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ROI matters when making certain purchases. You wouldn’t spend money on, say, a home repair unless you were sure you’d make your money back somehow — via a lucrative sale, perhaps, or by preventing more expensive damage down the road.

Well, the same goes for investing in your career. Many career switchers pay for learning because the short-term cost is worth it for the long-term reward of a higher salary, along with a more rewarding and stable role. The financial and emotional costs of staying in a miserable job are worth considering, too.

If you’re thinking about a coding bootcamp, you might be wondering what the starting salary for a software engineer job is, and what the role looks like (spoiler: It comes in many shapes and sizes!). We’ll cover the most common entry-level software developer positions, the beginning salary for each, and what skills you’ll need to break in if you don’t have years of experience under your belt.

7 entry-level software engineering jobs and their salaries

You’re dying to know: How much do entry-level software engineers make?

The short, although maybe not satisfying, answer is: It depends on the job! Not to mention how much relevant experience you bring to the table, the type, size, and location of the tech company (think: the cost of living of a city versus a small town), and your negotiation skills. 

But let’s bust a common myth right now: that you’ll earn less by starting over in techBusting Tech Stereotypes: You’ll Earn Less in Your Entry-Level Tech Job. According to TripleTen’s recent Outcomes Report, in fact, the majority of bootcamp graduates increased their income by more than $27,000 a year. 

A typical full time entry-level tech jobSwitch to Tech for Jobs that Pay 80K a Year (Without a CS Degree!) pays around $80,000 a year, but as you’ll see below, there’s more to explore. For each software engineering job, we include the average entry-level salary in the United States based on the most recent reporting from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and insights from salary and job search platforms.

1. Web developer

Average salary for web developers: $80,730 per year, according to the BLS

Web developers are software engineers specifically focused on website development. Their realm is the internet, which means their work spans across sectors including banking, healthcare, and tech. 

To succeed in web developmentHow Much Do Web Developers Make? | TripleTen Bootcamp, you’ll need to have familiarity or some experience with HTMLBecoming an HTML/CSS Developer, CSS, and/or JavaScript — easy programming languages to master at the entry level — as well as skills such as UX/UI design and problem solving.

Glassdoor notes that first-year web developers on its platform make up to $82,000 a year.

2. Junior software developer

Average salary for software developers: $124,200 per year, according to the BLS

Junior software engineers can work on websites, apps, tools, or emerging tech such as AI. This is the beginning of the career ladder for most aspiring programmers who then decide to specialize in a specific language or software.

Skills vary depending on your focus: A front-end engineer, for example, might learn JavaScript, while a back-end engineer might pick up Python. No matter which type you fall into, you’ll need to be confident in how you communicate, manage your time, and think critically through issues.

In your first year as a software developerMore Than $100k: How Much Do Entry-Level Software Engineers Make?, Glassdoor reports, you could earn up to $99,000 a year. (An entry-level software engineer salary per hour, if you’re looking to go freelance or contract, is around $26, according to salary platform Payscale.)

3. Quality assurance tester

Average salary for QA engineers: $105,750 per year, according to the BLS

Quality assurance (QA) engineers are bug catchers (figuratively, not literally — although they might be good at that, too). Their job is to spot errors as code is being built and ensure the quality of the tech is top-notch for customers and clients.

Because they’re involved in the software development process from ideation to launch, they might be skilledThe Quality Assurance Engineer Skills You Need in 2024 not only in programming languages but also automation tools, databases, APIs, and project management tools.

For 0-1 years of experience, QA testers can make up to $107,000 a year, Glassdoor reports.

4. App developer

Average salary for application developers: $110,997 per year, according to Glassdoor

Mobile application engineers create popular games, apps, and tools for mobile devices, making them experts in iOS and/or Android software.

Beyond programming languages such as Java and Swift, skills needed include user interface design, security, and a strong attention to detail.

Glassdoor says entry-level app engineers can make up to $113,000 a year.

5. Full-stack engineer

Average salary for full-stack engineers: $118,113 per year, according to Glassdoor

Full-stack engineers specialize in both front-end (what the user sees) and back-end (what keeps the software running and secure) development, making them an especially appealing hire for companies strapped for resources.

They’re familiar with several languages and frameworks, informed on design principles and tools, and comfortable working independently.

With less than a year of experience, the pay range for full-stack engineers is $80,000 to $146,000 a year, according to Glassdoor.

6. Data engineer

Average salary for data engineers: $112,120 per year, according to the BLS

Data engineers help companies take all the useful knowledge of user behavior, sales, and market trends and put it into tools that are easy to maintain, secure, and parse through.

Languages such as Python5 Types of Jobs That Use Python and SQL are key for this role, as well as analytical thinking, an understanding of machine learning, and experience with ETL tools.

According to Glassdoor, entry-level data engineers make between $92,000 and $155,000 a year.

7. DevOps engineer

Average salary for DevOps engineers: $113,334 per year, according to Glassdoor

DevOps engineers oversee the entire development process to ensure software and IT are aligned. They might code, focus on project management and QA testing, or do a bit of both, depending on the need.

DevOps engineers are fantastic collaborators, as well as great with system management, working in the cloud, and adapting to change.

At the start of your career in this job, you might make anywhere from $81,000 to $145,000 a year, Glassdoor says.

Why bootcamp grads succeed

Bootcamps can prepare students for real-world software development in ways many graduate or certificate programs can’t. They’re often focused as much on hands-on experience as they are classroom learning, helping students to build a portfolio of workSoftware Engineering Portfolios: How to Make Them Shine (With Examples!) that shows employers they don’t just know key skills but can apply them to common problems and crucial decisions. Perhaps most importantly, bootcamps take less time and money to complete than going back to school — making them more inclusive for working professionals or parents, and allowing graduates to reenter the workforce faster and with more confidence.

TripleTen reports that 89% of its software engineering students were hired within 180 days of graduating from its program.

On average, those graduates earned $75,100 a year in their new jobs. Across all its tech bootcamps, 50% of TripleTen students received a job offer before even finishing their training, landing at the likes of Google, Apple, Accenture, Spotify, and PlayStation.

See if a bootcamp is for you

Going back to the home repair analogy: Just as you’d do your research on a plumber or technician before making a hire, you should also research bootcamps for the right learning environment and skills training. This is why TripleTen designed a quick and easy self-assessment quiz to help potential learners figure out if the format works for them — and if a career in tech is even the right move.

If the potential of a high entry-level software engineer salary is calling to you, check out our software engineering bootcamp designed for beginners to the field. Take the program on a part-time schedule with easy-to-digest sprints and constant access to tutoring. When you’re ready to find your next role, we’ll support you with career coaching, interview prep, and externships.

IT career tips

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Is a bootcamp right for you?

Discover your ideal path to tech by taking our quiz.

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