Your Guide to Software Developer Salaries and Jobs

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Software developer salaries reflect their critical role in creating, designing, and deploying computer software and applications.

Software developers integrate frameworks, architectures, designs, and patterns while building code in programming languages. They test, troubleshoot, and manage their work as individuals at the heart of the software lifecycle.

Software jobs vary, as do salaries for software developers. What they have in common is demand, which helps drive up wages. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that software developer jobs in the United States will increase by 22% by 2030.

Software Developer Jobs

Software developer jobs differ depending on the level of education required, experience, duties, and industry.

Software developers can specialize. For example:

  • Web developers create websites.
  • Back-end developers specialize in the server side of software development.
  • Front-end developers work on the client side of software development.
  • Full-stack developers work on the front-end and back-end aspects of software development
  • Video game developers create and implement video game software.
  • Mobile application developers focus on application software used on mobile devices.
  • Desktop application developers specialize in applications for computers.

Other specialties include embedded system development and operating system development.

The jobs listed below reflect varying levels of seniority and focus on broad career categories rather than specific job titles. However, the list should give you an idea of ​​available salaries and potential tasks in each category.

Note that higher-level job titles in each category may require additional education, such as a master’s degree in software engineering.

Software engineer

Minimum degree required: Licence
Alternative job titles: Software Developer, Application Software Developer, System Software Developer
Skills required: Knowledge of computer science, mathematics, engineering and information technology; creative and analytical; interpersonal and communication skills

Software engineers plan the scope of a software development project by working with other programmers, developers, artists, and testers. They analyze user needs and design applications and programs to meet those requirements.

Throughout the software development process, software engineers test, fix, and maintain software.

According to PayScale, software engineers earned an average salary of $88,566 in April 2022.

Programmer

Minimum degree required: Licence
Alternative job titles: Computer Programmer, Web Application Programmer, Internet Programmer
Skills required: Knowledge of mathematics, engineering, computer science, information technology; skilled with programming languages; a problem solver; personal skills

Computer programmers write, modify, and test codes and scripts for use in computer software and applications. They coordinate with software and website developers to create software for information storage, inventory tracking, games and the like.

Computer programmers may specialize in specific computer programming languages ​​or types of software. They include computer systems, software development practices and procedures, and quality and testing standards.

Computer programmers earned a median annual salary of $89,190 in May 2020.

Software architect

Minimum degree required: Licence
Alternative job titles: Computer systems architect, computer network architect, database architect
Skills required: Knowledge of computer science, information technology, engineering and programming languages; problem-solving and critical thinking skills; familiarity with operating systems such as Windows, iOS and Linux

Software architects develop software solutions for software and hardware interface challenges. They also identify ways to improve web services, coding programs, and databases to maximize efficiency and user satisfaction. Software architects test and perform updates and train users.

In March 2022, software architects earned an average base salary of $127,941.

Software QA analysts and testers

Minimum degree required: Licence
Alternative job titles: Software quality engineer, software test engineer, software quality control analyst
Skills required: Programming knowledge, written and verbal communication skills, deductive and inductive reasoning skills, problem solving

Software quality assurance analysts and testers develop routines and procedures to ensure software usability, functionality, and security. They identify and document potential risks, issues, and threats and report them to developers.

Some software QA analysts and testers may write code and make fixes and changes.

Software quality assurance analysts and testers earned a median annual salary of $110,140 in May 2020.

Web developer

Minimum degree required: Licence
Alternative job titles: Web design specialist, webmaster, web architect, UI developer
Skills required: Knowledge of computer science, engineering, information technology and mathematics; programming languages ​​such as HTML and CSS; creative and detail oriented

Web developers design and develop websites and web applications using programming and scripting languages. HTML and CSS, commonly used in web development, are among the easiest programming languages ​​to learn.

Web developers integrate graphic, audio, and video content while ensuring user accessibility and security. They can specialize in the back-end, front-end, or both aspects of a website. Some web developers also take on web and digital interface design roles.

Web developers earned a median annual salary of $77,2000 in May 2020.

Senior vs Junior Software Developers

Depending on your education and experience, you can find employment as a junior, intermediate, or senior software developer. Junior software developers are entry-level employees and receive close supervision. Mid-level and senior software developers operate with more autonomy.

More advanced software development roles mean more complex tasks you complete. A mid-level or higher software development role may include management responsibilities overseeing other developers and development projects.

According to PayScale, junior software developers earn average salaries of around $64,000 as of March 2022. Mid-level software developers with five to nine years of experience earned average salaries above $84,000, while experienced software developers with over 20 years of experience won $98,000.

Software Developer Salaries

Software developer salaries vary by education, experience, industry, and location. The BLS reported in May 2020 that software developers earned an annual median salary of $110,140.

You can increase your earning potential and advance your tech career by earning top tech certifications, gaining experience, learning new programming languages, or pursuing a degree in software engineering.

Computer systems design companies and software publishers employ the most software developers, while positions in transportation, entertainment and manufacturing offer the highest salaries on average.

States with strong tech sectors like California and Washington pay the highest salaries to software developers in the United States. California has five of the top 10 highest paying cities for software developers.

Highest Paying States for Software Developers

States on the west and east coasts of the United States employ the largest number of software developers.

They also offer some of the highest salaries, but you have to compare the salaries to the cost of living. The five locations in the table below have a higher than average cost of living.

Location

Employed developers

Average annual salary

Washington

99,630

$138,400

California

249,700

$137,620

New York

83,330

$122,300

Massachusetts

59,010

$119,790

washington d.c.

8,110

$119,630


Are you on a budget or planning to work remotely? Check out our list of the best cities for tech jobs.

This article has been reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico

Monali Mirel Chuatico, a woman with long black hair, smiles in a headshot.

In 2019, Monali Mirel Chuatico earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science, which gave her the foundation to excel in roles such as data engineer, front-end developer, UX designer, and computer science instructor.

Monali is currently a Data Engineer at Mission Lane. As Captain of Data Analytics at a non-profit organization called COOP Careers, Monali helps new graduates and young professionals overcome underemployment by teaching them data analytics tools and mentoring them. in their career development.

Monali is passionate about implementing creative solutions, building community, advocating for mental health, empowering women and educating young people. Monali’s goal is to gain more experience in her field, broaden her skills and do meaningful work that will have a positive impact on the world.

Monali Mirel Chuatico is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Independent Assessment Network.

Last revised March 24, 2022.

Unless otherwise noted, wage and employment growth data are from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of April 18, 2022.

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