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Alex (The Engineering Bolt) ⚡
Alex (The Engineering Bolt) ⚡

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

Google Software Engineer Levels: Roles and Expectations [With Salary]

With an exponential upsurge in the world's most profitable inventions, there is a massive requirement for a workforce of qualified and professional software engineers. Furthermore, with innovative and intuitive products like GSuite, Gmail, and Google Search, Google is everywhere. Hence, many engineering graduates aspire to work for Google.

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Furthermore, it wouldn't be inaccurate to claim that many prospective programmers envision a six-figure salary when considering a job at Google. Many engineers are still unsure about Google's compensation scale for various levels, from Google entry-level software engineers to more advanced-level engineers' salaries in software engineering. Read below to learn more about a Google-level software engineer's role and salary.

What are Software Engineer Levels?

Software engineering jobs are usually classified into entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level. Furthermore, job levels or grades exhibit your experience, seniority, or extent of accountabilities, along with the appropriate salary band. Therefore, we can say that the higher the software engineer's job level, the more responsibilities.

In addition, leading companies are better placed to decide salary ranges, assign duties, and evaluate impact. They describe a company's authority levels and assist in building a fair wage system with constant possibilities for advancement. Moreover, software engineering job levels help businesses simplify their recruitment procedures and promote strategic decision-making regarding retention, promotions, or even termination of employees.

What are Google Software Engineer Levels?

Google software engineer levels are usually based on a tier-based remuneration system. Multinational corporations like Google use this method because their hierarchy is more extensive. Besides, a scale system also guarantees that every employee within the business earns a similar average salary at equivalent levels.

Likewise, to comprehend how much you can hope to earn, it is vital to understand the software engineer levels at Google. Generally, there are nine Google software engineering levels, which are as follows:

  1. Software Engineer II (Level 3 | 0–1 year of experience)
  2. Software Engineer III (Level 4 | 2+ years of experience)
  3. Senior Software Engineer (Level 5 | Manager I equivalent)
  4. Staff Software Engineer (Level 6 | Manager II equivalent)
  5. Senior Staff Software Engineer (Level 7 | Senior Manager)
  6. Principal Engineer (Level 8 | Director)
  7. Distinguished Engineer (Level 9 | Senior Director)
  8. Google Fellow (Level 10 | Vice President)
  9. Google Senior Fellow (Level 11 | Senior Vice President)

In addition, most software engineers at Google operate at a lower level in the hierarchy. And many challenges are getting promoted above the level of Staff Software Engineer at Google. One of the prominent reasons for this could be a shortage of employment opportunities, so only the best get a raise to senior engineers or higher.

What is Google's Process for Determining Software Engineer Levels?

Google software engineer at different levels

Speaking of Google, the most significant tech business in the world, its organizational structure was created to encourage efficiency and innovation. As a result, Google divides its software developers into groups according to the tasks they complete. Much transparency is also present, and Google's business structure encourages a continuous exchange of ideas and knowledge among all management levels. Additionally, Google's software engineering levels are often determined by two key variables, ladder and level, after evaluating the person's work position and skill level.

Google Level Grading Factors

Here are some factors Google considers when determining the software engineering levels in the company.

1. Interview Performance

When hiring for different software engineering levels, the recruitment team at Google evaluates your performance based on features like general intellectual ability, role-related understanding, leadership attributes, and cultural fit. Based on this feedback and the conclusive suggestions from the recruiters, Google's hiring panel allocates you a Google software engineer level that defines your duties and the salary band.

2. Past Project Experience

Graduates with Ph.D. or MS/BA degrees without industry expertise usually get hired for entry-level software engineer Google jobs. However, note that higher years of expertise are not linked with higher job levels at Google. For example, if you hold years of knowledge but your interview performance is poor, there are higher odds of rejection than getting employed at a lower level.

3. The skill set of the employee

Google seeks out creative and intelligent applicants with an increased concentration on excellence. In addition, their levelling approach estimates the impact of an applicant with better aptitudes during technical contributions to the company.

Besides, the recruitment team at Google usually hires talented candidates who are willing to upskill themselves and proactively react to the global industry. Thus, whether you get a senior software engineer post at Google or an entry-level position, your interview performance and the ability to handle projects can help you scale up to the job level you want.

Google Software Engineer Levels and Average Salary

Below is a brief overview of Google software engineer levels and average salary.

