Software engineer salary review 2021: How does your state compare? (2023)

By Kevin Juhasz for Hack Reactor

At the beginning of 2020, it was difficult to find an industry that wasn’t predicted to have some job growth over the next decade. Even sectors that are drifting toward obsolescence were expected to see an uptick simply because the strong economy made qualified employees difficult to find.

What a difference a year and a pandemic make. The most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics still expect job growth across the board, but predict it will be about 20% less than earlier projections.

Numbers for software engineers have also been revised downward, but not as much as the job market overall. While not completely pandemic or recession-proof, software engineering is still a solid career to pursue. Last year, the industry was expected to have a growth of 26% over 10 years. It’s now sitting at around 22%, more than 5 times higher than the national average for all industries.

Bureau of Labor and Statistics Projections

The median salary for software engineers in 2019 was $107,510 per year, which is a solid salary depending on where you reside. Higher salaries tend to be in areas with the highest cost of living. The majority of high-paying jobs are located on the East and West Coast. Colorado, which was strong last year, continues to be an area for good pay. The one state that has moved up is Texas, a state known for its increasing embrace of tech companies.

One of the things to remember when looking at BLS data is that you can’t just look at the state. There is data that also looks at metropolitan areas and individual counties. When you research, you’re bound to discover six-figure salaries in states where overall salaries are lower. Higher paying states will also have pockets of slightly lower salaries but in more affordable areas.

Software engineer salary review 2021: How does your state compare? (1)

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This region of the country has more states offering high salaries than any other. New York, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are all states that offer mean wages in the $107K-$135K range. The remaining states are all in the $90K-$107K range. Depending on where you live, this could be an excellent salary, a decent salary, or you could be barely getting by.

Pennsylvania is the most affordable state in the region. Delaware and New Hampshire are slightly more affordable than the rest of the region but still fairly high. Virginia also seems affordable, but their figure is based heavily on the Southern and Western portions of the state. The metro areas in northern Virginia, such as Arlington and Alexandria, are very high in price. If you’re able to find a well-paying job in the lower-priced areas of the state, it can be as good as Pennsylvania.


Higher salaries are harder to come by in the southern region, but even this is a region that is improving. North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida are very competitive with the northeast and western regions. As you move inland, it can be difficult. West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana are all ranked in the lowest range. One of the benefits of software engineering is that even the low range salary is still better than many other industries. It’s still possible to find salaries around $90K in those states.

The southern region continues to be one of the most affordable areas of the nation to live in. States with higher pay also lean toward higher living costs, but those areas are still below the national index.

Upper Midwest

With the exception of the Dakotas, all of the states offer salaries in the $90K-$107K range. You’ll have a better chance of finding a six-figure salary if you look in Illinois and Minnesota. North and South Dakota are both in the lowest range.

Another of the most affordable areas to live with only a few states that drift a bit closer to the national average. The further north you go, the more expensive the living can be, and Minnesota has the highest COL index in the region.

Lower Midwest

Traditionally an area that pays lower, the Midwest is also on the rise. Texas leads the pack by far. Many of the metropolitan areas in the Lone Star state have made a concerted effort to attract tech companies to the area. This is an area where you’re going to find better jobs and better salaries. Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri are also starting to see salaries on the rise. Oklahoma remains the only state in the group that continues to be at the bottom.

With its reasonable cost of living and increasing salaries, the Midwest is becoming the area that has the best balance of pay and expenses. Almost all of the states rank in the top 10 for affordability. Some metro areas will not be as affordable, but it’s still the region that is easiest on the paycheck. This region is also becoming more attractive because the increasing salaries coupled with a steadier COL means that your money will go even further.

Rocky Mountain

This region is also dominated by a single state, Colorado. Like Texas, the state has made great efforts to attract tech companies and their target employees, particularly in the Boulder and Denver areas. Arizona and Utah are also very competitive with the Centennial State, so there is an upswing in those two states. New Mexico, despite being an area that has embraced technology in the past, is behind with Wyoming and most of Montana.

