When we think of high-paying software engineering jobs, we don’t tend to think of Germany or France, or the Netherlands. We think of Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and New York. And let’s face it, the United States is probably where you can earn the most as a software developer, that’s just a fact. The average software engineering salary in the U.S. is $110,140 compared with $52,275 in Germany.
That’s a big difference. If you’re an entry-to-mid-level engineer, you could potentially earn double your annual salary in America. But let’s not get too excited about this fact, because there’s much more to the story. When we move beyond the average salary and look at the top earners in these categories, you’ll notice top companies in Europe are paying way more than these general figures.
Before we go any further, I want to say that the figures reported in this article are at the very top level — so only a few highly skilled developers are receiving these salaries. The positions they are in are very competitive. Keep that in mind. We’ll be discussing only senior software engineer salaries, not including management roles. First I’ll break down the types of companies where developers are likely to earn the most, then the actual tech companies reportedly paying the highest salaries.
There are a number of factors to consider when we are trying to figure out what the most lucrative sector within tech is. Location is obviously a big one. For example, the highest salaries in Western Europe seem to be coming out of the Netherlands.
Then you might consider the size of the company, it's funding, and where it’s headquartered. So some of these cloud companies are not European companies, they are American but have offices over there. With all that in mind, and using salary data from Techpays these were the top five types of tech companies reportedly paying the most to developers:
FinTech stands for Financial Technology. Basically, FinTech encompasses anything to do with money online. So that would include mobile banking, payment processing services, after pay, portfolio management, trading platforms, and some crypto. The big European companies in this space are N26, Solaris, SumUp, Klarna, Wise, and my personal favourite, Wirecard (that’s a joke). The top annual compensation for a senior engineer was €605,000.
We all know that FAANG companies (Meta, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) in the U.S. offer very competitive salary packages. And it’s mostly the same in Europe. I don’t know if there’s enough data to make this call, but it seems to me that FAANG companies tend to offer a higher base salary but less in terms of equity and bonuses. The highest reported compensation package was €255,000.
3. Cloud software
There is a lot of money in the cloud space. On top of that, the big players are legacy companies like IBM and Oracle. From what I can see, it’s the international cloud companies from the bay area that are paying the highest salaries. Companies like HashiCorp and Databricks. The highest reported compensation package is €335,000.
4. Travel sector
I was surprised software engineers in the travel space were top earners in Europe. I guess it makes sense once you understand the business model and just how big companies like booking.com, Trivago, and Skyscanner are. They pay their devs well. According to Techpays, the top compensation package is €455,000.
Companies that reach billion-dollar status pay their senior developers well. Uber is a notable name in this category. There have also been a few European companies to emerge as unicorns in the last few years, Zalando, Bolt, Hopin, Personio, Vinted, and Gorillas. According to Techpays, the top compensation package is €374,000.
Highest-paying tech companies for software engineers
The following list is not entirely accurate, I think there are a few companies that should be included but unfortunately, I could find out the exact company so I chose to exclude them. Regardless you are going to get a pretty good idea of what top-level senior software engineers are earning.
It’s important to note that all of these salaries come from the Netherlands. The total compensation package includes bonuses and equity, it is not the base salary but the entire offer combined. Alright, without wasting any more of your time, here are the highest-paying tech companies for software engineers in Europe according to Techpay:
Uber is a ride-hailing platform that connects passengers with drivers through a mobile app, providing an alternative to traditional taxi services.
HashiCorp is a software company that provides open-source tools for infrastructure automation and management, aimed at improving the efficiency and security of infrastructure operations for organizations of all sizes.
Amazon is an e-commerce and cloud computing company that offers a wide range of products, services, and technologies, including online retail, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing infrastructure.
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