July 13, 2023
min read

Best Countries for Software Engineers

Krissy Davis

In this article, we will guide you through the top countries that offer the best opportunities for software engineers. Whether you're after a higher salary, job security, or a better quality of life, we've got you covered. 

From the United States and Australia to Canada and Sweden, we will explore the factors you should consider when choosing a country, provide insights into the demand for software engineers worldwide, and discuss the latest trends and statistics in the software development industry. We will explore each country's unique opportunities and challenges, helping you decide where to take your software engineering career next.

Best emerging tech cities Europe →

Best country for software engineers

To find the ideal location for software engineers, we conducted research using data from reputable sources such as Payscale, Glassdoor, PageGroup and Indeed, taking multiple factors into consideration. We believe it's important to secure fair compensation for your abilities and live in a country with a flourishing tech industry and a positive workplace environment.

So, what is the best country for software engineers? Drum roll…Canada. 

Despite its chilly weather, Canada has always been a favoured spot for tech enthusiasts.  The Canadian IT sector is expanding, and software developers are in great demand. Additionally, Canada is listed as one of the highest-paying countries for software engineers, and according to Numbeo, the cost of living is lower than that of America. 

They also understand the importance of work-life balance and have implemented various programs and initiatives to support it. From flexible work hours to generous parental leave, Canada offers a range of benefits to ensure individuals can thrive personally and professionally. 

5 Best Cities For Software Engineers →

Best countries for software engineers

Don't fret if you do not like Canada's chilly weather! We've got you covered with a fantastic lineup of the best countries for software engineers based on salary, job demand and work-life balance.  

Country Average salary (USD) Job demand Work-life balance
Canada 91,656 High High
Australia 73,971 High High
Sweden 80,089 High High
Denmark 47,028 High High
United Kingdom 65,177 High Moderate
United States 115,263 High Moderate
The Netherlands 77,621 Moderate High
Switzerland 110,579 Moderate High
Germany 62,404 Moderate Moderate
Norway 56,040 Moderate High

When considering job opportunities as a software engineer, it's important to take into account various factors such as average salaries, work-life balance, cost of living and overall happiness. Denmark, for example, has the highest life satisfaction and work-life balance scores but pays the least compared to the other countries on the list. 

Another example is Australia, which ranks high due to its high salaries, job demand, and work-life balance. However, its remote location is a factor to consider. Being far from other continents can make travel to and from Australia expensive and time-consuming. This could be inconvenient for individuals who are used to being close to other destinations. And let's not forget its "unique" wildlife. It is important to weigh these factors and prioritise what matters most. 

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Which country pays software engineers the most? 

America is proudly ranked number one among countries that pay software engineers the most! This is no surprise considering the incredible opportunities and benefits offered in the land of the free. 

The United States has long been a hub for innovation and technological advancements, so software engineers are in high demand. Companies in the U.S. understand the value of these skilled professionals and are willing to invest generously in their talent. Additionally, the American entrepreneurial spirit fosters a culture of innovation and risk-taking, resulting in higher salaries for software engineers.  

Software engineer salary by country

If the land of the free isn’t for you, but you’re still seeking high-paying opportunities as a software engineer, here is a list of countries that offer the highest salaries in this field.

Country Average salary (USD)
United States 115,263
Switzerland 110,579
Canada 91,656
Sweden 80,089
The Netherlands 77,621
Australia 73,971
Israel 66,000
United Kingdom 65,177
Germany 62,404
Norway 56,040

As you can see, Europe stands out as the continent with the most promising opportunities for software engineers. You may find the following articles useful if you're considering relocating to any of these European countries.


Software engineer salaries in other European countries

People often want to know more about software engineer salaries Europe, as this continent is often considered a popular destination for software engineers due to the combination of benefits and cost of living, despite the lower average salaries compared to the United States. While it is true that salaries in Europe may be lower, the benefits provided in terms of healthcare and a comfortable lifestyle make up for some of those differences. 

Country Average salary (USD)
Estonia 30,021
Austria 56,319
Ireland 52,036
Finland 51,992
France 47,979
Belgium 43,225
Spain 41,749
Italy 35,185
Portugal 28,351
Poland 56,000

Western European developers typically earn significantly higher salaries compared to their counterparts in Eastern, Northern, and Southern Europe. This discrepancy can be attributed to several factors. Western Europe tends to be home to major tech hubs, like London and Berlin, which attract multinational companies and startups. These companies often have larger budgets and are willing to pay a premium for top talent, further driving up salaries in the region.

Software engineering salaries by technology

Did you know developers who specialise in niche programming languages tend to earn higher salaries than those who work with more common languages? The reason for this is that there is a shortage of skilled developers in these niche areas. 

According to the AI Salary Survey conducted by O'Reilly, the most popular programming languages, such as Python, SQL, Java, and JavaScript, fall in the middle of the salary range, with an average salary of around $144,000 to $155,000. Web languages like HTML, PHP, and CSS have the lowest average salaries at around $135,000.

On the other hand, less common languages like Rust, Go, and Scala are associated with higher salaries, with Rust being the highest at over $180,000. Other niche languages like Erlang, Julia, Swift, and f# are also linked to high salaries.

