10 Highest Paying Software Engineering Jobs & Salaries (2024)

May 14, 2024 · 10 min read

The demand for software engineers is on the rise, with the number of jobs available in the field expected to grow by 25 percent by the year 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with their being an anticipated 162,900 job openings.

In this article, we're going to be discussing the highest-paid software engineering jobs in the industry, exploring the skills and qualifications necessary to secure these positions and the potential salary you can expect. We'll also be discussing some of the most frequently asked questions regarding software engineering career roles.

The technological advancement brought about by modern computers and the internet is unprecedented. Through the internet, the world has become much more connected than ever. Information exchange, commerce, and communication have been made possible over vast distances. Computers also revolutionized many sectors including education, medicine, science, business, and entertainment. Since their widespread adoption, many industries were born creating millions of jobs worldwide.

Behind all these innovations are talented professionals, one of which is software engineers. This new discipline has been making a mark for itself in the decades since its inception. Early software developers saw the potential for applying engineering concepts in software development. This standardized the approach of software development throughout the years.

It's no surprise that software engineers are one of the most in-demand. This also makes them one of the highest-paid careers these days due to their big influence. But, this also makes it one of the most competitive. Businesses these days are looking for the best and brightest talents. But what exactly is Software Engineering and what careers are in store for them?


What is a Software Engineering job?

Software Engineering is, essentially, applying Engineering concepts to software design and development. Software Engineers design, build and manage software systems and infrastructures. They are highly-trained and highly-skilled workers in their own right. While software developers work with user-specific applications, software engineers deal with software infrastructures. They focus on big infrastructure projects that others can build on top of.


Why choose a software engineering career?

There are several reasons why software engineering is a great career to pursue. The first one is that it is in high demand. And with the rate of progress and innovation, this is likely to increase. Businesses' computing needs are becoming more complex requiring more talented software engineers.

Software engineering is a fast-paced and challenging career path. As a software engineer, you are expected to work with some of the best minds from around the world. The projects can also become more complex as it scales. If you like a technical and challenging field of expertise this is surely one of the best options out there.

Your skills and knowledge as a software engineer are recognized around the world. This means that you get to work anywhere around the world with less fuss than in other careers. Recently, many businesses are becoming more open to remote work. This allows you to land good opportunities wherever you may be on the planet.

Finally, because of the high demand and technical nature of the job, it is also one of the most highly paid. You will be responsible for developing current and future software infrastructures. These serve as foundations for new software technologies. It is because of this amount of responsibility that software engineers are paid more.

With that being said, let's discuss the most highest-paying software engineering jobs and salaries.


highest paid software engineering & development careers/roles

Top 10 Highest Paid Software Engineering Jobs & Salaries

Software Engineering is a broad field with many specializations depending on the industry. Many engineers specialize in one to two related specialties further increasing landing opportunities. Here are some of the jobs a software developer can do and their average yearly income.


1. Big Data Scientist

Average Yearly Salary: $121,417

As the saying goes: knowledge is power. Or in the case of today's internet age, data is power. Big Data scientists are professionals that are responsible for managing and analyzing data. They also collate and organize massive amounts of data within databases. they analyze tons of data and extract useful information such as trends and patterns. They then make actionable recommendations based on their findings.


2. Backend Engineer

Average Yearly Salary: $133,072

Internet technology can be roughly divided into two categories: Frontend and Backend. Front-end is the side that ordinary users interact with. Back-end is the side that is under the hood systems that powers the Frontend. Back-end Engineers are developers that build and maintain these systems. They design databases, maintain them, and integrate them into various client-side software. They are essentially responsible for most of their functionality behind-the-scenes. They are crucial contributors to many of today's businesses. Front-end and Full-stack developers are also exceptionally well-paid due to their knowledge of programming languages, making it one of the highest paying software engineering jobs.

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3. Machine Learning Engineer

Average Yearly Salary: $131,425

Nowadays, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are some of the fastest-growing industries. This is because AI is seen as the new industrial revolution in the computer age. Machine Learning Engineers specialize in automation, AI systems, and AI training. They develop, train, and deploy AI solutions to address various industry problems. This makes it one of the most high paying software development jobs.

4. DevOps Engineer

Average Yearly Salary: $133,407

DevOps is shorthand for Development and Operations. Unlike most Software Engineering careers, DevOps Engineers take a broader role. They are generalists that focus on different software platforms. They then ensure that these platforms operate in tip-top shape. Because of the scope of their work, they also have a diverse set of skills. Some of these are coding, network administration, and system management, among others. They also have one of the higher average salary professionals.


5. Android/IOS Engineer

Average Yearly Salary: $123,982

Mobile devices are becoming more and more powerful each year. Many businesses are also seeing the potential they hold and are racing to take advantage of this. Android and IOS Engineers are specialized software developers in the mobile device niche. They design, build and maintain mobile device operating systems as well as apps. They are specialized software developers who focus on mobile computing devices. They develop new software solutions for the ever-changing landscape of mobile computing.


6. Embedded Systems Engineer

Average Yearly Salary: $125,924

Embedded Systems are special computer systems designed for a specific task. These tasks require a specific software development process. Unlike desktop computers which are general-purpose machines, embedded systems task-specific computers. Embedded Systems Engineers are responsible for designing, testing, and maintaining these devices. They are expected to work with various hardware and software technologies to deliver the desired solution.


