3 key software engineering salary trends for 2023

Money is a fantastic motivator for those looking for a new job and traditionally, software developers have been well-compensated and in-demand.

The pandemic sent their earning power soaring to dizzy new heights as businesses and organizations embraced digitisation, undertook extensive digital transformation projects or moved to the cloud.

That led to a global demand for IT talent and companies 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.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in these areas is expected to rise by 22% up to 2030.

This year, things look a little different. Swaths of tech layoffs over the past 18 months have understandably left many workers feeling nervous.

While many of the jobs that have been made redundant have been across business functions as opposed to technical roles, the current environment has allowed employers to take back some of the control they ceded to workers during the pandemic,

Employers now have the chance to attract and hire top-quality candidates at a reduced cost, with a larger pool of talented applicants in the labor market. As a result, that has had an impact on salary trends.

A recent survey from the professional work community Blind had some interesting findings around how software professionals are approaching compensation this year. Discover three of those below.

1.   Lowering salary expectations

Right now, 56% 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 by 10%, closely followed by those in the five to 10-year bracket who are looking at an 8% reduction.

Tech workers have a caveat when it comes to taking less money though: the job has to offer something else by way of compensation.

Job satisfaction and wellbeing matter to software professionals with 19% saying a strong company culture and work-life balance are now critical drivers of their new job decision-making process.

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

2.   Location dictates money

It’s not a surprise that the big cities and tech hubs have traditionally driven salary compensation trends. While engineers in top tech hubs earn higher salaries than those in other metros, their salary expectations have fallen more significantly.

Those in locations such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and New York, are experiencing a large decline in salary expectations, with an average drop of 9% 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 3%, for an average of $160,163 in Q1 of 2022.

3.   Women are still underpaid

Tech is well known for its pay gaps and 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% 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 VentureBeat Job Board.

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 Litterbox.com. 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.

Senior Software Engineer 2023-2271, Kyocera Document Solutions Development America Inc., Gardena

Reporting to the department manager of Software Engineering, the Senior Software Engineer will design and directly develop firmware and applications for Kyocera printers, digital copiers and multifunction printers. You will contribute to the software development process, analyze user needs and develop software solutions that benefit customers.

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