software developer, it's essential to be well-prepared and armed with relevant information. By employing effective strategies, you can maximize your earning potential and secure the compensation you deserve. Here are some salary negotiation strategies that can help you in your pursuit of fair and competitive remuneration: Research industry salary trends: Before entering into negotiations, it's crucial to have a solid understanding of the prevailing salary trends in the software development industry. Researching online resources, such as reputable salary surveys, can provide you with valuable insights into what other professionals in your field are earning. Highlight your skills and experience: During negotiations, emphasize the unique skills, qualifications, and experience that make you a valuable asset to the organization. Showcase your accomplishments, certifications, and any specialized knowledge that sets you apart from other candidates. Emphasize the value you bring: Clearly articulate the impact your work will have on the organization. By highlighting how your contributions can drive revenue, improve efficiency, or solve critical problems, you can justify a higher salary. Be confident but reasonable: While it's essential to be confident in your abilities and value as a software developer, it's also important to be realistic in your salary expectations. Research industry averages and consider factors such as your level of experience, geographic location, and the size of the company. Leverage competing offers: If you have received other job offers or have competing opportunities on the table, use them to your advantage. Inform the employer about these offers tactfully, indicating that you are highly sought after in the market. This can potentially motivate them to offer a more competitive salary package. Consider additional benefits: Compensation isn't just limited to salary alone. Think about other benefits and perks that could enhance your overall package. These could include flexible working arrangements, stock options, health insurance, professional development opportunities, or additional vacation time. Don't rush to accept the first offer: When presented with an initial salary offer, it's essential not to rush into accepting it right away. Take your time to evaluate the offer and negotiate if necessary. Express gratitude for the opportunity and request some time to carefully consider the offer before providing a response. Remember, salary negotiation is a two-way conversation. Be prepared to listen to the employer's perspective and consider their constraints. Strive for a mutually beneficial outcome that ensures you are fairly compensated for your skills and contributions as a software developer. For additional resources and salary data, you may find the following websites helpful: - Glassdoor - Salary.com - PayScale By employing these salary negotiation strategies, you can position yourself for success and secure a competitive salary that reflects your value as a skilled software developer.

Section Future Software Developer Salary Trends

Software development is a field that continues to evolve at a rapid pace, with new technologies and trends emerging regularly. As a software developer, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the industry. Not only does this help you enhance your skills, but it also ensures that you remain competitive in terms of salary. Here are some key future salary trends to keep an eye on: Increasing demand for specialized skills: With the ever-expanding scope of software development, employers are increasingly seeking professionals with specialized skills. Areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cybersecurity, and data science are expected to see significant growth in the coming years. Developers who possess expertise in these domains can expect higher salaries due to their scarcity and high demand. Remote work opportunities: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant rise in remote work culture. This trend is likely to continue even after the pandemic subsides, as both employers and employees have realized the benefits of remote work. As a software developer, this means that you can tap into opportunities from anywhere in the world, which can lead to higher salary prospects. Continued growth of the tech industry: The tech industry has been experiencing remarkable growth over the years, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. As more businesses embrace digital transformation, the demand for skilled software developers will continue to rise. This increased demand is likely to result in higher salaries and more lucrative job opportunities for developers. Emphasis on continuous learning: Technology is constantly evolving, and software developers need to continuously update their skills to remain relevant in the field. Employers value professionals who demonstrate a commitment to learning and self-improvement. By staying updated with the latest programming languages, frameworks, and tools, you can position yourself as a valuable asset to employers and negotiate better salary packages. Rising importance of soft skills: While technical expertise is essential for software developers, employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of soft skills in the industry. Effective communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability are some of the key soft skills that employers seek. Developers who possess a combination of technical prowess and strong soft skills are likely to command higher salaries. Impact of emerging technologies: Emerging technologies such as blockchain, virtual reality (VR), and Internet of Things (IoT) are reshaping various industries. As these technologies mature, they will create new opportunities for software developers to innovate and develop applications that leverage their capabilities. Developers who embrace these emerging technologies and gain experience in them may find themselves in high demand, leading to better salary prospects. It's worth noting that salary trends can vary depending on factors such as location, experience level, and company size. To stay informed about the latest salary trends in your specific region or industry, it's advisable to refer to reputable sources such as salary surveys and industry reports. In conclusion, the future looks promising for software developers in terms of salary growth. By keeping up with the latest industry trends, continuously improving your skills, and staying adaptable, you can position yourself for a successful and rewarding career as a software developer. Sources: - Bureau of Labor Statistics - Payscale - Stack Overflow Developer Survey

Resources

Here are some valuable resources to help you gather more information on software developer salaries and related topics: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS provides comprehensive data on various occupations, including software developers. Their Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program offers detailed information on employment levels, wages, and geographic profiles. PayScale: PayScale is an online platform that offers salary information and compensation data across different industries and job roles. You can find salary insights for software developers based on experience, location, skills, and other factors. Glassdoor: Glassdoor is a popular platform that allows employees to anonymously share their salaries and reviews about companies. It can provide you with valuable insights into the salaries offered by different companies and the overall work culture. Indeed Salary Search: Indeed, one of the leading job search platforms, also offers a salary search feature. You can explore the average salaries of software developers in different locations and industries using their extensive database. Levels.fyi: Levels.fyi focuses on providing compensation data specifically for tech roles. Their platform allows you to compare software developer salaries at top tech companies and understand the compensation packages offered at different career levels. LinkedIn Salary Insights: LinkedIn Salary Insights provides salary information based on user-submitted data. You can explore software developer salaries based on job title, years of experience, location, and other filters. Stack Overflow: Stack Overflow is a popular online community for programmers and developers. Their annual developer survey provides valuable insights into salaries, job satisfaction, and various aspects of the software development industry. Remember, salary data may vary depending on factors such as experience, location, industry, and company size. It's always a good idea to consult multiple sources and consider the context of the information provided.