Software engineering salaries by popular technology

Even though developers who specialise in technologies like Python and JavaScript typically earn a mid-range salary, they still receive a generous pay package, so we’ve included the data below for your reference.

The average salary for Python Developers by country and experience

Based on the analysis conducted by Stack Overflow, Python's popularity is increasing globally, leading to a higher demand for Python developers. As a result, their salaries are expected to rise.

Country Junior Python Developer (USD) Middle Python Developer (USD) Senior Python Developer (USD)
USA 68,000 127,000 156,000
UK 48,500 77,300 109,800
Sweden 36,500 56,700 78,000
Norway 35,500 62,000 95,400
Denmark 48,500 81,800 132,800
Netherlands 44,000 77,000 107,000
Australia 50,400 78,000 100,700

The average salary for JavaScript Developers by country and experience

JavaScript is the most popular programming language used by over 60% of programmers globally. As a result, computer engineers who specialise in this domain generally earn a stable, high salary. However, there may be limited opportunities for salary growth in this field.

Country Junior JavaScript Developer (USD) Middle JavaScript Developer (USD) Senior JavaScript Developer (USD)
USA 87,000 93,700 112,000
UK 42,800 50,000 70,000
Sweden 34,500 42,500 48,800
Norway 42,000 48,000 60,000
Denmark 46,000 52,800 68,700
Netherlands 40,800 56,600 70,000
Australia 45,000 61,800 70,000

Highest-paying software engineering jobs

According to Glassdoor, Embedded Systems Engineers are the highest-paid among IT roles. They are highly sought after in the automotive, aerospace, and consumer electronics industries, where they design and develop complex systems integrated into devices and products. These engineers are responsible for creating efficient and reliable software and hardware solutions that enable devices to perform specific tasks seamlessly. 

Due to the critical nature of their work, embedded systems engineers often command high salaries as they possess specialised skills and knowledge in areas such as real-time operating systems, microcontrollers, and low-level programming languages. Additionally, their expertise in optimising system performance and meeting strict design requirements make them valuable assets to companies, further contributing to their higher earning potential within the IT field.

Here are the other software engineering jobs that pay top dollar: 

Job Title Average Annual Salary (USD)
Embedded Systems Engineer 169,921
Data Scientist 152,126
Data Architect/Engineer 129,968
Machine Learning Engineer 151,889
Backend Engineer 146,741
Cloud Computing Engineer 141,770
DevOps Engineer 149,000
Android/IOS Engineer 135,018
Cyber Security Engineer 131,589
Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) 103,480
Full Stack Developer 89,700

Related article: Best Paying Jobs in Technology

Highest-paying tech companies for developers

It's no surprise that developers who work for Netflix can expect high compensation, averaging around $300,000 to $400,000 per year. After all, Netflix is the highest-paying tech company, with over 232 million paid subscribers worldwide and revenue of over $30 billion in the last year alone. With such impressive figures, it's no wonder why Netflix is able to offer such generous salaries to their software developers.

Mashgin and OpenAI are both AI companies and are closely behind on the list, which isn’t a shock considering our current technological landscape. 

Why become a software engineer? 

There has never been a better time to be a software engineer, with the global software development market expected to expand at a CAGR of 11.7% from 2022 to 2030.

Here are three key reasons why you should consider leveraging this market:

  • Market Size and Growth: The global software development market was valued at 429.59 billion USD in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 507.23 billion by 2025. This rapid growth indicates a high demand for software developers across industries, presenting abundant job opportunities and the potential for career advancement.
  • Global Reach: The software development market is not limited by geographical boundaries. As the largest share of the market, the United States offers a plethora of opportunities. However, countries like Germany, France, Israel, and Australia also have thriving software development industries. Exploring these global markets allows you to broaden your horizons and tap into diverse projects. 
  • Remote Work Opportunities: Over 50% of software developers already work remotely, and this trend is only expected to grow. With advancements in tech and the increasing demand for remote work options, you have the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world. This allows you to choose the location that best suits your lifestyle, cost of living, and work-life balance preferences.

How to become a software engineer

Did you know that 80% of devs learnt to code through online resources, and only 50% learnt through University or College? So, If you want to pursue a career in software engineering, enrolling in a coding bootcamp can be an excellent way to start your journey. To help with your search, we've compiled a list of Germany's top coding bootcamps in THIS article. Or, you can check out our Ultimate Software Engineer Career Path Guide.   

Find software engineering jobs 

There are several reasons why you might consider exploring new job opportunities. Pay is undoubtedly a crucial aspect to consider, and ensuring that your compensation aligns with your skills, experience, and market demands is important. Seeking a new position could lead to a more competitive salary, better benefits, or growth opportunities. 

Work-life balance is another significant factor that can greatly impact your overall happiness. Finding a job that offers a healthier balance between professional commitments and personal life can increase satisfaction and reduce stress levels. 

Lastly, overall happiness plays a pivotal role in your career satisfaction. If you feel unfulfilled and lacking motivation or purpose in your current position, exploring new opportunities can provide a fresh start and reignite your passion for software engineering.  

Check out our jobs board, or read our article 12 Best Job Sites For Developers

Best Countries for Software Engineers

July 13, 2023
min read

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