Occupational Employment Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2003

15-1032 Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software

Research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.

National estimates for this occupation
Industry profile for this occupation
State profile for this occupation
Metropolitan area profile for this occupation

National estimates for this occupation: Top

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for this occupation:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
285,760 2.4 % $37.69 $78,400 0.7 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $23.02 $29.07 $36.65 $44.80 $54.84
Annual Wage (2) $47,870 $60,460 $76,240 $93,190 $114,070

Industry profile for this occupation: Top

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Employment rank Wage rank
Computer systems design and related services 77,110 $38.19 $79,420 1 22
Software publishers 19,130 $38.61 $80,310 2 19
Wired telecommunications carriers 16,490 $34.27 $71,280 3 64
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg. 16,070 $40.62 $84,480 4 8
Scientific research and development services 14,310 $43.18 $89,810 5 3

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Employment rank Wage rank
Securities and commodity exchanges (6) $45.19 $94,000 (6) 1
Motion picture and video industries (6) $43.40 $90,270 (6) 2
Scientific research and development services 14,310 $43.18 $89,810 5 3
Electrical equipment manufacturing 270 $42.80 $89,030 51 4
Employment services 3,800 $42.13 $87,630 17 5

State profile for this occupation: Top

States with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation:

State Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of State employment Wage rank within State
Maryland 13,340 $39.34 $81,820 0.546% 34
Virginia 18,040 $37.36 $77,710 0.531% 39
Massachusetts 15,700 $40.77 $84,810 0.495% 36
Colorado 9,120 $37.80 $78,620 0.432% 34
Washington 10,650 $38.99 $81,100 0.416% 42

Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of State employment Wage rank within State
New Jersey 12,900 $44.06 $91,650 0.333% 35
California 50,240 $42.32 $88,020 0.346% 36
District of Columbia (6) $40.85 $84,970 (6) 35
Massachusetts 15,700 $40.77 $84,810 0.495% 36
New Hampshire 1,120 $40.75 $84,750 0.185% 21

Metropolitan area profile for this occupation: Top

Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation:

MSA Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of MSA employment
San Jose, CA PMSA 14,300 $46.69 $97,110 1.629%
Pittsfield, MA MSA 590 $34.43 $71,620 1.411%
Colorado Springs, CO MSA 2,560 $37.80 $78,630 1.100%
Lowell, MA-NH PMSA 1,160 $40.70 $84,650 0.933%
Boulder-Longmont, CO PMSA 1,360 $40.63 $84,500 0.878%

Top paying Metropolitan areas for this occupation:

MSA Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of MSA employment
Modesto, CA MSA (6) $89.36 $185,870 (6)
Danbury, CT PMSA 200 $63.47 $132,020 0.225%
Missoula, MT MSA (6) $54.65 $113,670 (6)
Newark, NJ PMSA 2,670 $50.60 $105,250 0.276%
San Jose, CA PMSA 14,300 $46.69 $97,110 1.629%

About May 2003 National, State, and Metropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

To see profiles of other occupations, select from the major groups below:

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas in every State and the District of Columbia. The top five employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable Excel files(XLS).

Percentile wage estimates show the percentage of workers in an occupation that earn less than a given wage and the percentage that earn more. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate—50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

(6) Estimates not released.

All Computer and Mathematical Science Occupations

2003 May National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

2003 May State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

2003 May Metropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

2003 May National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

List of Occupations in SOC Code Number Order

List of Occupations in Alphabetical Order

Download May 2003 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates in Zipped Excel files

Technical notes

Last Modified Date: May 7, 2004

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