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Software engineer salaries by experience: How much should you be making?

Hack Reactor

Software engineer salaries by experience: How much should you be making?

By Kevin Juhasz for Hack Reactor

When looking at career sites, it’s easy to find an average starting salary or the overall average salary of different tech jobs. But a software engineering career is a path that offers many levels of salary. When looking for a company or an area to begin your career, it helps to get an idea of what the future may hold.

While it is possible to get a general idea of the salary career path of a software engineer, there are always going to be different variables involved. Different regions of the United States are going to have different salaries. The path you take with a specific company will also introduce differences. Career paths for software engineers can stay on the engineer track or move toward a management path, which will also affect the salary trajectory.

Here’s a look at what you may have in store salary-wise if you are a coding bootcamp graduate.

United States

First, let’s examine the path for all software engineers across the country. It provides a look at what the industry is paying on average for each level of a software engineering career. But this is only a rough estimate. Salaries will vary by state and company. Many large companies pay much higher than the averages shown below. This is a good start to show what a software engineer in the United States can expect to earn.

Software Engineer — $106,578

(L2, 2-4 years of experience)

Senior Software Engineer — $128,759

(L3, 2-4 years of experience)

Software Engineer IV — $141,656

(L4, 5-7 years of experience)

Principal Software Engineer — $153,346

(L5, 8 or more years of experience)

Director of Software Engineering — $165,168

(L6, 8 or more years of experience)

Source: Glassdoor

U.S. Metropolitan Areas

Most places that collect data look at salaries based on years of experience and less on actual job titles. This still provides an idea of what the salary will be for anyone more interested in regional data.


Atlanta

Entry-Level — $139,199

1-2 years — $143,013

6-9 years — $163,578

10+ years — $187,405


Austin

Entry-Level — $97,767

1-2 years — $100,446

6-9 years — $114,890

10+ years — $131,625


Chicago

Entry-Level — $98,656

1-2 years — $101,359

6-9 years — $115,935

10+ years — $132,822


Denver

Entry-Level — $92,162

1-2 years — $94,688

6-9 years — $108,303

10+ years — $124,079


Kansas City

Entry-Level — $65,272

1-2 years — $67,060

6-9 years — $76,703

10+ years — $87,876


Miami

Entry-Level — $80,594

1-2 years — $82,803

6-9 years — $94,709

10+ years — $108,505


New York

Entry-Level — $119,704

1-2 years — $122,984

6-9 years — $140,668

10+ years — $161,156


San Francisco

Entry-Level — $139,199

1-2 years — $143,013

6-9 years — $163,578

10+ years — $187,405


Seattle

Entry-Level — $123,425

1-2 years — $126,807

6-9 years — $145,041

10+ years — $166,168


Washington, D.C.

Entry-Level — $107,107

1-2 years — $110,041

6-9 years — $125,865

10+ years — $144,198

Source: Indeed


Want more salary information broken down by state?

Check out “Software engineer salary review 2021: How does your state compare?”


Companies

While software engineers can get a general idea of what their salary path might look like, there are going to be variations within many companies. Some are going to have more levels than the general one shown above. The general salary range only shows five levels, while Google, for example, has nine levels for software engineers and eight levels on their software engineer management path. A little research can show you career paths and their corresponding salaries for many of the major tech companies. Smaller companies may require a little more research.

Salaries are regarding base salary only, and do not include bonuses and stock. Some higher levels do not have salary data available.

Nvidia

Nvidia has one of the top salary averages in the nation at $155K per year with a range from $92K-$258K. The company also has levels that go above Principal Engineer, but salaries are only available from entry-level to IC6.

Software Engineer I (IC1) — $125,000

Software Engineer II (IC2) — $142,000

Software Engineer III (IC3) — $163,000

Software Engineer IV (IC4) — $188,000

Software Engineer V (IC5) — $220,000

Principal Engineer (IC6) - $275,000

Facebook

Another top-paying company in the United States, the average reported salary for Facebook comes in at $161K with a range from $54K to $294K. Facebook’s career levels are pretty simple, nothing fancy. Data for any software engineers above E8 is not available.

Software Engineer I (E3) — $121,000

Software Engineer II (E4) — $161,000

Software Engineer III (E5) — $197,000

Software Engineer IV (E6) — $232,000

Software Engineer V (E7) — $270,000

Software Engineer VI (E8) — $298,000

Google

Software engineer salaries nationwide for Google have a wide range, with reports of compensation as low as $26K and as high as $425K. The average at the tech giant is around $144K. Data for the first five levels is widely available, but L9-L11 is not available.

SWE-II (L3) — $130,000

SWE-III (L4) — $157,000

Senior Software Engineer (L5) — $187,000

Staff Software Engineer (L6) — $225,000

Senior Staff Software Engineer (L7) — $257,000

Principal Software Engineer (L8) — $331,000

Bloomberg

Bloomberg is one of the higher paying companies in the country, but levels and salaries are hard to obtain by level. Users have reported salaries ranging from $100K to $214K with an average of $152K. Data on specific levels is only available for two positions.

Software Engineer (Entry Level) — $152,000

Senior Software Engineer — $196,000

Sources: Glassdoor, levels.fyi