Hundreds of Microsoft employees are using a private Facebook group and Google spreadsheet to display their salaries to their colleagues, according to a new Medium OneZero posting. This offers yet another crowdsourced look into how much Microsoft, one of the biggest technology companies in the world, pays its staffers.
All salaries vary depending on experience, skills, and other factors. In addition, many employees have unique signing bonuses and stock-option milestones, which can radically boost annual take-home pay. According to Medium, the “typical employee” submitting their salary info was a Level 62 software engineer with an average Microsoft tenure of three years; their base annual salary is $150,000, along with a $20,000 bonus and $15,000 in stock.
According to levels.fyi, which anonymously crowdsources salary data from various tech companies, the average Microsoft software engineer at level 62 earns a total of $182,158 per year: $137,737 in salary, $26,158 in stock, and a bonus of $18,263. That’s somewhat off from what the employees’ Google spreadsheet reported, but not wildly so. It’s worth noting that the spreadsheet contained 400 names (Microsoft employs nearly 150,000 people) while levels.fyi featured 147 people self-reporting level 62 compensation data; sample sizes that relatively small can sometimes skew calculations.
If you consider level 62 more of a “mid-level” position, then that levels.fyi salary for the role is a slight bump up from entry-level Microsoft engineers; according to levels.fyi, those at SDE II (basically, those with some years of experience under their belts and/or some graduate-school experience) earn $130,287 as a base salary, supplemented with a $16,824 average signing bonus and stock totaling $25,902.
As engineers climb through Microsoft’s ranks, Medium found, the proportion of stock-based compensation increases significantly, even as cash bonuses stay relatively level. “Employees have also told OneZero that a fairly common tactic is to leave Microsoft to work at another Seattle company like Amazon, or even a startup, to then jump to a higher level when returning to Microsoft,” Medium reported. “While the data does not track Microsoft recidivism, there is a trend of people with lower Microsoft experience having skipped into higher-level roles.”
Microsoft’s salaries, stock, and bonuses are often more generous than what you find at other stalwarts of tech such as IBM and Oracle (although, yet again, that also hinges on seniority and specialization). We used levels.fyi data to assemble the following chart, which breaks down compensation for mid-level enterprise software engineers. Take a look:
Every company is radically different (firms such as Salesforce tend to provide generous bonuses and stock options in addition to base salary, while others, notably Oracle and Workday, are paltrier when it comes to bonuses); when confronted with multiple job offers, it’s always up to software engineers to evaluate which kinds of compensation packages work best for them. Don’t forget that many companies are also amenable to giving non-monetary perks and benefits (such as boosted vacation time or flexible hours) if they’re not willing to provide a salary or stock boost. With tech-industry unemployment at record lows, the best talent now has some leverage for negotiation.