Software Engineer Salary by Country in 2024 Revealed

Hieu Nguyen

Hieu Nguyen | 13/05/2024

Software Engineer Salary by Country in 2024 Revealed

You may have heard of the six-figure software engineer salaries, which are often seen as a significant milestone and a dream come true for many developers. Such average total compensation amounts can range from $100,000 to $999,999 per year, including the base salary, cash bonuses, and stocks. Most of these packages are offered by Big Tech companies in Silicon Valley, a segment of the global technology talent pool. Taxes and living costs in Silicon Valley can be exorbitant, making six-figure packages necessary to attract candidates.

However, these eyebrow-raising numbers are not representative of the majority of software engineer jobs worldwide. Not only experience and educational background but also geographical location are factors that affect software engineer salaries.

As each country has its own living standard, potentially leading to different salary ranges, your company can still likely offer good jobs that do not need to match the Big Tech level. If you plan to expand your team and hire software developers from offshore locations, make sure you set competitive salaries for the tech talents your company seeks. To help you recruit effectively and avoid breaking the budget due to overpay offerings, let’s dive deep into software engineer salary by country for junior, mid-level, and senior levels right in this article.

Five Levels of Software Engineer Salaries

Consider your target tech talent pool – are you hiring people within driving distance, or are you casting your net wider? There is a wide difference between an average base salary at a local company in a small city and an average salary at regional or international companies. Read on to estimate your salary budgets.

The pyramid below shows the five levels of software engineer salaries. The majority worldwide earn an average software developer salary of under $50,000/year. This includes not just junior developers but also some senior ones, depending on their company and location. More likely, though, a mid-level or senior software engineer tends to earn in the range of $50,000 to $120,000 annually. Only the most senior software engineers at local companies, or talented software engineers working at major tech corporations, earn the top levels of above $120,000/year.

Five levels of software engineer salaries

Note that the pyramid only considers the base salary (converted to USD), which comprises the largest portion of a software engineer’s compensation package. The total package also includes bonuses and stock, offered especially by rapidly growing startups or competitive international companies. You would want to consider bonuses and stocks for your key tech personnel as an incentive for continuing service. Simply put, the more they contribute to your success, the better they will be rewarded.

Under $50,000/year

If you are aiming for a talent pool in countries outside North America and in non-metropolitan cities in Western Europe, then this is the benchmark you may start budgeting for. At this benchmark, you’re looking to hire skilled software engineers in emerging economies such as India, Brazil, Vietnam, China, South Africa, and Eastern Europe. These countries have a growing IT talent pool and plenty of affordable software outsourcing services or capable remote workers. Not all software development needs to be done by premium-priced teams whose costs are affected not just by their ability but also by their living expenses.

Only the most senior levels in the countries above earn an average salary of over $50,000/year. The exception is Singapore and the Netherlands, where an in-demand mid-level software engineer also expects a competitive salary above this benchmark.

From $50,000 to $80,000/year

This pay grade is seen mainly in Western Europe, North America, and some metropolitan cities in other world regions where there are branches of international corporations. This range sees the most variations in experience levels and company scale, meaning a local software engineer with a few years of experience can expect a salary in this range. The total compensation package likely also includes bonuses and stocks that may raise the total amount to six figures.

Some entry-level software developers earn salaries in this range if hired by the regional branches of major international corporations. If the company wants to draw in top talents in the region, mid-level software engineers can reasonably expect their salary to be on the higher end of this grade. For a local company, paying their senior software engineer from $70,000 to $80,000 is considered competitive. This pay grade also covers some senior-plus engineers, such as a team lead or an engineering manager, at local companies, likely in small towns with low living costs and less professional expectations.

From $80,000 to $120,000/year

The salaries in this range are entering the coveted six figures that some software engineers boast about. This range can be expected from those working at major tech corporations in US cities or their international branches in global cities such as Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Sydney, Dubai, and London. Some junior engineers are offered a total compensation package at the lower end of this range (for example, from $85,000/year to $90,000/year). Still, these are generally limited to the highly competitive major tech companies. How competitive? There may be 500+ qualified applicants competing for just four positions at once.

Outside of this elite circle, this pay grade mainly applies to mid-level engineers and senior engineers with at least 5 to 7 years of experience. They can reasonably expect such a salary when hired by companies competing against the regional or global market for talent. Leading engineers at local companies in Western Europe also land at the higher end of this range.

From $120,000 to $200,000/year

This six-figure base salary range is an extension of the previous one, except it is reserved for only middle to senior engineers (although junior engineers may achieve the lower end of this range with additional bonuses and stocks). They work at branches of significant tech corporations in US metropolitan cities and other global cities. Even when the US is known to have the highest-paid software engineers, jobs in this salary range may only be available in metropolitan US cities. At this high grade, the type of company, its scale, and expected growth are much more critical factors in salary considerations than the job title.

These engineers are handsomely compensated because their jobs are highly demanding and have a lot at stake. A few minutes of system downtime under their watch would cost the company a few hundred thousand dollars. Overtime meetings and being on call at all hours are part of the job since they are expected to work with teams across different time zones.

