Amazon Software Engineering Manager Salary

How much does an Amazon Software Engineering Manager make? Well, there are lots of, shall we say “speculative” answers to this question online. The goal of this page is to cut through the noise and provide the real data based on our experience with 100s of tech negotiations and 1000s of submitted offers. Below, we’ve listed the top of band compensation for multiple Amazon Software Engineering Manager levels. There is also a bonus section at the bottom with info on negotiating Amazon Software Engineering Manager offers.

Amazon Software Engineer Offer Components

  • Amazon base salary:

    Base salary at Amazon is fairly standard. The one unique element was that for almost all of 2021 there was a base salary cap of $160K (or $185K for employees based in Seattle, NY, or SF). This cap has been removed for 2022.
  • Amazon equity (RSUs):

    Amazon's equity vesting schedule is non-standard and heavily back weighted. You will vest equity (i.e. become the owner of your shares) over a 4-year period but only 5% in year 1, 15% year 2, 40% in year 3 and 4. Amazon quotes a specific number of shares rather than dollar value, but you can approximate the dollar value by looking at the average share price over the past month.
  • Amazon signing bonus:

    Amazon gives signing bonus in year 1 and year 2. These are typically much larger than at other companies to make up for the tiny portion of equity that vests in year 1 and 2. Unlike many other companies, these signing bonuses are paid on a monthly basis throughout the first 2 years and are not clawed back (i.e. you do not have to repay the money you have earned if you leave during that 2-year period).
  • Amazon performance bonus:

    Amazon does not have targets for performance bonuses. You shouldn't factor this into your total compensation at Amazon.
  • Amazon stock refreshers:

    Amazon stock refreshers are very hit or miss and depend on your manager/team and your performance. You will almost always receive additional stock at the end of your initial 4-year grant, but the usual stacking of stock refreshers in year 2 and 3 doesn't typically happen at Amazon.


Note: leveling is critical to understanding compensation bands. If you aren't familiar with Amazon levels (which are quite unique), skip to the bottom to read this.

SDM (L5) - Amazon Software Engineering Manager Salary

2022 Top of Band Numbers

Base Salary

$200K

Equity (4 years)

$570K

Yr 1 Signing Bonus

$245K

Yr 2 Signing Bonus

$190K

Reminder: The top of band numbers are based on SF/NYC pay bands - Seattle will be slightly lower.

SDM L6 - Amazon Software Engineering Manager Salary

2022 Top of Band Numbers

Base Salary

$260K

Equity (4 years)

$775K

Yr 1 Signing Bonus

$350K

Yr 2 Signing Bonus

$265K

Note: SDM roles typically pay 10-15% higher TC than SDEs at Amazon.

Senior SDM L7 - Amazon Senior Software Engineering Manager Salary

2022 Top of Band Numbers

Base Salary

$315K

Equity (4 years)

$1.35M

Yr 1 Signing Bonus

$580K

Yr 2 Signing Bonus

$445K

Other benefits (healthcare, parental leave, vacation days, etc.) will be standard across levels. <a href="https://www.amazon.jobs/en/benefits" target="_blank">You can learn more about Amazon’s US benefits here.</a>

Amazon Software Engineer Negotiation

So now that you've got the comp data, are you ready to negotiate? Not quite.

First off, compensation data is constantly changing and Amazon has made significant modifications to its compensation approach in 2022. For example - Amazon fundamentally changed how they structure offers with the removal of their artificially low base salary caps.

While we believe that knowledge is power and always recommend collecting compensation data ahead of negotiating, it’s often not enough on its own. You can go tell your Amazon recruiter that you read online the top of the band is $X and you want that number, but in 90% of cases that won’t work. So what will?

Companies negotiate when they believe you won’t accept their offer. But, since you just finished a long and arduous interview process with them, they know you are likely to accept the job unless you create leverage.

Often - leverage comes from having higher offers from other great companies - so you can tell your recruiter that you’re considering other options but would prefer Amazon if the compensation is comparable. This quickly becomes challenging if you don’t have other offers or if your other offers aren’t higher than the top of band comp numbers you are targeting.

Another option for creating leverage is through what we call “conducting research leverage” after you receive an offer – essentially, taking time to interview the company and the people you’ll be working with. Doing this helps you collect more information about how and where you can be impactful, and can slow down the negotiation process – which gives you time to collect other offers, do more market research, and build the company’s interest in getting you to sign. 

Assuming you do have a higher competing offer (i.e. above your top of band target) from another good company, the negotiation can still be surprisingly difficult. Amazon has many unusual policies. For example, they, by default, assume 15% stock appreciation in their offers - though they don't openly disclose it. This means they will claim to have "matched" a competing offer when in fact their offer is much lower. 

There are multiple rules like this at Amazon, and the strategies that we've found work best to get around them are often not intuitive. In our experience, Amazon's compensation team operates like a bureaucracy where only through trial and error can you figure out how to reliably increase your compensation.

Amazon Software Engineering Manager Levels

Amazon Levels

L6 (SDM)

L7 (Senior SDM)

L8 (Director)

=

Google Levels

L5

Between L6 and L7

L8

Amazon does not follow industry standards when it comes to leveling, though, to be fair, many companies take a unique approach. 

We'd recommend using Google levels as the benchmark. Other companies like Facebook, DoorDash, etc. use the Google system just with different names (e.g. IC5/L5/E5 are the same at those companies). Amazon inflates levels by +1 for more junior levels (e.g. Amazon L4 = Google L3, both are entry level positions). However, this trend breaks at Amazon L7, which is closer to Google L7 than Google L6 in terms of compensation and scope. 

The 3 other main leveling systems to be aware of are: 

1) Microsoft where 65 = Amazon L6 

2) Apple where ICT4 is in between Amazon L5 and L6 

3) Stripe/Robinhood/etc. where L2/IC2 = Amazon L5

Most recruiters are fairly transparent about leveling. However, if you are have multiple offers from different FAANG companies, it's often helpful to clarify your level and say something like "Facebook and Google have placed me at the senior software engineer level, Amazon L6", to avoid scenarios where the Amazon recruiter claims that Amazon L5 = Google L5, which is false!

1:1 Salary Negotiation Support

We've negotiated more than $45M in Amazon offers. Our largest Amazon increase was $970K.

Negotiation strategy

Step 1 is defining the strategy, which often starts by helping you create leverage for your negotiation (e.g. setting up conversations with FAANG recruiters).

Negotiation anchor number

Step 2 we decide on anchor numbers and target numbers with the goal of securing a top of band offer, based on our internal verified data sets.

Negotiation execution plan

Step 3 we create custom scripts for each of your calls, practice multiple 1:1 mock negotiations, and join your recruiter calls to guide you via chat.