Unlock the world of high-paying software engineering jobs! From Back-End Engineer to Security Engineer, explore roles and top-paying companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Elevate your career with App Academy's online coding bootcamps.
Becoming a software engineer, full-stack developer, computer programmer, cybersecurity engineer, or any other career in the tech space has its benefits. One of the most appealing? The salary.
The software engineering space is vast, always evolving, and offers some seriously competitive salaries and earning potential — sometimes into the millions, per year. Today we’re covering the top 8 highest paying software engineering jobs and top 8 paying companies in the U.S.A.
8 Highest Paying Software Engineering Jobs
The term “software engineer” is incredibly broad, covering a huge variety of job titles. Choosing between software engineer career paths might seem a little daunting until you really do some digging and get a good overview of their focus, benefits, and salary range. To get you started, here’s a high-level look at the jobs with the highest software engineer salary.
1. Back-End Engineer
Boasting the highest salary for software engineer of the bunch, a back-end engineer (not to be confused with a back-end developer) creates the server-side structure and communication of a site of application. This includes things like building APIs and writing scripts that can be used by front-end engineers. An engineer is focused on the structure, performance (such as speed), security, and stability of the back-end system.
A back-end engineer salary is $145,314 per year ($12,109 per month), on average. Those who have mastered the job and hold top positions in ideal locations make closer to $180,000.
2. Software Development Manager
A software development manager is responsible for overseeing one or more teams of developers. As the manager of these teams, they manage projects, ensure accurate and on-time delivery of projects, strategize, and make high-level decisions about design and deployment.
According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for a software development manager is $145,233 (or $12,102 per month), while the top earners in the field make upwards of $180,000.
3. Solutions Architect
A solutions architect holds much of the expertise of a software engineer but uses that knowledge and experience specifically to create solutions for complex problems. They’re the ones who create the overall technical vision for projects and outline the phases that need to be completed for a successful solution. They often work closely with IT departments and developers.
Those holding this title can expect to make about $139,360 per year (or $11,613 per month). Top-earning solutions architects are reported to make closer to $175,000.
4. Data Engineer
Data engineers are actually a type of software engineer, but they have a focus on creating big data ETL pipelines and infrastructure. They manage how the data flows through the company and manage data collection, transformation, and access. Their role combines various elements of both a software engineer and a data scientist.
The average salary for data engineers in the US is $128,704 ($10,725 per month) while top-earners make about $160,000.
5. Data Scientist
A data scientist looks at and analyzes data using scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems that extract knowledge from structured and unstructured data. They interpret this complex data and often use that information to explain trends and inform decision making. Think of them as part scientists and part mathematicians.
How much money does a data scientist make? The national average is $127,128 per year (or $10,594 per month). Top earners in the field are making upwards of $160,000.
6. Machine Learning Engineer
Machine learning engineers design and build artificial intelligence (AI) software and systems. These self-running systems run on algorithms designed by these AI engineers and will automate predictive models.
The average machine learning engineer salary is $127,448 per year ($10,620 per month), however, top-earners in the field make more than $165,000.
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7. DevOps Engineer
A DevOps engineer uses their expertise in development and operations to create and maintain software. They use knowledge like coding, infrastructure management, operating systems, system administration, DevOps tools, and more. Most often considered an IT job, they almost always work cross-departmentally.
Looking at the current salary for a DevOps engineer in the US, ZipRecruiter reports $127,036 per year ($10,586 per month), but top-earning engineers make closer to $160,000.
8. Security Engineer
A cybersecurity engineer is responsible for protecting their client or organization’s computer systems from hackers and scammers. They use digital security protocols, systems, and infrastructures to create countermeasures for attackers and strongholds against future attacks. This is a specialized field that traverses software engineering and IT engineering, requiring a strong technical background and solutions-oriented mindset.
ZipRecruiter reports that security engineers in the US make $114,810 per year, on average (or $9,567 per month) while top-earning professionals make $147,089.
8 Companies with the Highest Paying Software Engineering Jobs
In the pursuit of the highest paying companies for software engineers in the USA and globally, several tech giants emerge at the forefront.
As one of the largest tech companies in the world, it’s no surprise to see Google on the list of highest paying companies for software engineers. Google is currently paying software engineers between $108,000–$186,000 per year, with an average of about $142,446. Top earners in principal, distinguished, and fellow roles are reported to make over $1.1 million. Google also has a huge portfolio of jobs available in this field, such as research scientist, Android developer, back-end developer, and more.
Amazon is another tech giant that offers their software engineers an average salary of $133,105 per year, with entry level salaries in the $66,000 range and high earners over $220,000. Senior principal and distinguished engineers are reported to make over $1.02 million.
The next tech powerhouse on the list is Microsoft. The average salary for a software engineer at Microsoft is $127,643 with entry level salaries around $57,000 and highs around $226,000. Partners are reported to make nearly $800,000 and higher level engineers are reported to make over $1.18 million.
Despite recent challenges, Facebook (Meta) is another one of the best paying companies for software engineers. Their median annual salary is $189,273 per year with a low around $86,000 and a high closer to $330,000. What about those top-level positions? Facebook pays those software engineers $2.53 million.
Let’s not forget about Apple. They pay their software engineers $141,192 as the national average. Entry level engineers make about $45,000 and high earners in the $290,000 range. The highest reported levels of engineers at Apple make $766,000, however, there are three additional levels above that that don’t have public data available.
As one of the first streaming video services to hit the market, Netflix is a fantastic company to work for as a software engineer. The earning potential averages at $182,195 with a low around $44,000 and a high about $414,000. The best of the best at Netflix make over $676,000 once they reach an L6 title, while the next jump up does not have reported salary information available.
LinkedIn is another company reported to have one of the best salaries for software engineers. The average salary is $164,077 with a low around $65,000 and a high closer to $306,000. What about those high-up positions? Principal engineers are reported to make about $1 million a year, with two additional levels above that available.
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