Average Software Engineer Starting Salary    


In recent years, the IT industry has attracted more and more people. Not least of all, this is due to the level of salaries, which is, on average, much higher than in other fields. This is the situation in most countries. In developing markets of Asia and Eastern Europe the difference can be drastic. For example, in Ukraine software engineer’s annual salary of the beginning programmer can reach $500-$700, while an experienced specialist can easily get several thousand dollars per month.

What is a software engineer starting salary?

According to PayScale, the average software engineer’s annual salary in the U.S. is $61,000. Depending on the working schedule, the hourly rate varies from $15.23 to $27.87.

However, there are a lot of factors that influence the salary level: background, country of living, experience and many others. Let’s look at them closer.

  1. Country

It is difficult to compare the average income across countries, especially if countries are too different. The approximate difference in average annual income is as follows.

The highest figures are in:

North America (USA – $109 thousand, Canada – $53.2 thousand)

Western Europe (Germany – $61.3 thousand, Switzerland – $135.4 thousand)

Australia ($58,000)

Programmers in Eastern Europe earn slightly less, for example, in the Czech Republic – $24 thousand. In Ukraine and Belarus – $12-18 thousand, in Russia – $18-24 thousand. It should be noted that even within one country the level of salaries in different cities can be very different.

At the same time, the real income depends, for example, on the country’s tax system (in some countries you will pay up to 50% in taxes), as well as the cost of living (compare Canada or the USA to Switzerland or Ukraine and Belarus).

Also, do not forget about the remote work — many programmers work for richer countries and spend money in the home country, where the costs are much lower. The same applies to outsource companies. Although the local office of a Canadian company will not have the same salaries as in Canada, they may still be higher than the average in your city.

  1. Specialization

Monday’s salary will also depend on the popularity of a programming language you work with and the developer’s demand. On any labor market, the fewer specialists are in demand, the higher is their income. The same about the division into developers, programmers, managers, system administrators, testers, etc.

The popularity of languages is constantly changing. And the number of programmers who prefer this or that language may vary greatly from country to country. For example, Java is the leading language in Russia with 21.02%, while in Poland this language is reaching 63.63%.

  1. Work experience

The beginners earn less, experienced specialists earn more. Getting your first job in IT is the hardest part. Without experience, a person will not immediately become a profitable worker. Therefore, one should not expect to immediately start earning good money.

HRs warn: when you are asked about the salary you would like to receive, balance your desires with your value to the company. Keep in mind the approximate salary level in the industry, estimate your skills and experience. Having worked for about three years, you will already be able to expect much better conditions.

How different can your income depend on your experience? In North America, for example, salaries can be the following:

junior (1-3 years of experience) – $35-60 thousand.

intermediate (3-6 years of experience) – $60-90 thousand.

senior (more than 6 years) – $90-130 thousand.

  1. Company size

In large companies, salaries are usually higher. The employers may also offer other benefits and often better working conditions.

Please note that we have talked about the average salary levels. This means that this includes the income of both Apple employees and unknown small agencies.

How can you get a higher salary?

Set up your price

It plays a very important role as a person builds his educational plan, as well as his career path. This is all the internal marketing of a programmer. Your salary will depend on how much your work is appreciated.

Choose the right direction

Some languages are in higher demand than others. But in general, your salary does not depend too much on your specialization. You can be very advanced and demanded a PHP programmer with an excellent salary, and you can be the stupid Java developer working for peanuts.

What would I advise? Do the work you like. Learn what you like. If you don’t like how much money you earn, talk to your manager or change your place of work. If you don’t like what you do, look for your field, learn and go to work. My own experience shows that if you do what you are interested in and need people to do, your salary will increase.

Develop constantly

A lot of specialists do not professionally grow. The developer may have a good experience but on one project. He has some specific skills that are not needed anywhere else. Do you feel like that?

My advice is to change projects about once a year. The ideal resume of an applicant is when a person has only one or two jobs, but dozens of projects on it. What does this mean? The company loves and appreciates the specialist, and managers of various projects want to take him or her to their team. In this case, you can expect good salaries.

Professional growth is vital. So, do not expect a high salary in the very beginning (unless you are a big name in programming) and follow simple rules.