Software Engineer salary

A Software Engineer salary can hinge on a candidate’s industry experience and ability to address the entire software life cycle of the organisation they work for. In an environment of rapid technological change, software engineers who continually update their skill set particularly around virtualisation, cloud services and evolving technologies are in a strong position to negotiate their salary.

Percentiles of a Software Engineer salary

In the Robert Half Salary Guide, salaries are broken down by percentiles. This allows you to see how different skills, experience and qualifications – along with different roles, can shape your Software Engineer salary.

25th percentile

At this salary percentile, a Software Engineer should be able to write, test and deploy code under the supervision of a department head. Candidates are likely to be recent graduates of a Bachelor of Computer Science or Engineering, and job opportunities may lie with smaller companies with less complex requirements, or as part of a broader team within a large organisation.

50th percentile

In this Software Engineer salary percentile, the role is more complex and candidates are expected to have an average level of experience, often with engineering skills in C#, JavaScript, TypeScript, Asp.Net MVC and SQL. Hiring organisations may look for knowledge of database query and management, and understanding and use of UI/UX tools and processes.

75th percentile

In this salary percentile, software engineers are expected to have more than typical experience, often in a particular industry. Candidates will be expected to have a strong skillset often spanning both front-end and server-side development, with experience in a variety of technologies and frameworks to deliver complete solutions. Experience with server-side programming languages such as C#, Go, Java, Ruby and Python, can be helpful for candidates to negotiate a salary at the upper end of this percentile.

95th percentile

In the highest Software Engineer salary percentile, the role can call for leadership qualities to mentor and manage a team of engineers and developers. Candidates will be required to have significant, highly relevant experience plus the skills to support solution architecture decisions. Good communication skills are essential to report back to project managers. This salary percentile may also be possible in industries where there is considerable competition for skilled talent.

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