System Software Developer Salary: What You’ll Make and Why

System software developers make around $73,691 to $116,315 on average in the US, depending on experience, location, skills, and other factors.

According to various salary aggregate websites, a system software developer’s salary in the US ranges between $73,691 and $116,315, with an average salary of $101,963. As of July 2022, the base salaries for system software developers are listed as follows:


Keep in mind: Salary aggregate websites typically rely on data submitted anonymously by individuals using their site. Some websites may have received larger amounts of data of either higher or lower than average salaries, which may affect the site’s calculated average.

Read more: What Is a System Software Developer? How to Become One

What influences a salary?

The salary of a System Software Developer is determined by a number of factors, including education, experience, and job location. In this article, we will take a closer look at how these factors impact salary.

Years of experience

Salary increases are generally tied to your experience level. In general, the more years you spend working as a system software developer, the more you can expect to earn. Here’s how experience can impact your system software developer salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$65,324
Early career (1 to 4 years)$81,088
Mid career (5 to 9 years)$103,376
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$125,341
Late career (20+ years)$151,779

Where you live can also impact how much you can make as a system software developer. Typically, working in a large metropolitan area correlates to a higher salary, as well as a higher cost of living.

Here is a list of some major cities with their corresponding average system software developer salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityAverage Salary
San Francisco, CA$129,151
Seattle, WA$125,751
New York City, NY$110,288
Boston, MA$107,022
Washington DC, DC$107,004
Indianapolis, IN$84,599
Birmingham, AL$84,251
Las Vegas, NV$81,574
New Orleans, LA$81,047
Oklahoma City, OK$80,574

How does this compare to similar jobs?

Here’s how a system software developer’s salary stacks up against similar jobs.

Related JobsAverage Salary
Information Systems Manager$90,937
Network Engineer$90,926
Software Engineer$99,729
Web Developer$75,073
Application Developer$93,371
Database Administrator$86,833
Systems Administrator$73,263
Systems Engineer$92,508
Computer Systems Analyst$72,176

How to increase your system software developer salary

Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as a system software developer, let’s look at ways to boost your salary.

1. Strengthen your skills

Pursuing and improving in-demand skills could make you more competitive for promotions and higher-paying positions. These skills include:

  • C++: Write code in this high-level programming language
  • Linux: Use this open-source operating system to develop software
  • SQL: Query databases using this standard Structured Query Language
  • Git: Use this version control system to manage code changes
  • Agile: Work in short sprints and iterations to rapidly develop software
2. Grow your network

System software developers often work in isolation, so it’s important to make an effort to connect with others in your field. Attend industry conferences, join online forums, and follow relevant blogs to learn about new trends and developments. These connections can also come in handy when you’re looking for a new job or trying to negotiate a raise.

3. Seek regular feedback

System software developers who seek regular feedback from their team members and superiors tend to be more successful in their roles and receive higher salaries. Feedback can help you identify areas where you need to improve, and it can also help you demonstrate your value to your company. Asking for feedback on a regular basis shows that you’re committed to your job and your career, and it can help you earn a higher salary.

Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “National Compensation Survey,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

3. Payscale. “Software Developer Salary,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

4. Ziprecruiter. “System Software Developer Annual Salary,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

5. Indeed. “Indeed Salary Finder,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

6. “System Software Developer Salary,” Accessed July 2, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “System Software Developer Salaries,,25.htm.” Accessed July 2, 2022.


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