Lowball promotion

Amazon / Eng
PNWGuy

Amazon Eng

PRE
Amazon
BIO
Cloud computing and distributed systems
PNWGuymore
Jan 31 46 Comments

I currently work at Amazon. I had an off-cycle promotion last year, SDE L5 to L6. I got a base increase of 10% and no additional shares. Last year as an SDE2 I was earning around 250k total comp, this year after my promotion I will earn around 225k due to the drop in stock price, and the fact that I have less shares vesting this year than I had last. I have 9 years of experience in cloud computing at AWS. As far as performance ratings go I always rated exceeds (up until they stopped showing your rating in peopleportal).

So right now they are giving me more work, more responsibility, more ambiguous projects, but less pay. Doesn't feel like a good deal and I am thinking about changing companies. I have no idea what the salary band is for L6 SDE at Amazon, but I feel like I am either at the bottom end, or below that. Could someone please let me know what total comp I should be aiming for should I start looking around for better options, and what is the L6 salary band really - I don't think that I can trust my manager.

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TOP 46 Comments
  • Amazon broooo
    When you get promoted you get placed at the bottom of the band for the next level. That I’ve heard is around 220, so you are being paid correctly. You were just super over paid for an l5 previously
    Jan 31 6
    • LinkedIn FatWeiner
      That can't possibly be right, why the hell would people try to get promoted or do better if they're taking a pay cut? Where's the incentive?
      Jan 31
    • Amazon / Eng
      PNWGuy

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      BIO
      Cloud computing and distributed systems
      PNWGuymore
      OP
      Amazon attempted a dive and save for a colleague of mine. Basically amounted to an accelerated promotion path, and like an extra 30k in shares. Which was ridiculous because his competing offer was for 50% more than his current total compensation. I don't think that the senior VPs take dive and saves that serious to be honest.
      Jan 31
    • Amazon axds44
      Keep drinking the coolaid! Amazon has a shit compensation structure which counts the stock that were already given to you couple of years back and it's growth against you..
      Jan 31
    • Dropbox / Eng 100k🔗🐼
      Axds44 why are you still there then?
      Feb 1
    • Twitch ________~
      End of L5 band is 250k how is 220k the start of L6?
      Feb 4
  • Microsoft xij
    Keep making the richest man richer, so he can give away half and still have more than enough money to spend on mistress.
    Jan 31 0
  • LinkedIn FatWeiner
    You should be close to 300k. It's super not okay for you to be promoted and have a lower comp this year than last. Most good managers would see this as a huge risk and be trying to fix it asap, otherwise you will leave or become dissatisfied and unmotivated. I don't know much about Amazon's pay structure, but from what I hear about the stocks - they give smaller bonuses and salary when stocks are up so they should pad you when it's down. If I were in your shoes, I would (in order):
    1) talk to manager in next 1:1 and express your concerns about the comp drop despite exceeding expectations and being promoted
    2) start interviewing if they manager makes no attempt to fix
    Jan 31 6
    • LinkedIn FatWeiner
      Try and fix it first, compensation is a relatively easy problem to solve and assuming they want you they should be willing to fix this. Just put some pressure on and hope for the best, sounds like you like your job so I hope you don't have to go somewhere else
      Jan 31
    • Amazon / Eng
      PNWGuy

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      BIO
      Cloud computing and distributed systems
      PNWGuymore
      OP
      Makes sense, thanks for the advice.
      Jan 31
    • Facebook chuckypi
      Aws sde3 is easily 400k+ outside. I would recommend interviewing. Was at aws before so I know the sde3 bar
      Jan 31
    • Dropbox / Eng 100k🔗🐼
      Are they really that pleasant if they did this to you, demoted your pay after giving you more responsibility? Wtf?
      Feb 1
    • Amazon / Eng WwoR07
      @chuckypi Which level did you move to FB as? Asking as I just got promoted to SDE3 and have an offer from FB.
      Also how long were you an SDE3 at Amazon for and YOE?
      Feb 16
  • Amazon / Eng no email
    Same situation. My target went up but due to the stock fall it won't even hit what they consider to be the "minimum comp" for L6.

    The problem is Amazon "builds in 1 year of risk" to their comp so you won't get shit this year.

    So they won't give you extra when the stock goes up, and they won't give you more when the stock goes down within that year. So... :(

    Definitely sucks. I've heard of random things managers can do to help make it right. But we'll see. Definitely a slap in the face after being promoted. I guess I'm just planning to coast for a while since there's no real incentive...
    Jan 31 6
    • Amazon / Eng no email
      Sure... My target last year was 225k or so, and I actually made about 300k.

