Microsoft Software Engineer Salaries Go Sky-High with Experience

How much do software engineers make at Microsoft? A new analysis suggests the median pay package is quite generous. 

Business Insider recently pulled compensation data from “leaked salary spreadsheets and visa applications.” Of the 600 employees who self-identified as software engineers, those in entry-level positions earned a median compensation package of $132,900, while top earners pulled down $500,000 per year. The median for all engineers was $185,000 per year. 

How do Business Insider’s numbers match up against other sources? According to levels.fyi, which crowdsources salary data for a number of tech companies, the average salary for an entry-level software engineer at Microsoft is $110,981, with stock grants of $28,942 and a bonus of $17,231—for an annual total of $157,154.

Software engineers in the upper tiers at Microsoft (e.g., at level 67) can make $229,333 in annual salary, on top of stock worth roughly $202,952 and a bonus of $76,905 (for a total of $509,190, aligning nicely with Business Insider’s numbers). Keep in mind that the size of the crowd providing data to levels.fyi can swing rapidly; for example, more than 500 entry-level engineers offered up their compensation data, while only 30 engineers at level 67 did so.

What technical skills do you actually need to land a software engineering job at Microsoft? According to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, the following tech skills pop up most often in Microsoft’s job postings:

That Azure would top this list should come as no surprise, given the cloud platform’s importance to Microsoft’s external strategy and internal operations. If you’re totally new to Azure, start by checking out Microsoft Learn, which offers a variety of self-paced labs and lessons in Azure and other Microsoft technologies. For jobs that demand Azure-related certifications, you can study for Microsoft’s certification exams, which can cost $165 each. 

As you can see from the list, Microsoft also wants a variety of other tech skills, including SQLPython, Java, and JavaScript. Mastering these skills, of course, can help you unlock higher compensation—whether you’re applying for a position at Microsoft or another company.