Excellent software takes time and effort to create. You require skilled software engineers for the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of software or application. It would help if you offered a competitive salary to draw in specialized software engineers for your organization.

This article will examine the usual compensation for software engineers in California. We will also state several aspects of software engineer salary in California, such as wage satisfaction and state-wide compensation.

Role of Best Software Developers

The best software developers understand how to use the proper programming languages, platforms, and architectures to construct anything from computer programs to network control systems. Successful software developers are also in charge of testing, enhancing, and maintaining software other engineers produce. They are also referred to as application engineers or system engineers.

The typical software engineer's everyday duties include the following: 

  • Development and upkeep of software systems
  • Software testing and evaluation for new programs, as well as performance and scalability improvements
  • Demonstrate new features to internal customers and stakeholders while consulting with customers, engineers, security specialists, and other parties.

Software Engineer Salaries in the US

According to Statista, senior executive software engineers had the highest average wage in the United States in 2022, with a salary of about $200,000, making it the highest-paying occupation in the United States. In another survey by Statista in Feb 2022 through 7215 total respondents, Silicon Valley, California, had the highest paying IT professionals in 2021 who made an average salary of over 133 thousand dollars, making it a leading state.

Image Source: Statista.com

The high demand for the services of software developers results in substantial pay, bonuses and packages for them.

Salaries of Software Engineers in California

Software developers often earn far more than the ordinary Americans' national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the median annual compensation for software engineers in the United States is $110,000.

On January 19, 2023, ZipRecruiter stated that the software engineer's salary in the California region is $91,610 yearly. At the same time, the national average for the software engineer salary is calculated to be USD 102,498 per year. A quick per hour pay estimator on this average software engineer salary in California comes to about $44/hr. If we compare this average software engineer salary in California with what indeed.com has stated as of January 19, 2023, the average software engineer salary in California is 102,150/yr. The most approximate average salary range based on 25th, 75th and 90th percent of annual salaries is indicated by ZipRecruiter as:

Annual Salary Range

This statistic for software engineer salary in California does not account for mitigating elements like geography, industry type, years of experience, or other factors. Nevertheless, having an expected mean value to compare against is useful.

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California Cities with Highest Salaries for Software Engineers

Because websites utilize different procedures and criteria to determine data, there may be a slight discrepancy against other survey platforms that have mentioned the statistics for software engineer salaries in California against similar factors. According to our evaluation, a total of 10 cities lead in the list of the highest-paying salaries for software engineers. These cities pay their workers more than the previously mentioned average wage.

Average Wage Per Year
San Jose, CA
Software Engineer Average Salary
USD 125,075
Hayward, CA
Software Engineer Average Salary
USD 121,097
Inverness, CA
Software Engineer Average Salary
USD 119,626
Concord, CA
Software Engineer Average Salary
USD 119,142
Seaside, CA
Software Engineer Average Salary
USD 117,058
Redding, CA
Software Engineer Average Salary
USD 112,219
Talmage, CA
Software Engineer Average Salary
USD 111,569
San Mateo, CA
Software Engineer Average Salary
USD 110,879
Sultana, CA
Software Engineer Average Salary
USD 110,744
Vacaville, CA
Software Engineer Average Salary
USD 109,220

The salaries in these ten cities are often higher than those in California. Moving seems to be a highly practical strategy to advance one's financial situation in the field of software engineering. The average software engineer salary in California in these top 10 cities differs only 13% between San Jose and Vacaville, emphasizing the limited possibilities for significant wage development.

When weighing location and compensation for a Software Engineer career, the ideal aspect of employing may be the potential for a cheaper cost of living.

Pay Scales for California-Based Software Engineers at Top Companies

For entry-level or beginners in software engineering careers, knowing which sectors hire the largest number of software engineers is helpful, while focusing on top software development companies is more beneficial. According to a recent survey, the best companies that offer the highest software engineer salary in California are Capital One, CommScope, Citi, Workday, Twitter, Visa, Meta, Uber, Practice Fusion, Walmart, Snap Inc, Procore Technologies, Apple, Concentric etc.  

