The Average Software Programmer Salary

The average software programmer salary may be subjected to multiple changes in accordance with various factors such as geographic area, experience, company’s policy, and job outlook.

According to a median income report published on, the software programmer salary has been estimated at $73,031 per year or $27 per hour. However, an individual employed in this profession can earn anywhere between $49,666 and $106,547 per year.

A software programmer is in charge of writing the code for a computer program, but the overall job is not limited to this. As a future candidate for this position, you will also be required to supervise the software’s creation process, perform quality controls, and assess the market for potential buyers.

Let’s take a closer look at the major factors that can influence your salary in this profession.

Software Programmer Salary Influencers

1. Industry

As we’ve mentioned in the introductory paragraph, there are many factors which can influence the software programmer salary. One of the most important of them is considered the industry. Based on this influencer, you can expect to earn anywhere between $78,210 and $100,200 per year, as per the latest estimations.

However, other sources (although uncredited) tend to say that some companies may reward their software programmers with as much as $200,000 per year.

One of the highest-paying industry for this profession is Software Publishers, where a candidate can earn $100,200 per year. On the opposite side, is the Computer Systems Design and Related Services, where you can earn a little over $78,210 per year.

Here are some more industries that are on the lookout for software programmers:

  • Finance and Insurance: $85,900 per year;
  • Manufacturing: $78,570 per year;
  • Administrative and Support Services: $82,190 per year.

Apart from the major industries, you can also become eligible to work in a top-paying company like Juniper Network, Citrix, Google or Microsoft.

Below you will find a brief list of the top-paying companies for the software programmer position:

  • Juniper Networks: $128,378 per year;
  • Google: $124,520 per year;
  • Twitter: $120,768 per year;
  • Facebook: $118,857 per year;
  • Apple: $118,192 per year;
  • LinkedIn: $116,375 per year;
  • Brocade Communications: $111,858 per year;
  • eBay: $108,461.

2. Geographic Area

Geographic area can also determine the average software programmer salary. According to various income reports, the highest-paying state for this profession is considered Washington, where a candidate for this position can earn $103,420 per year on the average.

Subsequently, the second highest paying state for this profession is California, where the average software programmer salary has been estimated at $101,052 per year.

Ranking third in best-paying states is the city of San Francisco, California, where you can expect a yearly paycheck of $98,771 per year.

If you’re still thinking of joining the software programmer team, then you should avoid these states as much as you can because they have the lowest paying rates:

  • Texas: $70,568 per year;
  • Utah: $71,398 per year;
  • Illinois: $74,853 per year;
  • Georgia: $76,610 per year;
  • Massachusetts: $78,679 per year.

3. Experience

Another important factor that can determine your salary as a software programmer is experience. This can be easily translated into how many programming skills you have acquired or if you have any prior experience in this domain.

Your current level experience doesn’t only determine your annual wage, but your odds of being employed by a top paying company as well.

Here are the wage forecasts for this profession based on experience:

  • Entry-level (between 0 and 5 years of experience) – $68,000 per year;
  • Mid-Career (between 5 and 10 years of experience) – $79,000 per year;
  • Experienced (between 10 and 20 years of experience) – $87,000 per year;
  • Late-career (over 20 years of experience) – $88,000 per year;

Based on your current programming skills, here’s what your mean payroll will look like at the end of the year:

  • C++: $73,000;
  • C#: $71,000;
  • SQL: $72,000;
  • Java: $75,000;
  • JavaScript: $73,000.

Working Hours and Environment

Software programmers usually work in an office-like environment, surrounded by LCDs and other electronic equipment. However, depending on the company’s policies, the employee can also work from home.

Usually, software programmers are required to work 40 hours per week, but some of them will choose to work over the weekend or extra hours in order to complete all projects or to get a little extra something at the end of the month.

Due to the fact that they are required to sit on a chair while working, software programmers tend to develop back related problems like scoliosis or lumbar discopathy. Furthermore, physicians also tend to agree that employees working for a long time with a computer’s keyboard might also be prone to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

This is why most companies offer full medical insurances to their employees.

Software Developer Salary by State

State Annual Mean Wage ($)
Alabama 81,000
Alaska 59,000
Arizona 66,000
Arkansas 82,000
California 86,000
Colorado 71,000
Connecticut 93,000
Delaware 70,000
Florida 75,000
Georgia 92,000
Hawaii 50,000
Idaho 53,000
Illinois 91,000
Indiana 77,000
Iowa 79,000
Kansas 73,000
Kentucky 69,000
Louisiana 72,000
Maine 71,000
Maryland 83,000
Massachusetts 83,000
Michigan 81,000
Minnesota 70,000
Mississippi 84,000
Missouri 79,000
Montana 67,000
Nebraska 59,000
Nevada 61,000
New Hampshire 79,000
New Jersey 87,000
New Mexico 70,000
New York 97,000
North Carolina 77,000
North Dakota 71,000
Ohio 77,000
Oklahoma 74,000
Oregon 78,000
Pennsylvania 78,000
Rhode Island 73,000
South Carolina 79,000
South Dakota 61,000
Tennessee 75,000
Texas 78,000
Utah 63,000
Vermont 71,000
Virginia 81,000
Washington 83,000
West Virginia 76,000
Wisconsin 72,000
Wyoming 66,000

Bonuses and Benefit Packages

Apart from the standard software programmer salary, individuals occupying this position are also entitled to various forms of bonuses. On the average, a software programmer can amass approximately $12,135 in bonuses over the course of a year.

Furthermore, some employers also offer the possibility of working overtime. These hourly rates can vary anywhere between $15.63 and $64.02.

Job Outlook

As per the job outlook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected an 8 percent decrease for the 2014-2024 timeframe. This doesn’t necessarily mean that, in the long term, the companies will stop employing software programmers, as this is just a temporary deviation from the general growth trend.

So, if you’re currently looking to get employed as a software programmer, you needn’t worry about not getting your dream job for the next decade.


The average software programmer salary may vary in accordance with various factors such as geographic area, experience, local policies, and job outlook. Overall, this position is literally littered with opportunities, so, you won’t have any trouble ascending the career ladder if you have the necessary qualifications.

As a general remark, the software programmer position is part of the high-stress jobs circle, meaning that sometimes the nature of the project might demand extra hours or working during the legal holidays.

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