New Mexico is the cheapest state in the region, but it also has the lowest salaries in the area. Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming are all places with decent COL indexes. Colorado has the highest cost of living in this region, but it’s similar to Virginia with regions that skew the numbers. The effect in Colorado is the opposite. The Denver-Boulder region has a very high cost which raises the overall COL. The southwestern region of Colorado is one of the highest paying non-metropolitan areas in the nation and it has a COL of living significantly lower than the Denver metro area and Colorado overall.


California and Washington continue to remain on top on the West Coast, but like the Northeast, it’s a good area to explore no matter which state. Assuming that salary is your only consideration.

The West Coast is notorious for being expensive, especially in California, Oregon, and Washington. Oregon has seen its cost of living increase to the point where it has surpassed New York and is competing with California for the 2nd most expensive state in America. California retains that spot, even with a recent 25% drop in rents in San Francisco. Nevada and Washington are on the expensive side compared with other regions but are more affordable than the other states. Your best bet on the West Coast is absolutely Idaho, which is as affordable as the midwest and is also enjoying a bump in salaries.

Alaska and Hawaii

Both of these states offer some solid salaries, making it fairly easy to find a job above $100K per year. The problem with both states is that they are some of the most expensive in the nation. Alaska has a very high cost of living. Hawaii is undisputed as the most expensive state, offering costs almost twice as high as the national average.

Software engineer salary review 2021: How does your state compare? (2)

Most Expensive Metro Areas:

1. Anchorage, AK
2. Bergen County and Passaic County, NJ
3. Fairbanks, AK
4. Portland, OR
5. Stamford, CT
6. Alexandria, VA
7. San Diego, CA
8. Bethesda, MD
9. Los Angeles, CA
10. Queens, NY

Salary and Cost of Living by State:

Software engineer salary review 2021: How does your state compare? (3)


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We offer free prep programs for those who want to get started learning Javascript, but for those who already know the fundamentals, we also offer our full-time Software Engineering Immersive and our part-time Software Engineering Immersive programs, which are focused on training people to be fully autonomous software engineers.


Which state has the highest salary for software engineer? ›

1. Washington
Total Software Engineer Jobs:6,948
Average Annual Salary:$112,080
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$81,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$153,000
1 more row
6 Apr 2021

What is the salary hike of software engineer? ›

The average salary for a Software Engineer is ₹7,00,000 per year in India, which is 53% lower than the average Hike salary of ₹14,96,703 per year for this job.

Which city pays highest salary to software engineers? ›

Highest-Paying Cities for Software Engineers
Average total compensationMedian total compensation
San Francisco, CA$265,050$225,000
Sunnyvale, CA$260,048$238,000
Santa Monica, CA$245,331$196,750
Seattle, WA$242,501$206,900
16 more rows
1 Mar 2022

Why are software engineers paid so much in the USA? ›

Software engineers make so much money because there is enormous demand for their skillset and not enough supply, the incredible value they bring to businesses and the general difficulty of the role. Good developers are hard to come by and the rise of technology has meant companies need more of them than ever.

Which state is good for software engineers in USA? ›

San Jose, California

It's important to keep in mind that even with its higher average salary, the cost of living in San Jose is high compared to many cities across the U.S. If that isn't a deterrent, this Bay Area location is great to grow in your career as a software engineer.

Which state in USA has highest IT companies? ›

1. California

The heart of the software industry lies in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area, so it's no surprise that California tops the list.

Is 40 percent hike good? ›

There are companies that offer 70-80% hike (or even 2x) when you switch and there are companies who offer less. Having 2 years of experience as a Software Developer, you should expect a minimum of 35% - 40% hike in salary when you switch. If you are getting offered less than 35%, it is not worth it.

How much is 30 hike in salary? ›

2. How is a 30 per cent hike in salary calculated?
Current Salary (in INR)Hike PercentageFuture Salary/ Salary after Increment (in INR)
Total Future Salary13000
20 Jul 2022

What is a good appraisal percentage? ›

According to a survey findings, In 2021- 92% companies gave an increment, average pay hike was 8% In 2020- 60% companies gave an increment, average hike was 4.4% In 2022, the average appraisal is expected to touch 8.6%

Which is best city for software engineering? ›

San Francisco, New York, Seattle — home to some of the biggest names in the tech world — are often the first cities that come to mind when you think of where to kickstart your software engineering career.

