The Hourly Rate Of Software Developers In The USA

The pay scale is an attractive allurement in a job hunt. Once people are able to secure the job they are passionate about, it is the hourly and yearly rates that they would like to know, because it all boils down to remuneration, eventually. A software developer manages an interesting job because he is responsible for creating software programs that would be used by various industry verticals and individuals. So while the job itself is an attractive proposition, knowing how much you can earn is certainly the most appealing factor here.

Rate in different states in the USA

The hourly rate, of course, depends on the certification, qualification, state and location of the developer. There is no unified rate as such, and you can expect slight variations depending on the demand and supply ratio.

Additionally, location is also a major criteria in deciding the hourly rate. For example, in the San Francisco Bay area, there are senior software developers who earn as much as $1,600 a day. There is no doubt that a good developer who can deliver stellar results, can be at the demanding end. You get what you pay for.

There are employers who are willing to give a chance to a novice, perhaps a kid in the school who can tinker with the codes and produce great programs. But the problem with such situations is that anytime a major corporation can swoop in and take away the kid promising him more money than he can offer.

The hourly rate may vary anywhere from $15 to $300 or more, depending on inflation. The disparity in the hourly rate may seem huge, but once you understand the basics, you know that this disparity is fully justified.

Have a look at the top paying metropolitan areas in the USA

Metropolitan areasHourly mean wage
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$68.45
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division$58.27
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Division$56.54
Baltimore-Towson, MD$54.98
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division$56.47
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division


Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA$53.72
New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division$53.42
Salinas, CA$53.24
Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, MA-NH NECTA Division$52.51

Here are the high paying states in the USA

StateHourly mean wage
New York$51.45

The hourly wage would depend on the metropolitan areas where the highest concentration of jobs can be found, and the location in which you have the highest number of software developers. The complexity in the task is also another deciding factor in the pay scale. If the job is complex and challenging, then the developer can ask for more.

Job description of a senior software developer

Once a software developer becomes experienced, he gets promoted to the level of senior developer. A senior software developer heads a team of developers responsible for creating different software programs. They could work for software companies or be hired by big corporations who wish to have their own division of software development. As the team looks up to the senior software developer, it is his duty to troubleshoot problems and guide them through trials and tribulations. He reports directly to the informational technology director, or the COO if it is a company he is working for.

He must be proficient in all kinds of computer programming languages and must be aware of the latest trends in the market. He is also responsible for teaching the latest trends to his team members. Apart from that, it is the senior software developer who has to fix problems and improve upon a product if there are any issues.

Having an analytical mind would be an added advantage because he needs to identify and solve problems as and when they occur. Technical skills and creative aptitude are other required prerequisites for the job.

Senior software developers can rise higher to become information technology (IT) project managers or computer and information systems managers.


A bachelor’s degree in computer science/software engineering/mathematics, followed by a master’s degree would be sufficient. Software developers could work anywhere – in an entertainment industry, school, or even a bank. So depending upon the requirement, the base education required would also vary.

Other qualities required to become a software developer

Communication skills

As the developer has to manage a team of developers reporting to him, he must have excellent communication skills. A good leader has to be a good communicator first.


Only a creative mind can understand the importance of a software program, how to make it appealing to the target segment and how to make it different and unique.

Analytic skills

Analyze the productivity factor of the program, anticipate user needs and gauge its success.

Problem-solving skills

A developer would have to face challenges all through the development process. He cannot overcome hurdles unless he is good at problem solving.


The developer must have the skills and patience to pay attention to details even though he may work on several things at a time.

Good interpersonal skills

The developer must be able to relate well with people if the entire project has to be successful.


Being a software developer is certainly a glamorous job. The money you earn would depend on the skills you have, coupled with years of experience and impressive educational qualifications to match. Of course, the most challenging the task is, the more money you can earn out of it.

Interesting Links:
Salary of a senior software engineer in USA
Hourly wages of a software developer

Pictures: Weldon

The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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