What Is a Staff Software Engineer?

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If you are thinking of pursuing a career in software engineering, you may be wondering what the different types of software engineer positions are. One position that you may have heard of but aren’t quite sure about is the staff software engineer.

So, what is a staff software engineer? What do they do? Keep reading to learn more about the role of a staff software engineer and what you can expect if you decide to pursue this career path.

What Is a Staff Software Engineer? 

A staff software engineer is an experienced and skilled software engineer who works in a relatively senior position on a development team. The term is often used interchangeably with a senior software engineer, but in some companies, they may be considered as more senior than this.

The duty of a staff engineer includes mentoring and managing other developers, while also developing, maintaining, and repairing the software code for the company’s products.

Staff software engineers usually have a higher level of education and experience than junior software engineers. They are also typically paid more due to their greater skills and knowledge. Staff engineers may also have managerial duties, such as mentoring and overseeing the work of junior software engineers.

What do They do?

In most cases, a staff software engineer is responsible for working on projects from start to finish, mentoring junior engineers, and implementing the instructions for their project from their senior engineer. They also work on debugging code, researching new technology, and writing documentation.

A staff software engineer is responsible for developing, designing, and implementing software applications. They also work with teams to ensure that all projects are completed on time and meet customer requirements. In addition, staff engineers often mentor junior software engineers and help them grow in their careers.

Staff engineers also need to be very good at communication. They need to effectively communicate with their team, customers, and senior management.

Difference Between Staff Software Engineer and a Regular Software Engineer

The main difference between a staff software engineer and a regular software engineer is the level of experience and responsibility. Staff engineers usually have more years of experience, are better educated, and have a higher skill level. In some cases, they act as the leader of a project team.

A regular software engineer may have less experience, be in the early stages of their career, and have less skill. They are typically responsible for completing tasks under the supervision of a staff software engineer or other senior management.

How to Become a Staff Engineer?

In order to become a staff software engineer, you will need to have a college degree in computer science or a related field. You will also need several years of experience as a junior software engineer. In addition, most companies require their staff engineers to be proficient in multiple programming languages and frameworks.

Apart from the academic qualities,  staff engineers must have excellent problem-solving skills and work independently. They should also be able to effectively communicate with others to get their projects completed on time and within budget.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a staff software engineer, you must begin working at the junior level and develop the skills and experience needed for this role. You should also be prepared to work long hours and put in the extra effort to learn new technology and programming languages.

In short,  a staff software engineer is a more skilled and experienced version of the software engineer who needs to perform some extra duties along with writing codes.

How Much a Staff Engineer Earns?

The role of a staff software engineer is an excellent choice for those who want a career in software engineering that offers advancement opportunities, competitive pay, and job stability.

Staff software engineers typically earn around $145,000 per year as per payscale.com. However, the salary for this position can vary depending on your skillset, experience, and the company you work for.


Becoming a staff software engineer is no easy task. It requires many years of hard work and dedication. However, the end result is a very rewarding career with excellent pay and job stability. The future looks bright for those who have what it takes to become a staff software engineer.