Where is the best place to live as a software developer? ›

Best Cities for Software Developers
1Denver, CO82.5
2Seattle, WA82.2
3Phoenix, AZ80.7
4Atlanta, GA80.3
1 more row
4 Sept 2018

Which engineering has highest salary in world? ›

Top 10 Highest Paying Engineering Jobs of 2022
  1. Environmental Engineer. ...
  2. Biomedical Engineer. ...
  3. Systems Engineer. ...
  4. Electrical Engineer. ...
  5. Chemical Engineer. ...
  6. Big Data Engineer. ...
  7. Nuclear Engineer. ...
  8. Aerospace Engineer.
24 Mar 2022

Can software engineers make 500k? ›

Yes, a software engineer can make $500,000 a year.

However, $500,000 a year is far higher than the average salary of a software engineer.

Why are UK software engineer salaries so low? ›

One reason software engineers get paid less in the UK is that many UK-based companies are recruiting from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, which can be much cheaper than hiring an employee from America. The lower cost of living in the UK also plays a significant role in this pay gap.

Which is best for software engineer UK or US? ›

US is best place to be a software engineer, salary survey finds.

Which States has more IT jobs in USA? ›

1. California

California is home to many IT, technological research and programming companies, making it one of the best states for IT professionals. While Silicon Valley might be the most well-known area for IT jobs, other major employment hubs include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Davis.

Is Florida a good place for software engineers? ›

Located in the Heart of Florida's High-tech Corridor

Florida Tech is the perfect place for a BS in Software Engineering.

Which state in US is best for computer science? ›

Washington is the best state, and Windsor is the city with the highest pay for computer scientists.
1. Washington.
Total Computer Scientist Jobs:846
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$172,000
3 more rows
6 Apr 2021

Which city in USA has highest IT jobs? ›

San Jose, CA

San Jose is the largest city in Silicon Valley - the mecca for high-tech jobs and innovation in America.

What state pays the most for IT jobs? ›

Average U.S. Tech Salaries by State
RankStateAverage hourly wage for tech workers
3North Carolina$44.19
6 more rows
16 Aug 2021

Which city has most IT companies in USA? ›

San Francisco is the heart of the global tech industry. Tech workers in this Bay Area metropolis earn the highest salaries in the country at the biggest tech companies in the world.

How can I get 100% salary hike? ›

How to get a 100% hike in your salary in 2022? | Great Learning - YouTube

Can I ask for 50% hike? ›

While their argument may be correct, it is not advisable to drastically lower your expectations. The best way to go about this is to keep a 5 per cent margin that you may be willing to let go. So, for example, if you want to end up with a 30 per cent hike, tell them you are expecting 35 per cent, and then negotiate.

Can a company offer 100% hike? ›

It was irrelevant how you perform in the interview, whether you were underpaid or command a skill set that should get 100%+hike. These big companies don't allow their HR to pay more because of the set policies. You should be really good at negotiation skills to get paid as per your expectations.

Which IT company gives more hike? ›

Coforge hiked salaries the most at 27.2% year-on-year (YoY). The chart below further shows the L&T Infotech hiked its employees' salaries at 18.3%, followed by Persistent Systems at 14.5%, Mphasis at 9% and Mindtree at 7%.

What is the meaning of 30% hike? ›

First, Minus between the 36400 and 28000. Then, got the value of 36400 - 28000 = 8400. Then divide the 8400 by old salary = 8400/28000 = 0.30. Finally, multiply the 0.30 into 100 = 0.30 * 100. Hence, got the Salary Increment percentage between old and new salary is 30%

Is salary hike calculated on CTC or basic? ›

Ans: The hike is generally done on base salary, and the CTC hike follows from it.

