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Salary, Wages, Pay: Computer Software Engineers




Median annual earnings of computer applications software engineers who worked full time in 2002 were about $70,900. The middle 50 percent earned between $55,510 and $88,660. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,830, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $109,800. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of computer applications software engineers in 2002 were:

Software publishers $76,450
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing 75,890
Computer systems design and related services 71,890
Architectural, engineering, and related services 70,090
Management of companies and enterprises 67,260

Median annual earnings of computer systems software engineers who worked full time in 2002 were about $74,040. The middle 50 percent earned between $58,500 and $91,160. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $45,890, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $111,600. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of computer systems software engineers in 2002 are shown below:

Scientific research and development services $82,270
Software publishers 77,120
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing 76,200
Computer systems design and related services 73,460
Wired telecommunications carriers 68,510

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, starting salary offers for graduates with a bachelorís degree in computer engineering averaged $51,343 in 2003, and those with a masterís degree averaged $64,200. Starting salary offers for graduates with a bachelorís degree in computer science averaged $47,109.

According to Robert Half International, starting salaries for software engineers in software development ranged from $64,250 to $97,000 in 2003.

In addition to typical benefits, computer software engineers may be provided with profit sharing, stock options, and a company car with a mileage allowance.