Which Is the Highest-Paying Country for a Programming Language & Software Developer?

By Kimberly Cook | Nov 13, 2018 | 20892 Views

Quite predictably, with an average annual developer salary of $90K, the US tops our list of the highest-paying countries for programming language & software engineers.

We've been publishing our salary overview for three years in a row now. Last year's article proved to be rather popular among our readers. That's why we updated the information and are happy to present the most relevant data as of the beginning of 2018.

What follows is a salary comparison that includes the average annual incomes of software engineers in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, France, Israel, the UK, the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

We also provide a more detailed description of developer salaries in European countries depending on experience (entry-level, mid-career, and senior) and tech skills (Java, C++, C#, .NET, JavaScript, PHP).

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General Salary Comparison
Quite predictably, with an average annual developer salary of $90K, the US tops our list of the highest-paying countries for software engineers.

The US is followed by Switzerland, which offers developers close to $86K per year. $70K is the average salary for Israel, Norway, and Denmark.

Meanwhile, in Germany, the UK, and Sweden, computer programmers can expect to make between $53K and $59K annually. Software engineers that live in Finland and the Netherlands command slightly lower salaries - between $47K and $51K. France closes the list with $44K on offer.

To put this into perspective, the average salary of a developer in Ukraine, where we build, maintain, and retain software development teams for our clients, hovers around the $27K mark. Bear in mind though, that the actual annual income of Ukrainian software engineers can be much lower as well as significantly higher than this national average depending on the city they live in, their tech stack, and the level of experience they possess.





To put this into perspective, the average salary of a developer in Ukraine, where we build, maintain, and retain software development teams for our clients, hovers around the $27K mark. Bear in mind though, that the actual annual income of Ukrainian software engineers can be much lower as well as significantly higher than this national average depending on the city they live in, their tech stack, and the level of experience they possess.

The Average Developer Salaries in the US
According to Indeed's salary calculator, developer salaries in the US range from about $65,204 to $115,593, with a median of $92,240 per year.

In terms of skills, C++ seems to pay the best out of the languages we researched - close to $116K annually. JavaScript developers make slightly less than that (around $110K). The average Java developer salary in the USA is $102K per year. However, developers who know several programming languages can expect higher salaries, which forces software engineers to learn new skills continuously. 

It is worth mentioning that although we didn't include Python in this overview, we conducted a separate piece of research on Python developer salaries in the US a while ago. Our results showed that the US national average for Python engineers is nearly $110K per year.

The Average Developer Salaries in Switzerland
In Switzerland, entry-level software developers generally make close to $84K per year, while senior engineers make approximately $115K (according to PayScale). Overall, the average programmer salary in Switzerland is $88,133.

The salaries of Swiss PHP developers are below the national average at $67,267. The .NET developer salary in Switzerland is a little higher and can reach $78,680 annually. Java and JavaScript programmers command some of the highest salaries in the country - around $93-94K per year, while C# and C++ developers follow closely ranging $88-89K.


The Average Developer Salaries in Denmark
According to PayScale, the average developer salary in Denmark is $70,082. Depending on experience, software engineer salaries can range from $64,277 to $77,563.

When it comes to programming languages, C# engineers make about $65K per year, while .NET developers enjoy a higher income - close to $75K. The average Java developer salary in Denmark is $70,380 per year.


The Average Developer Salaries in Norway
The salaries of Norwegian programmers range from about $67K to $85K, with the average at $70,776, according to PayScale.

The average JavaScript developer salary in Norway is below the national median salary - about $66K, while PHP programmers make $68K. .NET and Java engineers top the list with $68-71K.

The Average Developer Salaries in Israel

According to PayScale, software engineer salaries in Israel range from about $60K to $100K, with the median at $69K per annum.

When it comes to programming languages, PHP developers again earn the least salaries with an average of just $46,873. C#, C++, and JavaScript developers all make $68-70K per year. And the average Java developer salary in Israel is $54,270.

The Average Developer Salaries in Sweden

In Sweden, the average entry-level programmer will make somewhere in the region of $49K per year, while their senior colleagues command salaries that are about $20K higher. According to PayScale, the average developer salary is Sweden is $53,469.

The salaries of Swedish JavaScript and PHP developers are below the national average ranging $46-49K. C# developers take the second position and earn $51,330, C++ and .NET developers go next with approximately $52-53K. And Java developers top the list with $56K per year.


The Average Developer Salaries in the UK
According to ITJobsWatch, the average software engineer salary in the UK is $59,268. However, salaries can range from $38K to as high as $76K depending on the developer's level of experience.

The highest-paying programming language in the UK is Java, which offers developers over $69K per annum. JavaScript follows closely - the average JavaScript developer salary in the UK is $66,349 per year. The salaries of PHP programmers are slightly lower than the national average - about $52K.

The Average Developer Salaries in Germany
The average developer salary in Germany is $57,345. Entry-level programmers make less than the national average - over $53K.

German JavaScript developers make a little less than those working with other technologies - only $53,823 per year. .NET developers top the list with over $58K per year. Java and C# engineers make approximately the same - the average C# developer salary in Germany is $56,733.

The Average Developer Salaries in the Netherlands
According to PayScale, software developer salaries in the Netherlands range from about $46K to $67K, with $51,914 being the national average.

When it comes to technologies, C++ engineers receive the best packages - the average salary of these professionals is more than $53K. The average JavaScript developer salary in the Netherlands is $52,157 per year. Java developers make approximately as much as $51K. PHP again brings up the rear with about $45K per year on offer.

The Average Developer Salaries in Finland
According to PayScale, entry-level programmers in Finland make close to $45K per year, while the salaries of senior engineers hover around the $65K mark. The median programmer salary in Finland is $47,883.

Here, developers with strong Java skills tend to make the most money - more than $50K per year. JavaScript programmers come second - the average JavaScript developer salary in Finland is $48,746. C++ and PHP bring Finnish engineers the lowest salaries - $44K per year.



Tech Salary Trends for 2018
As the need for technical skills continues to grow and the supply of tech talent remains lower than the demand, IT workers will continue to negotiate higher wages. In the US, for one, the tech salaries in 2018 are expected to increase by nearly 3% on average.

The 2018 Robert Half Technology Salary Guide forecasts that the salaries of C++, AJAX, PHP, and .NET developers will increase by 5-10% in 2018. However, the increase will differ from state to state. While engineers in Minnesota will enjoy a pay raise of about 6%, North Carolina developers will experience no positive salary shifts.

Source: HOB