12 Highest-Paying Software Engineering Jobs

Software Engineering Jobs

Software engineers don’t often have “software engineer” as their title. So what are the top software engineering jobs and how much do they pay?

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If you’re thinking about a career in software engineering, you’re probably wondering — what are the top-paying jobs for software engineers? 

Almost every company around the nation needs some sort of Software Engineer. According to a report by Zippia, there are over 325,300 Software Engineers currently employed in the United States, and among the top 10% of highest-paid Software Engineers, they can earn as much as $136,000 or more.

Before we can talk about Software Engineer job salaries, let’s talk about what they do.

What Does a Software Engineer Do?

The title “Software Engineer” covers a wide variety of jobs, but most Software Engineers generally create and maintain computer software — websites, apps, software programs, for example — that are easy and enjoyable for people to use. The term Software Engineer can also refer to a specialist in a computer area — a generalist who writes codes for many kinds of software. Their overall task is to keep their platform clean, simple, and easy to use for everyday users.

Software Engineers, often called computer programmers, are different from Computer Engineers. Computer Engineers generally focus more on hardware, such as CPUs, processing power, and storage, whereas Software Engineers focus more on coding, programming, applications, and more.

Types of Software Engineering Jobs Out There

Software Engineers often don’t have “Software Engineer” as their title. Some companies may use that term in their role-searching, but it could mean more than the title suggests. For example, a software engineering role may also cover the front-end development of a website or server management and maintenance. While Software Engineers have different job titles, many job titles incorporate various aspects of their other responsibilities.

Software Engineers often have these job titles: 

  • Web Developer
  • Software Developer
  • Network Engineer
  • Java, SQL Developer
  • Data Programmer
  • AWS Solutions Architect

How Much Do Software Engineers Make?

Since software engineering involves a broad career field, the salary of a Software Engineer can vary depending on what position you have, what hiring platform you use, and what part of the nation you’re in.

But since salary often varies by job title, we’ve listed average software engineering salaries* from various job roles in the United States pulled from two different hiring platforms – Indeed and ZipRecruiter.

So what are the highest-paying software engineering jobs?

1. System Engineer

A System Engineer works with IT firms and companies to install software programs on networks and databases. They also help maintain the system overall and make repairs to ensure security measures.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $103,201

ZipRecruiter: $100,326

2. Software Engineer

Software Engineers – when they are literally labeled as such – are usually the jack of all trades. They use their knowledge of coding and applications to create software, applications, websites, and communication platforms for companies. They may also run and maintain content management systems and back-end servers for consumers, companies, or individuals.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $114,435

ZipRecruiter: $102,726

3. Full-Stack Developer

Full-Stack Developers are responsible for both front-end and back-end development. Front-end development may involve creating visual designs for websites, mobile applications, and company platforms. Back-end development usually involves running and maintaining servers to communicate with companies, consumers, and departments within an organization.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $120,542

ZipRecruiter: $104,803

4. Cloud Engineer

Cloud Engineers are responsible for aiding companies to move their information technology methods into a cloud format to ensure that they don’t lose important company information. They ensure that a company’s cloud management system stays safe, secure, and updated, so it consistently backs up information.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $121,451

ZipRecruiter: $126,786

5. Mobile Developer

Mobile Developers are responsible for the development and designing of mobile applications. They may also be required to restructure company websites to fit a mobile format or create an app for the company. They work with companies as either a team or as individuals.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $136,748

ZipRecruiter: $107,539

6. Development Operations Engineer

Development Operations Engineers, or DevOps, work with companies to compile code libraries or databases for the system or software program created. This would allow all employees to refer to a specific part of the library to identify what certain codes represent if they need to update the system.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $124,809

ZipRecruiter: $116,353

7. Site Reliability Engineers

Site Reliability Engineers communicate with DevOps Engineers and Software Engineers to address potential website errors or messages affecting the user or the consumer. They use coding libraries created by DevOps eEngineers and the designing capabilities of Software Engineers to make the changes needed to the website or the application.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $163,835

ZipRecruiter: $130,104

8. Software Architect

Software Architects are responsible for using their knowledge of software development to oversee a team of software developers and other IT professionals. They delegate tasks related to software program creation, maintenance, and updates so that the company they work for receives premium software.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $135,451

ZipRecruiter: $137,292

9. Enterprise Architect

Enterprise Architects work with companies to make sure that their technological processes benefit their business goals. They set information technology standards, purchase software, and enlist the help of the IT department to create the software.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $141,757

ZipRecruiter: $152,015

10. Software Engineering Manager

Software Engineering Managers oversee and work with the IT departments of a company. They use their knowledge of software engineering to direct a team of Software Engineers to create and maintain software programs.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $153,369

ZipRecruiter: $148,147

11. Technical Program Managers

Technical Program Managers are responsible for managing a team of software and hardware engineers. They also develop new software programs, updates, and maintenance issues to existing programs that teams need to complete within a given time frame.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $149,012

ZipRecruiter: $137,331

12. Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

A Chief Technology Officer, or a CTO, is an executive position within a company. CTOs are in charge of overseeing a company’s entire resource center. Their primary job duties include researching new technologies, programs, and methods and identifying weaknesses that could benefit from the latest IT technology.

National Average Salary:

Indeed: $194,006

ZipRecruiter: $171,916

Why are Software Engineers paid so well?

For many companies, Software Engineers and their teams create the entire interface and complete user experience for customers, third-party interference, and company members. Likewise, for many software companies or companies that require an application or a website to be used (Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, etc.), almost all of the design, back-end development, and front-end development portion fall to Software Engineers.

Even for companies with other user touchpoints — where the entire product isn’t digital — visual design, interactions, modeling, and other methods are critical to making a good impression and helping customers achieve their goals. Whether that’s buying a product, finding information, logging in and out of an account, or connecting with a customer service agent, the design and development process is involved in all of it.

User research, designing, user testing, wireframes, server development and maintenance, customer insights, prototypes — everything a Software Engineer does — is behind how good a company is at helping its customers succeed.

If you are interested in a career as a Software Engineer, check out the Software Engineering bootcamp at Flatiron School. You can finish the program in as little as 15 weeks and develop a job-ready portfolio so you can start your new career.

Apply now or book a 10-minute chat with admissions to learn more about the program. 

*Salaries cited current as of April 2023

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 21 June 2023. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

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