How much do software engineers make?

Your thoughts?


How much do junior level software engineers make?

$50,000 - $80,000

Junior level engineers usually have some formal education in computer science with between 0-3 years of professional development experience. These are typically younger people in their mid twenties or thirties including recent college grads.

How much do mid level software engineers make?

$80,000 - $100,000

Mid level engineers are the middle schoolers of software developers. They usually have 3-5 years experience and are in that "awkward" phase where they bring value to the table but also have some serious knowledge gaps at times. Doesn't mean they don't make competitive salaries :).

How much do senior level software engineers make?

$100,000 - $150,000

Senior level engineers tend to be the most diverse in terms of experience and "usefulness" on the job. This is because "senior level" is rather ambiguous and means different things at different companies. You can have a senior engineer with 20 years experience who can barely pick up React or someone with 5 years experience who acts as an unofficial team lead.

How much do principal level software engineers make?

$150,000 - $300,000

Principal engineers represent a wide salary range. This is because I'm reserving "principal" for anything past senior. You may hear "staff" or "architect" but it all kind of resembles this range of pay.

Please note that these salary ranges are based on my own personal national average. A junior level engineer in NY is going to make almost as much as a senior engineer in Tulsa.


Software engineers make good money across the board. It's 2022 and the labor market is tight. Combine that with lack of skilled workers in the industry and most software engineers who have experience that want jobs have jobs these days.

In answering how much these in-demand software engineers make, it's important to distinguish between contractors and full time employees.

Contractors are paid hourly. They have a contractual agreement with a company. While many opportunities are "contract to hire", the contract does not guarantee a continued relationship with the company after the agreement has ended.

As a result, contractors don't get the perks of full time employees including vacation, 401k matching, health insurance, etc.

As a biproduct of this, contractors can demand a higher premium when determining their hourly rate. Contractors make anywhere from $20/hr to $100hr. While exceptions always exist, this is the generic range you can expect 95% of engineers to fall under if they are doing contracting work.

Full time employees (FTE) usually get benefits along with their base pay. Not only do these benefits include medical insurance, 401k matching, and other perks, they also frequently pay out bonuses based on performance.

At some of the mammoth tech giants, things can get even more lucrative with stock options etc. Full time employees make anywhere from $50,000 - $400,000. Yes I know that this is a broad range but it captures the lowest and highest end of most professionals these days.

Making $100,000 - $150,000 is a reasonable goal for most engineers. Making $250,000+ is reserved for the best and brightest in the industry.


Like most answers in software engineering, it depends...

Software engineers make great money in today's labor market. This is because software engineering jobs are in such high demand AND there's so few of them around. It's especially hard to find good engineers, ones that have quality experience and understand the deeper complexities of using common libraries like Java, Node, React, Angular, JavaScript etc.

With that said, the scope of work and the employer are going to be the biggest factors in how much you make as an engineer. By "scope of work", I'm talking about contractors versus full time employees (FTE).

Contractors are typically paid hourly and can make significantly more than salaried employees. HOWEVER, contractors typically don't get benefits like FTEs do. This is something to consider when contractors tell you they make $200k a year etc.

The employer of the work is going to be the biggest factor in how much a software engineer makes. If someone is an FTE at Google then they could be pushing upwards of $500k a year. If someone is a junior level engineer at a start up they could be making $50k a year.

This is why "scope of work" and "employer" are the biggest factors in how much software engineers make.


For full time employees in US:

Junior level: $40,000 - $80,000

Mid level: $80,000 - $110,000

Senior level: $110,000 - $150,000

Principal +: $150,000 - $300,000


How much to contractor software engineers make?

Contractors can make anywhere from $30 - $150 an hour

How much do full time software engineers make?

Full time employees can make anywhere between $50,000 - $300,000 a year.

A handy trick to figuring out the conversion...

Hourly Rate X 2,080 = Annual Salary


Software engineers can make a wide range.

Junior level software engineers in India can make $10-$20 an hour.

Senior level software engineers in India can make $20-40 an hour.

Junior level software engineers in US can make $40-$50 an hour.

Senior level software engineers in US can make $50-$80 an hour.

At first glance, the assumption is to clearly outsource. But it's important to remember that NOT ALL engineers are created equal. You can find great/awful engineers all over the world :).


The sky is the limit in terms of how much money a software engineer makes. This is because a software engineer can work for a startup, a multi billion dollar corporation, or (most interesting) him/herself.

Software engineers are in high demand. Software engineering is arguably one of the most in demand professions going in 2022. You can easily make a competitive salary ($100,000 - $200,000) working for a plethora of different sized companies. Startups and big companies alike all invest heavily in their tech teams.

The important thing to ask yourself is WHY? Why are people getting paid so much to configure open source libraries? The answer, of course, is the money making potential from configuring such libraries.

With just a few good engineers, you can build an application that scales. This is very attractive to investors and why some software engineers make millions selling their own products.

Software engineers have a lot of flexible ways to make money. The answer to this question truly involves creating your own reality :).


Anywhere from $30 an hour to $300k a year.


$45,000 - $450,000


Seems software engineers are making more and more all the time. Especially with inflation it's tough telling how much a software engineer makes in 2022.

The majority of full time salaried engineers at mid level or higher are making over $100k.


basically $100k a year when you average it out.


I live in USA, have 5 years experience, and make $100,00K


millions brah