Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a software developer in the United States was $110,140 in May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $65,210 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $170,100 per year.
The top paying industry was the software publishing industry, where the median annual wage was $124,050. This was followed by manufacturing ($199,280), management of companies and enterprises ($109,840), computer systems design and related services ($106,160) and insurance carriers and related activities ($102,380).
Autonomy and Flexibility
To begin with, a software developer may not feel like that have a huge amount of flexibility or autonomy as it is typical to report to those in more senior roles. Similarly, entry-level software developers may find themselves working very long hours.
However, as they progress into more senior positions, they quickly receive more autonomy, responsibility and flexibility. With more experience, nearly all web developers will work independently, and it is not uncommon for software developers to be self-employed. This gives them the ultimate flexibility and control over their hours, and their decisions.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best state to be a software developer, based on average annual salary and number of jobs available, are:
- Washington, where the average annual salary is $101,422
- California, where the average annual salary is $100,014
- District of Columbia, where the average annual salary is $91,682
- Virginia, where the average annual salary is $84,174
- Massachusetts, where the average annual salary is $85,303
The worst states to be a web developer, according to Zippia, are South Dakota, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia and Hawaii.
The Bureau of Labour Statistics concludes that 33% of software developers in the United States were employed by the computer systems design and related services industry. A further 11% were employed by the manufacturing industry, 9% by software publishers, 5% by management of companies and enterprises and a final 4% by insurance carriers and related activities.
Software development tends to be a collaborative process and, as a result, software developers tend to work in teams with others who also contribute to the design and development of the software. They may work in these teams at home (and communicate online) or in an office.