Engineering Career Resources

Software Engineer Salary

A software engineer's salary depends on a number of things, among them the size of the employer's company, location, qualifications, years of experience, and area of specialty. For instance, computer systems software engineers generally have slightly better wages than computer applications software engineers, but this can vary from one role to the next.

Location can also be a factor. For example, average salaries in London range between £21,852 and £59,082 a year, those in Cambridge are typically between £19,653 and £50,658, while engineers in Manchester make from £20,437 to £30,518 a year on average, and those working in Glasgow earn from £20,993 and £31,862 a year.

The average salary of a software engineer in the UK ranges from £19,608 to £46,259 a year without bonuses and profit sharing according to Payscale. Software engineers with 1 to 4 years of experience typically earn between £18,198 and £43,818 a year. Those with 5 to 9 years of experience make between £24,074 and £50,503, engineers with 10 to 19 years of experience earn from £22,020 to £55,149, and experienced software engineers with 20 years or more under their belt make between £31,000 and £72,000 a year.

When it comes to academic qualifications, it is the engineers with a Doctorate who earn the most: their salaries typically range from £25,644 to £59,598 a year. Software engineers with a Master of Computer Science (MCS) or Computer Science (CS) degree earn between £21,873 and £40,858, while those with a Bachelor of Science (BS/BSc) or Computer Science (CS) degree earn between £12,164 and £50,507 a year.

Software engineers with top average salaries by sector are those employed in financial services (£23,672 - £84,138 a year) and investment banking (£38,597 - £75,500).

Starting salary

The starting salary for software engineers, as well as developers and programmers, with less than one year of experience ranges from £15,387 to £36,492 a year.

Hourly rate

The hourly wage for software engineers with 1 to 4 years of experience typically ranges from £8.14 to £20. The rates are usually negotiable and vary greatly from one role to the next.

General salary information

The demand for software engineers will continue to grow alongside the computer networking industry, so those working in the field generally have a variety of career options to pursue.

Certifications from professional bodies like the British Computer Society or those from software vendors (Oracle, Microsoft, IBM...) can make a difference when it comes to a software engineer's salary, but certifications for specific products, technologies, and programming languages are not all of equal value to employers, so engineers should make sure that the benefits of obtaining one are worth their time, money, and effort. Microsoft Certified Professionals earn between £27,110 and £51,064 a year on average, while Sun Certified Java Programmers typically make between £17,000 and £34,780 a year.

Talent is usually one of the most important determining factors when it comes to both salary and benefit packages. Many companies prefer to hire software engineers on a temporary basis so that they do not have to commit to full time hires if they only need a quick fix for a specific problem. Some companies, however, especially those in the software business, will always appreciate a knack for creativity in a software engineer and offer a better salary and perks in order to hold on to the talent.