      This year my target is about 270k and at the current stock price I'll make 235k or so.

      I'm not terribly annoyed with the actual income, just the lack of incentive for actually being promoted.
      Jan 31
    • Amazon / Eng no email
      Oh and I've been in AWS about 7 years
      Jan 31
    • New / Eng jbnote
      Thank you very much for the details. It certainly is disheartening that you do not even hit the target, that too when you were promoted
      Jan 31
    • Asurion doormat_
      What’s target though
      Jan 31
    • Amazon / Eng no email
      Like what does it mean? It's what's used to decide the RSUs (and base, but it's less impactful) you receive during reviews.
      Jan 31
  • Snapchat MAGA2020!
    Come over to Snap and make 500k
    Jan 31 2
    • MobileIron loom
      If Snap or you still exists in next few years. Most likely company will go down or most likely you will go down (lay off)
      Jan 31
    • Snapchat MAGA2020!
      I don’t really care about job security.
      Jan 31
  • American Express / Eng
    GoJava

    American Express Eng

    PRE
    JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America
    GoJavamore
    OP what's your location
    Jan 31 3
    • Amazon / Eng
      PNWGuy

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      BIO
      Cloud computing and distributed systems
      PNWGuymore
      OP
      Seattle
      Jan 31
    • American Express / Eng
      GoJava

      American Express Eng

      PRE
      JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America
      GoJavamore
      I think you are leaving a lot of money on the table by not exploring your options. I'm pretty sure with right LC you can get upwards of 350k. I recently received 245k in Austin for SDE2. I left a 330k non-fang offer in CA because to me it was only a 15-20k jump after taxes and col. 225k in Seattle considering taxes and col is almost like 270-280k in CA. With 9 years at Amazon, 400k in CA is doable with 2-3 months of LC if you are not already good at it.
      Jan 31
    • Netflix
      🦅box

      Netflix

      PRE
      Google, Amazon
      🦅boxmore
      @GoJava
      You are inflating the numbers. Before joining Netflix, I had many offers including Google’s for 11 YOE as backend engineer (many years at Amazon). Only google and Netflix offered more than 340k in Bay Area. You might get more with T6/E6 at google and FB, but getting an offer at that level is very very hard
      Jan 31
  • Okta doomsday
    Start LCing. Sounds like a meat shop
    Jan 31 0
  • New / Eng jbnote
    Has your all experience been at Amazon? For 9 years at Amazon, this sounds super low. I am not trying to criticize anything or anybody but it sure is surprising that sticking with the company doesnt pay much. Everybody i know at Amazon for > 5 years seems to be well off in terms of compensation
    Jan 31 11
    • Amazon / Eng
      PNWGuy

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      BIO
      Cloud computing and distributed systems
      PNWGuymore
      OP
      Got it, yeah that makes sense.
      Jan 31
    • Facebook chuckypi
      How long since move?
      Jan 31
    • MobileIron loom
      You definitely were overpaid as SDE2 (being the only job and company you ever had). My friend is SDE3 who just got promoted last year and comp is 230 K TC in Seattle Base location
      Jan 31
    • Amazon / Eng
      PNWGuy

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      BIO
      Cloud computing and distributed systems
      PNWGuymore
      OP
      My total comp increased by about 25-30k each year as an SDE2 mostly driven by stock prices and allocations. My base salary mostly went up 3 to 4% per year. Started at 116k base when I moved to Seattle as an SDE2, I think total comp was around 160 but I can't really remember to be honest. I don't really want to say exactly when that was because I feel like people that know me could probably identify me based off of all this info that I've been volunteering.
      Jan 31
    • Tableau / Eng TacW56
      You should be able to get 300-350 TC at Tableau.
      Feb 1
  • Amazon Jеff Bezоs
    🌲50
    Jan 31 0
  • LinkedIn FatWeiner
    Feb 2 0
  • Dropbox thrwaway88
    The only way to get more at this point is to tell them early (way before next review cycle) and have some offers in hand. Otherwise, they won't do anything.
    Jan 31 0
  • Netflix
    🦅box

    Netflix

    PRE
    Google, Amazon
    🦅boxmore
    Get out of Amazon, don’t tolerant this unfair tactic from a greedy employer
    Jan 31 0

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