Is Microsoft compensation a joke? l63/ senior level

Amazon Qlch60
Jan 23, 2018 137 Comments

I'm about to start interviewing (shortlisting companies) and I have been looking at compensation for Microsoft and it seems sub par. I'm looking to interview at l63 and the salary estimates look lower than what I'm making currently. I'm making 230K+ currently while Microsoft pays 200K on avg for l63. Are the salary estimates incorrect. What am I missing? I'm hoping to move up to 275K at least.

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TOP 137 Comments
  • Amazon / Eng
    JustFOokIt

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Oracle
    JustFOokItmore
    MS can do 275ish for new hires
    Jan 23, 2018 6
    • Microsoft rgbffcc66
      Yes, for L63 is 155k+20+20.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      Isn't that 194k
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Microsoft SCORCH
      Is it? Or is it 195k? If only we knew spelling
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      My father will forever be disappointed by my math skill.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Amazon FriendZone
      How about for non tech roles @L63?
      Feb 22, 2018
  • Microsoft MsAnde
    Microsoft’s compensation is a joke period.
    Jan 23, 2018 9
    • Microsoft Gomandee
      And far more egalitarian then Microsoft... fewer entitled ass holes and less bureaucracy... happy I made the switch
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      @Gomandee Do you feel that Microsoft is less bureaucratic?
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Apple a1z2x3c4
      I am not sure if it’s true that Amazon always pays better than Microsoft. In the past, I have got offers from both the places at the same time and the compensation (TC) was not that different
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft Bing
      Amen
      Jan 26, 2018
    • Microsoft Bing
      Hahahahah MS is a total bureaucratic shit show. If you don’t follow the process you’re manager will be told and you won’t be until your annual review.
      Jan 26, 2018
  • Microsoft tDrK62
    I am lvl 63. If you are expecting 275k tc annually then you are dreaming. I make 197k total. I am trying to switch but it’s not easy.
    Jan 23, 2018 6
    • Snapchat / Eng
      Khali

      Snapchat Eng

      PRE
      PepsiCo
      BIO
      I'm Dic.
      Khalimore
      I was recently offered the following as 63 (but I destroyed the loop, had competing offers, and the interviewers loved me):
      165k base
      400k stock
      100k sign

      It's possible but they have to love you.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • eBay whitman
      Khali how did you prepare
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Snapchat / Eng
      Khali

      Snapchat Eng

      PRE
      PepsiCo
      BIO
      I'm Dic.
      Khalimore
      I generally don't prepare besides brushing up on some algos. I find that too much preparation is a detriment.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • eBay whitman
      Did you end up joining Snapchat?
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Snapchat / Eng
      Khali

      Snapchat Eng

      PRE
      PepsiCo
      BIO
      I'm Dic.
      Khalimore
      I joined Snapchat prior to receiving the offer. This offer was given to me in the last year. I've been at Snap for over 4. I'm looking to leave because I'm no longer confined in the financial prison that is Snap vesting.
      Jan 24, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng codeGuy
    You are ignoring the bonus and the stocks which is very significant in Ms contrary to AMZN
    Jan 23, 2018 5
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      I'm hoping I'm wrong. If they do go 275 or more it would be worth it.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Microsoft richardhea
      Target do 63 is laughable. Do not bother coming for anything below 66-67.
      🍆
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft onlythis
      Might be able to push it to 275 TC for l63 since you're a new hire. But for old dogs that's I think entry level principal, l65.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft Bing
      I don’t know what team in amazon you applied for but I was earning 170k total at MS. I just got an offer from Amazon for 320k. Cya MS
      Jan 26, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      That sounds like SDE3 compensation. I'm currently at SDE2 level.
      Jan 26, 2018
  • Microsoft talespin
    Add 50k for you wlb,401k, yearly bonuses
    Jan 23, 2018 8
    • Autodesk / Eng
      Lostbroken

      Autodesk Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      Lostbrokenmore
      What is wlb
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Autodesk / Eng
      Lostbroken

      Autodesk Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      Lostbrokenmore
      How much % is yearly bonus at Msft ?
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      wlb = work life balance
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft talespin
      Generally 15% if you perform ok
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Cruise Automation / Eng Cruising90
      Had a l63 offer in Bay Area, it was $230k.
      Jan 24, 2018
  • Microsoft kingkung
    I'm 62 and make over 200k TC. I'm surprised so many L63 are making less than me. Is this all SDE roles?
    Jan 24, 2018 6
    • Microsoft kingkung
      Yes in Seattle. Ive been L62 for less than 2 months. Been at MS since graduating college 3 years ago.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • New / Eng
      hiskyliu

      New Eng

      PRE
      Electronic Arts
      hiskyliumore
      I heard MS usually gave more RSUs to graduate hire. I am a new hire at L63 in Azure team. I was only gave 120k/4 stocks.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft mfpF03
      It is expected. There is a wide gap in compensation between top performers and the plebe at Microsoft. I know a couple 62 making more than the average 64 and even a 63 making more than the average 65 because they max out on bonuses and get substantial special awards.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft kingkung
      It's true that part of that 200k is SSA. Still, I don't consider myself an amazing performer.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft mfpF03
      You hierarchy certainly thinks that you are a top performer.
      Jan 24, 2018
  • Oracle Bvdhk
    You compare your TC with stock appreciation fucking noob
    You aren't worth 230k, that's not what amazon intended to pay you.

