The demand for skilled developers is on the rise around the world every day. Developing countries have started to catch up with technology-driven economies like the US and UK, thanks to a huge increase in investment from businesses and government agencies alike.
If you’re considering entering this field of work, it’s important that you get an idea about the average global developer pay scale. You can use these figures as a reference when negotiating your next job offer or deciding where to live based on income alone.
In addition to this, there are many other factors you should consider before making any major career decisions—like whether you want to stay put at home or relocate overseas. So let’s take a look at some of the highest paying nations for tech professionals.
As one of the most prominent locations for developing high quality products, the US has become synonymous with innovation. According to Glassdoor, the national average annual salary for a software engineer hovers between $110k-$118k per year. However, certain cities within the country can see even higher wages. For example, San Francisco pays its employees upwards of $145k annually.
On the contrary side, remote workers may find themselves underpaid if they don’t earn much more than their counterparts working full time back home. This is why we recommend setting aside enough money each month so you won’t need to rely on freelancing websites to make ends meet.
Although not all American cities boast such great salaries, there are plenty of others that provide decent compensation too. Some examples include Seattle ($114k), Denver ($122k), Boston ($123k) and Austin ($127k). A few years ago, Forbes also compiled a list showing how different parts of the nation could potentially boost your yearly paycheck by hundreds of dollars. If you’d rather check them out yourself, head over to Salary.com.
According to Payscale.com, the cost of living in Silicon Valley (CA/US) is almost twice the national average. On top of that, the area ranks first among America’s best places for those who love walking outdoors. All this means that you’ll be spending less on transportation and housing while still getting paid more than anywhere else across the entire continent.
Switzerland boasts one of the strongest IT sectors worldwide. It attracts thousands of talented people from all over the globe because of its highly developed education system and strong economy. As a result, the country offers competitive salaries to both local and international hires.
For instance, according to PayScale, the average base salary for a senior software engineer in Switzerland is approximately $116k per year. That said, new graduates often receive an incentive bonus worth several thousand Swiss francs. In general, however, starting engineers only expect to reap somewhere between $100k – $130k annually.
Interestingly, the same study shows that Switzerland ranks second overall for software engineering salaries behind India. Compared to other European countries though, you’ll usually end up earning considerably more than what locals typically do. This makes Switzerland a good place to settle down if you plan on staying awhile and doing something meaningful later on.
3. New Zealand
New Zealand doesn’t necessarily possess the largest number of startups and technology companies compared to other countries. Nevertheless, it does host some of the biggest names in the industry today. One of which is Atlassian, which was founded in 2002 by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar.
With headquarters located in Sydney, Australia, the company employs more than 500 people throughout the country. Not only does Atlassian attract talent locally but also internationally. After being acquired by Microsoft in 2014, there were reports saying that 100% of the company’s workforce would remain unaffected.
Atlassian currently focuses mainly on cloud development, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence solutions. While the exact amount of money you might earn here depends largely on your prior experience level, entry-level positions start at roughly $89k per year.
It goes without saying that you will probably enjoy better benefits once you climb the ladder. According to LinkedIn, current employees can save up to 40% off their monthly rent when signing long term contracts with properties managed directly by Atlassian. Apartments range from 4 bedrooms to 8 bedroom units, depending on the size and location.
Norway stands out as one of Europe’s leading destinations for foreign investors looking into expanding their business operations abroad. Thanks to its vast natural resources and low taxes, Norwegian entrepreneurs are able to keep costs low and profits high.
Thanks to this, Norwegian citizens tend to move faster towards becoming successful businessmen than anyone else in the Nordic region. They’ve been known to create tech giants like Storsimoteknologi AS, Nettbuss ASA, Oslo Børs AS, Konglomeratet Nordvest AS, Telenor Group, and Handelsbanken AB.
Aside from having lots of cash to spare, Norwegians’ commitment to environmentalism also helps drive growth for many green energy projects. For instance, Statoil ASA recently announced plans to build the world’s largest floating liquefied natural gas production platform called the Iceberg Project.
