Salary Outlook for Software Development Manager

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - September 5, 2018
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The outlook for employment for software development and related positions is looking bright in the next decade. According to BLS, job demand for software developers will boom by an impressive 24% through 2026. This is a very fast job growth rate that is being driven by the advancement of Web technologies that are being used in businesses and industries across the world.

It also is expected there will be an increase of 300,000 or more software developers in the next few years. There should be especially high demand for software development managers to manager new healthcare policy enrollments and to administer current policies on a digital basis. As the number of people using medical and health digital platforms rise, the demand for skilled developers and managers will increase.

With all the jobs that will be available, you may be tempted to move into this exciting career field. But as with most career choices, it is a good idea to learn about the salary you can make before you make a career move. As a software development manager, you can expect these factors to influence your take home pay:

  • Whether you get your bachelor’s or master’s in software development or a related speciality
  • Your actual job title
  • Number of years of experience in software development
  • Where you live in the US
  • Industry
  • Certifications

With this information, you will have a better idea of what you can make each year in the hot software development field.

Level of Software Development Degree

Most software development professionals, including managers, will earn their degree in software development or engineering, which are types of computer science degrees. Research has indicated that many professionals with a master’s degree will net a higher annual salary than those with a mere bachelor’s degree. For many Americans, you can earn a $12,000 per year average increase in salary with a master’s degree. Of course, how much you can earn with a master’s degree varies upon the specialty. The US Department of Labor reports the following salary information for technology-related workers with a master’s:

  • Web developers: $61,000 vs. $75,000 per year
  • Information security analysts: $85,000 vs. $100,000
  • Network and computer systems administrators: $70,000 vs. $88,000
  • Mathematicians and statisticians: $60,000 vs. $80,000

At least for these science and math-related jobs, you can expect a higher salary with a master’s degree. Now let’s take a look at software development manager salaries with a bachelor’s degree, according to

  • Software developer: $65,500
  • Software engineer: $58,900
  • Programmer analyst: $61,800
  • Average salary: $64,000

Below is salary information from for professionals with a master’s degree in software development and engineering:

  • Software engineer: $84,300
  • Senior software engineer: $87,800
  • Software developer: $66,600
  • Applications development manager: $119,800
  • Software development leader: $96,000
  • Senior software engineer: $114,700

You can anticipate a higher salary with a master’s degree in software development or engineering.

Job Title

Your job title in this technical field also affects your pay rate. A software development manager has a high degree of responsibility and accountability for important technology projects. He is in charge of designing and developing software systems for business, sciences, military, medical and general computer applications. They also may work with modifying existing software structures that may have errors or are in need of an upgrade. Software development managers also analyze, store and retrieve information that can help them to create the best software possible.

For all of these highly needed technical skills, a software development manager is well compensated. reports the median salary for this field is $121,100, with a salary range of $85,900 and $155,800.

Here are some real world salaries for software development managers today:

  • Oracle: $146,700
  • Tyler Technologies: $82,500
  • IBM: $134,000
  • Amazon: $146,800
  • Thomson Reuters: $125,300
  • Intel: $126,000
  • Amdocs: $119,600
  • HP: $135,000 currently lists the following job openings for software development manager at various salary ranges:

  • $50,000: 88,500 job openings
  • $75,000: 67,700 job openings
  • $90,000: 51,600 job openings
  • $105,000: 34,600 job openings
  • $120,000: 19,215 job openings

This shows there are more job openings for software development managers at the entry level, but there are still plenty of opportunities for those with more experience in the six figure salary range.

Software Development Manager Work Experience

Work experience for software development managers is a key part of your potential salary. Software development managers with fewer than five years of work experience earn a salary of $104,000. Those with five to 10 years of experience can earn a salary of $117,000, and those with 10 to 20 years of experience earn a salary of $131,000. Those with more than 20 years of experience can earn a salary of $133,000.

Job Location

The part of the country in which you work as a software development manager will influence your salary too. states the national average salary for software development managers is $127,300. Salaries can vary by city as follows:

  • San Jose: +47%
  • San Francisco: +24%
  • Seattle: +15%
  • Boston: +14%
  • Chicago: +11%
  • Phoenix: -1%
  • Philadelphia: -2%
  • Atlanta: -4%
  • Minneapolis: -4%
  • Los Angeles: -5%


Your industry in which you are employed as a software development manager also affects your wage. BLS finds the following median salaries for software developers:

  • Software publishing: $112,300
  • Manufacturing: $109,000
  • Finance and insurance: $105,100
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $100,400
  • Computer systems design and related services: $98,400

Software Development Certifications

You can boost your career potential and salary by earning several software development certifications:

  • Microsoft MTA Certification: Aimed for college students that will focus on Windows development, software development, mobile gaming and more.
  • Amazon Web Services Certified Developer: Made for developers who make, build and run AWS platform applications. Learn about designing, developing and deploying cloud based solutions
  • Cloudera: This certification will give you skills to create, maintain and optimize Apache Hadoop development projects. Learn about Hadoop infrastructure, data management, job mechanics and querying.
  • Oracle: Best known for its database software, but it also offers storage systems, servers, cloud solutions and one of the most certification programs in the world, such as Oracle Application Express Developer Certified Expert.
  • Puppet Labs Developer: Become proficient in the creation of Puppet Labs IT automation software extensions using Ruby scripting language.
  • Red Hat: This is a major provider of open source software that is used by over 90% of Fortune 500 companies. By becoming a Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer, you will be able to build Java Enterprise Edition applications.

Working in software development management is a demanding, popular and lucrative career with plenty of potential in the next decade.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

"It doesn't matter how many times you have failed, you only have to be right once." - Mark Cuban