    Probably more like 180, which make Microsoft be a better offer.

    And if you include espp, 401k and co it is 20k more than amazon.

    Stop the greed
    Jan 23, 2018 6
    • Oracle Bvdhk
      After stock appreciation or with good bonus in the first year.

      I was a hiring manager at aws 4 months ago, you can't make an offer at 250 for sde 2 without going above the band
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      It's obvious that my TC includes the inflated stock price. And it does for every other SDE as well. I'm compared salaries with other SDE 2s and everyone is in the same range. L63 maps to SDE2 - SDE3 which should be around 250K which is the overlap band for Amazon.

      You call it greed I call it optimization.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng Chancey
      OP if you didn’t inflate your stock price, with your base what is your total comp in today’s dollars? I was told that if you are average at Amazon you get no bonus and no stock that year so you could be stuck with just $125k?
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      I've been getting new stock YOY. Without inflation I would have been around 190-200 TC.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng Chancey
      So average Joe level 63 is already higher than that if you include the salary, bonus, stock, 401k matching. Not even including the other benefits. I usually just use today’s stock price because you never know what will happen.
      Jan 24, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng
    Coc7

    Microsoft Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    Coc7more
    Op, make sure you can pass the L63 bar. Sounds like you haven’t interviewed yet.
    Jan 23, 2018 3
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      It would be hilarious if I'm not able to clear the bar after all my trash talk.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Microsoft Draco007
      It'll be easier for you to clear the bar if you're interviewing with a team you have experience with. Say if you work in RDS, then interview for Sql Azure. That way, you're a shoo in.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng
      DannyAm

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      DannyAmmore
      Hahaha! Yeah op! All that trash talk. Make sure you can pass the bar
      Jan 24, 2018
  • Microsoft Draco007
    Lol you don't come to Microsoft for the money. You come here for good WLB with above average salary. Although on teams like Azure, even WLB is shit
    Jan 23, 2018 3
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      I was planning on interviewing at Azure.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft Draco007
      Haha, well then you're out of luck bud. We have a few ex-Amazon sde guys on our team and they're not happy either. I personally am still here because of a few health issues but once that clears I'm out!
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng pCQG20
      Not true everywhere. Azure is a huge place with some really good spots that have good WLB
      Jan 24, 2018
  • Microsoft ObtQ04
    200k is less? What do u do with all the money? Which planet u live on ? Such threads make me sick.. people are becoming so much materialistic, money does not bring you happiness when will we awaken to this universal fact?
    Jan 23, 2018 2
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      It's all relative. I don't usually go for expensive things. I spend money on travel and shoes and I invest a lot. I like having money and I know the value of 200k. But I think I'm worth more than it currently.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Apple Bnhjk56
      $200k gets you nothing in Bay Area. A decent SFH in good school district runs $1.5-$2.5M
      Jan 23, 2018
  • Microsoft SiteLive
    As a top lvl 64 my total comp was 271k last year. This included base salary, stocks, cash award and even special stock award. Didn't included previous years stock vesting. And I was a lead in R&D. Sure if you add benefits its more generous (401k, ESPP and medical benefits are very generous) but 270k for a new hire at 63 seems too high to be true. This said WLB at Microsoft is very good.
    Jan 23, 2018 6
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      I don't think I'm bringing that much to the table.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft SiteLive
      My base was around $185k.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft SiteLive
      Btw I am no longer at msft. Took a jump and increased my comp by 40%.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft ToTheMoooo
      Nice. Where are you now?
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft SiteLive
      I can't say unfortunately as I have a key position that is easily recognizable.
      Jan 24, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng
    XGsa73

    Microsoft Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    XGsa73more
    I was l63 last year at msft my total comp was 200k (base 145k). Joined google at l4 few months ago total comp 310k (base 155k).
    If you have competing offers you can negociate the comp/level 63/64 are still in the same band after all.
    Jan 25, 2018 4
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      Google is my end game.
      Jan 25, 2018
    • Microsoft / Design 206wrkr
      Have you found that it is any more or less work / stress for the increase?
      Jan 26, 2018
    • Microsoft Draco007
      Yeah seems like an overall $100k comp diff between G and msft
      Jan 26, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng
      XGsa73

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      XGsa73more
      To 206wrkr: at the moment it's comparable stresswise.
      Jan 26, 2018
  • New / Eng
    hiskyliu

    New Eng

    PRE
    Electronic Arts
    hiskyliumore
    270k in Seattle for L63 is really high. New hire (L63) here: 151k + 40k/2 + 120k/4 + 0-30% yearly bonus. No negotiation.
    Jan 23, 2018 3
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      Did you have competitive offers though?
      Jan 23, 2018
    • New / Eng
      hiskyliu

