What Microsoft Pays Software Engineers, Designers, Other Roles

Like many of the other tech giants, Microsoft is making some adjustments in the face of economic uncertainty. Last month, Bloomberg reported on the company’s plans to cut back its open jobs; that followed a hiring slowdown in its Office and Windows divisions.

Even as it tweaks hiring, however, Microsoft is focused on retaining its current workforce. In May, CEO Satya Nadella announced in an internal email that merit-based salary increases and stock-based compensation will rise. “The most meaningful increases will be focused where the market demands and on early to mid-career levels,” he wrote. “We are also increasing Annual Stock ranges by at least 25 percent for all levels 67 and below.” 

Given those competing factors—the need to curb budgets, balanced against the equally important need to retain technologists—how much is Microsoft actually paying its people? For an answer, we can turn to levels.fyi, which crowdsources compensation data from multiple technology companies. A slight note of caution: crowdsourcing isn’t always the most scientific way of determining salaries. That being said, the levels.fyi compensation ranges generally tend to align with those presented by other sources, such as Glassdoor.

Let’s focus on entry-level positions at Microsoft, specifically software engineers (SDE), product designers, product managers, and SDE leads:

If you’re curious about how much all Microsoft employees make, you might soon have the opportunity to get that information straight from the source: In June, the company promised greater pay transparency (in addition to the elimination of noncompete clauses for most employees). “Today we’re announcing another best practice with our commitment to publicly disclose salary ranges in all of our internal and external job postings across the U.S., beginning no later than January 2023,” the company wrote in a corporate blog posting.

Of course, salaries can differ between employees in the same role, depending on all kinds of factors such as tenure and individual negotiations. However much an individual technologist gets paid at Microsoft, one thing is clear: the company pays on par with other tech giants such as Google and Amazon. It needs to, if it wants to retain that talent.