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It’s simple to locate the typical starting salary or the overall average compensation of various computer careers when browsing career websites. However, a career in software engineering is one that can pay at various levels. It can be useful to have a sense of what the future might hold when choosing a business or industry in which to launch your career.

Although a rough concept of the wage career path for a software engineer can be obtained, there will always be several factors at play. Salary levels will vary according on location in the United States. There will also be variances depending on the course you take with a certain business. Software engineers’ career paths can either stay on the engineer track or diverge toward the management track, which will also have an impact on the income trajectory.

What is the Salary of a Software Engineer With 3 Years Experience?

In the US, a Software Engineer 3 makes an average salary of $120,228 a year. That comes out to about $57.80 an hour, in case you need a quick pay calculator. This is the same as $2,312 each week or $10,019 every month.

Read Also: What is the Hourly Rate for Software Development?

Although ZipRecruiter reports yearly salaries for Software Engineer 3 as high as $172,000 and as low as $62,000, the majority of these incomes now fall between the 25th and 75th percentiles at $101,500 and the 90th percentile at $157,500, respectively. The wide variation in average salary for a Software Engineer 3 (up to $35,000) implies that there may be numerous prospects for wage increases and promotion based on experience, location, and skill level.

Here is an overview of potential salaries for graduates of coding bootcamps.

United States

Let’s first look at the route taken by all software developers in the nation. It shows what the market pays on average for each level of a profession in software engineering. However, this is simply a ballpark figure. By state and business, salaries will differ. Many large businesses pay significantly more than the averages depicted below. This is a nice place to start when illustrating the salary range for software engineers in the US.

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)

The majority of places that gather data examine pay based more on years of experience than actual job titles. For those who are more interested in regional statistics, this still gives them a general notion of what the pay will be.

  • 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

Software developers can gain an indication of their potential income path in general, although there will be variations among various firms. Some will have more levels than the default one seen above.

While Google, for instance, has nine levels for software engineers and eight levels on their software engineer management path, the public salary range only displays five levels. You may find out the career trajectories and accompanying wages for many of the top tech businesses by doing a little research. Smaller businesses might need to do a little more investigation.

Bonuses and stock options are not included in salaries; only the base pay is included. Salary information is not accessible for some higher levels.


With an annual compensation range of $92K to $258K, Nvidia has one of the highest average salaries in the country at $155K. Although the organization does have levels above Principal Engineer, salaries are only offered up 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


The average reported wage for Facebook, another top-paying firm in the US, is $161K, with a range from $54K to $294K. The career levels on Facebook are really basic; nothing spectacular. Any software engineers with a level higher than E8 lack data.

  • 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 pays software engineers a wide variety of incomes, with claims of pay as low as $26K and as high as $425K. The IT juggernaut’s average salary is about $144K. The first five levels’ data are freely accessible, but L9–L11’s data is not.

  • 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


Although Bloomberg is one of the best-paying firms in the nation, levels and incomes are difficult to attain. Users have reported earning an average of $152K with incomes ranging from $100K to $214K. Only two positions have data on particular level information accessible.

  • Software Engineer (Entry Level) — $152,000
  • Senior Software Engineer — $196,000

Do Software Engineers Make 1 Million a Year?

One of the finest paying industries to work in is software engineering. Software engineers can absolutely end up being millionaires. Let’s go over the various avenues that this can take.

Join a Big Tech company

As a Software Engineer, moving up the corporate ladder in a major IT company is one of the safest paths to financial success. The biggest salaries in technology are typically offered by the FAANG businesses (Facebook/Meta, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google). Of course, there are a ton of other high-paying businesses, including IBM, Microsoft, and more recent ones like Coinbase.

A Principal Engineer at Google makes $1.2 million, while a Principal Engineer at Facebook makes $1.4 million. Microsoft is thought to have created 12,000 millionaires throughout its existence.

Join an early stage startup

Working in a small but rapidly expanding startup and receiving shares is a riskier way for a software developer to become a millionaire. For instance, Stripe, a provider of payment processing services, has the highest global private firm valuation at over $100 billion. Once Stripe files for an IPO and goes public on the stock market, early-joined software engineers at the company who received shares will undoubtedly become millionaires.

Forty employees at Apple overnight became millionaires when the company went public. According to the EliteSavvy blog, MoPub, a firm that was acquired by Twitter in 2013 for $350 million, made 36 of its employees millionaires.

Start your own tech company

Having your own business is undoubtedly a lucrative endeavor. These days, you don’t even need venture capital investment to start a business. Programmers are typically the most expensive hire for a software company, so if you can already code, you have eliminated the biggest expense from the start.

It’s much simpler to launch a business now than it used to be because there is an availability of affordable software. Instead of creating your own payment systems from scratch, you may utilize Stripe Checkout. Instead of the bad old days of having a physical server, you can utilize Heroku or AWS to host your website in the cloud.

