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Principal Developer Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a principal developer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $58.71 an hour? That's $122,126 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 21% and produce 284,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Principal Developer Do

There are certain skills that many principal developers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed problem-solving skills, analytical skills and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a principal developer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 8.5% of principal developers included api, while 7.5% of resumes included web services, and 7.3% of resumes included architecture. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the principal developer job title. But what industry to start with? Most principal developers actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Principal Developer

If you're interested in becoming a principal developer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 40.5% of principal developers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 42.5% of principal developers have master's degrees. Even though most principal developers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a principal developer. When we researched the most common majors for a principal developer, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on principal developer resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a principal developer. In fact, many principal developer jobs require experience in a role such as senior software engineer. Meanwhile, many principal developers also have previous career experience in roles such as software engineer or consultant.

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Average Salary
$122,126
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
21%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
68,525
Job Openings

Principal Developer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Principal Developer

Top Careers After Principal Developer

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Principal Developer

Principal Developers in America make an average salary of $122,126 per year or $59 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $159,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $93,000 per year.
Average Salary
$122,126

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Bellevue, WA
Salary Range132k - 190k$159k$159,102
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range125k - 186k$153k$152,933
New York, NY
Salary Range105k - 155k$128k$127,683
Jersey City, NJ
Salary Range98k - 145k$119k$119,450
Austin, TX
Salary Range100k - 140k$118k$118,436
Boston, MA
Salary Range96k - 140k$117k$116,641
$74k
$190k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Node.Js Developer Principal
Node.Js Developer Principal
Randstad
Randstad
01/23/2021
01/23/2021
$139,22401/23/2021
$139,224
Principal .NET Developer
Principal .NET Developer
Randstad
Randstad
01/15/2021
01/15/2021
$115,00001/15/2021
$115,000
Principal .NET Developer/C#/Azure
Principal .NET Developer/C#/Azure
Management Decisions, Inc.
Management Decisions, Inc.
12/16/2020
12/16/2020
$165,00012/16/2020
$165,000
Principal Javascript Developer
Principal Javascript Developer
Management Decisions, Inc.
Management Decisions, Inc.
10/06/2020
10/06/2020
$170,00010/06/2020
$170,000
Principal Developer
Principal Developer
Management Decisions, Inc.
Management Decisions, Inc.
09/24/2020
09/24/2020
$160,00009/24/2020
$160,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Principal Developer Demographics

Gender

male

73.1 %

female

20.4 %

unknown

6.5 %

Ethnicity

White

56.8 %

Asian

27.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

25.7 %

Chinese

11.4 %

German

8.6 %
See More Demographics

Principal Developer Education

Majors

Business
21.2 %

Degrees

Masters

42.5 %

Bachelors

40.5 %

Doctorate

9.0 %

Top Colleges for Principal Developers

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

5. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

6. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

7. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

10. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,530
Enrollment
4,571
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Principal Developer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.5% of principal developers listed api on their resume, but soft skills such as problem-solving skills and analytical skills are important as well.

Best States For a Principal Developer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a principal developer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, New York, and New Jersey. Principal developers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $157,283. Whereas in California and New York, they would average $146,265 and $127,294, respectively. While principal developers would only make an average of $119,219 in New Jersey, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Principal Developer Jobs:
2,612
Highest 10% Earn:
$171,000
Location Quotient:
1.54
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Principal Developer Jobs:
6,260
Highest 10% Earn:
$210,000
Location Quotient:
1
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total Principal Developer Jobs:
1,400
Highest 10% Earn:
$219,000
Location Quotient:
0.9
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Principal Developer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ principal developers and discovered their number of principal developer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Broadcom was the best, especially with an average salary of $153,238. Xerox follows up with an average salary of $121,529, and then comes Microsoft with an average of $192,303. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a principal developer. The employers include Oracle, Dell, and ICF

1. Broadcom
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$153,238
Principal Developers Hired: 
114+
2. Xerox
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$121,529
Principal Developers Hired: 
85+
3. Microsoft
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$192,303
Principal Developers Hired: 
80+
4. Nomura
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$125,171
Principal Developers Hired: 
54+
5. Sabre
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$120,787
Principal Developers Hired: 
39+
6. DIRECTV
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$126,450
Principal Developers Hired: 
22+

Principal Developer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020