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July 10, 2012 8:49 PM   Subscribe

How much do junior C++ developers get paid, outside of major cities?

I am a C++ software developer working on a commercial product. I've been at my job for a year and I have another year's experience in an internship-like setting. I make fairly significant code design decisions and I am personally responsible for product quality in my area.

I do not live in a big city. How much should I be getting paid?
posted by puppetsock to Work & Money (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Forgot to add, this is in the USA.
posted by puppetsock at 8:50 PM on July 10, 2012

In Silicon Valley you would probably be making $100-$130k/year. I don't know what you really mean by "not in a big city". Do you mean "not SF, Seattle or NYC" or do you mean Bumfuck, New Mexico, population 17?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:54 PM on July 10, 2012

tylerkaraszewski: I mean "not SF, Seattle or NYC". Definitely not a low-population area. The rent on my 1-bedroom apartment is $750.
posted by puppetsock at 8:58 PM on July 10, 2012

Have you looked at Glassdoor or Salary.com? Far from perfect, but at least they might give you some data points.
posted by primethyme at 9:02 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

primethyme: I looked at some salary listing sites and saw wildly varying answers. I was hoping that Metafilter's many software people might have more direct data. (sorry to threadsit!)
posted by puppetsock at 9:27 PM on July 10, 2012

A senior developer in a big city outside Silicon Valley/NYC would likely be paid $100-$130k a year. I'm not sure what a junior developer should make.
posted by monotreme at 10:55 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

For an entry level c++ developer (which is 0-2 years experience in my world) in Richmond, VA, I pay between 50-60k. The junior positions are easy to fill, even when the job market was much better for employees -- there are always people looking to move into coding. The people that I struggle to find are the mid-level guys with say 3-6 years experience who are solid performers -- they normally run me in the 80s and we seem to make the worst hiring mistakes in that tier. As a result, if you are a junior guy who looks likely to me to be a top performer in the mid-range, I'd be more likely to speed up the salary bumps because a proven guy is always better than an unknown new face. (Apologies for the potentially sexist language, I have some rockstar coding women, I'm just too lazy to find gender neutral terms).

Negotiating for a new salary by pointing to statistical averages or explanations of why you need the money are probably the two least effective approaches, in my experience. The two approaches that are most likely to work on me are:

Direct> I've made major contributions to project X and I believe that I am a key player in future project Y because of reasons a,b and c. I really think that my contributions merit an increase to my compensation. I'm hoping for

Indirect> I think I've done a great job on project X and obviously I'm very interested in increasing my compensation. Can you give me some advice on how I could become more valuable to you and what you think I can expect in the near and medium term?

posted by Lame_username at 11:42 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]

If some personal anecdata helps, I am a junior developer (though in C, not C++) and I am making about $55,000 right out of university. My rent is $750/mo for a two-bedroom.
posted by one of these days at 4:16 AM on July 11, 2012

At my old workplace (small town on the eastern coast of Florida) a brand new software developer made about $55k. This was one site of a major defense contractor, so clearances were required, which tends to boost the pay a bit.

Where I work now (another defense contractor, same small town) tends to offer $65k for new hires straight out of college, but the skills required are more specialized and less common.
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 5:37 AM on July 11, 2012

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