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Senior Software Architect's Salary in the US

Software architects are in high demand, and top FAANG+ firms offer competitive senior software architect salary packages that include a slew of perks and bonuses. 

As a senior software architect, you will be in charge of all critical decisions regarding the organization of the software system and provide high-level design options and optimal technical standards. You must collaborate with stakeholders and lead a team in developing the best solutions or creative approaches to a given problem.

Top companies highly value senior software architects because they are responsible for significant aspects such as functionality, resilience, performance, comprehensibility, scalability, security, technology constraints, and tradeoffs. Continue reading to learn about the various factors affecting your senior software architect's salary packages and which companies offer the highest pay for this position.

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This article will discuss the senior software architect salary package based on experience, company, and location. 

Here's what we'll cover:

  • What Does a Senior Software Architect Do?
  • What Makes You Eligible for a Senior Software Architect Position?
  • How Much Does a Senior Software Architect Earn?
  • Senior Software Architect Salary — Which US City Pays the Most?
  • Comparison of Senior Software Architect Salary at FAANG+ Companies
  • Factors That Affect Senior Software Architect Salary
  • Top Skills That Can Help Increase Senior Software Engineer Salary 
  • FAQs on Senior Software Architect Salary

What Does a Senior Software Architect Do?

Before learning about the senior software architect's salary, you must understand the roles and responsibilities of the position.

There are different software architect levels in an organization- junior, mid-level, senior, and director. The senior software architect is a leadership position. The responsibilities are in addition to the primary role that includes envisioning the architectural design and providing solutions to the programming, testing, and deployment process. 

Your duties can vary based on the company you work for. Here is an overview of the role and responsibilities of a senior software architect in top tech companies:

  • You must develop and supervise multiple projects simultaneously.
  • You must address possible risks and constraints and deliver detailed architectural blueprints.
  • Provide technical direction to junior software architects.
  • As a senior software architect, you will be accountable for platform features, from prioritization to design to release.
  • You will establish guidelines and thoroughly check for coding and project practices.
  • Supervise the entire software development lifecycle. 
  • As a senior software architect, you will analyze customer feedback and validate solutions accordingly.

You must check out the official job description for the position you are applying for to get a complete idea of the responsibilities entrusted to you.

What Makes You Eligible for a Senior Software Architect Position?

The eligibility criteria for senior software architect depends on the company you are applying for. You must scan the official job description for specific details. Here is a basic idea of the qualifications the position demands. 

  • A bachelor's or master's degree in CS/ Information Technology or other related domain.
  • 5+ years of professional experience in designing and implementing various software applications.
  • Your extensive experience in working on large-scale software projects.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of cybersecurity, web applications, and open source technologies.
  • Professional programs certification in Java and others can add value to your application.

How Much Does a Senior Software Architect Earn?

The average salary for a senior software architect is $138,622 per year (Source: indeed.com). However, the salary range is between $138k to $208k per year due to several potential factors such as education, skills, certifications, locations, etc.

Senior Software Architect Salary - Which US City Pays the Most?

Your senior software architect's salary will strongly depend on the location of the job. Here’s a look at some cities in the US and their offers in terms of average senior software architect salary.

(Source: indeed.com)

You will also note that the same company will offer different salary packages for the same software architect positions in different cities. For example, 

  • Google senior software architect salary in New York is $226,000
  • Google senior software architect salary in Austin, TX is $251,000

The following section compares the average salary of top tech companies for senior software architect positions. 

Comparison of Senior Software Architect Salary at FAANG+ Companies

Your total senior software architect salary will include the base salary and additional bonuses at FAANG+ companies. For instance, the average salary for a senior software architect at Microsoft is $176,233 annually. 

This includes a base salary of $146,933 and a $29,300 bonus. Comparatively, the average Amazon Senior Software Architect salary is higher, which amounts to $185,000 annually. The salary includes a base salary of $165,000 and a $20,000 bonus. Top companies offer salaries higher than the national average.

Here is a comparison of senior software architect salary packages in FAANG+ companies. So, if you are applying for a senior software architect role in any of these companies, you can expect your approximate salary to be as follows:

(Source: comparably.com)

Factors That Affect Senior Software Architect Salary 

You must acknowledge that a single factor cannot determine your senior software architect's salary. Instead, a combination of factors can influence your salary. The following crucial factors contribute to determining your senior software architect's salary. 

  • Your years of experience are major contributors to your salary numbers. If you have 5 to 6 years of experience as a software architect, you can expect a salary hike of $2,000–$2,500 per year of experience.   
  • The next important factor is your education. If you possess a master's or a doctoral degree in relevant subjects, it will be convenient for you to negotiate a higher salary.  
  • Your relevant industry skills can be other critical determiners for your senior software architect's salary. 
  • The company and the location play an important role in influencing your senior software architect's salary.
  • In junior software architect positions, better performance can promote you to the senior level and raise your salary.

Top Skills That Can Help Increase Senior Software Engineer Salary 

Recruiters prefer candidates with added skills and the ones who stand out from the rest of the applicants. You should know that although there is no specific definition of skills because different projects may require different technical knowledge, here are some skills that are a must and can give your senior software architect's salary a boost.  

  • Your knowledge of Unified Modeling Language (UML) is an essential requirement. You should be adept at diagramming complex architectures.
  • You must possess deep knowledge of one or more programming languages to strategically support the company's long-term goals. You can choose from the top programming languages: Java, JS, Python, Ruby, Scala, Rust, Go, C, C#, C++, etc. 
  • You should possess a deep familiarity with DevOps practices. 
  • In-depth knowledge of SPI 
  • Expertise in software technologies and architectures
  • Knowledge of methodologies and frameworks like Scrum, XP, and RUP
  • Familiarity with SAMIL, OWASP, RESTFUL, and end-user protocols
  • APIs
  • AWS
  • Agile
  • Azure
  • CI/CD
  • Git

Soft skills are just as necessary as technical skills for senior software architect positions. You must exhibit the following soft skills that contribute largely to drive performance and bring team members together for successful projects.

  • Problem-solving and conflict resolution 
  • Leadership, communication, and organizational skills
  • Prioritizing
  • Creative thinking

You can also consider getting training to shore up the technical skills for the specific job role you are applying for and look for certifications that will boost the power of your application when you apply for jobs. You must thoroughly go through the official job description for the position you are applying for to understand what recruiters seek in a potential candidate.

FAQs on Senior Software Architect Salary

Q1. Does a software architect have a better career than a software engineer?

If you secure a software architect position, you will be providing high-level guidance to junior software engineers. A software architect is a senior software engineer with experience in coding, debugging, and deployment. You will undoubtedly enjoy more benefits and value as a software architect than simply being a software engineer.

Q2. How much is the senior software architect's salary per hour?

The average senior software architect salary is $69 per hour in the US (Source: salary.com).

Q3. How much does a senior software architect earn in Los Angeles? 

The average annual salary for a Software Architect is $1,42,311 in Los Angeles, California, US. There is also an additional cash compensation of $13,492 for Software Architects. The additional compensation usually fluctuates between $3,636 - $50,072 (Source: glassdoor.com).  

Q4. Is coding important for senior software architect positions?

As a senior software architect, you will have to write codes but not as much as other software developers. You will spend most of your time working on architecture-related projects. However, you should learn to code as the digital nature of architecture and design is advancing in the current scenario.  

Q5. Which programming languages are best for software architects?

If you are a senior software architect, you should be well-versed with Python. It is one of the most popular programming languages in the field. You can also choose from C, Perl, Ansible, C++, C#, Java, and Ruby, amongst others.

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