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What is the Average Cost of Hiring a Software Engineer?

Hello there! I see you’re curious about the cost of hiring a software engineer. You’re definitely not alone, it’s a common question among startup founders, especially considering the pivotal role that software engineers play in your company’s tech and product development. So, let’s get straight to it!

A Quick Answer

From a broad perspective, the average cost of hiring a software engineer in the United States is approximately $105,000 annually.

However, this can significantly vary depending on factors such as their level of experience, geographic location, and specific technical skills.

Understanding The Cost in Depth

Experience Level

The level of experience an engineer holds largely contributes to their monetary value.

  • Entry-level engineers typically earn between $78,000 and $102,000 per year.
  • Mid-level engineers, with several years of experience, can earn a salary of $100,000 to $120,000 per year.
  • Senior engineers, boasting a more substantial experience, often earn a salary upward of $120,000 to $140,000 per year.

Geographical Location

Location plays a vital role in determining the salary of a software engineer. For instance, software engineers in urban regions, especially on the tech-dense west coast, can demand substantially higher salaries than those in rural regions.

Technical Skillsets

Without a doubt, the type of technical skills a software engineer possesses can significantly influence their worth.

Highly sought-after skills in areas such as blockchain, machine learning, and cybersecurity often command a higher price tag.

Strategic Hiring Without Skyrocketing Costs

The trick here is not just to find the right software engineer, but also to manage the costs that come with it. This is where strategic hiring comes into play. To get smart about this, you might want to read ‘How to Hire Software Engineers for Your Startup,’ an excellent resource that should serve you well.


On average, a software engineer in the United States will cost about $105,000 per year. But remember, this figure is apt to fluctuate based on their experience, location, and the type of technical skills they hold.

As a startup founder, it’s critical to balance the worth of your prospective software engineers with what you can feasibly afford. By being strategic about hiring practices, you can recruit talented engineers without the costs going stratospheric.


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