Software engineering salary trends to know about for 2023

Explore new software engineering job roles while demand is high, companies now offering higher pay and better benefits
Kirstie McDermott
Explore new software engineering roles on IE's job board
Explore new software engineering roles on IE's job board

Zeljkodan / Canva Pro 

Software engineers have traditionally been in a great place when it comes to the labor market. From high salaries to great benefits and fully remote working, the last few years in particular have been a bonanza time.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that jobs in software development are expected to increase by 25 percent between up to 2031. Not only are software engineers and developers highly sought in the startup and wider tech spaces, but increasingly also in the finance, healthcare, and education sectors too.

The pandemic also accelerated demand. As businesses and organizations rapidly embraced digitization, and undertook extensive digital transformation projects or moved to the cloud, this led to a global need for IT talent.

Companies and organizations struggled to find and hire skilled computer scientists, engineers, and software developers. As a result, software developers, quality assurance analysts, and software testers remain in high demand. 

Show me the money

This high-pay era may be showing signs of an adjustment, according to a recent survey from the professional work community Blind. It had some interesting findings around how software professionals are approaching compensation this year.

Hundreds of thousands of tech layoffs over the past 18 months have understandably left many workers feeling nervous, and this environment has allowed employers to take back some of the control they ceded to workers during the pandemic.

As a result, that has had an impact on engineering and software developer salary trends. 

Right now, 56 percent of tech workers are open to accepting the same money, or lower pay in a new role. This trend is more pronounced among junior tech employees or those with two to five years of experience. 

This cohort has lowered its salary requirements, at 10 percent, closely followed by those in the five to 10-year bracket who are looking at an eight percent reduction.

If tech workers do take less money though, the job must offer something else valuable, such as job satisfaction and wellbeing, with 19 percent saying a strong company culture and work-life balance are now critical drivers of their new job decision-making process. 

Another 14 percent said remote or hybrid work is what they highly value, and 13 percent are looking to the future, emphasizing the importance of career growth opportunities at a new employer.

Big cities and tech hubs have traditionally driven salary compensation trends, and now, while engineers in top tech hubs still earn higher salaries, their expectations have fallen more significantly.

In locations such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and New York, a large decline in salary expectations is occurring, with an average drop of nine percent year-over-year, for an average minimum salary requirement of $186,218.

Engineers located in mid- and low-cost-of-living metros command smaller salaries, but their decline is less sharp, only falling by three percent, for an average of $160,163 in Q1 of 2022.

The gender pay gap is still a big problem for mid- and senior-level female engineers. The average minimum salary requirement for women with more than 10 years of experience dropped from $199,444 in the second quarter of 2022, to $175,217 in at the start of 2023. 

By comparison, men dropped from $203,961 to $198,073 over the same period, equating to a 12 percent difference in current average base salary requirements.

The good news is that for those looking for a new software engineering job, opportunities abound. Below, discover three to apply for, and you can find thousands more on the Interesting Engineering Job Board

Software Engineer, Adobe, Austin

Adobe is looking for a versatile Software Engineer to join its Cloud Engineering team. You’ll have a heavy full-stack development background and will Create code and infrastructure solutions for Adobe Commerce Cloud. To apply you’ll need four years of experience in web development, with deep working knowledge and extensive experience with PHP7 (including debugging and profiling), object-oriented programming, and design patterns.

Senior Engineer Software, PAYLOCITY CORPORATION, Remote

Paylocity is a cloud-based software company that creates customized HR solutions for small to mid-sized organizations. The Senior Software Engineer is responsible for creating, enhancing, and supporting common features. You’ll be actively involved in the complete software development life cycle in an agile environment including technical design, firsthand coding, unit testing, integration testing, performance tuning, maintenance, test automation, deployments, and upgrades.

Software Program Manager, Whisker, Auburn Hills

Whisker, formerly known as AutoPets, is the maker of Litter-Robot, Feeder-Robot, and The Software Technical Program Manager will be responsible for managing software-focused platform products as well as product development and will oversee portions of the digital product roadmap, among other responsibilities.