Calculate your salary

There are many factors that determine how much you should be earning as a Principal Software Engineer. Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

How Much Does a Principal Software Engineer Earn In The United States?

Principal Software Engineer Salaries
Updated April 6, 2021
Average Yearly Salary
$126,000
$99,000
$126,000
$159,000
Principal software engineers in the United States make an average salary of $126,152 per year or $60.65 per hour. In terms of salary range, an entry level principal software engineer salary is roughly $99,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $159,000. If you like following the crowd, technology and telecommunication companies tend to attract the most workers in this field. But if you're in it for the money, then you'll want to seek out retail, technology, and telecommunication companies, as employees in each industry have reported the highest salaries. As most things go, location can be critical. Washington, California, Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho provide the highest principal software engineer salaries.
Best Paying Cities
Your City
0 selections

How much should you get paid?

Tell us about yourself to get a free, personalized Zippia Salary Report and suggestions on how to increase your pay.

Where Principal Software Engineers Earn The Most

The darker areas on the map show where principal software engineers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary

How Much Do Principal Software Engineers Earn In Different Cities?

Throughout the U.S., the average salary for a principal software engineer is roughly $126,152 per year, which boils down to $60.65 per hour. Interestingly enough, principal software engineers have the highest salaries in Seattle, WA at about $171,115 per year. For those who are just starting out, the average entry-level salary in Seattle, WA is $124,000. Additionally, principal software engineers make more than the average salary in San Francisco, CA, New York, NY, Broomfield, CO, Austin, TX, and Reston, VA. On a more broad level, principal software engineer salaries are highest in Washington, California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, New York, and Montana. On the contrary, Alaska, Kentucky, and Indiana offer the lowest principal software engineer salaries.
Location
1. Seattle, WA
$171,115
Avg. Salary
$87k
$202k
2. San Francisco, CA
$161,399
Avg. Salary
$87k
$202k
3. New York, NY
$123,233
Avg. Salary
$87k
$202k
4. Broomfield, CO
$116,788
Avg. Salary
$87k
$202k
5. Austin, TX
$116,519
Avg. Salary
$87k
$202k
6. Reston, VA
$113,329
Avg. Salary
$87k
$202k

High Paying Principal Software Engineer Jobs

Which Companies Pay Principal Software Engineers The Most?

To earn a high income as a principal software engineer, working for Palo Alto Networks or NICE might be your best bet, as they are the highest paying companies in this field. In addition, companies like Microsoft and JET I LEASING report highly competitive wages for principal software engineers.
Company
Avg. Salary
$147k
$202k
Avg. Salary
$147k
$202k
Avg. Salary
$147k
$202k
Avg. Salary
$147k
$202k
Avg. Salary
$147k
$202k
Avg. Salary
$147k
$202k

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Principal Software Engineer Salary History

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

Location

    How Much Do Principal Software Engineers Make In Different Industries?

    As we previously stated, principal software engineer salaries can vary depending on the industry. In fact, our data shows that retail, technology, and telecommunication companies tend to offer much higher salaries for principal software engineers. For example, principal software engineers make a whopping average salary of $149,289 while working for retail companies. Meanwhile, other people in this field are making $145,277 at technology companies and $132,864 at telecommunication companies. But principal software engineers may want to avoid working in the finance industry as it offers the lowest average salary at $107,892.
    1. Retail
    $149,289
    Avg. Salary
    $97k
    $169k
    2. Technology
    $145,277
    Avg. Salary
    $97k
    $169k
    3. Telecommunication
    $132,864
    Avg. Salary
    $97k
    $169k
    4. Manufacturing
    $124,476
    Avg. Salary
    $97k
    $169k
    5. Finance
    $107,892
    Avg. Salary
    $97k
    $169k

    How Experience Affects Principal Software Engineer Salaries

    The salary for a principal software engineer can vary depending on the years of experience that a person has, from entry level to senior level. Data on how experience level affects total compensation is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as part of their National Compensation Survey, which is based on factors such as knowledge, complexity, contacts, and environment.

    Recently Added Principal Software Engineer Salaries

    Location
    CompanyascdescJobascdescLocationascdescDate AddedascdescSalaryascdesc
    RTX
    RTX
    Digital Signal Intelligence Principal Software Engineer
    Digital Signal Intelligence Principal Software Engineer
    Digital Signal Intelligence Principal Software Engineer
    Enon, VA
    Enon, VA
    03/31/2021
    03/31/2021
    $120,900
    $120,900
    03/31/2021
    Principal Software Engineer)
    Principal Software Engineer)
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Colorado Springs, CO
    03/31/2021
    03/31/2021
    $138,000
    $138,000
    03/31/2021
    Principal Software Engineer-Global Twilio (L5)
    Principal Software Engineer-Global Twilio (L5)
    Atlanta, GA
    Atlanta, GA
    03/31/2021
    03/31/2021
    $146,240
    $146,240
    03/31/2021
    Principal Software Engineer-Data Analytics (L5)
    Principal Software Engineer-Data Analytics (L5)
    Irvine, CA
    Irvine, CA
    03/31/2021
    03/31/2021
    $146,240
    $146,240
    03/31/2021
    RTX
    RTX
    Principal Software Engineer
    Principal Software Engineer
    Principal Software Engineer
    Denver, CO
    Denver, CO
    03/29/2021
    03/29/2021
    $98,700
    $98,700
    03/29/2021
    Management Decisions, Inc.
    Management Decisions, Inc.
    Principal Full Stack Software Engineer
    Principal Full Stack Software Engineer
    Principal Full Stack Software Engineer
    Washington, DC
    Washington, DC
    03/28/2021
    03/28/2021
    $175,000
    $175,000
    03/28/2021
    Ateps-Software Engineer Principal
    Ateps-Software Engineer Principal
    Washington, DC
    Washington, DC
    03/26/2021
    03/26/2021
    $125,001
    $125,001
    03/26/2021
    Principal Software Engineer
    Principal Software Engineer
    Broomfield, CO
    Broomfield, CO
    03/24/2021
    03/24/2021
    $120,000
    $120,000
    03/24/2021
    RTX
    RTX
    Digital Signal Intelligence Principal Software Engineer
    Digital Signal Intelligence Principal Software Engineer
    Digital Signal Intelligence Principal Software Engineer
    Washington, DC
    Washington, DC
    03/23/2021
    03/23/2021
    $120,900
    $120,900
    03/23/2021
    SR. Principal Software Engineer
    SR. Principal Software Engineer
    Arlington, VA
    Arlington, VA
    03/23/2021
    03/23/2021
    $165,001
    $165,001
    03/23/2021