Am I underpaid?

Bloomberg pwsS52
Sep 3 46 Comments

I have been offered 120k CHF as base salary in Google Zurich. SWE-SRE, L3, 3 years of experience. Is that normal?

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TOP 46 Comments
  • Google burnItDown
    First of all, congratulations. This is the standard L3 base. They start from 110k and go till 130-135k in Zurich for L3.

    Don’t listen to people comparing it with the US base because the tax on your base will be ~15% including social security and unemployment tax. Yup, that low.

    I used to work there, and now moved to US and I used to save more in Zurich because of the low taxes and rents compared to the bay.

    Also, since you’re SWE-SRE, you will have on call bonus which roughly is 15-20% of your base salary every year, on top of regular performance bonus. So the way I look at it, your 120k is more like 140k.

    You can negotiate for more GSU. Standard offer is 70k USD but you can go higher if your HC scores are good! I’d say push for at least 100-120k.
    Sep 3 8
    • Google burnItDown
      Yeah don’t sweat it!
      It’s a good offer. Very comfortable living by Swiss standards.

      When I was single, I lived 15 min away from the office and was spending 1500 on rent, 1000 on eating outside and groceries and clothes, 500 for extensive travel. Net 3000 a month for a very generous lifestyle.

      With 120k, you’ll get around 7.5k post tax every month, paid over 13 instalments (two times monthly salary in December!) and save around 4.5k every month easy.

      That gives about 4.5 * 12 + 7.5 (13th salary) = 60k approx just from base salary.

      Also note that certain places have much lower tax (Zug, Thalwil, Kilchberg, Ruschlikon etc) and you’d save about 3-5k a year more in tax than the calculations above.
      Sep 3
    • Bloomberg pwsS52
      OP
      Thank you very much for your help and all the information you have given to me :-)
      Sep 3
    • Do you know if Google Zurich does 401k-matching? Because that's a free 9k TC in the US.
      Sep 3
    • Google / Eng fsck
      No. They will contribute a fixed percentage of salary to your swiss pillar 2 retirement fund, even more than legally prescribed minimum, but regardless of how much you will choose to contribute yourself
      Sep 3
    • Google burnItDown
      Google’s pension fund contribution is 8.5% of your annual salary (base + target bonus which is 15% of base). And there’s no cap on this like 401k which maxes out.

      So at 120k base, the target bonus is 18k, and Google’s retirement fund contribution is 8.5% of 138k which is 11.75k.

      You can also contribute up to 8.5% of your salary towards this so you’d save up to 23.5k a year.

      Since there is no limit, your yearly savings only go up as you stay longer.
      Sep 3
  • Kaspersky Lab / HR
    mayfair

    Kaspersky Lab HR

    PRE
    Heineken
    mayfairmore
    If those are CHF it’s above the medium at the market, and about the same to what Swiss banks pay, but Google pays around 150.

    If those are USD, it’s very low
    Sep 3 15
    • Google / Eng fsck
      Over 4 years of course, but there will be yearly refreshers of maybe 20-30k each year depending on performance, again each vesting over 4 years

      Google Zurich pays top of the market for Europe, you won't find better TC for same level elsewhere in Europe, besides maybe some elite hedge funds. FB London might come close. But better yet just get offers from US.
      Sep 3
    • Booking.com / Eng vjsrybkifs
      Amsterdam and Dublin pays well.
      Sep 3
    • Google / Eng fsck
      Less than Zurich and mo taxes
      Sep 3
    • Salesforce lfxL61
      Yes, they offered 66k for L3 SE-SRE in Dublin (plus 70k stock). And tax is ~40% in Dublin!
      Sep 3
    • Booking.com / Eng andyv
      A friend joined Stripe with 110k base and TC 185k in Dublin. L4.
      Sep 9
  • New KuqP64
    Congratulations! It seems a standard offer. Maybe you can raise the stocks + sign on.

    Do you mind if I ask how was the team matching process? How long it took?

    I’m trying to find teams for SWE in Zurich but my recruiter said there isn’t headcount now. So I’m really surprised you got an offer!
    Sep 3 4
  • Roku cruella
    Low
    Sep 3 1
    • Bloomberg pwsS52
      OP
      What is the average you know?
      Sep 3
  • Bloomberg / Eng F.U. money
    Goodness, junior, how do you not know how to calculate TC... Congrats on the offer. How much were you making at Bloomberg?
    Sep 3 0
  • Google / Eng fsck
    Pretty standard for L3 here. Maybe a bit on the low side, base could go higher to like 130k or so but not much more for L3
    Sep 3 0
  • Booking.com / Eng vjsrybkifs
    That's the standard offer for L3. I was offered that in the beginning. After some negotiation, they offered 130k CHF. However, as other are saying, what's the total compensation including RSUs? That's what matters.
    Sep 3 4
    • Booking.com / Eng vjsrybkifs
      My role is SWE though
      Sep 3
    • What was your TC at L3 though? And are you in Zurich? I heard that there the base is higher but the equity lower.
      Sep 3
    • Booking.com / Eng vjsrybkifs
      Yes, Zurich. 190k TC
      Sep 3
    • Do you have any advice how to get into Google Zurich?

      And how did you end up at Booking.com, and why?
      Sep 3
  • Google Cantor
    Base is irrelevant. Only the total matters given the equity is as liquid as cash almost.
    Sep 3 4
    • Bloomberg pwsS52
      OP
      What other information do we need to know to learn wether it is low or normal?
      Sep 3
    • Google Cantor
      Equity and bonus target. All 3 is TC.
      Sep 3
    • Google Cantor
      And sign on can also make a difference if you need up front cash
      Sep 3
    • Bloomberg pwsS52
      OP
      Do you mean stock and bonus?
      Sep 3
  • Synopsys rebellion
    Best way to find out test the market
    Sep 3 0
  • Uber / Eng
    ABT5

    Uber Eng

    PRE
    Uber
    ABT5more
    If you have no other offers, just take it and work 20 hours a week. You won’t get promoted but it’s unlikely they’d fire you.
    Sep 3 0