Do Software Engineers Make More Than Computer Engineers?

Patrick Burnett

Software engineering and computer engineering are two of the most sought-after careers in the technology sector. Both professions require individuals to possess a strong understanding of computer systems and programming languages, but do software engineers make more money than computer engineers?

What is Software Engineering?

Software engineering is the process of designing, developing, testing, and maintaining software. It involves using various programming languages to create complex software systems that can be used by businesses or individuals. A software engineer typically has a degree in computer science or a related field and possesses extensive knowledge of programming languages such as Java, Python, or C++.

What is Computer Engineering?

Computer engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design and development of computer systems. This includes both hardware and software components. A computer engineer typically has a degree in electrical or computer engineering and possesses knowledge of both hardware and software design.

Do Software Engineers Make More Than Computer Engineers?

When it comes to salaries, software engineers tend to earn slightly more than computer engineers. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for software developers was $107,510 in 2019. On the other hand, the median salary for computer hardware engineers was $117,220 during the same period.

It’s important to note that salaries can vary depending on factors such as experience level, geographic location, industry type, and company size. For example, a senior-level software engineer working for a large tech company in Silicon Valley may earn significantly more than an entry-level hardware engineer working for a small business in rural America.

Job Outlook

Both software engineering and computer engineering are projected to have strong job growth in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for software developers will grow by 22% between 2019-2029. Employment for computer hardware engineers is also projected to grow by 2% during the same period.


In conclusion, software engineering and computer engineering are both lucrative careers that offer competitive salaries and strong job growth. While software engineers may earn slightly more than computer engineers, it’s important to remember that salaries can vary greatly depending on several factors. Ultimately, the decision between pursuing a career in software engineering or computer engineering should be based on personal interests and strengths.