Software Engineer Salary
The public perception seems to be that software engineer get paid a six figure salary, even one hundred K. Whereas in reality it’s actually far higher than that. A lot of you guys were surprised when I said that junior entry level software engineers get paid 200k at fake companies. And they do really do by mid-career after three or four years. Software engineers are doing 300k own salary. By senior they’re doing about 400k. My last software engineer job over at Facebook was paying 500k. And if you include the sign on bonus, it was like a 600k income for just one year of work. Software engineers get paid a lot. And I want to explain for you how you two can achieve these levels of income because there are some tricks involved.
First of all, you need to realize that there are two factors at play here. Number one is which company you work for. And number two is where you do it. The cream of the crop companies where you will be able to get salaries like this is Silicon Valley top tier tech companies. We’re talking about Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, maybe Microsoft in Silicon Valley because geography really matters.
The fact is, most of the world doesn’t view software engineering as a white collar job. It’s more like a blue collar, low class type of labor.
Level 3 software developer jobs
My brother was working 120K salary programming job in the Silicon Valley. He moved to Japan because he wanted to be there. And then he had to put up with like a 60 cage up over there. And I’ve heard stories like this over and over again. So that’s the first thing. Geography, if you’re a software engineer, I recommend checking out Silicon Valley, maybe just Figure address on your resume and see if you can apply and what type of offers you may be getting. And you actually get something interesting.
Take a flight over and do the interview and just move over because Silicon Valley just pays better. The entire coacher, their respect around the profession of software engineering is just at a higher level. Not the other factor is which company you’re working at. And you really have to take a look at these top tier tech companies.
Software engineer jobs and career in big Companies
It’s like most companies are paying some amount, pretty average, above average. On the other hand, you look at Facebook, Google is like much higher than that. There are many number of reasons for this. One is these top tier tech companies, they can just afford to pay more because they’re making so much money and they have their pick. Of course, you have to be extremely qualified. I think a lot of the numbers you generally hear by software engineers make it 75K to 80K, maybe 100k. Those are usually code that from, say, base salary amounts from people working in startups where the equity is worthless or from smaller software engineering firms around the country, which is pretty common.
Now, Silicon Valley may be the most concentrated area for high paying tech jobs. But there’s also other areas like Seattle, L.A., New York, Switzerland pays pretty much. Now, if you’re living anywhere else, I might recommend looking into these global top tier tech companies because they still would generally pay higher because they have that culture of respect for software developer jobs.
Different levels of software engineers
Software engineers, they’re generally categorized into levels from level two to nine.
Software engineers Level 2 & 3
Level two is like software engineering interns. They may get paid 85K or so and they only work three months or so. You really start in that level three, which is entry level software engineers. A standard package may look like a hundred tank base salary plus fifteen percent performance bonus plus another one hundred fifty takes stock over four years and then maybe another 50K and some bonus, which brings out the total compensation in the first year to about 200K. And that’s not even odd because you also get equity refreshers.
Software developers’ equity refresher
The way refreshers work is when you sign onto a company, usually get stuck over four years, but after four years, all of that stock just does offer just nothing left and then you just quit the company. So in order to retain people, companies will usually continue to offer you about one fourth of your stock every year. So after the first year, I usually get another one fourth of your stock and so on. Also your income just builds such that by the time you get to your second or third year, you’re actually pulling in like 250 came. Even by that time, you may also just get promoted to level four.
Level 4 (entry level software engineer jobs)
Software engineer job of Level 4 is also called entry level software developer jobs. Level 4 is considered a solid individual contributor, somebody who doesn’t need any handholding and who can just take on tasks, start to finish completely on their own. This is mid-level, probably at the broadest range, maybe 70 percent or so of software engineers. I hear a standard package may look like a 150K base salary, 320K stock over four years, 15 percent bonus and then another 50K signing bonus or so, which rounds out the package to about 300K income with the equity refreshers.
After a few years you could be get into 350 K and you may notice that this is a huge jump from level three to level four. It’s like 100k difference. That’s why a lot of software engineers are self-motivated to get promoted as why they push themselves to work hard. I think it’s overall a great system where you really give people like a carrot that’s worth chasing after instead of just saying, well, yeah, if you work really hard, you get like a five percent raise, 15 percent raise. Like this is actually something sizable that people would really go after.
