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

By Kevin Juhasz

Editor’s note: Tech job salaries can fluctuate; be sure to check the included links for the most up-to-date software engineer salary information. 


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’s possible to get a general idea of salaries for software engineers, there are always different variables involved. Different regions of the United States have different salaries, for example, and the path you take with a specific company can also introduce differences. Career paths for software engineers can stay on the engineering track or move toward a management path, which can also impact salary trajectory.

Below, let’s look at examples broken down by locations and companies.

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.


Entry-Level — $139,199

1-2 years — $143,013

6-9 years — $163,578

10+ years — $187,405


Entry-Level — $97,767

1-2 years — $100,446

6-9 years — $114,890

10+ years — $131,625


Entry-Level — $98,656

1-2 years — $101,359

6-9 years — $115,935

10+ years — $132,822


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


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


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 2022: How does your state compare?”


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.

These salaries reflect base salary only and do not include bonuses and stock. Some levels do not have salary data available.


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


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


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 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,


Ready to get your software engineering career started? Learn about our coding bootcamps

We Hack the Future

Transform Tech from Within with Software Engineering Bootcamps

Not sure if a bootcamp is your next step? Sign up for an info session or schedule a 1:1 Q&A with an advisor to learn about our programming.