Increase your Software Engineer Salary by Creating Value & Leverage

How does one increase their software engineer salary? There seem to be more questions than answers to this topic, but you always have the choice to improve your living conditions and wage.

During this article, I will talk about changing to new jobs and increasing my salary at my current job. Increasing salary isn’t a selfish move at all. Increasing salary gives people options to do more things, whether it comes to retiring early or saving up to explore the world.

What are some actionable steps to create value and leverage?

Some minor changes immediately directly change your salary even if you aren’t promoted. These changes you can easily make in the first 15 – 20 years of your Software Engineering career.

  • Interview for jobs where the locations pay you more (think San Francisco, Seattle, New York, etc…)
  • Interview with companies that have a history of paying their engineers and developers more (Here are yearly report for company salaries)
  • Receive a higher education, whether it means going back to get a master’s or diversifying with a new major
  • Ask for a raise (Bring up the value you can bring or ask for more responsibilities)
  • Ask to work overtime hours.
  • Have competing offers (Always try to get multiple offers even if the companies are not interesting to you because you can use them to negotiate later)

Do I need to learn the newest technology?

No, not at all… New technologies take a long time to show up in the job marketplace. It is always important to keep up with current trends and practice on the side, but there is no reason to learn technologies for the sole purpose of a job.

What is important is to show your current experience with the technologies you are working with. There is a reason why jobs ask for “5+ years” worth of experience in C++.” Companies want to see competence with the technologies they already use. If a new technology is being accepted in the marketplace, companies will still value technologies adjacent to or similar to the one they use.

When I sit in on interviews with my company, I always want to see if the applicant can work with multiple technologies at once. I value a project that communicates with multiple systems to solve a common goal. This might include using different companies’ APIs, building a full-stack website, and incorporating docker into cloud computing.  Companies are not one-dimensional. They require the use of multiple tools to accomplish a specific goal.

How do I switch Software Engineering concentrations?

The most important thing is to want what you want! Early in my career, I realized I wouldn’t say I liked embedded development, but I have experienced that. I started by talking with my manager to see if there were any positions on the team that I could fill that were different than my current position.

Luckily, there was a position in distributed systems that was more interesting for me. If that doesn’t work for you, I would recommend working on projects on the side of the field you want to work with. I know, I know, you have to work outside of work. I want you to consider this a time investment from now on. The job you next will impact your next one and the next one.

Does performance matter when increasing salary?

Performance affects your future salary inside the company and can also help you increase your salary at other companies. So many companies that hire software engineers also provide performance bonuses at the end of the year. You can see major results by providing value to a company.

Some examples of providing value are: creating internal tools that help overall efficiency, contributing significant and correct code, working with leadership with design, architecture, and code review, speaking up in stand-ups and meetings, and finally, learning to communicate effectively with your team.

How do I increase my salary after 15 to 20 years in the field?

While I am a newer software engineer, I have asked family and friends about the experience, and they gave me a few recommendations.

  • Move to a more leadership position (Think about who is your boss’s boss). A lot of the time, this switch either needs an MBA or more training.
  • Work for riskier companies. Tech start-ups are being made all the time by Venture Capitalist funding. These start-ups offer more stock at the lower evaluation in hopes of hiring talent. This private stock may be worthless if the company fails, but if a company experiences a buyout or goes public, the payouts are huge.
  • Work Remote
  • Reduce Taxes by taking advantage of all your tax accounts.


A job is ultimately trying to provide you with money to do the activities you want to do. Sacrificing money to have better benefits, more time off, and remote work might also sound very appetizing to some people.  Just make sure when you go out in the job market make sure you have your goals written out. Writing out goals makes sure future job offers are a good fit. Make sure you talk to family and friends about the decision as well. I don’t know how many times I thought something was a great deal until I had my father look at something and point out some flaws that could affect some of my goals.  Finally, make sure the job your dream company offers you is something you want to do for the foreseeable future. If you are going into a job that you see yourself leaving in 1-2 years, shop elsewhere. Especially with all the tech company layoffs in the world right now, make sure you have a job to work at all.

I hope this article helps with your questions. HAPPY JOB HUNTING!