Conclusion

Software developers play a crucial role in today's technology-driven world, and their salaries reflect their value and expertise. Here, we have discussed various factors that influence a software developer's salary. Let's summarize the key takeaways:

Location Matters:

The geographical location significantly impacts software developer salaries. Tech hubs such as Silicon Valley, Seattle, and New York tend to offer higher salaries due to the high demand for skilled professionals and the higher cost of living.

Experience Matters:

As with most professions, experience plays a vital role in determining a software developer's earning potential. As developers gain more experience and demonstrate expertise in specific programming languages or technologies, they become more valuable to employers, resulting in higher salaries.

Specialization Adds Value:

Software developers who specialize in high-demand areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, or mobile app development can command higher salaries. Their specialized knowledge and skills are sought after by companies looking to stay ahead in a competitive market.

Education Level and Certifications:

While a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field is often the minimum requirement, advanced degrees can lead to higher-paying positions. Additionally, certifications in specific programming languages or technologies can enhance a software developer's marketability and earning potential.

Company Size and

Industry:

Software developers working for large tech companies or in industries such as finance, healthcare, or aerospace often receive higher salaries compared to those in smaller companies or less lucrative sectors. It is important to note that while salary is an essential factor to consider when pursuing a career as a software developer, other aspects such as job satisfaction, work-life balance, growth opportunities, and company culture also contribute to overall career happiness. For further information on software developer salaries and industry trends, you may refer to websites such as PayScale or Glassdoor. Remember, the software development field is dynamic and ever-evolving. Staying updated with the latest technologies, expanding your skillset, and continuously improving your expertise are key to maximizing your earning potential as a software developer.
OccupationStateHourlyAnnually
Average Software Developer Salary in AlaskaAlaska$64.52$134,210
Average Software Developer Salary in ArizonaArizona$53.07$110,380
Average Software Developer Salary in ArkansasArkansas$42.25$87,880
Average Software Developer Salary in CaliforniaCalifornia$79.01$164,330
Average Software Developer Salary in ColoradoColorado$62.46$129,920
Average Software Developer Salary in ConnecticutConnecticut$53.09$110,420
Average Software Developer Salary in DelawareDelaware$56.95$118,450
Average Software Developer Salary in FloridaFlorida$51.66$107,440
Average Software Developer Salary in GeorgiaGeorgia$58.86$122,430
Average Software Developer Salary in HawaiiHawaii$49.62$103,210
Average Software Developer Salary in IdahoIdaho$48.77$101,440
Average Software Developer Salary in IllinoisIllinois$56.96$118,470
Average Software Developer Salary in IndianaIndiana$48.32$100,510
Average Software Developer Salary in IowaIowa$49.8$103,580
Average Software Developer Salary in KansasKansas$49.37$102,700
Average Software Developer Salary in KentuckyKentucky$48.23$100,320
Average Software Developer Salary in LouisianaLouisiana$49.36$102,670
Average Software Developer Salary in MaineMaine$50.21$104,430
Average Software Developer Salary in MarylandMaryland$62.41$129,810
Average Software Developer Salary in MassachusettsMassachusetts$63.62$132,330
Average Software Developer Salary in MichiganMichigan$48.59$101,070
Average Software Developer Salary in MinnesotaMinnesota$53.17$110,600
Average Software Developer Salary in MississippiMississippi$44.11$91,750
Average Software Developer Salary in MissouriMissouri$48.87$101,650
Average Software Developer Salary in NebraskaNebraska$51.31$106,720
Average Software Developer Salary in NevadaNevada$51.89$107,920
Average Software Developer Salary in New HampshireNew Hampshire$60.23$125,280
Average Software Developer Salary in New JerseyNew Jersey$61.49$127,900
Average Software Developer Salary in New MexicoNew Mexico$48.44$100,750
Average Software Developer Salary in New YorkNew York$64.95$135,090
Average Software Developer Salary in North CarolinaNorth Carolina$60.83$126,520
Average Software Developer Salary in North DakotaNorth Dakota$40.8$84,860
Average Software Developer Salary in OhioOhio$50.24$104,500
Average Software Developer Salary in OklahomaOklahoma$47.84$99,510
Average Software Developer Salary in OregonOregon$58.28$121,230
Average Software Developer Salary in PennsylvaniaPennsylvania$51.52$107,170
Average Software Developer Salary in Rhode IslandRhode Island$62.35$129,690
Average Software Developer Salary in South CarolinaSouth Carolina$47.42$98,630
Average Software Developer Salary in South DakotaSouth Dakota$38.6$80,290
Average Software Developer Salary in TennesseeTennessee$49.65$103,270
Average Software Developer Salary in TexasTexas$53.7$111,700
Average Software Developer Salary in UtahUtah$51.92$107,990
Average Software Developer Salary in VermontVermont$47.72$99,250
Average Software Developer Salary in VirginiaVirginia$62.97$130,980
Average Software Developer Salary in West VirginiaWest Virginia$42.4$88,190
Average Software Developer Salary in WisconsinWisconsin$48.23$100,310
Average Software Developer Salary in WyomingWyoming$48.76$101,410

Projected Job Employment for Software Developer:

Estimated YearProjected YearEstimated EmploymentProjected Employment% ChangeProjected Annual Job Opening
202120311,425,9001,796,50026%143400