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Technical Program Manager Salary: A Comprehensive Guide

Technical Program Manager Salary: A Comprehensive Guide

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The journey of a Technical Program Manager (TPM) from an entry-level position to a senior role is marked by significant growth, not just in responsibilities but also in compensation. In this post, we will explore the various aspects of a Technical Program Manager salary, from the average pay to the more nuanced aspects of compensation packages.

Technical Program Manager salary: The TPM role

The Technical Program Manager Role

Before diving into the numbers, it’s crucial to understand what a TPM does. A Technical Program Manager is often the linchpin in technology projects, ensuring that complex, multi-faceted programs are delivered efficiently and effectively. They straddle the line between the technical and managerial realms, requiring a unique blend of skills that includes technical acumen, project management prowess, and the ability to navigate the intricacies of organizational dynamics.

For more information you can look at my post What Does A Technical Program Manager (TPM) Do? A Practical Guide

Components of a Technical Program Manager Salary

Components of a Technical Program Manager Salary

When discussing TPM salaries, it’s not just about the base salary. Compensation typically comprises several elements:

  • Base Salary: The foundational income that a TPM earns, usually provided in monthly or bi-monthly installments.
  • Stock Options (RSUs): Many tech companies offer Restricted Stock Units as part of the compensation, which vest over a period, aligning the TPM’s interests with the company’s performance.
  • Sign-on Bonus: An upfront sum to entice the TPM to join the company, which sometimes comes with strings attached, such as staying with the company for a minimum period.
  • Additional Cash Compensation: This can include bonuses, profit-sharing, or other cash incentives based on individual or company performance.
Technical Program Manager salary: Salary negotiations

The Importance of Salary Negotiations

When it comes to technical program manager salary negotiations, it’s not just about the base salary. TPMs should consider the entire compensation package, including stock options, sign-on bonuses, and other benefits like health insurance. For those in senior roles, such as a senior project manager or a senior technical program manager, understanding the nuances of stock options and the average additional cash compensation can be key to maximizing their total compensation.

Negotiating your salary is an art. The initial offer does not have to be the final one. It’s about understanding your worth and the market rate for your skills and experience. The Senior Technical Program Manager salary has a wide range in most companies, so it’s your task to get an offer that is higher than the median salary and close to the upper limit of that range.

Here are some strategies:

  • Know Your Value: Research the average salary and total compensation for TPMs with your level of experience and in your location.
  • Understand the Offer: Break down the total compensation package and understand how each component contributes to your overall earnings.
  • Competing Offers: If you have job offers from other companies, you can leverage them in your negotiations.
  • Be Prepared to Walk Away: If the offer doesn’t meet your expectations or undervalues your worth, be prepared to decline.
Technical Program Manager Salary: Key factors

Key Factors That Influence The Technical Program Manager Salary

Several factors can significantly influence a TPM’s salary:

  • Location: Geographical location plays a significant role. Tech hubs like San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City often offer higher salaries due to the cost of living and the concentration of tech companies.
  • Years of Experience: While the number of years you’ve been in the field matters, the type and scale of problems you’ve solved carry more weight.
  • Technical and Program Management Expertise: Your background as a TPM, developer, or product manager, and the transferability of your experience to TPM roles, can affect your salary.
  • Domain Knowledge: Specialized knowledge in high-demand areas can command a premium salary.
  • Previous Tech Company Employment: Experience at top tech companies or successful startups can lead to higher salary offers.
  • Company Type: Product-based companies, especially those beyond the startup phase, tend to offer more competitive salaries.


The geography of a Technical Program Manager’s workplace significantly impacts their salary. In tech epicenters like Silicon Valley, New York, and Seattle, the demand for TPMs drives salaries well above the national average. These regions are home to industry giants and startups alike, both competing for top talent, which inflates the overall compensation packages. However, it’s not just about the higher cost of living in these areas; it’s also about the concentration of innovation and the opportunities available. TPMs in these hotspots often manage projects with global reach, further justifying the premium on their paychecks.

Years of Experience

Experience is a currency in the realm of Technical Program Management. Entry-level TPMs, perhaps with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or business administration,  might start with a base salary that reflects the foundational teams – people they will work with, but as they accumulate years of experience, particularly in managing complex projects and leading teams, their value increases.  

As they gain experience, perhaps moving from a junior Technical Program Manager to a full-time senior position, their salary range will expand.  Senior Technical Program Managers, who bring a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record of success, command higher salaries. The average Technical Program Manager salary at this stage can vary, but with a few years under their belt, they can expect to see a significant increase. The correlation between years of experience and salary is not linear but exponential, as seasoned TPMs are often tasked with strategic roles that directly influence a company’s trajectory.

