Google Solution Architect Salary

How much does a Google Solution Architect 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 Google SA levels. There is also a bonus section at the bottom with info on negotiating Google Solution Architect offers.

Google Solution Architect Offer Components

  • Google base salary:

    Google's base salary component is in line with industry standards. The range is relativity small and the salary band changes based on location
  • Google equity (RSUs):

    Google switched its equity vesting schedule in early 2021. You still vest over 4 years but you now receive most of your equity in the first 2 years - 33%, 33%, 22%, 12%. At first glance this is a positive change, but they use it during negotiations to inflate the year 1 value and avoid matching competing offers. The shares you receive will be distributed every month, which is the most frequent vesting cadence in the industry
  • Google signing bonus:

    Google only gives signing bonuses in year 1 (unlike some other companies such as Amazon, Uber, etc.). Its signing bonus component is middle of the pack - usually lower than Facebook but higher than companies like Microsoft
  • Google performance bonus:

    this is much higher for Google SA sales plan positions vs company plan positions (data listed below). For company plan positions, the bonus is paid out very consistently

IC4 Google Solution Architect Salary

2021 Top of Band Numbers

Base Salary

$155K

Equity (4 years)

$150K

Signing Bonus

$20K

Performance Bonus

15%

Comp structure varies dramatically for similar sales roles at Google. This data is for company plan positions not for sales plan positions.

IC5 Google Solution Architect Salary

2021 Top of Band Numbers

Base Salary

$175K

Equity (4 years)

$350K

Signing Bonus

$30K

Performance Bonus

15%

IC6 Google Solution Architect Salary

2021 Top of Band Numbers

Base Salary

$205K

Equity (4 years)

$550K

Signing Bonus

$40K

Performance Bonus

20%

Google Solution Architect Negotiation

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

First off, comp data is constantly changing. 2022 numbers are coming in higher than the 2021 numbers listed above, and it’s critical to know the full range for each component to optimize your negotiation. But even more than that, many people think knowing the compensation data is the most important part of a negotiation, but it’s not. You can go tell your Google recruiter that you read online that top of band is $X and that 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 have higher competing offers from other great companies.

This means you need to create leverage and make it believable that you are considering other options but would prefer Google if the compensation is comparable. This sounds easy but 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.

If you are lucky enough to have a competing offer with numbers above top of band, Google negotiations are often still tough. Google has tons of situation specific rules. For example, if you are negotiating a Google Bay Area SA offer and have a higher offer from Facebook Seattle, we've seen Google recruiters refuse to match that because of "location". That is of course a ridiculous excuse since the Bay Area is a higher paying market, but you need to be prepared to handle these situations. Google will also refuse to match private company equity (e.g. TikTok) and apply a 25% discount. We've seen this derail negotiation plans. And of course most people have heard of their requirement to see competing offers in writing, which is possible to avoid if you follow the right steps. The Google compensation team is essentially a black box, however, with enough testing you can start to piece together what inputs can reliably be turned into a specific output.

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1:1 Salary Negotiation Support

We've negotiated more than $25M in Google offers this year. Our largest Google increase was $720K.

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.