With EmailOctopus, you may build a free email list of up to 2,500 members (affiliate). Major growth avenues like social media and SEO are also cost-free and only take your time, not money.

In order to make it simpler for musicians to submit their recordings with record labels and receive honest criticism, Jason Grishkoff founded SubmitHub. The company’s founder, a self-taught software developer, made seven figures in sales annually as of 2019.

Self-taught web designer Pieter Levels is the brains behind the popular websites Nomad List and RemoteOK. Pieter has benefited financially by riding the tide of digital nomadism and remote work. Additionally, none of this was made possible by outside investment or conventional advertising.

The Mailchimp founders sold their company for $10 billion last year; this was another startup that had no outside funding. So, there are no restrictions on entrepreneurship. The nicest aspect of this is that you can become a software engineer without even having a degree, much less one in computer science. Either you can learn to code independently or you may attend a coding bootcamp.

Which Software Engineer Salary is High?

There are many different vocations that go under the umbrella of “software engineer,” but most software engineers tend to develop and maintain computer software that is user-friendly and pleasant, such as websites, applications, and software programs. A generalist who produces code for several types of software is referred to as a “software engineer” and is a specialist in the field of computers. Their main goal is to maintain their platform streamlined, uncomplicated, and user-friendly for regular consumers.

Computer programmers, often known as software engineers, are distinct from computer engineers. Software engineers concentrate more on coding, programming, applications, and other topics, whereas computer engineers typically focus more on hardware, such as CPUs, processing power, and storage.

The title “software engineer” is not frequently used by software engineers. That phrase may be used in role-searching by some businesses, but it may have broader implications. For instance, a software engineering position can include include server management and upkeep or website front-end development. Although software engineers hold a variety of positions, many of those positions include additional duties.

The income of a software engineer can vary depending on the position you hold, the hiring platform you use, and the region of the country you are in because software engineering encompasses a large career field.

Software engineering has been listed as the second-highest paying entry-level position for independent contractors by Glassdoor, with a typical base compensation of over $90,000.

Read Also: What are the Benefits of Being a Software Engineer?

However, because salaries frequently vary by job title, we’ve given typical software engineering salaries from a range of job roles in the United States, taken from two distinct hiring platforms (Indeed and ZipRecruiter).

Software Engineer

Software engineers frequently do a variety of tasks. They provide software, applications, websites, and communication platforms for businesses using their expertise in coding and applications. For clients, businesses, or themselves, they may also manage and handle back-end servers and content management systems.

At least a Bachelor’s degree in software engineering, software development, information technology, computer programming, or a closely related field is required for this position.

Indeed: $126,486 per year
ZipRecruiter: $99,729 per year

System Engineer

A system engineer installs software on networks and databases in collaboration with IT corporations and businesses. Additionally, they assist with general system maintenance and carry out repairs to ensure security measures.

A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a similar field.

Indeed: $93,199 per year
ZipRecruiter: $95, 270 per year

Full-Stack Developer

Full-Stack Both front-end and back-end development are the responsibility of developers. Creating graphic designs for websites, mobile applications, and business platforms may be part of front-end development. Running and maintaining servers for communication with businesses, customers, and organizational divisions are typically part of back-end development.

A Bachelor’s degree or higher in computer science, software development, computer programming, coding, or a closely related field.

Indeed: $101,931 per year
ZipRecruiter: $102,744 per year

Cloud Engineer

To prevent the loss of crucial corporate data, cloud engineers are in charge of helping businesses transition their information technology practices into a cloud structure. They make sure that an organization’s cloud management system is secure, up-to-date, and safe so that it can consistently backup data.

A minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in cybersecurity, computer science, or a similar field, as well as three to five years of IT job experience

Indeed: $120,455 per year
ZipRecruiter: $128,837 per year

Mobile Developer

The creation and design of mobile applications is the responsibility of mobile developers. They can also be asked to develop an app for the business or rearrange company websites to match a mobile format. They collaborate with businesses either as a group or alone.

A Bachelor’s degree minimum in computer science, information systems administration, programming, or a similar field.

Indeed: $123,853 per year
ZipRecruiter: $105,037 per year

Software engineers and their teams often design the entire user interface and overall user experience for clients, outside interference, and internal users. Similarly, software engineers handle practically all of the design, back-end development, and front-end development for many software organizations or businesses that depend on users accessing an application or website (such as Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, etc.).

Visual design, interactions, modeling, and other techniques are essential for creating a positive user experience and assisting clients in reaching their objectives—even for businesses with additional user touchpoints when the entire product isn’t digital. The design and development process is involved in each of these activities, whether it be purchasing a product, obtaining information, signing in and out of an account, or contacting customer service.

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