Software Engineer Pay By Industry

3 min readJun 27, 2024


Analyzing the best average pay for software engineers by industry can provide valuable insights for both job seekers and employers. This analysis can highlight which industries offer the most lucrative opportunities and help software engineers make informed career decisions. Here’s a comprehensive look at the average pay for software engineers across various industries:

Overview of Software Engineer Salaries by Industry

1. Technology

  • Average Salary: $120,000 — $160,000
  • Overview: The technology industry, including software companies, tech startups, and established tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Apple, generally offers the highest salaries for software engineers. This is due to the high demand for cutting-edge technology development and innovation.
  • Key Roles: Software developers, cloud engineers, cybersecurity experts, AI/machine learning engineers, data scientists.

2. Finance

  • Average Salary: $110,000 — $150,000
  • Overview: The finance industry, encompassing banks, investment firms, and fintech companies, offers high salaries due to the critical role software engineers play in developing secure, reliable, and efficient financial systems.
  • Key Roles: Quantitative developers, blockchain developers, fintech software engineers, data analysts.

3. Healthcare

  • Average Salary: $100,000 — $140,000
  • Overview: The healthcare industry relies heavily on software for electronic health records, telemedicine, and medical research. The need for secure and compliant systems drives competitive salaries for software engineers in this field.
  • Key Roles: Health IT developers, bioinformatics engineers, software developers for medical devices, healthcare data scientists.

4. Government and Defense

  • Average Salary: $90,000 — $130,000
  • Overview: Government and defense sectors require highly secure and reliable software for national security and public services. These roles often offer competitive salaries, along with job stability and benefits.
  • Key Roles: Cybersecurity engineers, software developers for defense applications, IT specialists, data analysts.

5. Telecommunications

  • Average Salary: $95,000 — $135,000
  • Overview: The telecommunications industry needs software engineers to develop and maintain complex communication networks and services. High demand for network optimization and new communication technologies leads to competitive salaries.
  • Key Roles: Network engineers, software developers for telecommunications systems, IoT developers, data scientists.

6. Retail and E-commerce

  • Average Salary: $90,000 — $130,000
  • Overview: Retail and e-commerce companies, like Amazon and Alibaba, require robust software solutions for online platforms, logistics, and customer relationship management. The competitive nature of this industry drives high salaries.
  • Key Roles: E-commerce platform developers, logistics software engineers, web developers, data analysts.

7. Energy

  • Average Salary: $85,000 — $125,000
  • Overview: The energy sector, including oil, gas, and renewable energy companies, relies on software for operations, monitoring, and optimization of energy production and distribution. The technical challenges and critical nature of these systems contribute to competitive pay.
  • Key Roles: Software engineers for energy management systems, data scientists, IoT developers, automation engineers.

8. Manufacturing

  • Average Salary: $85,000 — $120,000
  • Overview: Manufacturing companies require software for automation, process control, and supply chain management. As Industry 4.0 technologies evolve, the demand for skilled software engineers continues to grow.
  • Key Roles: Automation engineers, software developers for manufacturing systems, IoT developers, data analysts.

Factors Influencing Salaries

Several factors influence the average salaries of software engineers across these industries:

Demand for Specialized Skills

  • Industries requiring specialized skills, such as AI, cybersecurity, and blockchain, tend to offer higher salaries due to the scarcity of qualified professionals.

Geographic Location

  • Salaries can vary significantly based on geographic location. For instance, software engineers in Silicon Valley or New York City typically earn more than those in smaller cities or rural areas.

Experience and Education

  • Software engineers with advanced degrees (e.g., Master’s or Ph.D.) or significant industry experience often command higher salaries.

Company Size and Financial Health

  • Larger companies and financially robust startups often have more resources to offer competitive salaries and benefits compared to smaller companies.


The technology and finance industries lead the way in offering the highest average salaries for software engineers, followed by healthcare, government and defense, and telecommunications. These industries value the critical role that software engineers play in driving innovation, ensuring security, and optimizing operations. For software engineers, choosing an industry that aligns with their skills and career goals can significantly impact their earning potential.

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Glassdoor Salary Data

Indeed Salary Insights

Bureau of Labor Statistics — Occupational Outlook Handbook

PayScale — Software Engineer Salary Data — State of Software Engineers Report




Author, Manager/software developer with 30+ years of experience. Writing about Tech, Gadgets, Software Development, more!