7. Cloud Computing Engineer

Average Yearly Salary: $153,235

Cloud computing is the natural evolution of the internet. It is harnessing the power of the internet to store, manage, process, and analyze data. Unlike traditional computing, where a central server processes all data in one place, cloud computing distributes computing tasks within a network of servers. Cloud engineers specialize in optimizing these processes making them faster and more reliable.

Given the annual salary of a cloud computing engineer, this is the highest paying software engineering job on the list.


8. Cyber Security Engineer

Average Yearly Salary: $99,738

Securing data and network infrastructures are what Cyber Securities Engineers are good at. They test and identify security vulnerabilities and apply the necessary countermeasures. Cybersecurity specialists make a thorough analysis of network infrastructures and recommend changes and improvements to increase data security and reliability. They also design proactive security solutions to cater to a client's specific security needs.


9. Game Developer

Average Yearly Salary: $79,750

Video games are one of the biggest markets in the world today. From AAA titles to smaller mobile-only games, there is surely something for everyone. Game Developers are software professionals dedicated to designing and developing games for different platforms. They are up to date in the latest gaming hardware as well as commercial game engines out in the market. They can be dedicated game engine coders or someone who dabbles in the many aspects of game design.


10. QA Engineer

Average Yearly Salary: $82,703

To ensure the quality of the software solution, comprehensive testing is a must. That is why QA Engineers are a must. They test a program's robustness and identify vulnerabilities. These can be simple typos here and there to massive and possibly catastrophic bugs. They are integral in the development of software through meticulous testing. They make sure that the software does what it is designed to do and nothing more. Being able to catch these bugs early on is crucial to shipping reliable software solutions.

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Software Engineering FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding software engineering.


Why does software engineering pay so much?

How much salary a software engineer gets all boils down to two factors: low supply vs demand and big responsibilities. There is a huge demand for talented software engineers worldwide but only so few of them are available, and less which are familiar with specific computer programming languages. Software engineers also take on huge responsibilities that are crucial to any business or industry. That gives them huge leverage to accept bigger and bigger salary offers. 


What is the highest paid software engineer job?

From our research, it's clear that a cloud computing engineer is the best-paying role on average, with an annual salary of around $153,235.

It's then closely followed by a backend engineer which has an average yearly salary of $133,072.

What are the highest paying entry-level software engineering jobs?

Entry level Software Engineers get an average salary of $99,366 annually. Data Scientist is also a high-paying entry-level position with an average annual income of $100,560. Software Engineers also often start as Software Developers and earn an average annual income of $151,960.


What qualifications do I need to get high paying software engineering jobs?

As a high-responsibility career, software engineering has a fairly high barrier to entry. The basic qualification is a degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or any related degree. Software engineers are also expected to keep up with the latest in industry standards and technology. To prove this, many companies are also requiring their engineers to have a few certifications in relevant technologies. You can even pick your specialization upfront as some schools are offering this option.


Are there any certifications that I can get that will increase my chances of getting hired for a high-paying job in software engineering?

The short answer is it depends. Software engineering is a broad and diverse discipline. What's applicable in one industry might not be in another. The best approach is to pick an area or industry that you want to join and research any relevant certifications. An even better approach is picking a few certifications that are relevant in many fields. This gives you ample wiggle room for future career opportunities.


Is it worth getting a degree in software engineering?

If you want a career developing software systems then absolutely! A degree in Software engineering arms you with the necessary knowledge to address the challenges of the field, including specific teaching of coding languages like javascript, java, php, etc. It also trains you with the fundamental skills you will need to take on these challenges. A well-thought-out degree program is an investment that would pay out greatly in the future.


What industries offer the highest salaries for software engineering jobs?

The Technology industry pays the highest. tech giants like Google, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft are competing to attract the best and brightest talents in the world. That is why their compensation packages are one of the best offers in the market today. Another top contender is the Financial services sector. Many businesses around the world rely on robust IT infrastructures. That is why financial institutions pay a high premium to ensure this.


Where are high paying software engineering roles available?

One of the surefire ways to see opportunities is through company career pages. Companies like Google and Apple are always advertising vacancies on their websites. Another great way to look for openings is through job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and even LinkedIn.

Are you ready to take your career to the next level?

Nexford's Career Path Planner takes into account your experience and interests to provide you with a customized roadmap to success.

Receive personalized advice on the skills and qualifications you need to get ahead in areas like finance, marketing, management and entrepreneurship.

Take the quiz to get started now!

How many years does it take to work in a top paying software engineering role?

On average it takes about a total of four years of industry experience to land a high-paying role. Having a degree also helps speed up your time to land a high-paying position. As software engineering is a high-responsibility job, it takes time to learn all the necessary competencies required for you to be able to negotiate a better position.



Having a career in software engineering is sure to be as fulfilling as it is rewarding. There are several career paths you could take and a high demand that ensures employment opportunities in the future. But, all these upsides are due to the demanding nature of the job which can be daunting to some. With good training and preparation, you will have a great chance at landing your dream career, and gaining a high-paying software engineering job.

Discover how you can acquire the most in-demand skills and open the doors to a successful software engineering and tech career with our free report.

Download the free report now and discover how you can reach new heights in your career

Want to take your career even further? Consider how an Online BBA or Online BBA can help you develop these skills and increase your earning potential.

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