Salary as a Sales Engineer vs Engineer as a new undergrad student.

Salesforce / Eng yngasnfml
Sep 28, 2017 16 Comments

I am currently working as an intern engineer in Salesforce (San Francisco) but have also worked as sales engineer in Cisco (in Toronto).

Just based off how the lifestyle of sales people seem, I am wondering if they make more than engineers, specifically in San Francisco.

Glass door has a staggering stat that SE makes roughly 165k whereas engineers make 95k$.

Any S(ales)Es and S(oftware)Es, specially new to the career (<2 years experience) can comment on actual compensation differences?

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TOP 16 Comments
  • Cisco La_croix
    I've thought about going to sales engineering but I never want to lose my coding ability
    Oct 1, 2017 4
    • Salesforce / Sales
      GonaSendIt

      Salesforce Sales

      PRE
      Salesforce
      BIO
      Sales engineering.
      GonaSendItmore
      Why not?
      Oct 2, 2017
    • Cisco La_croix
      Because having a hard skill like coding is invaluable
      Oct 2, 2017
    • AppDynamics / Sales lTHq45
      I'd argue that a good Sales Engineer is more valuable than a good Software Engineer. Very few people can bridge the sales/technical worlds well.
      Oct 6, 2017
    • Salesforce / Sales
      GonaSendIt

      Salesforce Sales

      PRE
      Salesforce
      BIO
      Sales engineering.
      GonaSendItmore
      Soft skills pay, not hard skills.
      Oct 7, 2017
  • AppDynamics / Sales lTHq45
    Pre-Sales Engineers absolutely have a higher upside. I'm at 170k base with 55k as target commission. So hit your number, 225k OTE (plus RSU's). But the ceiling is much higher if you're good and are selling a good product. Accelerators multiply commission after 100% quota attainment which means 500k-700k is realistic in good years.
    Oct 1, 2017 0
  • Microsoft urmomsbf
    If you can do it well PSE or SE is more lucrative. If you suck at it you will hate your life.
    Sep 28, 2017 0
  • Cisco La_croix
    Do sales engineers normally code?
    Sep 28, 2017 2
    • Salesforce / Sales
      GonaSendIt

      Salesforce Sales

      PRE
      Salesforce
      BIO
      Sales engineering.
      GonaSendItmore
      Depends on the product and problem it solves.

      Some sales engineers are glorified As Seen On TV hosts. They are charismatic deliverers of demos from a script.

      Others are required to dig into very complex problems and configure, some times code, proof of concepts to convince their prospects that to tool fits their needs.
      Sep 30, 2017
    • Microsoft urmomsbf
      Not usually, but they have a deep dev background. You have to know your shit
      Sep 30, 2017
  • Salesforce / Eng yngasnfml
    OP
    What's the salary range like for shitty vs high performing PSEs(which I assume is pre sales engineer)? And how much is commission/performance based?
    Sep 28, 2017 2
    • Microsoft urmomsbf
      Depends on the company, my bonus was around 40% of my base with ~50k RSUs
      Sep 28, 2017
    • Salesforce TheForce
      Shitty ones get fired. Top ones make a lot
      Sep 30, 2017
  • Cisco / Other cisco97
    Regardless of the years experience, I can say that generally a Sales Engineer will have a larger compensation package then a Software Engineer.

    A key reason for the higher pay are 2 factors:
    1) You are in Sales
    2) You are interacting w/ Customers, a skill set which will have a higher compensation package

    I suspect the $165K you see from Glass Door is taking into account the quarterly bonuses a Sales Engineer will make if the assigned region is 100% quota attainment.

    And a point not covered is probably accelerators attached when the region You support is beyond 100% of quota.
    Sep 28, 2017 0
  • Salesforce / Sales
    GonaSendIt

    Salesforce Sales

    PRE
    Salesforce
    BIO
    Sales engineering.
    GonaSendItmore
    If you think you are an OK software engineer are comfortable talking with people and selling to them Sales will be more lucrative. It is not for everyone though.
    Sep 28, 2017 0
  • New Qjmw84
    I have a friend who is a sales engineer for a security software company and his salary is much lower than his OTE (on target earnings). I think salary is 125k and OTE 190k.
    Sep 28, 2017 0