Lowballed by Amazon

General Motors Auto_EE
Feb 16 58 Comments

Initial salary compensation discussion for a QAE 5 role was in the $160k (max base salary) range prior to my on-site interview. I completed three total rounds of interviews and Amazon’s first base salary offer was $105k with a $37k sign on bonus. I politely declined and indicated that it was well below the initial numbers and less than my current salary. Amazon responded with a $106k base salary and $47k sign on bonus. Again, I informed them that their total compensation was less than my salary and year end bonus. I know that I interviewed well and the feedback from the interview teams was positive. Amazon has stated that it’s their final offer. I’m ok walking away from the offer, but it seems to have been a mistake in initial numbers by the recruiter or they really are just trying to lowball me.

Has anyone had a similar experience with Amazon? I have 10+ years in quality control and an impressive track record. 🤷‍♂️

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TOP 58 Comments
  • Homeaway ppMg64
    Its a QAE role. That too L5. Unless something has changed drastically, I am unsure why I wold pay anyone 160K base for a mid level QAE role. If this was SDET, I could still see a 125-140K salary.

    No offense to OP, but I don’t think anyone is paying 160K base for QAE roles
    Feb 16 13
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      A troll in what sense?
      Feb 16
    • Amazon / Eng
      jinkching

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      jinkchingmore
      Offering a base salary of 160k to begin with, anyway good luck with your follow up and I wish you good luck with your negotiation..
      Feb 16
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Thanks. I’ll be writing a final email to decline the position early next week.
      Feb 16
    • Amazon / Eng Yolo!
      Have you given them numbers at which you’d sign the offer?
      Feb 16
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      My response on Monday will include specific numbers.
      Feb 16
  • Amazon PooPooper
    So your first year tc is a little more than ~142k for L5 QAE? Honestly I think that sounds to be in the salary band for the position and level.
    Feb 16 10
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Thanks. This was discussed within the thread and info that I was aware of before interviewing.
      Feb 16
    • Amazon / Eng Yolo!
      QAE bands are about 15-20% lower than SDE. If you can get in as an SDET and are good with coding, you get the same pay as SDE
      Feb 16
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Thanks. This is a hardware related position.
      Feb 16
    • Amazon / Eng Yolo!
      Amazon does not differentiate QAE for HW and SW. it’s just 1 job role for all be it Mobile, Web, Hardware or embedded devices. All said and done for your years of experience, you should get more. If in Seattle I think closer to 200k would be a great offer, that’s the number you should look for IMO. Good Luck!
      Feb 17
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Thanks!
      Feb 17
  • Amazon / Eng n0v
    $160K base salary is very high and unusual for L5 QAE. Your expectations are out of whack.
    Feb 16 5
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Oh, I agree $160k would be out of whack. My issue is that the recruiter led with that number for base salary before I flew out for the interview. Had I known the range was $105k, I wouldn’t have bothered to interview. 10+ hours of interviewing.
      Feb 16
    • Amazon / Eng
      jinkching

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      jinkchingmore
      I'm assuming you are in Detroit area If you work at general motors? And you currently make more than 160k? Why would you bother interviewing with amazon or google.. I'm sure either of them cant match that pay (160k in Detroit is almost equivalent to 260k in seattle)
      Feb 16
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Detroit area, yes. I’ve wanted to relocate to the PNW for years and this seemed like a good opportunity to do so. My current base salary and 15% annual bonus aren’t terribly far from $160k. Knowing GM’s internal plans doesn’t give me much hope for longevity at the company.
      Feb 16
    • Amazon / Eng
      jinkching

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      jinkchingmore
      Well, that's good to know. I moved from Detroit area (used to work at ford) to seattle and I wasn't paid anywhere close to that, in spite of being a software developer. Ford pay sucks, may be GM pays double the amount.. If I were you, I would buy a lake facing house north of Michigan and settle there with that money
      Feb 16
    • Amazon / Eng n0v
      TC at Amazon is base + RSU. In many cases RSUs can be larger than base salary. You should be able to get somewhere around $160K or higher TC
      Feb 16
  • Nintendo IBMB78
    On a different note, anyone have any idea on what will be Software QAE ii salary at Amazon Seattle currently ?
    Feb 16 3
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Maybe start a new thread on this topic?
      Feb 16
    • Amazon / Eng
      jinkching

