In this guide, we’ll share the most relevant salary resources for developers in Saudi Arabia. We will also provide data regarding actionable salary ranges for every career level.
Average salary for Software Engineering jobs in Saudi Arabia
Let’s start by looking at the overall average for software engineering jobs in Saudi Arabia.
This data is easy to find. In fact, if you search in Google, you’ll find countless resources claiming to know the average salary of software engineers in Saudi Arabia. Let’s look at some examples.
Glassdoor says the average yearly base salary of a Software Engineer in Saudi Arabia is SAR 120K.
Payscale says the average yearly base salary of a Software Engineer in Saudi Arabia is SAR 113K.
So, we can safely assume the average base salary of a Software Engineer in Saudi Arabia to be around SAR 115K.
This is for all experience levels, so we can assume averages for new grads to be lower while more experienced engineers will earn a bit more.
Average Salary of Software Engineers Company wise
Here we are providing the salary of software engineers based on their experience and company.
Keep in mind that not all of these include bonuses and stock incentives.
We won’t provide specifics about every data point, but they should all be for software development roles or similar (e.g. backend, front-end, dev ops, iOS/Android, ML, data science etc).
We’ll provide links, so we highly recommend checking them out for more details.
Levels.fyi has tech salary data for the whole world. The amount of Saudi Arabia data is limited, but it can be a great resource for big companies like Google.
It’s one of the few sites that break down compensation by base salary, stock, and bonus. It should help you get a feel for the ranges at top-paying companies in Saudi Arabia.
Search for Saudi Arabia (or Riyadh) to filter the data. Here are some data points for Saudi Arabia:
|Company||Job / Years of Experience||Salary|
|Сodelab||Full stack Developer with 4 years of experience||SAR 300K|
|Aramco||Full stack Developer with 7 years of experience||SAR 264K|
|BAE Systems||Web Development with 14 years of experience||SAR 259K|
|IBM||Developer with 5 years of experience||SAR 168K|
Salary ranges by level for Software Engineers in Saudi Arabia
There are a lot of factors that affect salaries. We’ll try to cover a few of them and then give what we think is a “good” salary for each experience level.
Already being in Saudi Arabia will give you a leg up because more companies will be willing to talk to you. And of course the more relevant programming experience you have the better.
A degree in a related field like Computer Science will also help.
Also, foreign companies will usually pay more than domestic companies on the whole (though there are exceptions). And while this isn’t specific to Saudi Arabia, soft skills like being able to sell yourself and knowing how to negotiate your salary can also make a big difference.
Given all of the above caveats, here’s what we think software developers should aim for in terms of salary.
Salary Range: Junior Software Engineers in Saudi Arabia
The estimated salary for a Junior Software Engineer with is SAR 8K per month and can go up to SAR 12K per month in the Riyadh area.
Even 1 year of coding experience can increase your market value a lot, so we wouldn’t recommend taking a job for less than ~SAR 8K per month.
Salary Range: Mid-career Software Engineers in Saudi Arabia
A person working as a Software Engineer in Saudi Arabia typically earns around SAR 10K per month as base pay, with an additional pay ranging from SAR 3.1K to 43K. Additional pay could include cash bonus, commission, tips, and profit sharing.
Again, outlier companies can pay more, but most positions at decent companies will pay somewhere in this range.
Salary Range: Senior Software Engineers in Saudi Arabia
Let’s define “senior” as 6+ years of experience.
The estimated base pay for a Senior Software Engineer is SAR 15,338 per month in the Riyadh area. The estimated additional pay is can go up to SAR 13,440 per month. Additional pay could include cash bonus, commission, tips, and profit sharing.
But if you have exceptional tech skills, the sky’s the limit. Especially now with the rise of remote work, there are more opportunities than ever.
Salaries are trending up
It’s clear that the demand for Software Engineers has never been higher, and the gap between supply and demand is forecast to keep growing for at least the next decade or so. It stands to reason that this will continue to translate to higher salaries as companies become more and more desperate for engineering talent.
More companies are adopting modern development practices and moving away from the traditional methods of outsourcing. That means they’re hiring developers directly and building out dev teams. They’re taking software development seriously instead of trying to outsource them as cheaply as possible.
The need for skilled developers is clear, and the developer community in Saudi Arabia is expanding as a result.
Do all companies pay in these ranges?
We’ll be honest with you…
No. They don’t.
In this guide, our focus is on modern companies in Saudi Arabia, because those are the companies we recommend.
Saudi Arabia’s tech industry is evolving, and there are still legacy companies that don’t value software. So no, some of them don’t pay nearly this well.
Our advice? avoid these companies, and focus on the resources I’ve shared in this guide.
That way, you can target the modern segment of the industry and avoid joining a company with poor work conditions. There are hundreds — if not thousands — of modern companies hiring developers in Saudi Arabia. So ignore the companies giving you low-ball offers, and use the ranges I shared above as your guide.
Do your own research
Have you educated yourself about companies in Saudi Arabia and followed the best practices for finding a job here and still can’t find anything but low-ball offers?
Well, then it might not be a good idea to come to Saudi Arabia just yet. There are thousands of domestic companies here (many of which don’t offer an environment most foreign developers would enjoy).
So if you send enough applications you’ll probably get an offer from one if you drop your standards enough. But I’d advise joining a company under those circumstances.
Here’s a rule of thumb: if a company can’t pay at least SAR 115K per year, it should be avoided.
Because as we’ve established, that’s the average salary of a Software Engineer in Saudi Arabia. Go below this value and the chances of a company not respecting their engineers goes up sharply.
So do the chances of using outdated technologies, not gaining transferable skills, having to work lots of overtime and all the other negative things associated with IT in Saudi Arabia.
If you want to come to Saudi Arabia, no matter what and you’re willing to do what’s necessary to improve your situation once you arrive, this might be a valid stepping stone.
But we recommend that most people avoid companies that low-ball them. It’s usually better to stay in your home country and gain some more experience and try again in a year or two.
Bottom line: Saudi Arabia is a valid option
It’s possible to find a high-paying job in Saudi Arabia as a software Engineer.
It requires diligent research and you have to choose a good company that pays market rates for software Engineer, but it’s possible.
It may be true that not every software engineering job will be fulfilling or high-paying, but that doesn’t matter.
You only need one.