Software Engineer Salary London: An Analysis
In this post we explore the earning potential for software engineers in London, including factors that influence salary and tips for maximizing earnings.
7 min read
1 Feb, 2023
If you live or are aspiring to work in the UK, London is one of the best places to find a career as a software engineer.
As the industrial and corporate headquarters of the UK, you’ll find no shortage of fulfilling, well-paying software engineering jobs . Better yet, software engineering is an in-demand job. As a result, companies are willing to give a lot of concessions to their hires, including a flexible working schedule with only a 4-day working week, as long as you perform well in your role.
Such opportunities aren’t impossible to find! 4 Day Week can help you find flexible and remote working roles in a variety of industries. This article will give you an idea of what you can expect regarding salaries, compensations, and benefits working as a software engineer in London.
Salary data listed here is valid as of 1st of February, 2023.
What’s the Verdict on Software Engineer Salaries in London?
The average software engineer in the Greater London area makes around £92,541 annually. This is much higher than the average salary of software engineers throughout the UK, which comes in at £77,110 per year.
When you apply for a job in London and receive an offer, you’ll most likely be offered a salary somewhere between £88,000 to £97,000. Of course, the actual figure will differ depending on various factors like your relevant working experience, qualifications, seniority, and the company’s pay philosophy.
London software engineers also make more than any other city in the UK. According to levels.fyi, outside of London, the top-paying cities for software engineers in the UK are Winchester and Reading. However, in these two cities, the average salaries are around £71,023 and £58,506, respectively. Both are markedly lower than the average pay in London by thousands of pounds!
The vast difference in pay can be attributed to two reasons. First, London is the central corporate hub in the UK. Big companies, British and foreign, all place their headquarters here. The second reason is the sky-high cost of living in London. Companies have to pay their London-based employees more to help them have a decent quality of life in the city.
Factors that Influence Software Engineer Salaries in London
As we said earlier, the actual salary you’ll be offered won’t always be on the average of £92,000. While drafting your job offer, HR will consider many factors before coming up with their final number.
Years of Relevant Experience
Software engineering is a highly technical line of work. It not only requires the engineer to have an academic understanding of the job but also demands a lot of hands-on experience. Because of this, the more experienced a software engineer is, the better their products will usually be.
Companies understand this very well, so they tend to offer a higher salary to those with several years of experience over fresh graduates or those with only one or two years in the business.
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The rule of seniority still applies in the tech world: junior members of the company will make less than seniors. Staff-level or senior software engineers in the company will have already proven themselves to the organization, so they’re usually entrusted with more responsibilities and power over critical projects and infrastructure. A heavier workload and greater responsibility comes hand in hand with a larger paycheck.
Junior members, on the other hand, haven’t proven themselves yet. So, they’ll start with lower pay. As they work and make a name for themselves in the company, salary will gradually be increased.
Depending on where you work, your pay will differ greatly. This has already been demonstrated earlier. If you work in London, you’ll usually earn more than British software engineers based in other cities in the UK, like Winchester or Reading.
That’s because companies will base their salaries on the average cost of living in an area.
To demonstrate, let’s say a company has two offices: one in London, one in Winchester.
A software engineer working for the London office will usually be given a better salary than one that’s based in Winchester. This is to keep up with the cost of living: things are more expensive in London than in Winchester by 15% to 20%.
This is part of the reason why the average salary of software engineer in London is so different compared toWinchester in the chart above!
The salary figure written on your job offer isn’t final until you sign your name and accept. If you think it’s too low or doesn’t meet your salary expectation, it’s well within your rights to negotiate.
To increase your chance of success:
- Do careful research before you notify your recruiter and the company’s HR that you want a better offer.
- Look into the average salary for software engineers with the same level of experience as you and consider your achievements and skills.
- Most importantly, come up with a concrete figure and use it to negotiate!
The worst that can happen is that you get a rejection. At this point, you can either sign up with the company or skip out on the offer and find another opportunity that suits you better.
Plus, it’s not just your salary that you can haggle over. You can negotiate your benefits package, too!
London-based Software Engineers Compensation Review
Software engineering is one of the more lucrative lines of work that a person can get into in London. One person pointed out that the median full-time salary in the city is £40,000. So, you should be pretty well off as a software engineer in London, considering how the average salary for software engineers is almost double this rate (£60,000 to £80,000).