All things considered, Norway is a fantastic choice for young adults hoping to pursue careers related to finance, oil & gas exploration, construction, manufacturing, etc. Due to the relatively small size of the population, competition remains quite fierce, especially since everyone wants to land jobs in the public sector.
However, recent studies suggest that salaries in Norway aren’t actually very bad. As mentioned earlier, the average annual wage for a software engineer ranges from $115k – $125k, meaning that you shouldn’t feel deprived unless you decide to freelance instead.
Denmark is famous for its progressive stance regarding gender equality. Over the past decade, women made up 60% of the labor force in the Scandinavian country. Currently, 70% of Danish residents identify as politically left leaning. And despite its reputation for being somewhat anti-capitalist, it still hosts some of the fastest growing fintech hubs in Scandinavia.
Despite the fact that the cost of living in Denmark isn’t particularly cheap, the country continues to rank above the rest due to its well established healthcare systems and generous social programs.
Payscale says that the average salary for a senior software engineer in Denmark is approximately $96k per year. Although the hourly rate varies widely based on previous employment experiences, newbies tend to get hired for anywhere between $58.50k -$78k.
One thing to note is that salaries for junior levels tend to hover below $55k until you hit mid-career age. At this point, you should be eligible to apply for promotions. Also, unlike other Scandinavian countries, Denmark has no laws preventing employers from asking potential candidates about their immigration status.
6. United Kingdom
Great Britain has always attracted hordes of immigrants seeking opportunities elsewhere. More specifically, London became a popular destination for millions of creative individuals from all over the world during the late 19th century. Today, it’s still ranked as one of the busiest migration centers globally.
A lot has changed since then. But the city remains a hotbed for technological advancements and innovative ideas. Since 2013, London has emerged as one of the cheapest places to buy real estate in the UK. Furthermore, the British capital now houses numerous startup incubators focused primarily on promoting entrepreneurship.
Salary wise, hiring managers in London mostly focus on experienced candidates who know how to write effective code. The average annual programmer salary in the U.K. comes in at just shy of £90k. Of course, this figure includes bonuses, overtime payments, and pension contributions.
Since the early 2000s, Sweden has consistently maintained its position atop the league table of happiest nations in the world. The Scandinavian country is renowned for offering excellent health care services, free education, and a large welfare state that covers everything from unemployment assistance to old age pensions.
This means that Swedes spend far fewer hours commuting to work daily than Americans. Instead, 90 percent of Swedish commuters walk to work or ride bicycles whenever possible. Despite this, most Swedish programmers prefer to telecommute occasionally.
According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for a senior software engineer in Stockholm is approximately SEK 105k -SEK 145k annually. Entry-level positions begin at around SEK 85k -SEK 115k. Unfortunately, the minimum wage is nearly half of this value, which puts pressure on young people trying to enter the field.
Germany is arguably the birthplace of modern computer science. During the 1960s, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer launched “Otto Wolf,” a project aimed at building a fully automated digital library containing information pertaining to scientific research papers published throughout history.
Today, Berlin serves as a hub for various industries including robotics, machine learning, AI, quantum computing, cybersecurity, biotechnology, medicine, aerospace, automotive, industrial automation, 3D printing, etc.
According to Indeed Hiring Lab, the estimated average software engineer salary in Germany is €103k per year. When broken down further, this translates to €88k for entry-level applicants and €117k for recent grads.
The Netherlands are home to renowned institutions such as Delft University of Technology and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) which are known for their computer science courses and research activities in AI and other emerging technologies like Blockchain and quantum computing.
According to Indeed Hiring Lab’s analysis of job listings over a period of three months starting from October 2017–January 2022, the average software engineer salary in Netherlands is €96k per year with an entry-level starting salary of €65k and an average salary increase at 26% over 5 years.
France is located in western Europe and enjoys a warm climate that makes it one of the top travel destinations in Europe. French universities are known for their excellence in engineering and technology courses such as Lille University of Technology (LUT). The average software engineer salary in France is €84k per year with an entry-level starting salary of €63 k and an average salary increase at 20% over 5 years.