Do engineering managers make more than engineers? Most of us have a picture in our minds of managers making tons of money, while the engineers do the "hard work". But is that really the case?
In this post, I will answer that question. I will compare the salaries of several companies in The Netherlands. And answer the important question! Do engineering managers make more than engineers? Let's find out!
As always with a good question, the answer is: "it depends". By comparing salaries I have found that in most companies managers at the top of their range usually earn a bit more than engineers at the top of their range.
However, there are several companies that don't. Uber and Booking are two examples that give a much higher compensation package to engineers who are at the top of their range.
Good things to keep in mind are that these are two separate career paths, and in most companies being a manager is not considered a promotion as an engineer.
If you want to see the full breakdown of salaries of engineering managers and engineers continue reading.
With the help of TechPays, I am able to compare salaries. Techpays is an Initiative by Gergely Orosz. They aim to make compensation in Europe more transparent and give everyone a fair chance to negotiate higher total compensation. Cool! People can (anonymously) add their own salary. And your company will only be shown if more several people have filled in their salary, to guarantee anonymity.
To make a fair comparison we need companies that have listed both Engineering manager and software engineering compensation packages. I compared the "engineering manager" title with all software engineer titles. As most companies usually specifically hire a backend/frontend/full-stack/etc engineer. And we want to have a clear picture across all disciplines. I took the highest compensation that was listed.
I looked up five big companies that score high on the wishlist of people to work at. Uber, Ikea, Spotify, Booking, and eBay. They are either located in Amsterdam or hire remotely. Let's take a look at how the salary compares:
|Company||Manager Total Comp||Engineer Total Comp|
Comparing Manager and Engineer Total Compensation
The majority gives a higher compensation package to managers. But the companies that give a higher package to engineers are much higher! An engineer at Uber can theoretically make almost double the salary of an engineering manager! At Booking, you don't make double the amount, but the difference is still substantial. With several data points, with these 5 as the big ones. I am able to answer the question: "Do engineering managers make more than engineers".
In the table above I have used total compensation instead of salary. In most of these positions, your total compensation consists of your salary, potential stocks, bonuses, etc. If you want to know more, you can check the beginner's guide on developer stock options I wrote.
By comparing salaries in The Netherlands of Engineering managers and engineers, we can answer the question. Do engineering managers make more than engineers? In most cases they do, but there are several companies who give much higher compensation packages to engineers!
I hope this blog post has helped you on your path to deciding on a career. Keep in mind that in most companies being an engineering manager is not considered a promotion from an engineer. But a completely separate career path, with different goals and rewards.
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