A running analysis of software engineer compensation over time. I attempt to keep this continuously updated by triangulating publicly available information, firsthand information, and credible insider tips.

2021

  • Microsoft: Crowdsourced compensation data shows entry-level engineers earning $132k on average, with senior engineers starting at $217k. Seniors at Microsoft earn up to about $300k, although this is rare compared to other big tech companies.
  • Google/Amazon: Expect around $300k total compensation with 5 years experience. Might rise to about $450k at 10 years.

2020

  • Microsoft: crowdsourced data suggests entry level engineers (lvl 59) have a total compensation around $125k. This is a tad below total comp at Google/Facebook where at least $150k for new grads has been the norm for a few years now.

2018

  • Facebook: Median pay at Facebook as $240k/year according to the WSJ, which is skewed low because it includes all employees, not just software engineers.
  • At some more middle-of-the-pack companies and startups, entry level total comp for new grads is still around the $65-85k level it has been for a few years now.

2017

  • Google/Facebook/Amazon: total comp for new grads is about $130k.
  • A single data point, but an anonymous unicorn alum with 2yrs experience shared some offers:
    • Google/Dropbox/Airbnb/Lyft/Facebook: at least $205-215k total comp ($140-$170 base)
  • Google: Mid-level engineers with 4-5 years experience can expect $300-350k total compensation (about 50% base, and the rest as stock, bonus, and sign-on bonus). For 2-3yrs, its closer to the low 200s range.

2015

  • Google: Mid-level engineers with 4-5 years experience can expect $300k total compensation (about 50% base, and the rest as stock, bonus, and sign-on bonus).

2010

  • Microsoft & Amazon: A new grad would get a base offer between $82-95k with total compensation around $95k-115k through bonuses and stock-based awards.
  • Many companies benchmarked around the same (Google and Facebook a little higher), including some maybe-less-well-known companies competing against big tech.
  • I knew of many companies also making offers around the $50-65k base level, confirming that the industry is very bi-modal. This includes defense contractors and mid-size companies where software isn’t the heart of the company.

2008

  • Joel Spolsky complains that Google and Facebook are driving new grad offers to around the 6 figure range.

2006

  • Microsoft: Leaked official salary table puts starting salary for level 59 entry level engineer at $75k. Total comp is probably 15% higher (~$86k) accounting for stock and bonus.
    • Midpoint salary for a senior engineer (L63) is about $109k, although its harder to estimate total comp from this alone.