Software Engineers Pay Scales by Years of Experience

The value of experience in deciding pay is significant. Experience in relevant fields holds a significant value as employers would prefer to give high salaries to experts with more years of experience rather than one with a limited skill set at the same salary. Indeed estimated that the average entry-level software engineer salary in California for those with less than a year of experience is $132,490.

$136,210 is the average software engineer salary in California, with a minimum experience of two years. The average yearly software engineer salary in California, having an experience of six to nine years, is estimated to be $155,694. Moreover, executive-level positions, where software engineers bring a decade of experience to the table, are given an average of $178,732/yr.

The above-mentioned software engineer salary in California for multiple roles can change depending on the state of the economy, where the job is located, and the organization's size, respectively.

Options for a career as a Software Engineer

Technically proficient communicators have a wide range of alternatives at their disposal. They may eventually become qualified for various positions, including Senior Engineer, Team Lead, Architect, and Manager, and even advance to senior management.

The career path of a skilled software engineer typically runs as follows:

  • Junior Web Developer
  • Senior Software Web Developer
  • Lead Software Engineer
  • Software Development Manager
  • CTO/Director/Vice President

A person's ability to demonstrate technical prowess, analytical reasoning, and good communication skills will determine how quickly their professional path advances.

Highest-paying software-related jobs in California

In this section, we will state at least five designations that come under the category of Software Engineer jobs paying more than the median annual Software Engineer salary in California. Importantly, the salaries for all these positions range from approximately $42,140 to $74,281, over the $92,589 average compensation for software engineers mentioned earlier.

Sr. Software Engineer Team Lead
USD 166,870
Remote Lead Software Engineer
USD 148,178
Technical Lead Software Engineer
USD 137,282
Lead Software Engineer
USD 134,729

If you have the necessary credentials and skills, you might get employed for one of these related roles and make more money than the average software engineer salary in California.

Important Job Sectors for Software Engineers

This section is significant for software engineers seeking to determine which sectors are most likely to require engineers to fill open positions. Major industries with a high need for software engineers are:

  • Healthcare
  • R&D
  • IT Consulting
  • Information Technology
  • Defense and Government
  • Retail 
  • Silicon Valley

Do software engineers have a high salary?

Software engineering is the second-highest paying entry-level career, according to Glassdoor, with a base income of approximately $90,000 per year. Software engineering is a diverse job sector, and the income can vary depending on the designation, the recruitment platform, and the region of the country.

Software engineers are paid well because almost every organization in the country requires the services of a Software Engineer. Many businesses rely on teams of software engineers to design the full interface, front-end, back-end and user experience for consumers. 

Who gets more salary, CA or Software Engineer?

According to Salary.com, the average CA salary per year is $102,868, which is comparatively less than the software engineer average salary in the USA. But this does not particularly mean that CA earns less than a software engineer. The suitable answer is that both positions pay more depending on qualifications and experience and whether the employment is in the United States or abroad. It also entirely depends on the nature and functions of the business or firm. For example, engineers get greater money if they work for a software company rather than a manufacturing company. Whereas accountants are more crucial in financial companies, hence they get a higher income there. So, questions like "who gets more salary, CA or Software Engineer" cannot be answered to with finite facts because such things are relative and depend on many factors. However, you can earn more or the same as a CA if you possess strong technical and engineering skills.  

Which Software Engineer has the highest salary?

Software engineering discipline is quite broad, encompassing a diverse range of positions in both software and services. This permits people to work in varying areas of interest. It is entirely up to you to select the appropriate career path in engineering. For example, you can prefer to work in creating and managing computer information systems or work in the healthcare industry or develop/manage network security systems for a firm. A variety of career options are available with accretive touches, such as ML experts, Artificial intelligence, Networking, data scientists, DevOps, and IT Architects.

Although we have already stated the highest-paying software jobs in California, here is a list of some best-paying software engineering jobs in 2023.

