With an annual salary ranging from $50,000 to $120,000, software engineering can be a very lucrative career. But is it a fulfilling one? What’s the rate of job satisfaction among programmers and software engineers? And how does it compare with the rest of the country’s jobs?
Job Satisfaction Statistics
A survey last year by weekly magazine The Economist found that, overall, 58% of workers in the U.S. are at least reasonably happy in their jobs. Only 12% are actually unhappy with their jobs, while around 31% are ambivalent.
According to another study by the University of Chicago, the career with the highest rate of job satisfaction in 2017 was the clergy, at 87.2%, followed by firefighters at 80.1% and physical therapists at 78.1%. On the other end of the scale are roofers, waiters, and non-construction laborers, all with job satisfaction rates under 30%.
Software Engineering Job Satisfaction
So where do software engineers and other programming-related occupations fall on that spectrum? Well, different surveys say different things. A recent one conducted by CareerBliss and reported by Forbes ranked three different software and coding related jobs on their list of top 10 most satisfying careers of 2017, including technical lead, network administrator, and .NET developer. The previous year included even more software jobs on the list, such as full stack developer, senior JAVA developer, software quality assurance engineer, and more. Similar lists tend to include at least a couple of software and tech jobs as well.
Those are for very specific jobs in and related to software engineering and programming, though. What about the field as a whole? Well, a survey by PayScale found software engineers’ job satisfaction rate to be around 57% – just slightly less than the national average.
Choosing a Career in Software Engineering
So the position in the industry you are filling is important, but what else should you consider? Another important factor is what company you work for. For instance, Google routinely tops lists of the best places to work in the U.S., not just in the tech field, but in general. Apple, Facebook, Adobe, and other tech companies tend to rank highly as well.
These companies demand a lot of their employees, but reward them when they meet those demands, and treat them well in the meantime. Finally, you need to decide if working at home is important to you. We have written previously about the benefits of working from home. You should ask about remote working before you accept a new job if it is important to you. Remote work is still not the norm for most IT organizations despite the positive data supporting its benefits.
In the end, it all comes down to you. If you feel like you would be a good fit for this type of career, then you can earn a fair amount of money doing it, and have a pretty fulfilling life. Surge prides itself in supporting the software developer so that they can balance their life, yet still find meaningful, lucrative employment as a software developer.
Author: John Davenport