What salary can you earn as a software engineer in London?

As one of the world’s largest corporate headquarters, there is an abundance of software engineering jobs in London.

The global shortage of talent within the IT sector is a significant factor to consider when looking for your next career move. Businesses are faced with difficult vacancies to fill and consequently are offering more lucrative packages to the right candidates.

For individuals with the ability to obtain certain security clearances, the opportunity is even greater. As technology continues to advance, so does the risk of cyber attacks. In fact, over 80 per cent of UK businesses fell victim to a cyber attack between 2021 and 2022, according to CompariTech’s UK Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Statistics report.

Many businesses deal with highly classified information that only security cleared professionals can access. As such, your ability to hold specific clearances will set you apart from the majority of other software engineers in the job search.



What is the average salary for software engineer jobs in London?

According to data from levels.fyi, the average software engineer salary in London is just under £92,000 per annum, with the most common reported earnings sitting between £65,000 and £95,000 a year.

The average figure for London is approximately £12,000 higher than that of the UK as a whole, which comes in at just above £80,000 per year. This difference is significant and is largely based on two factors.

Firstly, London is one of the world’s leading corporate hubs, with thousands of global companies choosing to place their base of operations there. Secondly, the ever-increasing cost of living in the capital means that professionals in most fields are paid more than peers based elsewhere.



What is the highest you can earn in London as a software engineer?

Using data from Glassdoor, it’s clear to see that software engineer roles receive significant pay rises based on experience. Those fresh to the role can expect a salary of roughly £35,000 in their first year as entry-level professionals. 

Once established as a mainline software engineer, with one to three years of experience, experts in London see their compensation increase to an average of £67,000 per year.

Once you have garnered several years of experience in the field, promotions to roles such as software engineer manager and principal software engineer will see your salary sit comfortably above £100,000 per annum.



What skills can affect the salary of a software engineer?

The best way to increase your salary as a security cleared software engineer is by upskilling to earn promotions and prove that you have what it takes to fill more senior positions. This means learning key hard skills, some of which include:

  • Programming languages
  • Operating systems
  • Data structure and algorithms
  • Networking
  • Software development lifecycle
  • Database management systems

In addition to these, keep your eye on popular trends or languages and make the effort to learn them. In doing so, senior leaders will recognise your ambition and take more notice of your work.



What other factors affect the salary of a software engineer in London?

The average salary of a software engineer in London may well be around £92,000, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be offered that figure. There are plenty of aspects that must be weighed up when it comes to a final number. 



Like any role, your compensation as a security cleared software engineer will largely depend on how much previous experience you have in the field. However, as mentioned, even as a new professional starting in the industry, your salary will rise fairly quickly. 

It’s worth noting that if you’ve worked in other security cleared areas before, you will likely have multiple transferable skills that are highly desired by employers.




A large organisation is typically going to offer higher salaries than a startup business. This is useful for candidates searching for a London-based position, as the capital city is home to many of the world’s more expansive organisations.

Additionally, the industry in which a company operates can heavily influence the amount of money it pays employees. Tech firms like Google, LinkedIn and Amazon, for example, are known to pay their software engineers higher-than-average salaries.




Although a software engineer role doesn’t explicitly require an academic certification, your chances of landing a role will certainly improve if you have a qualification to prove your skills.

An apprenticeship, bachelor’s degree or graduate training programme are all valuable assets. After landing your first job as a software engineer, you can boost your chances of being promoted by constantly seeking out new education opportunities and obtaining certifications relevant to your field.

Browse our latest range of software engineer jobs in London to kickstart your search.