Are Software Engineers Rich?

Software engineering is a highly valued skill. This is evident in the intensive university training required to get a software engineering degree! If you have a talent for software engineering and are wondering if you should make a career out of it, or if you’re simply curious, the question must have crossed your mind: Are Software Engineers Rich?

According to the job acquisition platform,, the average Software Engineer Salary in the United States is $119,385 per year which would put them in the top 20% of earners in the U.S. However, with experience, this can grow to over $250,000, so it’s safe to say software engineers are rich.

In this article, we will explore whether or not software engineering can make you rich, what it takes to make a lot of money as a Software Engineer, and some other frequently asked questions related to the topic. Without further ado, let’s jump right into this complex but profitable question!

Will Software Engineering Make You Rich?

You may enjoy working with technology, whether coding or something even more inventive. This enjoyment of the craft can lead you to wonder whether or not you should pursue making a living out of it. 

However, is software engineering worth the time and effort it would take to develop the skill? Will you make enough money back to pay off an engineering degree’s student loans, or provide for yourself? Can you get rich from software engineering?

To answer these questions, it should be understood that there is more than one kind of software engineering job to pursue, and each may pay differently. The are plenty of different software engineering roles but we will focus on 

  1. Front-end Software Developers
  2. Backend Software Developers

All software engineers may be professionals in computer science and the languages of programming, but both of these functional roles are a little different. Let’s take a look at these differences below.

Front-end Software Engineers

A front-end software engineer is focused on working with clients. Common jobs for Applications Software Engineers include app developers for prominent companies like Windows, iOS, Linux, Android, and others. 

The main difference between front-end and back-end developers is the people who interact with their code. Front-end developers build customer-facing products while back-end developers build services that are used by other developers.

Front-end developers also work with marketers and the staff focused on customer success, designing and releasing updates to applications to improve them even after the release of the product.

Front-end Software Engineers can earn around $104, 724 in a per-year salary in the United States but They normally start at an entry-level salary of $80,000.

This pricing does vary from state to state. Below is a table that can give you an idea of the top-paying states for those front-end developers.

State in the U.S.Average Application Software Salary per Year
Washington121,966 Dollars
California124, 919 Dollars
Vermont110, 533 Dollars
Nevada106,693 Dollars

Back-end Engineer

Unlike the Applications Software Engineer, backend engineers are typically less focused on working with customers who will receive the product they are working on, and more focused on the back-end of the technology operation. 

They typically build the networks and operating systems that users may need, as well as the various APIs for other developers and customers to consume.

Instead of the more up-front working relationships with customer specialists or marketing officials, backend Software Engineers usually work with other senior systems architects and management. They’ll often spend time getting on the same page with data science professionals and development teams, too.

The average earnings in per-year salary for a backend engineer in the United States are $114,000. Below are the highest-paying states for this role.

State in the U.S.Average Systems Software Salary per Year
Washington131,790 Dollars
California127,950 Dollars
New York116,950 Dollars
Virginia113,830 Dollars

To sum it all up, both types of software engineers can become incredibly rich and have the potential to make several hundred thousand dollars each year in addition to having the pleasure of being invaluable to the companies they work for. 

However, the United States Internal Revenue Services state that technically you must make more than $500,000 every year to be in the top 1% of income earners. This means that while you might make plenty of money as a Software Engineer Developer, the IRS won’t necessarily consider you to be “rich”. It all depends on what your threshold for being rich is.

How to Get Rich as a Software Engineer

Regardless of what percentage of income the IRS may put you at, if you’re a software engineer, there is still plenty of opportunity to get rich! The question is, how? Well, after achieving an educational degree to become a software engineer, we recommend following one of the following methods:

  1. Work for a Famous Tech Company – Find a company that offers not only a high salary, but is wealthy enough as a corporation to give you benefits, stock options, and even bonuses. You’ll also be able to make connections with other professionals and learn skills that only a highly successful corporation has the experience to teach.
  2. Work for Startup Businesses – While working for a larger, more renowned giant like Google or Apple might get you a high salary, small startups can also be lucrative for software engineers. They’re usually willing to pay more for talented engineers because they know how crucial it is to find someone skilled for their company to succeed in the end.
  3. Start Your Own Company – It comes with quite a bit of risk, but opening up your own Software Development Agency can be lucrative because you can charge a handful of well-paying clients at your rates. You could also create your own, unique software product and if it takes off, make quite a bit of money that way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering how you can learn even more about making it big as a software engineer? Check out the answers to these frequently asked questions to kickstart your efforts:

Do all software engineers make 200k?

While it is possible to make more than $200,000 every year as a software engineer, it can be hard to achieve and is far the average starting salary. Whether you’re a Software Applications or Software Systems developer, you’ll need to prove your worth and work your way up from an average of around $80,000 before reaching $200k.

What is the lowest-paid software engineer?

In 2021, the lowest-paid twenty-five per cent of software engineer employees made an average of $90,870. These were entry-level software developers, which are a little different from state to state. 


To sum it all up, software engineers may not usually meet the top 1% standard of the IRS for yearly salaries which are considered rich, but they do tend to make over $100,000 even at entry-level jobs.

This is because a great deal of skill is required to become a software engineer, whether you are a customer-focused Applications Software Developer or a back-end designing, more highly paid Systems Software Developer. 

Huge companies, like Google, and startups that understand the value of good tech, will pay through the nose for a good software engineer!