  • Level 2 - Software Engineering Intern This level includes college freshers or final-year interns pursuing their software engineering degree courses in their final year. Also, there is no salary offered to interns at this level.
  • Level 3 – Junior Software Engineer Google entry-level software engineer at Level 3 must hold an undergraduate degree in software. Nevertheless, since they have 0 to 1 year of industry expertise, Google's entry-level software engineer salary is roughly $132,190 yearly.
  • Level 4 - Software Engineer III Level 4 software engineers at Google usually have at least 2 to 4 years of experience and earn an average base salary of $158,399 yearly.
  • Level 5 – Senior Software Engineer Google senior software engineer at level 5 enjoys higher obligations and deals with complex tasks requiring attention to detail. They hold the expertise for six to ten years and earn an average salary of $188,284 yearly.
  • Level 6 – Staff Software Engineer With 10+ years of expertise, level 6 software engineers at Google are in the top 10 per cent of exceptionally qualified engineers who manage engineering teams and earn a salary of $ 232,219 yearly.
  • Level 7 – Senior Software Engineer Senior software engineers at this level bear the duties of a Level 6 software engineer and are deemed equivalent to senior supervisors. They possess 10+ years of experience and have higher involvement in the L6 to get promoted to L7. In addition, Google senior-level software engineers earn an average salary of $ 266,100 yearly.
  • Level 8 – Principal Software Engineer Level 8 engineers play a pivotal role in implementing technical approaches for large-scale developments while coordinating huge teams of software engineers. Moreover, Level 8 software engineers at Google earn an average salary of $ 273,700 yearly.
  • Level 9 – Distinguished Software Engineer Like level 8, the software engineers at level 9 are primarily responsible for creating effective technical strategies.
  • Level 10 – Google Fellow The software engineers at Level 10 are known as vice presidents, who lead thousands of engineers in leading technical contributions. It is an esteemed status secured for the world's leading software engineering professionals.
  • Level 11 – Senior Google Fellow A Google senior engineer at Level 11 is equivalent to a senior vice president, and Sanjay Ghemawat and Jeff Dean are the only two Google senior administrators at Level 11.

Google Career Ladder for Software Engineering Managers

According to PayScale, Google software engineering leaders earn an average salary of $225,200 yearly. Generally, the average salary varies between $408,0420 and $314,925, depending on the location, job level, and expertise.

  • Level 5 - Software Engineering Manager I The software engineering supervisor ladder usually starts at level 5 when a software specialist earned a few years of expertise leading small teams with roughly 5 to 10 engineers.
  • Level 6 - Software Engineering Manager II Software engineering managers at this level must hold ten years of experience and are accountable for managing a team of up to 20 engineers and lower-level administrators.
  • Level 7 - Software Engineering Manager III A software engineering manager at this level generally manages a team of 20 to 40 employees.
  • Level 8 - Director Google's Software engineer managers at level 8 shift into an executive role associated with considerably higher wages and corporate governance.
  • Level 9 - Senior Director Level 9 at Google is primarily a privileged position, with formal statements regarding the promotion only made within the company.
  • Level 10 - Vice President Vice Presidents at Google generally lead hundreds and thousands of employees and remain accountable to the directors.
  • Level 11 - Vice President II Like Senior Directors, Vice President II usually serves as a point of contact between a vice president and senior vice president.

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Overall, a Google software engineer's salary is one of the most lucrative salary packages in the software engineering domain. Moreover, as an entry-level engineer, you will get a basic wage, increasing as you progress in Google's software engineering levels. However, the salary only makes up part of the remuneration. Software engineers at Google also obtain tuition reimbursement, free meals five days a week, and other perks. So, if you're considering working for a reputed global firm, Google can be your perfect choice.

Top comments (10)

sneakssnaps profile image
Sneaks & Snaps

What is the interview process for L5 engineers?

alexr profile image
Alex (The Engineering Bolt) ⚡

Here is an example of what you can expect during a System Design Interview at Meta. Google has a similar process, too, so you can borrow some ideas.

Regarding the structure and how to prepare, you can check this blog post for System Design Interview Template

appzeem profile image
Zeem ►

Coding (LeetCode) and System Design, they also have a Googlyness round I think. This last one is just a behavioural interview.

flappycube profile image
Flappy Cube

Are there examples of system design questions @appzeem

coinminerapp profile image

What is the best way to join Google as an engineer with 2 yeras of experiecne?

jobclout profile image

You will need a referral. At that level most likely you are looking at Intern / University Grad role.

alexr profile image
Alex (The Engineering Bolt) ⚡

One option is to join an Intern program at Google; this will give you some time to ramp up and onboard with internal processes. As @jobclout mentioned below, the other way is to get a referral from an existing employee. You can search online on the TeamBlind app for anyone willing to refer you.

alexr profile image
Alex (The Engineering Bolt) ⚡

Read the full article here

angelotheman profile image
Angel Oduro-Temeng Twumasi

First of, that's a wonderful article.

However with the numbers you mentioned, I am finding difficulty in realizing them. For instance is $2,25,200 "Two million ...." or "Two hundred and twenty-five thousand".

I hope you understand?

I saw that in all the figures except for this figure $4,08,0420 where you included a zero prior to the last three digits.

Could you check and revert for me please.

alexr profile image
Alex (The Engineering Bolt) ⚡

@angelotheman there was something wrong with the platform. You can read the full blog post regarding Google Software Engineering Levels, and there you can also see the full set of salaries and expectations per role and level.