Technical and Program Management Expertise

A TPM’s technical expertise is a bedrock of their role, and their depth of knowledge can greatly affect their earning potential. Those who possess a strong background in software development, for example, can bridge the gap between engineering teams and management more effectively. Similarly, expertise in program management methodologies, certifications, and a demonstrated ability to lead cross-functional initiatives can set a TPM apart in salary negotiations. Companies value TPMs who can not only speak the language of engineers but also translate it into actionable plans that align with business goals.

A TPM with a global strategic plan, working across different time zones and catering to different businesses, may find their salary package includes additional considerations for the complexity of their role. For instance, a TPM in the tech industry might have a salary that reflects the innovative nature of their work.

Domain Knowledge

Specialization is key for TPMs. TPMs with domain-specific knowledge, such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, or cloud services, often find themselves in a position to negotiate higher salaries. As technology continues to advance, companies are willing to pay a premium for TPMs who can navigate the complexities of cutting-edge fields and drive innovation within those domains. This expertise not only commands a higher base salary but can also lead to more significant bonuses and stock option packages. The years of experience a Senior Program Manager has, coupled with their expertise in specific areas like information security or platform infrastructure engineering, can lead to a higher average total compensation.

Previous Tech Company Employment

The pedigree of having worked with well-known tech companies can act as a leverage point for TPMs in salary discussions. Innovative companies in the United States provide a Technical Program Manager salary range that is very close to that of a Software Engineer. TPMs who have experience in technical projects at recognized firms like Google, Facebook, or Amazon are often perceived as more valuable. This perception is due to the rigorous selection processes and high-performance standards at these companies, which are thought to prepare TPMs for high-stakes environments. As a result, TPMs with this background may see their salary offers starting at a higher base compared to their peers.

Company Type

The type of company a TPM works for can greatly influence their salary. Product-based tech companies, especially those with a strong market presence or innovative edge, tend to offer more competitive salaries than service-based firms and have a higher average Program Manager salary. The compensation package usually includes a base pay range plus bonuses tied to performance. This is due to the direct impact TPMs have on the development and delivery of products that are central to the company’s revenue and growth. Additionally, companies in their growth phase or with significant funding can offer higher salaries to attract the talent needed to scale their operations effectively.

In big tech companies, the competition for top talent often leads to higher average salaries and more generous stock option packages. However, TPMs should not only look at job postings in a software company. There are other sectors, such as the defense industry or real estate industry, that also have unique compensation structures. For example, a TPM at a defense technology company might have a salary that reflects the advanced technology and military capabilities they manage. Meanwhile, a TPM in the real estate industry might find their compensation tied to the success of new construction projects or building energy assessments.

Technical Program Manager Salary: Company-Specific Salaries for Technical Program Managers

Company-Specific Salaries for Technical Program Managers

Now, let’s take a closer look at what Technical Program Managers can earn at some of the leading tech companies. These companies are renowned for their competitive compensation packages and their innovative and dynamic work environments.

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. They base their numbers on real offers, so they provide the most up-to-date and accurate ranges. This data includes salary, stock, and bonuses. I’ll be showing some of the data from that website.

In this section, I’ve included compensation data for Technical Program Managers working at:

  • Facebook
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Uber
  • LinkedIn

For each company, there are 3 types of data:

  1. Average compensation by level split into base, stock, and bonus
  2. Trajectory chart with the total average compensation for each level
  3. Variance in compensation for each level

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

Facebook (Meta)

At Facebook, now Meta, TPMs are well-compensated, with salaries that reflect the company’s leading role in social media and technology. The total compensation package includes a base salary, stock options, and sometimes, a significant sign-on bonus. The company’s forward-thinking approach to technology projects means that TPMs often work on cutting-edge initiatives, which can be a strong incentive in itself.

Level NameTotalBaseStock (/yr)Bonus
IC8$ —$ —$ —$ —
IC9$ —$ —$ —$ —
Source: Levels.fyi
Technical Program Manager salary: Facebook


Apple offers a competitive salary for TPMs, with a focus on innovation and product development. The compensation package often includes stock options, which can be quite valuable given Apple’s market performance. Additionally, Apple provides a comprehensive benefits package that enhances the overall compensation for its TPMs.

Level NameTotalBaseStock (/yr)Bonus
ICT2 Junior TPM$164K$125K$27K$12K
ICT3 TPM$198K$152K$36K$10K
ICT4 Senior TPM$283K$199K$65K$19K
ICT6$ —$ —$ —$ —
Source: Levels.fyi
Technical Program Manager salary: Apple


At Amazon, a Technical Program Manager’s salary is competitive, reflecting the company’s status as a global e-commerce and cloud computing leader. TPMs here can expect a base salary that is bolstered by a robust stock plan, which can significantly increase total compensation over time. Amazon’s compensation package also typically includes a signing bonus, which is distributed over two years to incentivize long-term retention.