They also noted that pay would differ depending on the size and profile of the company. Software engineer salaries at FAANG companies are considerably higher, paying north of £100,000. These companies are extremely selective, however. Most will have a better chance of getting into average or above-average companies that pay from £60,000 to £80,000, which is still a decent salary for living and thriving in London.
People also noted the difference in pay based on experience. Fresh grads are offered between £35,000 and £40,000. It’s a pretty low salary, especially for a city like London. But after two years in the business, you can find offers from £50,000 and up, which is more sustainable.
Software Engineer in London Average Salary Levels by Seniority and Years of Experience
Here is the average salary of London-based software engineers separated by seniority and years of experience.
Data is provided by Glassdoor.
|Seniority||Years of Experience||Salary Range|
|Entry Level Software Engineer||0-1||£35,953 per year|
|Software Engineer||1-3||£66,684 per year|
|Senior Software Engineer||4-6||£89,006 per year|
|Software Engineer Manager||4-6||£112,903 per year|
|Software Engineer IV||4-6||£105,603 per year|
|Principal Software Engineer||7-15+||£107,988 per year|
You’ll struggle a fair bit financially if you’re fresh out of college and have little working experience, with an average salary of £35,953 a year.
With a year of experience and above, you can be promoted to main-line software engineer. From then on, you’ll get a far better and more livable wage in London at £66,684 a year.
Once you’ve accrued over 4 years of working experience, you can get a promotion to a senior-level software engineer, if you showcase your talent and network well enough. You’ll make a decent sum annually at £89,006.
From manager onward, you’ll break the £100,000 barrier. As a Software Engineering Manager, you can expect to make £112,903 a year. The job comes with quite a few big responsibilities: you’ll be in charge of software engineering teams and you’ll spearhead projects.
If you’ve been working in the industry a long time, you can be promoted to principal-level software engineer. This is a mixture of technical and leadership positions. You’ll be in charge of all technical work done in the company, but unlike managers, you’ll still have a hand in designing and developing software solutions for clients. The pay for this position is still well above average, coming in at £107,988 a year.
Total Software Engineer Compensation in London
Besides your salary, you’ll also be compensated with additional bonuses depending on your performance. Many companies also offer stock options.
Software engineers are usually afforded the standard package of non-financial benefits—for example, health and life insurance, career development training, gym memberships, PTOs, etc.
How Do Software Engineer Salaries in London Compare to Other Jobs?
Wondering how well-paid software engineers are compared to other jobs in the tech industry? Here’s a chart for you.
Salary data is provided by Levels.fyi.
|Position||Salary Range||Vs Software Engineer|
|Product Designer||£88,429 per year||Below Average|
|Data Scientist||£129,965 per year||Above Average|
|Information Technologist||£60,404 per year||Below Average|
|Security Analyst||£83,494 per year||Below Average|
The only job that pays better on average is data scientist, which is to be expected. The work of data scientists is extremely broad. To collect and analyze data, data scientists need knowledge and technical skills from many domains. Meanwhile, software engineers typically only need to learn skills related to their specialization.
As for other jobs like Product Designer, Information Technologist, and Security Analyst … the lower pay results from lower demand. In the case of Product Designers and Information Technologists, they require fewer skills.
How do Software Engineer Salaries in London vary across Companies?
|Company Name||Salary Range|
|Amazon||£65,000 per year|
|£78,999 per year|
|Microsoft||£70,431 per year|
|Apple||£70,373 per year|
Remember, software engineering is an umbrella term for many different jobs. So, depending on your actual role in the software engineering department of these companies, your pay will differ. The figures here also take into account the level of experience.
For example, at Amazon, your salary can range from a minimum of £53,000 to as much as £249,000, depending on your job title and seniority. However, the median lies in the £65,000 range. The same applies to other companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple.
As an eCommerce operation, Amazon pays less than tech-centric companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Google’s software engineers are the most well-paid out of the bunch. It’s one of the many reasons why Google is commonly touted as one of the best places to work in the tech industry.
Find Better Work-Life Balance with 4 Day Week!
As work becomes more and more demanding, the 5-day-a-week working schedule is becoming too stressful for workers, leading to reduced productivity and mental health issues. This has prompted many businesses to introduce a shrunken 4-day working week.
And the experiment worked! It’s been found that a shorter work week significantly improves productivity and has a positive impact on the work-life balance of workers.
If you’re interested in trying out this working schedule? You can find the latest software engineer jobs that offer a 4-day work week through our job board.