1. Full Stack Developer

Full stack or web developers handle the creation and management of both the front-end (customer experience) and back-end (logic, coding). This position is in high demand and among the top-paying ones in the engineering industry. On average, an experienced full-stack developer can expect to make between $84,903 and $114,504 a year.

2. Data Scientists

The work of data scientists involves gathering, analyzing, and presenting data together with crucial patterns to provide meaningful insights and spur an organization's rapid growth. However, handling data requires advanced technical and programming abilities in Python and language R. Data scientists' average yearly salary ranges between $71,790 and $130,370.

3. Software Architect

Highly skilled software architects coordinate with IT specialists, design software, and handle maintenance activities and regular updates to secure the greatest outcomes. Over the past five years, software architects have maintained their place in the best ten challenging work positions. Software architects typically earn between $31,500 and $196,500  annually.

4. Quality Assurance Engineer

Software quality assurance engineers are experts in testing the developed product; they ensure all initial requirements are satisfied according to the scope.

They analyze potential risks and threats and evaluate software's quality and updates. SQA engineer oversees the product's core components and technical details and ensures everything is in place and working right. Their average salary is between $77,710 and $128,960/yr, respectively.

5. Android Engineer

Android engineers evaluate the functionality of running mobile apps and enhance their programming code to produce successful results. Testing, automating, maintaining, and optimizing android applications are some of the services that android engineers offer. Their annual salary range is between $90,000 to $130,500 on average.

6. DevOps

The average yearly pay scale for DevOps lies between %$75,00 and $141,000. DevOps is a crucial component of any firm because they are responsible for managing the coordination between the business, the software experts, and the IT team. Using their coding abilities, DevOps engineers are accountable for the primary task of automation and integration of present technologies.

7. Backend Engineers

On average, backend engineers get a base salary of between $25,000 and $133,500 per year. These engineers are designated to build software applications and their core elements. Backend developer is one of the best-paying professions available to someone requiring technical expertise. They take care of processing user requests by utilizing servers, APIs, and databases.

8. Security Engineer

Security engineers charge an income of $115,000 and $181,000 yearly. Security is of prime importance for any business in shielding the threat against confidential data. Application security engineers ensure that the company's assets and information are secure and work to stop data loss, information leaks and all sorts of data breaches.

One of the most significant and well-paying professions, security engineering, is anticipated to see a bloom and rising demand in the coming years.

Software Engineers' satisfaction with salary

A Survey of software engineers conducted by Indeed indicated that around 63% of software engineers are happy with their salaries. Employee happiness with their income is measured by salary satisfaction. This also involves assessing location feasibility, i.e., whether employee wages align with the living cost in a specific area. 

Compensations and benefits for software engineers

Engineering jobs are in heavy demand, with professionals obtaining good pay and bonus packages. Engineering provides numerous opportunities for growth and development and transferable skills across a wide range of fields.

In addition to excellent salaries, software engineers are also awarded various special benefits and compensations. The amount of talent, experience, and expertise owned by a software engineer enables him to get recruited by a firm. Some of these benefits include paid sick leaves, advancement opportunities, health account, insurance (AD&D, dental, health, vision, commuter, disability), memberships, free food, flexible duty hours, referral opportunities, parental leaves, discount cards, long paid leaves and retirement plans etc. The list can be extended depending on the region, country and nature of the employer. 

Along with the basic salaries, software engineers are rewarded with quarterly or yearly cash bonuses at a 5-30% salary proportion and are strictly measured through employees' productivity throughout the period. Moreover, long-term incentives are also reserved for software engineers in the form of stock options to be converted to cash later in times to come.


Jobseekers in the domain of information technology, especially software engineering, could pursue a specialization or skill-specific training or world-class accreditations to stay competitive in the market and get hired by reputable employers.

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David Malan
Account Manager
A specialist in the field of market analysis in such areas as software development, web applications, mobile applications and the selection of potential vendors. Creator of analytical articles that have been praised by their readers. Highly qualified author and compiler of companies ratings.

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At Last, Software Engineer Salary in California is Revealed