Is a 20% hike good? ›

A 15% to 20% hike seems to be the norm for a new job. “If every other aspiration of an employee is met and salary increment is more than 15% to 20%, then the employee should make the change,” adds Muninder Anand, director, information solutions, Mercer.

What is a fair salary increase per year? ›

A good pay raise ranges from 4.5% to 5%, and anything more than that is considered exceptional. Depending on the reasons you cite for a pay raise and the length of time that has passed since your last raise, you could request a raise in the 10% to 20% range.

Is 10 percent raise good? ›

It's always a good idea to ask for anywhere between 10% to 20% higher than what you're making right now. You may be able to ask for more based on your performance, length of time with the company, and other factors. Make sure you come prepared when you negotiate your raise and be confident.

Which state is best for software engineer in India? ›

Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Boasting an employment growth rate of about 6% annually, there sure are more jobs to arise. It is not only because of the sheer number of jobs in Chennai, one of the highest paying cities for software engineering in India.

Is Texas good for software engineering? ›

Texas has become the top state for technology jobs outside of California, according to a recent report from professional social network Blind. Of the 80 best-paying cities for software engineering jobs in the nation, five were in the Lone Star State.

Is Florida a good place for software engineers? ›

Located in the Heart of Florida's High-tech Corridor

Florida Tech is the perfect place for a BS in Software Engineering.

Which city in India is best for software engineer? ›

India's Top Tech Cities
RanksCitiesTotal Score
16 more rows

Why are Indian software engineers paid less? ›

Requirement in health, education, agriculture is almost negligible*. *So the demand is less while the supply is high. * Over and above this, skill level of an average engineer is poor.

Which state is best for IT jobs in India? ›

Sector-wise, Karnataka led in terms of job openings in the ITeS sector with 28 per cent share in over five lakh jobs created by the sector, followed by Maharashtra (20.5 per cent), Tamil Nadu (11 per cent), Andhra Pradesh-Telangana (10 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (8 per cent), it said.

Is Dallas a good city for software engineers? ›

A recent tech boom has put Dallas on the map as a top city for software engineers. From start-ups to big companies, there are more than 2,000 job postings for software engineers in Dallas.

Where is the best place to be a Software Engineer? ›

San Francisco, New York, Seattle — home to some of the biggest names in the tech world — are often the first cities that come to mind when you think of where to kickstart your software engineering career.

What is a Software Engineer salary in Texas? ›

Salaries by years of experience in Texas
Years of experiencePer year
1 to 2 years$115,676
3 to 5 years-
6 to 9 years$132,310
More than 10 years$151,582
1 more row
13 Sept 2022

Where is the best place to live as a software developer? ›

Best Cities for Software Developers
1Denver, CO82.5
2Seattle, WA82.2
3Phoenix, AZ80.7
4Atlanta, GA80.3
1 more row
4 Sept 2018

Where do most software developers live? ›

While great developers live in every continent across the globe, it's pretty clear that they tend to cluster in a couple of key locations. The biggest cluster is unsurprisingly around the San Francisco Bay area, but there are other large clusters in and around Beijing, New York, London, Shanghai, and Seattle.

Is it hard to be a Software Engineer? ›

Yes, software engineering can be somewhat hard to learn initially – especially for those without programming or coding skills or any background or knowledge of tech – but there are many courses, tools, and other resources available to help people learn to become a Software Engineer.

What do software engineers do all day? ›

Software engineers spend their day solving problems in web applications and programs, writing code, attending meetings, and collaborating with their peers. They usually work on several projects at once.

What skills do software engineers need? ›

You'll want to focus on developing these core skills.
  • Computer Programming and Coding. ...
  • Software Development. ...
  • Object-Oriented Design (OOD) ...
  • Software Testing and Debugging. ...
  • Problem Solving and Logical Thinking. ...
  • Written and Verbal Communication. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Find a Home for Your Software Engineering Skills.

How is software engineer life? ›

For a Software Engineer, coding is the main skill to learn and the main focus of the role. A Software Engineer starts the day coding and will most of the time end the day coding. Additional skills required for this role are: Troubleshooting, testing, and database development/architecture.

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