Level NameTotalBaseStock (/yr)Bonus
TPM I L4$150K$119K$20K$11K
TPM II L5$188K$152K$25K$10K
TPM III L6$291K$181K$101K$9K
Principal TPM L7$447K$226K$165K$57K
Senior Principal TPM L8$ —$ —$ —$ —
Source: Levels.fyi
Technical Program Manager salary: Amazon


Google, known for its innovative culture and cutting-edge technology, offers TPMs not just a competitive salary but also an impressive array of benefits. The base salary is just the starting point; stock options and performance bonuses can substantially increase a TPM’s take-home pay. Google also emphasizes work-life balance and personal development, which, while not directly financial, contribute to the overall value of working there.

Level NameTotalBaseStock (/yr)Bonus
L3 TPM II$180K$126K$35K$20K
L4 TPM III$255K$154K$76K$26K
L5 Senior TPM$321K$188K$103K$30K
L6 Staff TPM$410K$213K$152K$45K
L7 Senior Staff TPM$548K$247K$232K$69K
L8 Principal TPM$872K$317K$438K$117K
Source: Levels.fyi
Technical Program Manager salary: Google


Microsoft’s compensation for Technical Program Managers is structured to reward experience and impact. The base salary is complemented by bonuses and stock awards, which are reflective of the company’s performance and the individual’s contribution to it. Microsoft is known for its strong emphasis on career development, which can lead to salary growth as TPMs advance within the company.

Level NameTotalBaseStock (/yr)Bonus
Technical Program Manager I59$150K$115K$19K$16K
Technical Program Manager II61$172K$137K$18K$17K
Senior Technical Program Manager63$231K$171K$36K$25K
Principal Technical Program Manager65$309K$204K$59K$44K
Partner68$ —$ —$ —$ —
Source: Levels.fyi
Technical Program Manager salary: Microsoft


Uber’s approach to TPM compensation is competitive, aiming to attract talent that can thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. Salaries at Uber are market-responsive, with bonuses and equity making up a significant portion of the total compensation. TPMs at Uber are at the forefront of innovation in the transportation and delivery sectors, which can be a rewarding experience beyond the financial aspects.

Level NameTotalBaseStock (/yr)Bonus
TPM I L3$ —$ —$ —$ —
TPM II L4$171K$136K$20K$15K
Senior TPM I L5a$ —$ —$ —$ —
Senior TPM II L5b$519K$222K$252K$44K
Staff TPM L6$ —$ —$ —$ —
Principal TPM L7$ —$ —$ —$ —
L8$ —$ —$ —$ —
Source: Levels. fyi
Technical Program Manager salary: Uber


LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, offers TPMs a salary that is on par with the top tech companies. The compensation structure includes a base salary, discretionary bonuses, and stock options. LinkedIn’s culture of fostering professional growth also means that TPMs have ample opportunity for career advancement, which can lead to salary increases.

Level NameTotalBaseStock (/yr)Bonus
TPM$ —$ —$ —$ —
Senior TPM$259K$199K$50K$10K
Staff TPM$424K$233K$155K$36K
Senior Staff TPM$ —$ —$ —$ —
Principal Staff TPM$ —$ —$ —$ —
Source: Levels.fyi
Technical Program Manager salary: LinkedIn

Technical Program Manager Salary Comparison: Who Pays More?

The following matrix includes comparative data for all companies and levels in one place.

Junior TPM$156K$164K$150K$180K$150K (L59)
$167K (L60)
TPM$215K$198K$188K$255K$172K (L61)
$193K (L62)
$ —$ —
Senior TPM$335K$283K$291K$321K$231K (L63)
$266K (L64)
Staff TPM$390K$411K$447K$410K$309K (L65)
$390K (L66)
$504K (L67)
$ —$424K
Senior Staff TPM$668K$ —$ —$548K$ —$ —
Principal Staff TPM$ —$872K$ —$ —
Technical Program Manager Salary: Conclusion


The Technical Program Manager salary consists of various components: base pay range, stock options, bonuses, and other benefits.  Your compensation should reflect the breadth of your role. As you step into negotiations or consider a new job offer, remember that your experience, from your first year to your current role, is a valuable asset. Armed with market research, a clear understanding of different levels of compensation, and a passion for technology, you can navigate the tech program manager salary landscape with confidence.

About Me

I am an engineer with 15+ years in the tech industry, including roles at Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. I've been a Software Engineer, Product Manager, and Technical Program Manager. I also have an MBA from Kellogg School of Management with Majors in Finance and Marketing.

What drives me? A passion for empowering engineers to achieve Financial Independence and Retire Early (FIRE). I reached FIRE, when I turned 40 years old. Whether it's through personal finance strategies or career insights, I'm here to guide you on this path. Have questions or need advice? Feel free to reach out!

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