A Software Engineering Manager is an administrative position, which reports to higher management, tasked with supervising and directing the work of other software engineers within projects involving the design and development of software, programs, and applications.

This Manager must establish and stick to a timeline and a budget, solve any issues that come up, create an efficient but healthy work environment, develop plans for the project, participate in the programming of the software, work with those in higher positions and explain work to them and potential customers, and mentoring new employees.

Typically, a Software Engineering Manager must have at least a Bachelor's degree in a subject such as Computer Science or Programming, along with several years of experience in a closely related industry or position. As an individual contributor, he/she must be proficient in programming languages and programs. Some experience in a managerial position might be requested as well.

What Does a Software Engineering Manager Do

There are certain skills that many software engineering managers 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 creativity, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a Software Engineering Manager does

How To Become a Software Engineering Manager

If you're interested in becoming a software engineering manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 71.4% of software engineering managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 19.6% of software engineering managers have master's degrees. Even though most software engineering managers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Software Engineering Manager

Software Engineering Manager Career Paths

Average Salary for a Software Engineering Manager

Software Engineering Managers in America make an average salary of $140,929 per year or $68 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $198,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $100,000 per year.
Average Software Engineering Manager Salary
$140,929 Yearly
$67.75 hourly
$100,000
10 %
$140,000
Median
$198,000
90 %

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Software Engineering Manager Education

Software Engineering Manager Majors

Software Engineering Manager Degrees

Bachelors

71.4 %

Masters

19.6 %

Associate

5.6 %

Top Colleges for Software Engineering Managers

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

2. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

3. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

5. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

6. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

7. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

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

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,353
Enrollment
24,841

10. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

Top Skills For a Software Engineering Manager

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, 19.0% of software engineering managers listed software development on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Software Engineering Manager Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Software Engineering Manager templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Software Engineering Manager resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Software Engineering Manager Demographics

Software Engineering Manager Gender Distribution

Male
Male
86%
Female
Female
14%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among software engineering managers, 14.0% of them are women, while 86.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among software engineering managers is White, which makes up 56.5% of all software engineering managers.

  • The most common foreign language among software engineering managers is Spanish at 22.2%.

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Best States For a Software Engineering Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a software engineering manager. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, Alaska, and Oregon. Software engineering managers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $158,025. Whereas in California and Alaska, they would average $157,991 and $153,930, respectively. While software engineering managers would only make an average of $139,507 in Oregon, 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. Washington

Total Software Engineering Manager Jobs:
4,604
Highest 10% Earn:
$231,000
Location Quotient:
2.16 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 Software Engineering Manager Jobs:
11,474
Highest 10% Earn:
$227,000
Location Quotient:
1.34 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. Oregon

Total Software Engineering Manager Jobs:
1,559
Highest 10% Earn:
$209,000
Location Quotient:
1.29 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
Full List Of Best States For Software Engineering Managers

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Top Software Engineering Manager 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 software engineering managers and discovered their number of software engineering manager opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Meta was the best, especially with an average salary of $236,608. Microsoft follows up with an average salary of $194,318, and then comes LinkedIn with an average of $197,703. 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 software engineering manager. The employers include Viasat, Dell, and Medtronic

Most Common Employers For Software Engineering Manager

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Meta$236,608$113.75491
2Google$232,788$111.92118
3LinkedIn$197,703$95.05333
4Apple$196,817$94.62167
5Microsoft$194,318$93.42383
6Intel$161,617$77.70140
7Yahoo$161,479$77.6368
8Salesforce$153,482$73.79172
9EMC$146,894$70.6279
10FactSet$139,442$67.0468

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Becoming a Software Engineering Manager FAQs

Do software engineering managers make more than software engineers?

Yes, software engineering managers make more than software engineers. On average, software engineering managers make $129,000 yearly compared to software engineers at $86,000.

As most jobs go, factors like location, industry, and experience can determine your exact pay. For managers, especially, their position is usually senior or executive level with high-level responsibilities and duties and thus generally means higher pay.

Do software engineers need managers?

Yes, software engineers need managers. The manager is an administrative position, which reports to higher management, and supervises and directs the work of other software engineers within projects involving the design and development of software, programs, and applications.

How long does it take to become a software engineering manager?

It usually takes more than ten years to become a software engineering manager. The position generally requires postsecondary education as well as relevant experience in software engineering and team management.

How much do software engineer managers make?

Software engineer managers make about $129,000 annually. That's about $10,799 monthly and $62 hourly.

As most jobs go, factors like location, industry, and experience can determine your exact pay.

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