From engineer to executive, here's how much new hires at Microsoft make

Microsoft employees throwing cash in the air
(Image credit: Windows Central | Kevin Okemwa)

What you need to know

  • A leaked Microsoft payment guideline reveals the base pay, hiring bonus, annual stock awards, and more for new hires.
  • Per the guidelines, the highest-ranking employee pockets a base pay ranging from $231,700 to $361,500, a hiring bonus of up to $1.2 million, and $1 million in annual stock awards.
  • The lowest-ranking employee takes home a $42,500 salary with no extra compensation.
  • Microsoft pays employees living in areas such as New York more to mitigate the high cost of living.

Have you ever wondered how much Microsoft pays its employees? Well, this is a common question among people seeking employment at arguably the best company in the world. Job listings advertised by the company highlight the job description and the company's expectations, but those listings are rather vague on the compensation aspect. It's likely that this information is disclosed when a potential employee is knee-deep in interviews and close to getting an offer, but that doesn't help people who want to know about compensation before entering the process.

How much are Microsoft employees paid?

While the nitty gritty regarding Microsoft's compensation packages for its employees will likely remain a company secret, a new leak spotted by Insider shed light on how much the tech giant pays its new hires based on rank. The leak further disclosed hiring bonuses, annual stock awards, and ranges for base pay.

The pay guidelines surfaced online earlier this year, and according to a person with close affiliations to the company, hiring managers are heavily reliant on these guidelines to determine how much to pay new hires while extending a job offer.

It's unclear whether these guidelines are cut across the board or specific to certain organizational roles. As highlighted by Business Insider, compensation packages extended to new hires vary depending on their designation and field location. For instance, New York and San Francisco employees get bigger checks to mitigate the high cost of living in those areas.

Per the pay guidelines leaked, Level 70 appeared to be the highest rank, with a base pay ranging from $231,700 to $361,500. The hiring bonus for this particular rank falls anywhere between $310,000 to $1.2 million. On the other hand, the lowest-ranking employee takes home a $42,500 salary but isn't entitled to a hiring bonus or stock award.

As shared by the Insider, Microsoft uses levels to define its employees' ranks within the organization. This means the higher your level, the more senior you are in the company. The report further revealed that an employee with a level 68 rank is considered a partner, while level 63 and level 65 are considered senior and principal employees, respectively.

However, fields like engineering don't rank to level 70. A high-ranking employee in this field is referred to as a distinguished engineer. At the same time, other fields go up to level 80 in rank.

Trouble looming at Microsoft?

Recently, Microsoft employees expressed concern about the company's leadership over recent changes in compensation packages. The leaked poll suggested that less than half of the employees who took part in the survey were willing to retain their positions if they got better offers elsewhere, further citing that the lack of a pay raise negatively impacted their performance index and morale at work.

Microsoft has yet to confirm or deny whether this information is true. Admittedly, the company had a rocky start this year in terms of employment, including its plans to cut 10,000 jobs before the end of FY23 Q3. The company's employment-focused social network platform, LinkedIn, recently laid off 668 employees to streamline the company's decision-making process. That move added to the 700 employees laid off from LinkedIn in May.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.