How much software developers make in 2024?

Table of contents


Big tech layoffs gathered widespread media attention in 2022 and 2023.

2024 layoffs

Nevertheless, at the time of writing this post in the beginning of 2024 software engineers are still in high demand and paid extremely well.

In this post, we will review software engineers’ salaries in the US at the beginning of 2024 and answer the following questions:

  • What is the average salary of a software engineer?
  • How do qualifications and years of experience affect the compensation?
  • What are the most lucrative domains for software engineers?
  • What to know when looking for a job in the current market?


What is Included in Total Compensation?

All numbers provided in this post represent the total compensation which consists of three key components: base salary, stock options, and bonuses.

Total Compensation This slide was designed using assets from

It is important to remember, however, that not every company offers stock options and bonuses. For most software engineers, the total compensation consists only of the base salary.

How Much Do Software Engineers Earn on Average?

The median total compensation for software engineers in the US across all domains and levels is $170,000 with engineers in 25th percentile earning $124,000 and engineers in 75th percentile earning $240,000:

Software Engineer Compensation

Compensation by Level

Qualifications and experience have a significant impact on the total compensation of software engineers. According to the collected data, the compensation increases by 35% when a software engineer gets promoted from one level to another.

Here is the chart that shows the total compensation for each level.

Compensation By Level

Compensation by Area of Specialization

The chart below shows salaries by area of specialization. The most lucrative domains are distributed systems, AI / machine learning, and augmented / virtual reality systems.

Total Compensation By Title

What to Remember When Looking for Software Engineering Positions?

If you are looking for a job as a software engineer in today’s market, here are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Finding a tech job is still a nightmare. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to land a software engineering job. Thousands of engineers are looking for jobs after being laid off by big tech companies which contributes to a fierce and competitive job market. Companies offering jobs receive hundreds of applications and can afford to be very picky when choosing new employees. This makes looking for a job a full-time job for tech workers.
  • There are much fewer job openings for entry-level positions than there were just a few years ago. With a big pool of candidates available, many tech companies are hiring only candidates who already have experience and a proven track record of successful projects.
  • There is still a demand for experienced software engineers. Companies continue hiring engineers who already know how to solve customer’s problems even if the same companies may not be willing to train entry-level engineers.
  • Despite the tough job market, salaries for software engineers have not significantly decreased over the last two  years. Software engineers who still have a job or are getting hired are still paid very well. Current Status of Tech Job Market

Increasing Chances for Landing a Job in Today’s Market

What can you do to increase the odds of landing a software engineer job?

  • If you do not have experience yet and are looking for an entry-level position, get experience by volunteering, working on open-source projects, and building your portfolio. Do not get desperate, continue learning, practicing, and honing your skills. Do not be afraid to apply for jobs even if you do not meet all criteria provided in a job description. It may be easier to find middle-level positions than entry-level, so learn the technical stack on your own and apply for middle-level positions.

Increasing Chances for Entry-Level Developers

  • If you are an experienced engineer, work on expanding your professional network and learning new skills, technologies, and domains. Remember that passing an interview is a skill that can be improved with practice!

Increasing Chances for Senior Developers

Looking for More Data?

If you want to look for software developer salaries in your area, here is the list of sites that will help: