If you’re considering a career in software engineering, you’ve likely asked the big question: How much do Software Engineers make? The average Software Engineer salary in the UK is higher than in most other professions, you could earn anywhere from £30,000-£178,000.
How much money you make as a Software Engineer depends on your location, years of experience, and other factors. However, even entry-level Software Engineers can earn a top-paying salary by showing a commitment to developing new skills.
To help, we’ll guide you through Software Engineer salary expectations, job outlook, skills and training. We'll also cover:
- Software Engineer salary in the UK
- Highest-paying cities for Software Engineers in the UK
- Software Engineer salary by job title
- What does a Software Engineer do?
- Are software engineers in demand?
- How to become a Software Engineer in the UK
Software Engineer salary in the UK
According to Indeed, the average Software Engineer salary in the UK is around £50,000. The figure is above the average pay for full-time employees—£33,000(opens new window), according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Many factors influence a Software Engineer’s salary, including experience level, skills, location and role. But here’s what you may earn as a Software Engineer in the UK:
- Entry-level salary: £30,000-£45,000
- Average base salary: £50,000
- Top-paying salary: £178,000
Data sources: Indeed, Talent and Levels.fyi.
Highest-paying cities for Software Engineers in the UK
Where you live in the UK impacts how much you earn as a Software Engineer. London companies pay Software Engineers £66,676 on average, while Liverpool companies pay £43,908. According to Indeed, the eight highest-paying cities for Software Engineers in the UK are:
Here’s everything you need to know about the UK’s top-paying cities for Software Engineers.
Software Engineer salary by job title
Software engineering is a broad industry with many well-paying roles to choose from. We compared salary data from Talent and Indeed. Here are some common software engineering job titles and what you can earn in each.
Front End Developer
Front End Developers also fix code errors and debug applications. As a Front End Developer, you must understand user design and experience principles.
Front End Developer salaries in the UK:
- Entry-level salary: £33,000-£45,000
- Average base salary: £56,000
- Top-paying salary: £70,000-£85,000
Web Developers are similar to Front End Developers, but they focus solely on websites. As a Web Developer, you’ll either build websites from scratch or manage existing websites. You may also be responsible for improving website loading speed, technical search engine optimisation (SEO) and other performance indicators.
Web Developer salaries in the UK:
- Entry-level salary: £25,000-£32,500
- Average base salary: £37,000
- Top-paying salary: £50,000-£65,000
Back End Developer
Back End Developers work on the back-end, all the elements that make an application run but users don’t see. As a Back End Developer, you’ll likely use programming languages like Python, PHP and Ruby. Back End Developers also work closely with Front End and Web Developers to unite server-side (back-end) and front-end efforts.
Back End Developer salaries in the UK:
- Entry-level salary: £30,000-£42,500
- Average base salary: £65,000
- Top-paying salary: £60,000-£75,500
Full Stack Developer
Full Stack Developers work on front and back-end development. They tend to be generalists but have a few years of experience in both areas. Because their skills are so versatile, there’s a high demand for Full Stack Developers.
Full Stack Developer salaries in the UK:
- Entry-level salary: £32,000-£45,000
- Average base salary: £57,000
- Top-paying salary: £60,000-£80,000
Cyber Security Engineer
Cyber Security Engineers focus on protecting a company’s networks, systems and data. They identify any potential security threats and create solutions to secure them.
As a Cyber Security Engineer, you’ll be responsible for data security. Example tasks include installing firewalls, testing systems for vulnerabilities and analysing risk.
Cyber Security Engineer salaries in the UK:
- Entry-level salary: £33,250-£50,000
- Average base salary: £52,500
- Top-paying salary: £75,000-£80,000
Data Engineers combine data analytics with software engineering. As a Data Engineer, you’re responsible for designing and creating data systems. More specifically, your work will help companies collect, store and understand large amounts of raw data.
You’ll also work to make data more accessible to other team members like Data Scientists and Business Analysts who interpret the data you provide.
Data Engineer salaries in the UK:
- Entry-level salary: £35,000-£50,000
- Average base salary: £59,500
- Top-paying salary: £70,000-£85,000
What does a Software Engineer do?
As a Software Engineer, you can develop software, websites or other applications. As mentioned, software engineering is broad and it can lead to many different career paths. Here are some of the basic skills and responsibilities to help you understand what you’ll do as a Software Engineer.
Software Engineer responsibilities:
- Analyse complex information
- Translate client and user needs into practical business solutions
- Write, test and rewrite code to improve existing programmes
- Find and fix bugs
- Collaborate with other Programmers, Technical Writers, clients and colleagues across departments
- Source new technologies that solve business problems
- Keep up with training needs and best practices
To become a Software Engineer, you should be interested in developing these skills in your career:
- Commercial mindset: You understand the Software Development Life Cycle and how to meet business needs.
- Communication: You communicate technical concepts to non-technical people.
- Problem-solving: You ‘troubleshoot’ tech problems and fix bugs.
- Analysis: You analyse technical information while understanding user and client requirements.
- Commitment to training: You want to become a master in your field by continuously learning and improving.
Aside from demonstrating relevant skills (or a commitment to learning them), employers may require specific qualifications:
- At least a grade of 4/C GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English
- A Levels in relevant subjects like Computing
- A Software Engineering Level 4 apprenticeship standard or the willingness to work towards one
Are software engineers in demand?
Over 813,000(opens new window) Software Engineers currently work in the UK. Despite that staggering figure, the Quantum Group reports that there is a shortage of roughly 59,000 engineers every year. A quick search for “Software Engineer” jobs on LinkedIn also highlights this talent gap with over 35,000 UK job openings on the platform.
Not only are Software Engineers in demand but there’s also a growing talent gap to fill. That’s why we’re committed to teaching the skills of the future at Multiverse. We want to help you start a meaningful career in tech, learn in-demand skills and improve your earning potential. Here’s what that could look like for you.
You might start as a Junior Software Developer, for example. Then with tailored coaching, progress into Data Engineering—which isn’t typically an entry-level role. Our programme also covers full stack development and adapts to mobile and cybersecurity specialisms depending on your interests and position.
How to become a Software Engineer in the UK
Software Engineers in the UK are in demand and get paid well. You also don’t need a degree to become a Software Engineer. Here’s how to start this fulfilling career path without spending three years in a lecture hall.
1. Get your A Levels
If becoming a Software Engineer interests you, but you’re not ready to enter the workforce, consider getting your A Levels. A Level qualifications in Computing and IT are the most important for this career path. Studying other technical subjects like design technology and physics is also valuable.
2. Practice with two or three programming languages
Whether you’re interested in front-end, back-end or another area, you must understand and write code. Most Software Engineers learn two or three programming languages to start. Then, they learn more as their career progresses.
The best way to learn is to practice with real coding projects. You can join coding challenges or offer your services at a discounted rate, so you can add them to your portfolio.
3. Find a Software Engineering apprenticeship
A Computer Science degree isn’t necessary, or even the best route, to becoming a Software Engineer. Sometimes portions of your skills are outdated by the time you’ve graduated, lowering your earning potential. It can also take a long time to find a job in the field.
Plus, you don’t always need A Levels or qualifications above Level 2, to qualify for a Software Engineering apprenticeship. At Multiverse, for example, you’ll need at least a grade of 4/C GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English.
Multiverse’s tuition-free apprenticeships empower you to work towards or discover your specialism and increase your earning potential. If a Software Engineering apprenticeship sounds like the right choice for you, apply for an apprenticeship today(opens new window).