Level 5 (senior level software engineers)
From there you go to Senior level, which is L5 at Google or E5 at Facebook. This is sometimes considered the terminal level. You really don’t need to put yourself much further than that. Many people just at the senior level for many years. It’s a sweet spot. You have a decent amount of responsibility, lead small teams. You generally have learned to multiply your impact beyond yourself. A standard compensation package is one LDK based 20 percent bonus target 500 can stock returns home equity refreshers. But then a signing bonus and you’re looking for 100K to 450K in total comp.
Level 6 (software engineers’ managers)
Level 6 is where I was at Staff, software engineer. You really need an excellent opportunity for this, sometimes opportunities just don’t exist. You just can’t make enough impact. Generally, though, you need to be leading teams of people to complete projects that have impacts, that are delivering results that impact the company’s bottom line. You’re responsible for coordinating the success of a project cross team collaboration and coding, while it is still important, begins to take a bit of a backseat. People may do it, say, 20 to 30 percent, their time only or even less.
I know some Level six engineers, they barely even coding anymore. Most of the time they’re just writing design docs. They’re still responsible for understanding the technical design, then architecture and implementation of a project. They’re not necessarily a people manager, but they do a lot more delegation. A typical salary here is 220K base salary, 20 percent bonus, a million, stock over four years and 75K signed on in some equity refreshers.
Level 7 & 8 (distinguished software engineers)
You’re looking at 500K to 600K total comp. When you get to level seven or eight. These are usually distinguished software engineers, well respected in their industry is well known. I’ve met a few of them myself and they’re generally impressive all around great technical skills and communication skills. So I hope that rundown gave you an idea of what it takes to succeed in software engineering. It’s not just all about coding. In fact, coding ability pretty much peaks at about level four. The effort that is really about multiplying your impact, leading people, mentoring cross team collaboration, take down the initiative, leading projects to success. This doesn’t even include all the other person benefits you might get like far one K matching health insurance, medical, dental vision, computer equipment, free food, parties and offices and best of all, free coffee.
Okay, so let’s take a step back. I remember when I used to be running my own apps and websites, I would think that software engineers are making 100k. If I could only be one hundred K, then I would be good and I’d be happy. And that served me well for a few years until I realized later on when I got into Google that most engineers there are making 200K, if not way more than that.
Software engineers lifestyle
The last thing I want to know is I think a lot of us are focusing too much on salary and what we’re really choosing as a lifestyle, because no matter how much you’re getting paid, if you’re working in the company, no matter if you’re a junior, mid-level senior staff or the CEO, you’re all living a very similar lifestyle. You live in the same city, eating the same food, going to the same bathrooms, drinking the same coffee, going to the same company events, living in the same city, working in the same office, under the same working conditions for the same 8 to 12 hours a day that you may be there. And the higher paid people are actually working even harder, maybe they just have a nicer car or a nicer house or family vacations.
Everybody can afford nice things. Anybody can go buy a push. Everyone can go out to nice restaurants. Everyone can take nice vacations. Taxes eat up half their salaries.
Software Engineers Insurance
Everybody is still change to their jobs for health insurance because health insurance is so ridiculously expensive in our country that if you decide to quit, you’ll just be paying through the nose for some pretty poor week coverage. Retirement is just pretty difficult in this country. The funny thing is, any additional income you make, it may not even be for yourself, right? It may just go into your house, which you pass on to your kids and into your kids. Kids who would just squander over in Vegas. So that’s a funny thing. A lot of us are busy working away our lives in our 9:00 to 5:00 jobs to save up to buy a bigger house, which is just going to be passed on to somebody who we don’t even know.
My piece of advice here is to just remember to enjoy that journey. Pick a lifestyle that you enjoy. Don’t work yourself to death over a job. It’s not all about the money because that game of chasing money, it’s always going to be there. There’s no end. Even today, I continue. Chase it, so now do for me over, I just hope I inspired you to continue applying to these top tier tech companies. I think it’s going to be a worthwhile move, especially for software engineers to think a little bit about your lifestyle and to enjoy your journey.