software engineer salary at amazon

How Much Does a Software Engineer Make at Amazon? 

Amazon is one of the biggest online retail companies in the world. The great need for driven and competent Software Engineers comes with the nature of their business.

This article will dig into what Software Engineers make at Amazon and the benefits they enjoy. We will also unpick exactly what Software Engineers do at Amazon and their day-to-day responsibilities. 

Read on and learn what you should expect to earn if you decide to work as a Software Engineer at Amazon. 

man developing the code

Amazon Software Engineer Salary

In short, depending on the location and experience level, you can earn between $100,000 and $150,000 a year working for Amazon as a Software Engineer.

To dig a little deeper, there are three components to the Amazon Software Engineer wage structure:

  • Base Salary: Base pay is defined by the position held by the individual and the place in which they work, but they rarely surpass $160,000.
  • Bonus: Different employees receive bonuses, which are given annually.
  • Stocks: As a component of their compensation plan, Amazon provides RSU, which allows employees to receive some of the company’s shares.

The following three sections will tell you more about the Software Engineer salary at Amazon, based on the four essential aspects:

  • Experience
  • Location
  • Skill set
  • Level

Amazon Software Engineer Salary by Experience

Even beginner Software Engineers in Amazon can earn around 30% more than senior Software Engineers in other companies. In Amazon, median salaries are not the best indicator of how much you will earn since Amazon pays out bonuses annually to experienced, dedicated, and successful employees.

So, if you have some useful technical skills like AWS technology, Machine learning skills, Go, DevOps skills set, and the like, you are more likely to get higher bonuses which will raise your median salary. 

The job levels are based on experience and divided in the following manner:

  • SDE1 – New hires with 1 to 3 years of experience working at Amazon. As SDE 1, you can expect to earn around $162,000. $123,000 is the base salary, and the rest is in stocks and bonuses.
  • SDE2 – Individuals with 3 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn around $223,000 in total, with a base income of $150,000.
  • SDE3 – Senior software developers with 8 to 10 years of experience in their Software Engineer positions. They can earn up to $327,000 annually, with a base of $168,000, around $150,000 in stocks, and another $12,000 in bonuses. 
  • Principal CDE – People with 10 to 15 years of experience are ranked at the top of the ladder. They can earn up to $650,000 annually, with the possibility to lead projects and enjoy many benefits. 

Amazon Software Engineer Salary by Level

Amazon Software Engineers can earn between L4 and L10 (Distinguished Engineer) salaries, depending on their level. 

Participating in corporate stock options would boost one’s earning potential and entitle them to the long-term equity reward.

The levels correspond with the CDE experience we mentioned earlier, and salaries follow the same trend:

  • Level 4 is CDE I
  • Level 5 is CDE II 
  • Level 6 corresponds to CDE III
  • Level 7 is equal to Principal CDE 

Amazon Software Engineer Salary by Location

Another aspect that changes the base salary of a Software Engineer in Amazon is the location. 36% of all Amazon employees are located in their headquarters in Seattle, where compensation is among the highest. 

There has been a shortage of Amazon Software Engineers in New York, so there is a trend of salary increase, with some Software Engineer positions going as much as $180,000 a year.

These are some of the statistics of major US states and the salary range that Amazon Software Engineers make: 

  • Los Angeles – from $170k to $300k
  • New York – from $115k to $170k
  • Seattle – from $90k to $970k
  • Denver –  from $200k to $440k
  • Boston –  from $12k to $280k
  • Chicago –  from $180k to $220k
  • Washington DC –  from $170k to $340k

Amazon Software Engineer Salary by Skill Set

Potential Software Engineers should know design and code software that can handle massive amounts of data in the system(s) environment(s), information management platforms, and analytics. 

Amazon recruits will need a minimum computer science degree with specialties in cloud computing or AWS, Microsoft or PHP web development, Big Data, UX/UI knowledge, and business intelligence.

These are some of the most valuable skills that will help you land a job position at Amazon

  • SDE
  • Web development
  • Amazon Web services
  • Software Development Engineer 
  • Data scientist
  • Machine Learning Engeneer

What Is a Software Engineer?

