Just need to say: US has ridiculously high average salaries for software engineers relative to elsewhere, it’s not just a case of adjusting for living costs.
UK (London): fresh out of college developer, £25k (if really lucky 30k). Mid level £45-55k ish? That’s London, and with a premium for living costs included* (outside London, take 5-10k off). On current exchange rate that’s around $30k start going to around $70k. They’re very good wages, relative to the average wage! But they aren’t crazy wages (by comparison, averages for solicitors, averages hit £50k [$60k] with only two years experience)
I cannot stress enough that US salaries seem unbelievably high. I guess a combination of things. Wages are higher in the US anyway for certain high-skill jobs, and software engineering sits alongside those. FAANG wages seem to be distorting the averages as well? The top companies are making staggering amounts of cash. So then salary becomes an arms race – they definitely index compensation against each other. Plus free money pouring in from venture capital, the sums being burnt are jaw dropping. It looks (from outside the US) like a bubble.
There also seems to be a trend of wages depressing for developer skills taught in bootcamps as more graduates flood the market. Plus a move to more remote working would definitely depress the averages.
* so highest cost of living in the UK, 28th in this list, not at all far off most of the US cities ranked above. So to take Seattle, that’s equivalent cost of living but about half the compensation
Not to be too much a wet blanket, software engineering pays very well and will continue to do so for a long while