Google Senior Software Engineer Salary: No Limit… for a Few

How much do senior software engineers earn at Google?

To figure that out, we crunched data from, which crowdsources salary data from the biggest tech companies. It should come as zero surprise that Google, one of the most famous and well-monetized tech firms in the world, pays its senior engineers quite a bit of money.

At the L7 level (i.e., senior staff software engineer), annual salary can top $256,059 per year, coupled with $286,176 in stock options and a bonus of $83,294. That’s a generous salary, but it’s not quite as insane as what some employees can earn as a Google Distinguished Engineer, where payouts (according to what little data has received) can top a million dollars annually.

Compare Google’s data to Microsoft, where engineers who hit level 67 (i.e., principal software development engineer, and roughly equivalent to Google’s L7) are paid roughly $222,714 in salary, along with $226,000 per year in stock options, and a bonus of $73,143.

I’d love to see the distribution of how many are at each level. Distinguished engineers and fellows usually have a bunch of patents, present at industry conferences, publish regularly, etc. It’s way beyond just being someone that writes code. You’re talking the top 1% or fewer of engineers.


Given that the MS engineers are in a place with a lower COL and no state tax, that’s a pretty significant income.