Salesforce Entry-Level Software Engineer Salary: Sky High?

When Salesforce was founded in 1999, few companies had cloud religion; the idea of replacing on-premises IT infrastructure with cloud-based applications hadn’t yet taken hold. Twenty years later, companies have embraced the cloud for everything from customer relationship management (CRM) to applications, and Salesforce has grown huge as a result.

But for entry-level software engineers, a company’s large size doesn’t necessarily translate into a massive paycheck. While some large firms such as Google and Apple pay out generous annual salaries, bonuses, and stock options to their newbie engineers, others (such as IBM) pay considerably lower. How does Salesforce match up?

Pretty good, if you go by the crowdsourced data presented by levels.fyi. According to that site, an associate MTS (Member of Technical Staff) can earn an average salary of $117,889, coupled with stock options worth $19,667 per year, and a bonus of $11,778. One level higher, a “basic” MTS pulls down $137,125, along with annual stock options worth roughly $23,708, and a bonus of around $15,375.

Compare those Salesforce salaries to those at Google, where new software engineers at the L3 level (roughly equivalent to Salesforce’s MTS) average salaries of $124,009, with annual stock options of $42,660 and a bonus of $21,417. 

Salesforce pay is also comparable to what’s offered at Microsoft’s lowest SDE level: $105,747 in average annual salary, $28,650 in stock, and a bonus of $21,378.

Meanwhile, Glassdoor estimates (based on self-reported data) MTS salaries at $127,538 per year, with cash bonuses of $12,740 and stock bonuses of $13,237. That aligns with the data presented by levels.fyi.  

Here’s a chart breaking down how Salesforce entry-level software engineer salaries match up against the rest of the industry:

These salary levels certainly make sense; given the crunch for talent (the tech industry’s unemployment rate is at 1.3 percent, the lowest since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started measuring occupation-level employment data), the biggest of the big tech companies need to pay generously—and roughly on the same level as their rivals—in order to secure promising software engineers.

Meanwhile, Salesforce seems to be pivoting in a more data-centric direction, at least based on its recent acquisitions. The company recently dropped $15.7 billion on Tableau, which specializes in data analytics and visualization. It’s easy to assume that Salesforce will integrate Tableau’s offerings into its existing product line, allowing customers to analyze cloud databases, visualize spreadsheets, and generally manipulate business data.

If you’re a just-graduated software engineer, in other words, learn everything you can about data analytics if you want to work for Salesforce. That’s clearly going to drive a big part of the company’s strategy going forward.

Editor’s Note: The original version of this article stated that Tableau was acquired for $1.57 billion, not the (accurate) $15.7 billion. We apologize for accidentally moving the decimal on this mega-mega-deal!

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