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      jinkchingmore
      QAE pay band is the same regardless of S/W or H/W... its between 130 and 160k for L5
      Feb 16
    • Nintendo IBMB78
      Sorry op not trying to hijack your post
      Feb 16
  • General Motors Auto_EE
    OP
    A lump of $25$ of the signing bonus in my first check and then $22k spread out over the second year. 5% stock first year, 10% second year, and 20% bi-yearly after the second year. I was informed that stock pattern is the same throughout the company.
    Feb 16 5
    • Amazon gyMJ03
      I would double check. I've never seen an offer that has stock that vests in the first year. In my experience There's always a 1 year Cliff to Amazon hiring grants, so that 5% likely vests in year 2. It should theoretically make up for the smaller AMT of cash in year 2 making the first 2 years about the same.
      Feb 16
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Thanks.
      Feb 16
    • Amazon gyMJ03
      So another way to say what I'm saying is I would think you get 5% stock on the anniversary of your start date, which depending on how you count might be the first year.
      Feb 16
    • Amazon gyMJ03
      Np, this can be confusing stuff. Congrats on the offer btw.
      Feb 16
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      You’re correct. I’d get the 5% at the end of year one.
      Feb 16
  • Microsoft n%2
    Just reject it.. not sure why they are offering this much less
    Feb 16 1
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      That’s my plan.
      Feb 16
  • Amazon tctasss
    160K is unrealistic. Who did you have that discussion with? You only mentioned base and sign on. Weren’t you offered any stocks?

    Reasonable TC would be 125-140 base, 25-35 sign on for first 2 years and around 80-100 stocks for 4 years. It all depends on your interview performance, certifications (BB, MBB etc) and possibly other candidates they might think would do this job with lower salary.
    Feb 16 5
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      That discussion was with the recruiter. She defined the $160k range over the phone and via email prior to my on-site interview. The offered stock would be 5% of my base salary. Thank you for your input.
      Feb 16
    • Amazon tctasss
      She should have clarified on the phone but she probably meant 160K as projected TC which is a mid tier salary for L5 Hardware QAE.
      What I listed above is more like a top tier salary for L5.
      Feb 16
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Understandable. Unfortunately, she stated the base salary range would be $160k. Seems like a slip up on her end that she’s unwilling to correct. I asked her to listen to the phone conversation because they are all recorded. Her tone changed and she stated that she “recalls” having that conversation.
      Feb 16
    • Amazon tctasss
      The offer goes through hiring manager as well and if it was something she did stupid, I would expect HM to catch her mistake. Most probably that’s the best they can offer but it would not hurt to reach out to HM (LinkedIn or email if you have his business card) and have him clarify.
      Feb 16
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      I have the HM’s personal info. He told me to call him this weekend while he’s out of state on vacation with his family.
      Feb 16
  • Amazon / Eng jdbsbsh30
    Stock?
    Feb 16 2
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Standard 5% stock option for the first year.
      Feb 16
    • Amazon / Eng jdbsbsh30
      5% of what? How many rsus were you offered?
      Feb 16
  • Facebook / QA WPBL01
    I was offered QAE 2 position at Bay area by amazon126 ring team
    165k base 52k sign on 35 units of stocks over 4 yrs

    Software QA
    Feb 16 1
    • Amazon / Eng Yolo!
      52 sign on for 2 years or per year for the 1st and 2nd? In Bay Area, it’s easy to get 160s base at L5, everyone gets it these days. It’s the RSU that’s DOPE, 35 is very less for 4 years.
      Feb 16
  • Amazon tctasss
    Location? Software or Hardware QAE?
    Feb 16 1
    • General Motors Auto_EE
      OP
      Seattle. Hardware QE with PrimeAir.
      Feb 16
  • Amazon tctasss
    How many stocks were you offered for 4 year period? You keep saying 5% but it does not mean anything.
    Feb 16 0
  • Amazon gyMJ03
    47k bonus yearly for the first 2 years, or paid over those 2 years? 5% stock doesn't kusually kick in until year 2. How much stock in years 3 and 4? That's typically the key. My suggestion is to look at the stock, which can make up a large part of your comp when it gets back up to where it should be. My advice is to not think too short term. There's room for growth, so if you perform well you'll get raises and more stock in the future, and if you're good, l6 might not be to far away (more cash and stock). Anyway, my point is that too not think too short term, because long term might be a different story. The comp could work out to way more if you're at the top end of the range where you are now.
    Feb 16 0