Career Insight

How Much Does a Software Developer Make?

Taking that first step toward a new career is about as exciting and thrilling as it gets. Let’s say you want to test your skills and take your talents to the software development field. You’ll likely wonder what a software developer’s day-to-day responsibilities are or what type of company you can expect to work for. But perhaps, more importantly, you’ll wonder what the average software developer’s salary looks like. It’s a quintessential question in your search for a new career and one that deserves a closer look.

What Does a Software Developer Do?

Before we look at salaries, let’s consider what a software developer does. In essence, software developers are at the heart of some of your favorite websites, applications, and even video games! Their job is to take the work product managers and engineers complete to design and create software programs. They have extensive knowledge of coding languages such as Python, JavaScript, and C#, which they use to write, modify, and debug the code that makes a program. Once a program has been completed, software developers test it and evaluate any points that may need revisions to improve performance. As part of a team composed of other developers, UX designers, engineers, and business analysts, software developers must additionally have great collaboration and communication skills.

Is There a Job Out There for You?

The development of new technologies maintains a healthy demand for professionals in the tech industry. According to Forbes, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for tech professionals to unprecedented levels. Why? The pandemic packed 10 years of digital development into two.¹ Not to mention, companies around the world discovered the value of going digital and embracing remote work.

Take some findings in a report by Hired.com as an example² — the staffing platform found that companies are now hiring more software engineers in smaller, nontraditional markets and with better salaries than they had experienced before. This means more job opportunities without the need to move to tech hubs like San Francisco, San Jose, or Seattle. When it comes to software developers, job availability continues its upward trend. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software development is slated to grow by 22% by the next decade.3 This translates to 409,500 new positions.³

The Software Developer Salary Breakdown

As we take a closer look at software developer salaries, it’s important to remember earning potential is dependent on different factors such as your years of experience and whether the position is for an entry-level software developer or junior software developer. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for software developers in 2020 was $110,140.4 Annual salaries for the lowest 10% of software developers earned about $65,210, while the highest 10% made an impressive annual salary of about $170,100.4

Other factors with a substantial effect on software developer salaries are the industry and employer. A U.S. News report suggests software developers may encounter high salaries in industries such as inland water transportation, entertainment working with artists and performers, sporting goods, and computer manufacturing.5

While remote work continues its upward mobility, there are states in which software developer positions enjoy a more positive trend than others as per the BLS. For instance, the 5 states with the highest software development salaries (annual mean wage) include:

  • California – $146,770
  • Washington – $145,150
  • Maryland – $131,240
  • New York – $129,950
  • Rhode Island – $128,790

Similarly, the metropolitan areas with the highest employment level (measured as employment per thousand jobs) include:6

  • San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, CA – 63.43
  • Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue, WA – 38.52
  • San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward, CA – 28.75
  • Washington/Arlington/Alexandria, DC/VA/MD/WV – 21.61
  • Boston/Cambridge/Nashua, MA/NH – 21.54

Related Jobs

If you were wondering how much developers earn, you may be curious about the average salary for related occupations. The BLS provides a list of comparable jobs that share similar duties with software developers. Notable standouts include the following jobs and median annual salaries:7

  • Computer network architects – $116,780
  • Information security analysts – $103,590
  • Database administrators and architects – $98,860
  • Web developers and digital designers – $77,200
  • Computer support specialists – $55,510

Make It Happen With Kenzie Academy

How much does a software developer make? If you’ve asked yourself this question, then you’re likely also wondering: How can I make a job in the tech industry possible? The answer is: with Kenzie Academy. Whether you want to code, design websites, or develop apps, our project-based curriculum and hands-on approach can help prepare you for your first career in tech. Our Career Services Team will even help you fine-tune your resume and support you as you prepare a job search strategy, hone your interviewing skills, and more. Apply today or get in touch with us to learn more about your potential opportunities in tech.


¹Forbes, “Hired Report Shows The Tech Job Market Is Blazing Hot, Salaries Rising And Businesses Recruiting Remotely To Keep Up With Demand,” on the internet, at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2022/03/23/hired-report-shows-the-tech-job-market-is-blazing-hot-salaries-rising-and-businesses-recruiting-remotely-to-keep-up-with-demand/?sh=76892f923655 (Viewed July 14, 2022).

²Hired.com, 2022 State of Software Engineers, on the internet, at https://hired.com/2022-state-of-software-engineers/?utm_source=pr&utm_medium=content&utm_campaign=(a-all)(l-all)(r-all)(sose-press-release-mar-2022) (Viewed July 14, 2022).

³Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-6  (Viewed July 14, 2022). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

4Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-5 (Viewed July 14, 2022). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

5U.S. News and World Report, Software Developer Salary, on the internet, at https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/software-developer/salary (Viewed July 14, 2022).

6Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, on the internet, at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151252.htm (Viewed July 14, 2022). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

7Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-8 (Viewed July 14, 2022). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

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