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How much does a software engineer get annually?

  1. Jun 14, 2009 #1
    1) with a bachelor's degree
    2) with a master's
    3) pHD
    what factors do they depend on?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2009 #2
    1) like 50-70k a year
    2) about 10k jump from Bachelor's
    3) Not as much of a jump from Masters

    Depends where you live. 50k a year in LA, California just barely enough to scrape by, whereas 50k in FL is middle class. It also depends whether you go native or web-based software development. It appears right now that web-based is the field to go. I've seen 100s of internships being offered here and at my old school. Most of them want web-based programmers/developers.

    Ph.D for software engineering is not worth it, unless you really want it. Most companies want a bachelor or masters. All the money is at practical software for consumers, not research.
  4. Jun 17, 2009 #3
    Salaries are very dependent on where you are and exactly what work you are doing.

    For example, I've been working in Silicon Valley for many years, and fizziks numbers seem low to me...

    I also disagree on the usefulness of a Ph.D. in the computer industry. But again, it's all a question of where you are and what you are looking to do...
  5. Jun 18, 2009 #4
    In the UK you can earn up to £6 per hour as a software engineer for EADS Astrium Ltd.
  6. Jun 20, 2009 #5
    The BLS OOH has figures for this in the USA.
  7. Jun 20, 2009 #6
    In a high-tech or decent-sized US city (Huntsville AL, Raleigh N.C., Dallas/Fort Worth, Silicon Valley, etc.) with a B.S. or equivalent, entry level might get around $50K-$70K, 20 years experience and a B.S. or equiv. gets about $65 - $100K. (Assuming you have at least a little extra to offer in some niche field, and don't grab the first offer, and do a little shopping around).
  8. Apr 17, 2010 #7


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    Your name says it all. Good luck. I'm a pretty good mechanical engineer with 20+ years experience and have never made 6 figures.
  9. Apr 17, 2010 #8
    Try living in the UK where engineers salaries are much lower, and their status is rock bottom.
  10. Apr 17, 2010 #9
    If money is your only goal you can probably choose your career path accordingly, eventually making significantly more than stated above. But not if you just wake up every day and say this sucks I thought I'd be making more than so and so on wall street by now.

    50k starting salary sounds pretty good to me, especially doing something that's kind of cool. All my friends who didn't go to school are still making 10$ an hour cooking food at Applebee's.
  11. Apr 17, 2010 #10

    D H

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    50k is a bit low.

    From http://www.engineersalary.com/Software.asp
    Starting salary offers for new graduates in 2009 with a B.S. Computer Engineering averaged $62,570, and those with a M.S.C.E. averaged $68,130. Starting salary offers for graduates with a B.S. Computer Science averaged $60,290, while M.S.C.S. grads averaged $66,680. New Ph.D. grads (CE or CS combined into one group) averaged $89,320 nationwide.​

    From http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layouthtmls/swzl_compresult_national_IT10000001.html,
    The median expected salary for a typical Software Engineer I in the United States is $56,465.​

    Other sites report similar results.

    Plumbers make less, quite a bit less. Again from salary.com, "The median expected salary for a typical Plumber I in the United States is $39,217."

    The explanation is simple: (a) no college debts, and (b) young adults suffer a lack of financial sense, less than well educated ones particularly so.
  12. Apr 17, 2010 #11


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    It might be a good idea to pursue a field in which your job can't be as easily outsourced, if you are that concerned about your salary. If you are a chemical engineer or a civil engineer, your work probably can't be shipped off to India. If you are a software engineer, you'd better be really good at it, because you'll be competing in a global market.

    Even in heavy industry, engineers aren't as well-compensated as you might expect. When I was a machine-tender (lead operator) on a high-speed paper machine I made a LOT more money than any of the engineers, and more than my foreman or the assistant superintendent. The superintendent made about the same as me, but worked insane hours and got called in on nights, weekends, etc whenever the machine was acting up.

    Similarly, the trades (electricians, pipe-fitters, millwright/welders) made more money than the engineers, and even their own bosses. Taking a softer salaried job with no overtime compensation has its down-side if all you care about is money.
  13. Apr 17, 2010 #12
    I was in the same situation of making less than those reporting to me when I first started working as a supervisor in a factory after undergrad. The difference is two years out this is no longer the case. There's a big difference in earning potential with a college degree vs without. Comparing the starting salary of a college grad to the salary of someone who has an entire career's worth of experience doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
  14. Apr 18, 2010 #13
    Where certain responses to this thread deleted? Can the moderation please acknowledge this? I believe the only negative consequences are on the poster of this thread if these post were purposefully deleted. I'm sure somebody is able to consider them personal attacks, but I think they were extremely important to the original posters personal development. Please address this issue.
  15. Apr 18, 2010 #14

    Vanadium 50

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    Yes, messages were deleted because of insults that were derailing the thread. If valuable information was deleted along with them, well, then you are starting to understand why the mentors don't like insults. I suggest that this issue not derail this thread too, and any further discussion occur in the proper place: Forum Feedback and Announcements.
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