Above $200,000/year

This elite pay grade is exclusive to the top of the top – specialists in specific engineering niches unique to the companies. They can be an engineering manager and a Chief Technology Officer at major tech companies, most likely in Silicon Valley, and such an annual salary is rarely seen outside of this tech hub.

A Deep Dive into Software Engineer Salary Ranges Worldwide

A Deep Dive into Software Engineer Salary Ranges Worldwide

As you may know, any salary range is only relative, and for reference when, company size, individual qualifications and experience, and especially location are the factors that determine your hiring budget for a specific position. The five levels of software engineering salaries in the tech industry are not a general formula that applies to all cases. Some countries and territories with low living standards may pay experienced developers a maximum of only $120,000 a year.

So, which are the highest-paying countries in the world? Let’s take a closer look at the average software engineer salary in each country for more details. Note that the figures below are compiled directly from Glassdoor and may have changed based on currency rate fluctuations at the time of reading.

Average Developer Salary in Europe

Europe is a region with great potential in the landscape of software engineering. With a series of prestigious universities that offer high-quality programs in computer science, engineering, and related fields, this is a breeding ground for a skilled workforce specializing in engaging in global software development projects. Not only famous for its strong technical education platform and multilingual population, Europe also has stringent data privacy regulations like GDPR, promoting a culture of transparency in software engineering practices when collaborating with international partners.

However, the developed economy and high average living standards make resources from this area quite difficult for many customers to access. While software development salaries can vary depending on skill demand and market conditions, there are certain cases where the junior software developer salary in Europe may align with the budget allocated for a senior developer in other regions.

The following table displays the average annual salaries for software engineers in European nations:

CountryAverage Annual Salary (USD)
United Kingdom (UK)$67,000

Average Software Developer Salary in the Americas

The Americas are home to renowned tech hubs such as Toronto in Canada and Silicon Valley in the United States. Known as a convergence of software developers with expertise in diverse technologies, programming languages, and industries, the Americas not only attracts top talent but also gathers many established tech companies, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and cutting-edge technological advancements in software engineering.

It is undeniable that the Americas is an ideal destination for cooperation, investment, and development, but it still has many limitations, most notably regulatory challenges and operating costs. While legal frameworks in the Americas can be complex and different from country to country, which may pose hurdles in complying with the law, operations costs can be difficult to control due to high living expenses and labor costs.

The following table displays the average annual salaries for software engineers in the American nations:

CountryAverage Annual Salary (USD)
United States (US)$144,000

Average Software Developer Salary in Asia

Asia’s potential in the software development landscape is characterized by its abundance of skilled workers, cost-saving solutions, strategic partnerships, and culture of innovation. Like other regions, Asia boasts a diverse talent pool of developers, providing business owners with a competitive advantage in software development projects and technology innovation.

With a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, individuals operating in Asia constantly improve their knowledge and stay ahead of trends by accessing emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. The continent is currently an attractive destination for outsourcing and offshoring due to competitive pricing combined with high-quality work.

However, the low standard of living in most countries in the region causes Asia to encounter limited skill gaps when it comes to difficulty accessing new technologies and infrastructure quality due to high operating costs. In addition, the language barrier is also one of the reasons for poor communication, but it has gradually been overcome in recent years.

The following table displays the average annual salaries for software engineers in Asian nations:

CountryAverage Annual Salary (USD)

Salary Is Important for Software Engineers – But So Are Company Values

Salary Is Important for Software Engineers – But So Are Company Values

There is a vast difference between salaries across countries. The general trend is that a software engineer may start their career earning just like any other professional but have a higher chance to double or triple their income as they advance in their careers. Most software developers expect good salaries, so they may be some of the highest-paid personnel on your budget.

However, a job is not just about the salary, the company, or the job title. If your company cannot yet afford tech talents expecting six-figure total compensation packages, consider your unique propositions. Do you have an open working culture where new ideas are encouraged? Do you care for employees’ mental well-being by offering them flexible hours and workplace counseling? Do your projects offer exciting challenges that enable your employees to grow? Or are you proud of the excellent chemistry between your team members? These factors can be as attractive as the salaries on offer.

Why pay so much for a software engineer? Because the good software engineers work to keep you ahead of the competition. They are worth the pay because they do not just develop a piece of software – they create a good piece that can be reused, scaled up, and modified. Essentially, this is the kind of software that can respond to your business needs with more flexibility and efficiency.

However, if budget constraints hinder your organization’s growth path, the advice here is to take advantage of affordable labor resources from Asian countries, such as Vietnam. This country pays software engineers about $17,000 a year. With the same budget allocated to one developer, you can now even hire up to 2 or 3 experts instead while ensuring the quality of work by collaborating with Asian individuals.

So, what is the fastest way to access this offshore human resource? By partnering with Orient Software, a software development outsourcing company, you eliminate the recruitment burden and immediately upgrade your development capacity with extended engineers or dedicated teams. Get in touch now for a free quote.

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