What’s the average, minimum and maximum embedded software engineer salary? Do embedded software engineer salaries vary significantly from country to country or between office-based, remote or hybrid positions? How much should you expect to earn as an embedded software developer or engineer? And how much should you expect to pay for an embedded software developer or engineer? As we’ll find out, the last two aren’t always the same question.
Those are the questions we’ll address here by compiling a range of data sources on the average embedded software development salary.
The data we’ll present should of course be treated as a rough guideline. Like any software development position, embedded software engineers come in a range of levels of experience from juniors with little to no on-the-job commercial work experience to highly experienced architects boasting a bulging tech stack. The salary of a junior embedded software engineer will have little resemblance to that of someone at the peak of their career.
‘Embedded software engineer’ and ‘embedded software developer’ are also, of course, very broad-brushstroke titles. There are several main categories of embedded software development and a huge range of potential use cases and hardware combinations.
As such the tech stack required of embedded software engineers and developers can vary considerably, which affects the salary levels on offer for different positions. The data here covers salary ranges at a macro level and will give you an initial ballpark orientation. While we’ll also update it every several months, keep in mind the international IT recruitment market is especially hot right now and average salary levels are increasing.
If you would like more granular feedback on embedded software engineer salary ranges for a specific tech stack and level of experience and soft skills, just drop us a line. Our HR team will quickly be able to give you a realistic picture of the salary level ranges you can expect right now.
As we’re based in Munich, Germany, and the majority of our clients are from our D-A-CH region, we’ll start in our home country. Embedded software engineer salary ranges in Germany will also offer a useful benchmark to compare with those in the nearshore East European destinations our tech talent centres are based.
Glassdoor data puts the average embedded software engineer salary in Germany at €60,000. The starting level for embedded software developers is €49,000 and the upper end of the range reaches €77,000. The average salary on offer in Germany for an Embedded Linux Software Engineer is €70,157.
The portal SalaryExpert.com puts the median average embedded software engineer salary in Germany higher, at €77,813 with €54,463 at the lower end of the scale and €96,656 at the upper end.
At the city level, embedded software engineer salaries are highest in Munich at an average of €61,054 reaching €85,000 at the upper end plus additional cash compensation such as bonuses within a range of €1869-$5000 and averaging €3448.
East Europe is by far the most popular IT outsourcing location for organisations in West Europe. Lower salary rates, income tax and social security contributions (for both employer and employee) and general overhead costs like office space combine with geographical proximity which means time zones are aligned and travel convenient.
If the average embedded software developer salary in Germany is now €77,000 and up to around €100,000 averages in East Europe can be expected to come in at between around €55,000 to €80,000. The West-East salary gap for juniors has closed by far less because there is also much lower demand for inexperienced professionals.
Several East European countries, like Poland, Bulgaria and Romania are also EU members which can be important for work involving personal data covered by GDPR regulations as well as easing cross-border accountancy.
East Europe as an offshore, rather than nearshore destination, is also popular for organisations from the USA, Australia etc. because of the quality of the developer talent pool and English language level of educated professionals. However, the obvious time zone compatibility issues and distance making business travel inconvenient mean that organisations and companies from outside of Europe tend to opt for outsourcing in East Europe at scale.
When does IT Outsourcing work?
(And when doesn’t it?)
It tends to make most sense if a tech base is established that is large enough to be relatively self-sufficient and able to operate independently day-to-day without the need for constant communication with the mothership.
When discussing software developer salaries for East Europe, including embedded systems experts, it is important to note that the dynamics have changed considerably over the course of 2021. Historically, average developer and IT specialist salaries in East Europe (between professionals with the same tech stack and experience and geographical location the only major variable) were around 30%-50% of those in West Europe. The higher the level of seniority, the smaller the gap.
That is no longer the case and the change has happened quickly. A combination of a tight labour market, generally but with the IT sector among those most impacted, and the Covid-19 induced remote work trend meaning geographical location has become less important to employers, has narrowed the gap to more like 20% to 30% in salary cost savings. For highly skilled and experienced seniors, sometimes less.
But East Europe is not a single, homogenous market for software developers. Salary levels vary from country to country. So let’s take a closer look on a country-by-country level.
K&C head of HR Natalia Korol says that between around February 2021 and October 2021, salary demands of software developers, including embedded software engineers, have increased notably – by up to 30%. Local Ukrainian jobs listings portal Djinni’s salary data for embedded software engineers with 4-5 years experience at around €5000 (€4368) a month or $60,000 (€52417) a year. Data does not cover bonuses.
Data from K&C’s internal recruitment department (good public sources from major jobs listings sites are unavailable) puts the average embedded software engineer salary in Poland at currently around 10% lower than in Ukraine. That equates to a monthly salary for seniors of circa. €3900 and €47,000 annually.
Data from K&C’s internal recruitment department (good public sources from major jobs listings sites are unavailable) puts the average embedded software engineer salary in Belarus at currently around 20% lower than in Ukraine. That equates to a monthly range of between $4000 (€3495) and $48,000 (€41934) for seniors.
Data based on listings on U.S. jobs portal Zippia.com indicate median salary of an embedded software engineer in the USA is $83,000 annually or a little over $40 an hour. An entry level junior embedded software developer position starts at $63,000 and the top 10% best paid embedded software engineers in the USA earn around $110,000.
However, there is some pretty significant variation in embedded software engineer salary levels in different parts of the USA. In San Francisco, for example, the median average salary comes in at $122,500 and reaches $165,000 at the top 90th percentile. Even entry-level positions come with a starting salary of $90,000 in San Francisco, which is well known for its eye-watering cost of living, especially property prices and rents.
Glassdoor data offers a slightly different picture with the average U.S. salary for an embedded software engineer coming in at $94,138. The starting level is higher too at $68,000 and the top end of the range registering at $130,000.
Glassdoor also offers data on job titles closely related to ‘embedded software engineer’:
Embedded software engineer salary levels are of course, as mentioned, highly dependent on tech stack and experience. SalaryExpert data shows the most in-demand skills required of embedded software engineers by employers are:
For each region we have covered in this overview of embedded software engineer salaries we have included data sources from the biggest general and specialist jobs portals that cover the region. In the interest of brevity and clarity that has been limited to 1-2 sources per region. We always, however, analyse at least 2-3 more and dig deeper if there is any significant variation.
We also ensure only relatively up-to-date data has been incorporated. For example, we are not presenting data from StackOverFlow because their data is based on a 2019 source. Over the past 2 years the market for software developers and other in-demand IT specialists has been especially hot and salary levels have risen considerably. That means 2019 data is no longer relevant.