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Salaries for Software Engineers are On FIRE!

Salaries for Software Engineers are on FIRE!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, Iโ€™ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

Disclosure: This post might contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, Iโ€™ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

In my post “Your Plan to Achieve Financial Independence“, I provided some options for Software Engineers to increase their income. Out of the available options, I believe that the best one on a risk-adjust basis is to transition to a company that highly compensates them.

Today, salaries for Software Engineers are on FIRE! The typical example is FAANGM (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google, Microsoft), but this is just a subset of these companies. Many people would be very surprised to hear that total compensation for new grads can be as high as $150k-$200k (including salary, stock and bonus), and that it can grow to $300-$400k within ~6-10 years (Senior Engineers) and to $500-$700k within ~15-20 years (Principal/Staff Engineers). In this post I want to provide some more insights to these numbers.

Computer programming is pretty much guaranteed income. I’m good at it, and I like it.

Andy Weir

Compensation data from http://levels.fyi

Corporate compensation data is a very well kept secret in the industry. Companies do not share their compensation ranges and employees do not typically publish their own salaries. So, it is very difficult to compare compensation data between different companies.

Levels.fyi is a website that allows employees to provide their compensation data anonymously. So far (end of 2019), ~17k people from multiple companies have done so. This data includes salary, stock, and bonuses. In this post I’ll be showing some of the data from that website.

Level comparison

One complication that makes it difficult to compare data from different companies is the fact that each company has its own levels and titles. Fortunately, Levels.fyi provides a tool that provides a visual comparison for each level. The tool is interactive and shown below.

Compensation

In this section I’ve included compensation data for Software Engineers working in Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Uber, Lyft and Airbnb. For each company, there are 2 graphs:

  1. Left graph: Shows the total compensation for each level, as well as the split into base salary, stock and bonus
  2. Right graph: Shows the variance in compensation for each level

You can find the same graphs for the companies below, as well as additional companies at the “Charts” page in Levels.fyi.

Facebook

Google

Amazon

Apple

Microsoft

LinkedIn

Uber

Lyft

Airbnb

Companies Paying more than $300k For Senior Software Engineers

Using the data from http://levels.fyi, we can create a list of companies that pay more than $300k for Senior Software Engineers. This list appeared first in the TeamBlind forum.

CompanyLevelCompensation
PinterestL5498k
SlackG05470k
Adobe5.5455k
NetflixSenior454k
AirbnbL5444k
LinkedInStaff429k
SplunkP4425k
LyftT5421k
StripeL3421k
TeslaP4407k
SnapL4402k
Two SigmaL4399k
RubrikL5370k
FacebookE5365k
Uber5a364k
DatabricksL5360k
WorkdayP5353k
GoogleL5350k
DropboxIC3342k
SquareL6335k
ClouderaIC4332k
VMWareStaff 2332k
CiscoTL2331k
TwitterL6325k
ZillowP5323k
TableauSenior321k
DocusignP5320k
AppleICT4312k
AmazonL6308k
DoordashE5305k
InstacartSenior303k
NvidiaIC5302k
QualtricsL5302k
RokuLevel 4300-450k

One noteworthy absence from the above list is Microsoft. Indeed, in order for Microsoft employees to reach $300k of total compensation, they need to reach the Principal band, i.e. level 65 or even 66.

Top Pay by Levels in 2019

Levels.fyi has also shared a report showing the top 5 highest-paying employers for each level in 2019. Compensation figures that follow reflect median total yearly compensation including salary, stock, and bonuses.

Entry-Level Engineer (I): 0-2 years of experience

Salaries for Software Engineers are on FIRE! - 0-2 years of experience

Engineer (II): 2-5 years of experience

Salaries for Software Engineers are on FIRE! - 2-5 years of experience

Senior Engineer (III): 5+ years of experience

Salaries for Software Engineers are on FIRE! - 5+ years of experience

Staff Engineer (IV): 10+ years of experience

Salaries for Software Engineers are on FIRE! - 10+ years of experience

Principal Engineer (V): 15+ years of experience

Salaries for Software Engineers are on FIRE! - 15+ years of experience

Compensation data for Software Engineering Managers, Product Managers and Technical Program Managers

In most companies, the compensation for Software Engineering Managers is approximately equal to that for Software Engineers in the same level. The relative compensations for the other ladders depends on each company. As you go down the list with the roles for each company, there is 5-10% decrease in total compensation, assuming same level and same performance (e.g. the total compensation for a Technical Program Manager at Google is 5-10% higher than the total compensation of a Program Manager at Google).

  1. Amazon
    1. Software Development Manager and Software Engineer
    2. Technical Program Manager and Product Manager – Technical
    3. Product Manager
    4. Product Marketing Manager
  2. Google
    1. Technical Lead Manager, Engineering Manager, Software Engineer
    2. Product Manager
    3. Technical Program Manager
    4. Program Manager
    5. Product Marketing Manager
  3. Facebook
    1. Engineering Manager
    2. Software Engineer
    3. Product Manager
    4. Technical Program Manager
    5. Product Marketing Manager
  4. Microsoft
    1. Engineering Manager
    2. Software Engineer and Program Manager
    3. Product Marketing Manager

Additional information

Interview preparation guides

If you are interested in switching to a higher-paying role, then you will find lots of great information in the following interview preparation guides:

Are you interested in more detailed data? Search the levels.fyi database directly!

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2 Comments

  1. Where does solutions architect/sales engineer and technical account manager roles rank compared to the the compensation data you listed?

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