Amazon Software Engineer Salary, Compensation & Benefits (2022)
How much is an Amazon software engineer salary, and what are the benefits of working as one? We explore this and more in this article.
6 min read
19 Jun, 2022
Amazon is one of the most valuable companies globally, employing over one million full-time and part-time staff. Although it started out as an e-commerce platform, it has since branched out into technological products, particularly Amazon Web Services, which powers numerous companies globally.
Amazon’s success is thanks to its software engineers, the people working behind the scenes to ensure the company runs smoothly.
But what can you expect to get paid as a software engineer at Amazon, and what is the benefits package like? Let's dive into it.
Benefits of Working as a Software Engineer at Amazon
Software engineering is one of the most in-demand skills globally. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for software developers is expected to grow 22% between 2020 and 2030. This figure is higher than the projections for other occupations.
Evidently, software developers are in high demand, which could improve their ability to secure great jobs with excellent benefits. However, what is the benefit of choosing to work at Amazon over numerous tech companies? This section shares some insights.
Amazon provides a host of healthcare benefits for its employees, covering dental care, eye care, mental health treatments, and critical illnesses. The company also partners with Progyny to provide infertility treatment coverage.
Amazon employees are insured for a broad range of situations. For example, the company provides short and long-term disability insurance to staff members working over 30 hours weekly. This is at no cost to the worker. Employees also get life, accidental death, and dismemberment insurance, while they could also get pet and home insurance.
Pregnancy and Parental Leave
Employees who have or adopt children often need time to get used to the change, and Amazon considers that. Subject to certain conditions, Amazon employees could get up to 14 weeks of paid leave for pregnant workers and six weeks of parental leave. There’s also a plan to ease workers who just had a child back into the workplace over eight weeks.
Restricted Stock Units
Tech companies have been offering employees a chance to own a part of the company for a long time now. With these arrangements, employees who stay with a company for a certain period could make significant financial gains. Amazon also offers workers who work more than 30 hours a week a chance to own part of the company.
It’s important to point out that benefits offered to employees could vary based on their specific contracts and even location. Therefore, endeavor to check with your recruiter to understand the benefits available to you.
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Amazon Software Engineer Levels
Anyone who understands how corporate organizations work knows a hierarchy governs many activities. This ranking helps them bring order to the organization and affects compensation.
In Amazon, software engineers fall into one of five categories – SDE I, SDE II, SDE III, Principal SDE, and Senior Principal SDE. SDE stands for Software Development Engineer.
We break down these classifications below.
SDE I, also known as software development engineer I, is an entry-level position and is reserved for candidates with less than three years of experience.
SDE II is the next level and is for software engineers with more than three years of experience but less than ten years of experience.
By SDE III, an employee is getting into senior roles. It is reserved for software engineers with between eight and ten years of experience.
Employees with 10 to 15 years of experience often become Principal SDEs. However, with research suggesting that most millennials and Gen Zs are likely to change jobs within three years, it’s easy to see why very few people who start as SDE I ever get to this level.
Very few people become Senior Principal SDEs because the job is so much harder.
Software Development Engineer Amazon Salary Explained
Amazon’s software development engineer salaries comprise some of the highest in the technology industry. Typically, base salaries exist for each level. However, considering not all software engineers possess the same experience, the final compensation for each person may vary.
Additionally, salaries are made up of a base salary, bonuses, and restricted stock units. Restricted stock units are a major component of a software engineer Amazon salary, so we’ll explain how they work.
Startups usually give stock options to compensate for offering a lower salary than the industry average. By providing employees with these stock options, companies can get them to feel like co-owners. Of course, the number of shares each employee receives will depend on their level of experience, how desperate the organization is to get them, and often how well they can negotiate.
However, getting these stocks does not automatically translate to immediate value, as employees will often be unable to access them until after a specific period. This is called a vesting period and is put in place to ensure the company’s stock does not fall into the wrong hands.
For example, an employee could be given 8,000 shares in a company to be vested after four years. While the entire stock options will be available after four years, certain percentages could be available after specific milestones. Using our earlier example, 10% of the employee’s stock options could vest after a year. If vesting was subject to a one-year ‘cliff,’ an employee who leaves before a year will get nothing.
Now, let’s look at a software developer engineer Amazon salary for each level.
|Senior Principal SDE||$235k||$720k||$0k||$956k|
Senior Principal SDE
At this level, the Amazon software engineer salary is $820,000 in total compensation. The base compensation is $195,000, with stocks of $625,000. There is no bonus for senior principal SDE.
Can My Location Affect My Software Development Engineer Amazon Salary?
Salaries have often been affected by the local economic climate. Therefore, an Amazon software engineer living in San Francisco may earn more than one living in Phoenix even though they have similar experiences.
Below, we look at some locations, levels, and amounts earned as salary, stock, and bonus.
|SDE I||Seattle, WA||$122k||$20k||$18k||$161k|
|SDE I||Portland, OR||$119k||$24k||$12k||$155k|
|SDE II||Dallas, TX||$140k||$54k||$19k||$219k|
|SDE II||San Diego, CA||$151k||$60k||$16k||$227k|
|SDE III||San Diego, CA||$166k||$126k||$0k||$286k|
|Principal SDE||Seattle, WA||$177k||$381k||$19k||$578k|
|Principal SDE||San Francisco, CA||$204k||$415k||$52k||$672k|
How Does an Amazon Software Engineer Salary Compare With Other Tech Companies?
Naturally, you may want to know what other tech companies offer for the role you’re interviewing for. Consequently, we’ll compare an Amazon software development engineer salary with those at Netflix and Facebook.
Note that Netflix does not have as many levels as Facebook and Amazon. Therefore, we would be looking at a range of values rather than what an engineer makes at each level.
Entry-level Software Engineers
According to Levels.fyi, an entry-level software engineer at Netflix can earn a base salary of $217,000, which could rise to $239k,000 when bonuses and stock options are added. For Amazon, that is $165,000, while entry-level software engineers at Facebook could earn up to $184,000 in total compensation.
Senior Software Engineers
A senior software engineer at Amazon could earn a total of $591,000 compared to $386,000 and $200,000 at Facebook and Netflix, respectively. Remember that these salaries are estimates and could be higher or lower depending on numerous factors.
Salary Negotiation Is Important!
Getting a job as a software developer at Amazon is a dream for many people. In this section, we discuss some of the things you should know when interviewing for a software engineering role at Amazon.
The first is that you can always negotiate your salary. Many people, especially in entry-level roles, are not aware that they can negotiate their wages. However, you can do that in most companies, including Amazon. Regardless, the recruiter may not go above a specific point as each role will have a limit.