Software engineering is part of the computer science field that designs, develops, tests, maintains, and improves software applications. A Software Engineer is a professional that makes those applications with the help of programming languages. 

Software Engineers might work in groups and specialize in one or more areas of computer science, like artificial intelligence, computer engineering, programming, computer architecture, or software development. 

Software Engineers are in charge of creating computer applications that can be useful to the general public or various industries such as government, healthcare, retail, etc. They also have the potential to have a significant influence on how specific industries operate and develop.

Daily tasks of Software Engineers can include: 

  • Design of new software systems
  • Maintaining or improving existing software systems
  • Evaluation and testing of new software programs 
  • Optimization of existing software for speed, user-friendliness, or scalability
  • Writing and testing codes
  • Coming up with and presenting new, improved features to existing software systems
  • Consulting with clients, engineers, managers, or executives for new improvements 
  • Teaming with other Software Engineers

What Does a Software Engineer Do at Amazon?

As a retail company, Amazon started its work in 1994 and has now become one of the biggest online retail businesses. Since they conduct most of their business online, they have a high demand for Software Engineers to help them create new and improve existing apps for Amazon’s millions of customers. 

Amazon engineers work independently and in teams for different active projects of the company. Ultimately, they ensure that all the websites, applications, and back-end programs for operating the Amazon company, run smoothly and efficiently.

They constantly improve them to keep track of new technology, but they also innovate and set new trends.

The daily work obligations of a Software Engineer that works for Amazon are connected to customers and their needs from one side, and better operating of the company, on the other.

If you decide to work for Amazon as a Software Engineer, these are some of the responsibilities that you should expect to have:

  • Taking part in developing, designing, and implementing systems and services at the internet scale.
  • Taking part in defining processes’ security, scalability, and low latency.
  • Working with cross-functional teams on new project ideas.
  • Transforming complex issues into manageable, easy solutions.
  • Providing and maintaining multi-tiered software tools and applications.
  • Recognizing the system’s weaknesses and striving to correct them
  • Interaction with Amazon employees leads to creating new products for customers.

Benefits of Becoming a Software Engineer for Amazon

Working for Amazon has numerous benefits, both personal and communal. 

  • Benefits – As part of its work culture, Amazon offers healthcare insurance coverage, parental leaves, vacation times, Rewards programs, stock options, free food allowance, education reimbursement, and retirement plans, among other things. 
  • Skills Training Programs – Amazon provides many skills training programs that can help you better some of your skills, or learn new skills you always wanted to. 
  • Experience – If you are a new Software Engineer graduate, you can get some hands-on experience in your field at Amazon. With that, you significantly boost your qualifications and increase your chances of working for Amazon.
  • Level of commitment for the company – Amazon has full-time, part-time, and independent contractor jobs. This allows adjustment of the working hours and promotions. 
  • Work from home – Software Engineers can choose if they want to work from home, which is a great benefit since you can arrange your time, organize the work, spend more time with your family and save on commuting.
  • Sense of achievement – Your work will result in hundreds, if not millions, of users worldwide, so working for Amazon can give you a sense of accomplishment. The more Amazon company grows, the more it will give back to its employees, users, and the community. Your work can add to this process.

FAQ for Software Engineer Job at Amazon

What Is the Salary of a Software Engineer at Amazon in the USA?

At Amazon, a Software Engineer typically earns a yearly salary of $153,164, with bonuses and stock value. The total wage depends on the Software Engineers’ experience, location, skill set, and position level. 

What Is the Highest Salary of a Software Engineer in Amazon?

Senior Software Engineers at Amazon have the highest salary. 

At Amazon, they can earn salaries between $130,000 and $282,000 with equity between 0 and $150,000.


Amazon is one of the biggest online retail companies in the USA and the world. Software Engineers are the professionals that make sure everything runs smoothly, so they have very competitive salaries, bonuses, and even stocks, aside from the regular benefits that working for a company like this ensures.

This article provided some in-depth information about what Software Engineers at Amazon do, what benefits they enjoy and what salaries they make. 

​​Written by Victoria Todorovska

Victoria (or Viki) is a Freelance Writer, Psychologist, and Gestalt Therapy Consultant. With years of experience in higher education as well as counselling others, she is well-placed to offer expert advice on guiding others up the career ladder.