Salary Outlook for Software Engineering Manager

Created by Henry Steele

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

The employment outlook for software engineering and development is bright. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports job demand in this field will increase by a healthy 24% through 2026. This is much faster than average when compared to other occupations. Also, employment of applications developers will grow by 31%, and employment of systemd developers will rise by 11%.

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It is expected there will be a net increase of 302,500 software engineers and developers in the next several years. This strong job demand can make it tempting to work in the software engineering field. Most workers with an aptitude in the sciences, mathematics and computers can get training with a bachelor’s or master’s degree that can net them a high annual salary.

But before you make a decision, learn about the salary you can expect as a software engineering manager. These factors will influence how much money you make:

  • Whether you get a bachelor’s or master’s degree in software engineering
  • Your job title
  • How many years of work experience you have
  • Where you live in the United States
  • Certifications you earn

With this information, you will get a good idea of the salary you can earn in this hot career field of software engineering management.

Level of Software Engineering Degree

The typical software engineer will earn their degree in software engineering or software development, which are related to a computer science degree. Educational research shows that you can earn a higher salary as a software engineer manager with a master’s degree. BLS data reveals you can earn a higher salary to the tune of $12,000 per year with a master’s degree; that figure is for all degrees and occupations, so the salary increase for a computer science-related master’s could be a good deal different.

The data at the Department of Labor shows the following salary increases for a master’s degree, by occupation:

  • 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

Clearly, a higher degree in these technical professions can lead to a significant salary bump of at least $10,000 and up to $20,000 has data indicating average salaries for workers earning a bachelor’s degree in software engineering:

  • Software engineer: $69,100
  • Software developer: $62,100
  • Senior software engineer: $88,600
  • Web developer: $50,700
  • Embedded software engineer: $89,400
  • Senior business analyst: $61,000
  • IT supervisor: $83,400

For a master’s degree in software engineering, reports these salaries:

  • 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: $114,600
  • Senior test/QA engineer: $82,100
  • Informatica developer: $84,306
  • Software tester: $49,700
  • User experience manager: $111,800

The data suggests a software engineering manager with a graduate degree will earn a higher salary overall, depending upon the position.

Job Title

Your job title has an influence on the salary you can earn in this growing field. Being a software engineering manager is a demanding occupation, and with it comes a good salary.

As a software engineering manager, you are in charge of assembling a competent team of software engineers that are able to work quickly and successfully on many software projects. The team is mostly responsible for offering maintenance on software products that may not work properly. They also may develop entirely new software for some projects. Some of these managers may work directly with the software, but much of their work is of a supervisory nature. They must ensure that the software products are completely functional and meet the standards of the organization. reports the median salary for this position is $132,200, with a range between $98,700 and $167,200. Below are some current salaries for software engineering managers at major companies across the US:

  • Amazon: $142,200
  • Intel: $132,000
  • Lockheed Martin: $140,000
  • IBM: $127,600
  • EMC Corp: $136,800
  • Accenture Technology Solutions: $104,700
  • Apple: $151,500
  • Microsoft: $149,200

Also, the following related positions and salaries are reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Network and computer systems administrator: $81,800 per year
  • Computer and information systems manager: $139,200
  • Computer network architect: $104,600
  • Computer programmer: $82,200
  • Computer systems analyst: $88,200
  • Database administrator: $87,000
  • Information security analyst: $95,500 also reports the following job openings for software engineering managers with approximate salary ranges:

  • $70,000: 43,700 job openings
  • $85,000: 36,500 job openings
  • $100,000: 26,500 job openings
  • $110,000: 19,500 job openings
  • $125,000: 10,600 job openings

Software Engineering Manager Work Experience

Your salary as a software engineering manager will rise steadily as your work experience rises. reports an impressive $124,000 salary for workers with fewer than five years of experience. For those with five to 10 years of experience, the salary if $130,000, and $138,000 for 10 to 20 years of experience. Those with more than 20 years of work experience earn a salary of $143,000 on average.

Job Location

Where you live in the United States will affect your software engineering manager salary. The national average for this profession is $139,700, but your salary can vary a great deal based upon the city in which you reside:

  • San Jose: +26%
  • Santa Clara: +20%
  • San Francisco: +16%
  • Palo Alto: +15%
  • New York City: +12%
  • Seattle: +5%
  • Los Angeles: +3%
  • Boston: 0%
  • Portland: -1%
  • Austin: -4%

Certifications You Have

You can raise your salary significantly as a software engineering manager with certain certifications.

The American Society for Engineering Management offers the following engineering management certifications that can be helpful for a healthy salary increase:

  • Associate Engineering Manager (AEM): Designed for the younger technical professional who wants to establish strong credentials for supervisory assignments or early technical management roles. Your certification is valid for three years.
  • Professional Engineering Manager (PEM): This is designed for the experienced technical manager who wants to enhance and validate their skills with a desirable professional certification. This certification is also valid for three years.


The industry in which you work as a software engineer will also influence what you earn. BLS states the following median salaries for software engineers and developers in various industries:

  • 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

Choosing a career as a software engineering manager means you will probably enjoy strong demand for your services, and salaries well above $100,000 per year for all but the most entry level professionals.


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.

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