A software developer has an important role to play in how effectively an organisation’s IT system operates. The key responsibility is to design and install software that enables a business to run efficiently and a developer may often be requested to test and maintain the installed software.

Software developer jobs can frequently be found through Randstad Technologies, a recruitment company that advertises a wide range of IT vacancies from entry level to those for highly experienced developers. The company is particularly useful as it has excellent links with many of the country’s top employers.

Software developers are always in demand and well-qualified graduates generally have little problem in finding an appropriate job. Many will progress their IT careers by specialising or moving on to become IT managers or directors.

Salary levels

A software developer’s salary level will depend very much on their level of experience and the precise job description. A new graduate, for example, could start off with a salary of around £20,000, while a more demanding and responsible position might be worth up to £30,000 or more, especially if the individual has a doctorate.

Progress up the pay scale can be quite rapid, particularly if the employee is highly qualified and good at the job. On average, experienced software developers can expect to earn around £40,000 per annum and those with significant experience and expertise could earn more than £55,000.

Many companies also operate bonus schemes, which can help top up a salary; some may also have a profit sharing structure, which can substantially increase the total salary. There are companies that offer an incentive to join them, which could be worth several thousand pounds and for London there is usually an additional weighting allowance, due to the high cost of living there.

Where to go to increase a salary

London based companies tend to pay higher salaries as a means of attracting the best candidates and because the cost of living is higher than in other parts of the UK. London is effectively the financial capital of the world and global banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions have headquarters there. Numerous global companies maintain a significant presence in the city and organisations such as the police and National Health Service have large IT departments.

With the city being the seat of national government there are always IT programs being developed, giving opportunities to move jobs and progress rapidly up the salary ladder.

With the right level of experience, a software developer could expect to increase their salary by taking a more senior position in some of the UK’s other major cities where there are large organisations requiring significant levels IT support. Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow and Cardiff are good examples, though smaller cities and towns, such as Oxford and Reading, are also worth considering.

Boosting a salary

The best way to boost a salary is by continuing to study, acquiring new skills and experience, such as learning different programming languages or taking responsibility for leading an IT project. Employers like to see people who are constantly up-skilling and will often be prepared to pay them enhanced salaries.