Anatomies of two Amazon offers (Manager vs. Individual Contributors)

Amazon hiring hasn’t been slowed down by COVID-19 crisis. It continues to interview and make offers at a crisp pace. Today I’m sharing with you two recent Amazon level 6 job offers: one level 6 Manager offer, and one level 6 Individual Contributor offer. (Disclaimer: I have changed the data slightly to protect confidentiality but both the numbers and structure of the compensation reflect the current reality of Amazon offers.) 

Let’s start with the level 6 Manager offer.

  • Job title: Software Development Manager (SDM)
  • Level: 6
  • # of years of work experience: 10+
  • Base Salary: $160,000
  • Year 1 sign-on bonus: $250,000
  • Year 2 sign-on bonus: $195,000
  • Restricted Stock Units:  $740,000 worth of RSUs 
  • RSU vesting schedule: 5%/15%/40%/40%

Total Compensation:

  • Year 1: $447,000
  • Year 2: $461,000
  • Year 3: $456,000
  • Year 4: $456,000
  • 4-year Total: $1,820,000

Now, let’s take a look at a recent Amazon level 6 Individual Contributor offer:

  • Job title: Software Development Engineer (SDE)
  • Level: 6
  • # of years of work experience: 10+
  • Base Salary: $158,000
  • Year 1 sign-on bonus: $265,000
  • Year 2 sign-on bonus: $220,000
  • Restricted Stock Units:  $600,000 worth of RSUs
  • RSU vesting schedule: 5%/15%/40%/40%

Total Compensation:

  • Year 1: $453,000
  • Year 2: $468,000
  • Year 3: $398,000
  • Year 4:$398,000
  • Total: $1,717,000

Observations:

  • A frequently asked question is if a manager gets paid more than an individual contributor assuming they’re at the same level. In the above example, the 4-year total compensation for the manager is $1,820,000 while the 4-year total compensation for the individual contributor is $1,717,000. In other words, the IC is paid 5.7% less than the manager. The difference is small. In above examples, both individuals have 10+ years of work experience. Their seniority is comparable. I’d say that manager might be paid a little bit more, but not much more than the IC. However, once you progress to director level or above at Amazon, people on the managerial track gets paid A LOT more. That’s why if you want to make million of dollars a year at Amazon, you need to get to higher level with increasing managerial responsibilities.
  • Both offers are at higher end for level 6 position. There is a very wide range of offers for level 6 positions. Some offers are at the $220K -$300K range. Both offers above are in the $400K range, which is impressive. Amazon has a very flat org structure, so within a given level, the compensation range is very wide. 
  • Because of the sign-on bonus, the total compensation for year 1 and year 2 are higher than year 3 and year 4. However, my calculation did not take into account future Amazon stock appreciation. It’s likely that Amazon stock price will reach new heights in the post era.

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