Software engineering is an in-demand and lucrative career in Nigeria. With the rapid growth of the technology and startup ecosystem in the country, skilled software engineers can command high salaries.
However, pay can vary significantly depending on factors like education, experience, skills, company, and location.
This comprehensive guide will provide detailed insight into the salary landscape for software engineers in Nigeria.
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How Much Does a Software Engineer Make in Nigeria?
Here is an overview of How Much Are Software Engineers Paid in Nigeria below:
Software engineering is one of the top-paying careers in Nigeria. According to Payscale, the average annual salary for a software engineer in Nigeria is ₦5,500,000.
- The average monthly salary for a software engineer is approximately ₦458,333.
- Salaries range from ₦2,500,000 per year for entry-level engineers to ₦12,000,000 per year for highly experienced senior engineers.
- The median salary is ₦5,000,000 meaning half of software engineers earn less than this and half earn more.
Factors That Contribute to Software Engineers wide salary range include:
Before a software engineer can earn a high salary you need to understand some of the key factors below:
Having a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering or a related field is the typical entry-level education for software engineers in Nigeria.
However, those with a master’s degree tend to earn higher salaries. According to Payscale, software engineers with an MSc earn 29% more than those with just a BSc degree.
Certifications can also boost software engineering salaries. Some of the most valuable certs include PMP, CSSD, CISM, CISSP, CCNA, AWS, and Scrum Master.
These prove specialized expertise and allow engineers to qualify for senior and leadership roles demanding higher pay.
Programming Languages & Frameworks
Experience with in-demand and complex programming languages and frameworks like React, Node.js, Python, Java, and C++ tends to attract higher salaries.
Pay is also influenced by knowledge of niche and legacy languages needed for certain applications.
Software engineers with specialized skills in data science, machine learning, cybersecurity, blockchain, AI, IoT, AR/VR, and mobile development are highly sought after and rewarded with higher pay in Nigeria.
Years of Experience
As expected, salaries rise with increasing years of professional experience in software development and engineering.
Typically, each year of experience can be worth a 5-10% bump in salary, especially in the early and mid-career stages.
Company & Industry
The company you work for and the industry it operates in impact salaries too. Startups tend to pay less while tech companies, fintech firms, banks, and oil/gas companies tend to pay the top rates for software engineering talent in Nigeria.
Location matters as well. Software engineer salaries tend to be higher in major urban tech hubs like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt compared to smaller cities.
Overall the potential to earn a high salary as a software engineer in Nigeria is very strong, especially for those with in-demand skills and experience.
The highest-paid software engineers can earn salaries comparable to developed countries, while even entry-level engineers can earn salaries well above average.
Software Engineers Salary Breakdown in Nigeria
To break it down further, here are some salary benchmarks for software engineers at different experience levels in Nigeria:
Entry Level Software Engineer (0-2 years experience)
- Average Annual Salary: ₦2,500,000 – ₦3,500,000
- Average Monthly Salary: ₦208,333 – ₦291,667
Recent graduates just starting out as software engineers can expect to earn in the range of ₦250,000 – ₦400,000 monthly.
With 1-3 years of experience under their belt, salaries typically rise to ₦300,000 – ₦500,000 monthly.
Some entry-level software engineers sign contracts with lower salaries but higher equity in startups. The trade-off is betting on the company’s growth for bigger payouts down the road.
Mid-Level Software Engineer (3-6 years experience)
- Average Annual Salary: ₦4,000,000 – ₦6,000,000
- Average Monthly Salary: ₦333,333 – ₦500,000
After gaining 3-5 years of experience, software engineers in Nigeria earn ₦400,000 – ₦650,000 per month on average.
Salaries exceeding ₦500,000 monthly are common among engineers with specialized skills or prestigious certifications.
At the 5+ year mark, monthly salaries typically rise to ₦500,000 – ₦750,000. Some mid-career engineers may plateau at this level unless they upskill or pursue promotions to senior roles.
Senior Software Engineer (>6 years experience)
- Average Annual Salary: ₦6,000,000 – ₦9,000,000
- Average Monthly Salary: ₦500,000 – ₦750,000
The most experienced software engineers with over 5 years of experience can earn ₦600,000 – ₦1,000,000 monthly in Nigeria.
Those in leadership roles like Principal Engineer, Engineering Manager, Staff Engineer, and Director of Engineering can make upwards of ₦1,000,000 – ₦1,500,000 per month.
Getting to the senior level requires demonstrating technical expertise, and leadership skills, and delivering major projects. Pursuing management track roles to lead teams also boosts earning potential significantly.
This breakdown of software engineer salaries by experience level provides a guide for both job seekers and employers.
The key takeaway is that Nigerian software engineers have strong earning potential from entry-level through senior positions.
With the technology industry poised for massive growth and needing to attract talent, high pay will remain the norm to retain skilled engineers.
Companies that want to be competitive have to offer salaries on par with top-paying tech firms and banks.
We’ve explored the overall average salaries, but pay can deviate based on specific skills like machine learning.