Average software engineering pay is $67,670

Computer-software engineering is the single fastest growing occupational field and is projected to be so through 2010, according to the U.S.

Computer-software engineering is the single fastest growing occupational field and is projected to be so through 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook. In the latest data the government has compiled, the median annual salary for a software engineer working in the applications realm is US$67,670, with the highest-paid 10% with that job title pulling in more than $106,680. Those doing development work on the systems software side earn slightly more.

Candidates prepared with a bachelor's degree in computer engineering earn just a bit more when entering the job market fresh out of college than their computer-science-degreed counterparts -- $53,924 and $52,723 respectively. A master's degree adds about another $5,000 to starting salaries. On the computer-hardware side, engineers earn an average of $67,300. A job-seeker just out of a bachelor's program can expect to garner about $53,924. A Ph.D. ups the ante considerably to $70,140.

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