      New Eng

      PRE
      Electronic Arts
      hiskyliumore
      Yes I have 3 other offers. I am actually not very good at negotiating. I got numbers from NVD and Oracle BMC after I accepted the oral offer from MS. When I asked HR to match, he said no, because I already accepted the oral offer. I still chose MS though Oracle's initial tc is 30k more per year.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      Negotiation is hard without data and/ or leverage. Your offer is still very good though so I won't really complain.
      Jan 23, 2018
  • Google / Eng
    NotAnHRSpy

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Uber, Microsoft
    NotAnHRSpymore
    200k salary or total comp? 200k salary for a L63 sounds way out of the norm. (Sounds right for TC)
    Jan 23, 2018 1
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      200k total comp seems low for L63 when the equivalent comp at Amazon would be 250k
      Jan 23, 2018
  • Snapchat / Eng Gosnap!
    OP is comparing his Amazon TC with appreciated stock with MS TC. Not gonna happen. With 125k base your target TC at amzn won’t be 230k
    Jan 23, 2018 12
    • Microsoft / Eng
      DannyAm

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      DannyAmmore
      At MSFT, your Level is set pre full-loop, but if you don’t meet the bar, then you either get offered L62 or a rejection (if we don’t have a headcount for L62 and/or believe you won’t make it to L63 soon).

      Sometimes it’s set before phone screen as well, if you apply for a Senior position, but certainly pre full loop.
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Oracle uzvB
      If you are close to SDE3 stay AMZN. Then you can be 65 at least in Microsoft. Microsoft senior is a joke. I wound say most l63 even cannot do SDE2 job in Amazon
      Jan 26, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      Are you supposed to request the level before interviewing. L65 seems more of upper SDE3 level. I'm basing this off levels.fyi
      Jan 26, 2018
    • Oracle uzvB
      Let me put this way, I know tons of l63, l64 to amazon as sde2, why you want that move to Microsoft? Get sde3 and stay for one year, then you can reach l65
      Jan 26, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      Hoping to change things up. Will try other companies as well.
      Jan 26, 2018
  • Microsoft BingLoc
    What’s your current level? You should ask for L65 if you are SDE3
    Jan 23, 2018 6
    • Amazon / Eng somecsdude
      If you were to stay at your team, how long do you think you need for a promo?
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      Should be within a year.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng somecsdude
      I would get that sde3 title. Then should be able to get a 330k+ offer on this market, if you do well in interviews and have competing offers etc.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      I haven't been having "fun" lately and was hoping for a change. But looks like finally and career wise staying put makes sense.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Microsoft Jeffbee
      L65 for someone with 6-7 years of exp is super hard. OP did his/ her research and is interviewing for the right level I would say.
      Jan 23, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng
    Coc7

    Microsoft Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    Coc7more
    $250k may be possible with large stock grant.
    $160k/$250k/$30k sign on.

    Typically L63 makes around $200-$220k.
    I am making $215k ish. Adding the 401k and other perks which is another $20k, totalling $235k ish.
    Jan 23, 2018 2
    • Facebook / Eng cevc12
      How many years it takes from Level 59 to 63 ?
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng
      DannyAm

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      DannyAmmore
      4-10 yrs. varies by org as well.

      4 = absolute superstar.
      Average is ~7 yrs.
      In Bing & Azure, average = 5 yrs.
      Jan 24, 2018
  • Microsoft Jeda0129
    Depends on team but 275K+ base at 63 seems impossible.
    Jan 23, 2018 5
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      Definitely not base. I'm looking at total comp. Base + stocks + bonus + sign on.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Microsoft Jeda0129
      What's your current base ?
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      ~125
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Autodesk / Eng
      Lostbroken

      Autodesk Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      Lostbrokenmore
      For level 63 how many years of workex is required ??
      Jan 24, 2018
    • Microsoft
      275 TC is definitely doable
      Jan 24, 2018
  • Microsoft ToTheMoooo
    Stay at Amazon then
    Jan 23, 2018 3
    • Amazon Qlch60
      OP
      Looks like it. Was hoping for something new and Microsoft is a pretty good company.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Oracle
      RealLarry

      Oracle

      PRE
      Amazon
      RealLarrymore
      If I was at Amazon (and I was earlier), Microsoft would come after FB, Google, Uber, Lyft, and numerous others.
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Microsoft M$FT100
      Before oracle for sure
      Jan 29, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng
    Ms67897

    Microsoft Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    Ms67897more
    It's possible for new hires. On average yes MS pays less at L63 but not for everyone.

    I am L63 and my current TC is about 245K. I'll be 64 this year which should push it higher.
    Jan 23, 2018 2
    • Microsoft ToTheMoooo
      What’s your base? If you don’t mind me asking
      Jan 23, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng
      Ms67897

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      Ms67897more
      161K
      Jan 23, 2018