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Average Software Engineer Salary in the UK: How Much Can You Make?

By Team Multiverse

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  1. Software Engineer Salary in the UK
  2. Highest-Paying Cities for Software Engineers in the UK
  3. Software Engineer Salary by Job Title
  4. What Does a Software Engineer Do?
  5. Are Software Engineers in Demand?
  6. How to Become a Software Engineer in the UK

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. But 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:

  1. Software Engineer salary in the UK
  2. Highest-paying cities for Software Engineers in the UK
  3. Software Engineer salary by job title
  4. What does a Software Engineer do?
  5. Are software engineers in demand?
  6. 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 of £34,963(opens new window), according to the most recent annual survey from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Many factors influence a Software Engineer’s salary, including experience level, skills, location and role. And the data reported varies by sources. But here’s what you may earn as a Software Engineer in the UK:

  1. Lower-end salary: £42,000
  2. Average base salary: £52,500
  3. 90th percentile salary: £160,000

Data sources: Indeed, Talent and

Highest-Paying Cities for Software Engineers in the UK

Where you live in the UK impacts how much you earn as a Software Engineer. In 2024, London companies pay Software Engineers around £66,000 on average, while Liverpool companies pay around £42,000, according to Glassdoor salary data. The eight highest-paying cities for Software Engineers in the UK are:

  1. London
  2. Cambridge
  3. Bristol
  4. Leeds
  5. Manchester
  6. Liverpool
  7. Birmingham
  8. Nottingham

Here’s that data broken down by city, updated for 2024.

Software Engineer Salary by Job Title

Software engineering is a broad industry with many well-paying roles to choose from. Here are some common software engineering job titles and what you can earn in each. (Unless otherwise noted, all salary data is from Talent.)

Front-End Developer

Front-End Developers focus on building the front-end elements of websites or applications that people interact with and see. They learn programming languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

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:

  1. Low-level salary: £35,000
  2. Median base salary: £45,000
  3. High-paying salary: £65,000+

Web Developer

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:

  1. Low-level salary: £30,000
  2. Median salary: £37,500
  3. Top-paying salary: £55,000+

Back-End Developer

Back-End Developers work on the back-end; i.e., 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:

  1. Low-level salary: £40,000
  2. Median base salary: £50,000
  3. Top-paying salary: £70,000+

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:

  1. Low-level salary: £40,000
  2. Median base salary: £50,000
  3. Top-paying salary: £70,000+

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:

  1. Low-level salary: £43,664
  2. Median base salary: £52,236
  3. Top-paying salary: £72,253+

Data Engineer

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:

  1. Low-level salary: £42,827
  2. Median base salary: £55,055
  3. Top-paying salary: £80,000+

What Does a Software Engineer Do?

As a Software Engineer, you can develop software, websites or other applications. Software engineering is a broad discipline and 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:

  1. Analyse complex information
    1. Software Engineers dissect intricate data and systems to understand their functionalities and limitations. This level of analysis is important for identifying potential issues, optimising performance, and developing new features.
  2. Translate client and user needs into practical business solutions
    1. Bridging the gap between user expectations and technological capabilities, Software Engineers convert client requirements and user feedback into actionable development plans.
  3. Write, test and rewrite code to improve existing programmes
    1. Continuous improvement is a cornerstone of software development. Engineers rigorously write and test code to enhance its functionality, efficiency, and security. This process can involve tasks like debugging, refactoring, and sometimes overhauling large sections of code.
  4. Find and fix bugs
    1. Identifying and resolving software bugs is another Software Engineer responsibility. Engineers use a variety of debugging tools and techniques to diagnose problems, ensuring applications run smoothly and efficiently.
  5. Collaborate with other programmers, Technical Writers, clients and colleagues across departments
    1. Engineers work alongside programmers, Technical Writers, and other stakeholders, sharing knowledge and insights to guide the software’s development, documentation, and deployment.
  6. Source new technologies that solve business problems
    1. Software Engineers research and integrate emerging technologies that can offer competitive advantages. This can involve evaluating new tools, languages, and frameworks, that can improve product offerings and drive innovation.
  7. Keep up with training needs and best practices
    1. The tech landscape is ever-evolving. So continuous learning is essential for Software Engineers. They must stay informed of the latest industry trends, best practices, and technological advancements.

To become a Software Engineer, you should be interested in developing these skills in your career:

  1. Technical skills: You’ve built a software application in JavaScript, for example.
  2. Coding skills: You know different programming languages like JavaScript, SQL and CSS.
  3. Commercial mindset: You understand the Software Development Life Cycle and how to meet business needs.
  4. Communication: You communicate technical concepts to non-technical people.
  5. Problem-solving: You ‘troubleshoot’ tech problems and fix bugs.
  6. Analysis: You analyse technical information while understanding user and client requirements.
  7. 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:

  1. At least a grade of 4/C GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English
  2. A Levels in relevant subjects like Computing
  3. A Software Engineering Level 4 apprenticeship standard or the willingness to work towards one

Are Software Engineers in Demand?

It’s unknown exactly how many Software Engineers currently work in the UK, but the total is likely comparable to other leaders in Europe, such as Germany. The problem for employers? The demand for Software Engineers doesn’t equal the supply. Add to that the fact that nearly 20% of engineers in the UK are likely to retire by 2026(opens new window), and it’s clear that the role is in demand.

A quick search for “Software Engineer” jobs on LinkedIn also highlights the demand, with nearly 18,000 UK job openings on the platform as of April 2024.

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.

If you want to become a master Software Engineer, create a Multiverse profile of your skills(opens new window). Our team can then double-check your eligibility and discuss apprenticeship options.

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 going to university.

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.

Relevant A Level qualifications demonstrate an interest in software engineering. When you’re ready to start a meaningful career in the field, use them to land a tech apprenticeship.

2. Practise 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.

When it comes to front-end and web development, consider languages like CSS, HTML and JavaScript. As a Back End Developer, Python, PHP, JavaScript and Ruby will help. But, understanding languages like CSS and HTML can also help you collaborate with other types of developers.

The best way to learn is to practise 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.

If you’re a school or college leaver who wants to begin your career sooner, consider a software engineering apprenticeship.

An apprenticeship is a viable alternative to university and it can save you £9,250 per year(opens new window) on tuition fees alone.

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)

Team Multiverse

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