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How to Land a 500K Job in Tech — Job Levels

Posted on 
November 11, 2021
Team Interview Kickstart

Are you looking to uplevel your career and land a 500k job in tech? If yes, you must understand the different levels of software engineers at top tech companies. This will give you an understanding of high-paying job levels in different companies and the kind of work you’ll be expected to do at these levels. 

Most tech companies use a system of levels to determine job responsibilities for each role. This, in turn, determines skill requirements and pay scales. Higher the level, higher the responsibilities, and consequently, compensation. Compensation or salary ranges are set for each level. A salary range refers to the upper and lower limits of salaries that can be paid to employees at a particular level.

Understanding levels is necessary to ascertain if your position on a career ladder is the right fit for your skillset. For example, if you are performing tasks beyond the job description of your current level, you are most likely suited for a higher level. You should therefore be earning a higher compensation. 

This can help you determine if you should seek a promotion internally or look for opportunities that match your expertise externally. Alternatively, you can understand the expertise required to move up to your target level and upgrade your skills accordingly.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article to help you take the next step in your career:

  • Job levels at FAANG+ companies — every company levels differently
  • FAANG+ job levels that pay $500k+ salaries

Job Levels at FAANG+ Companies — Every Company Levels Differently

Job titles aren’t uniform across companies, nor do they indicate job levels. 

At startups and mid-sized companies, levels aren’t well-defined. On the other hand, large tech companies have well-structured levels based on clearly defined rubrics. 

The level you’re at in your current company won’t necessarily correspond with the same level at another company. An L4 at Google differs from an L4 at Amazon. Netflix has only one level, while Microsoft has sub-levels.

Companies set levels based on company policies, privy only to a few internal employees. Their systems aren’t always transparent and can be challenging for tech professionals to understand. Sites like levels.fyi, have created comparative studies o

Source: levels.fyi

As evinced from the above, software engineers generally earn upwards of $500k only at senior levels. 

While some roles pay higher than others, compensation tends to run in tandem with seniority. The higher up the career ladder you are, the higher the earnings. 

Tech compensations tend to plateau around the $150k - $300k mark. While many progress from junior to mid-level positions reasonably quickly, breaking into high-paying, senior-level roles can be challenging. 

FAANG+ job levels that pay $500k+ Salaries

An extract from the table in the previous section reveals the level at which software engineers can break into the $500k pay range:

Source: levels.fyi

Most senior positions that pay $500k or more are highly specialized, technical roles or management/leadership roles involving supervision of large teams or business units. 

Organizational structures are leaner at the top. With fewer senior positions available, competition intensifies as you move up the ladder.

Levels help engineers determine their career paths. In addition to identifying in-demand, high-paying tech roles, identify the level at which you can achieve your target compensation. Then, create a roadmap, including the skills, qualifications, and personal attributes you’ll need to reach your desired level. 

To learn more about how to land a 500k tech job, read this article on how to find the right tech company.

Ready to Uplevel Your Career?

The first step to landing a high-paying tech job is preparing for the interview. Because FAANG+ companies pay lucrative salaries and offer unmatched benefits, their interview processes are extremely tough. If you want to get started with your interview prep and wish to give it your best shot, register for Interview Kickstart’s FREE webinar to understand the best way to prepare for tech interviews at FAANG+ companies. 

IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview.

We’ve trained thousands of engineers to land dream offers at the biggest companies, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Netflix, among others. Check out some reviews to know more.

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