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Amazon System Engineer Salaries in the United States

Amazon, the tech behemoth, has left its mark in almost every field, right from e-commerce to cloud computing. This renowned tech company not only has a wide consumer base but is also a preferred company for employment by millions of individuals. Amazon is a hub of opportunities, and a majority of software engineers, software developers, coding engineers, and tech leads are constantly prying to secure a position in this company. 

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! Also, read Amazon Interview Process Guide and How Hard Is It to Get a Job at Amazon? for specific insights and guidance on Amazon tech interviews.

Having trained over 6,000 Software Engineers, we know what it takes to crack the toughest tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have been landing lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $933,000!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

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The article will cover the following:

  • What does an Amazon system engineer do?
  • Roles and responsibilities of a senior system engineer at Amazon
  • Amazon system engineer salary
  • System engineer stock options at Amazon
  • Benefits of working at Amazon as a system engineer
  • Comparison of Amazon system engineer salary with other companies
  • FAQs on Amazon system engineer

What Does an Amazon System Engineer Do?

After successfully acing the technical interview for the position of System Engineer at Amazon, an individual is expected to undertake the following responsibilities: 

  1. Work on increasing the overall efficiency of the company’s functioning by developing management tools to minimize manual efforts. 
  2. Expected to participate in the process and delivery of operational tools like diagnostics, repair, and other features. 
  3. Design the selection criteria to evaluate new hardware. 
  4. Perform numerous tasks related to system maintenance to ensure the proper configuration and functioning of new applications.
  5. Lead the team of Amazon Web Services as a subject expert of systems and operations. 

Roles and Responsibilities of a Senior System Engineer at Amazon

All tech companies have a structured ladder of employment. Experienced applicants take up the responsibility and higher positions, and those with less experience or freshers are given an opportunity to grow. At Amazon, the highest level of system engineer is taken up by the senior system engineer, and the individual’s roles are:

  1. A senior system engineer is responsible for designing solutions and allotting them to respective subordinates to work on. 
  2. Apart from working on server platforms and processors, the Engineer is also required to fulfill administrational responsibilities
  3. As a senior system engineer, the individual is expected to have expertise in any one of the servers, Windows or Linux, and are required to guide people in doubt. 
  4. Senior system engineers are also required to work on specific large platforms like SAP or SaaS. 
  5. Instead of maintaining an already functional platform, a senior system engineer is expected to design it. 

Amazon System Engineer vs. Software Engineer

System engineers and software engineers are both essentially important in the proper working of any technical organization. The roles and responsibilities performed by the two are both distinct and different. 

System Engineer at Amazon

  • A system engineer at Amazon is focused on the overall management of all the engineering products of the company. 
  • They are additionally required to oversee technical work involved in deriving solutions to assigned problems
  • System engineers are supposed to focus on hardware, software, and computer-based development of the system. 
  • Some of the specific tasks undertaken by system engineers are analysis of stakeholders, interface specification, verification and validation of the system, and system design. 

Software Engineer at Amazon

  • An Amazon software development engineer is associated with designing and developing software applications and products. 
  • Software engineers are actively involved in all aspects of software development, from designing it to its maintenance. 
  • They also work on identifying the loopholes and improving the existing system. 

Amazon System Engineer Salary 

Amazon, one of the FAANG companies, is headquartered in Seattle, United States. Aspiring software engineers, coding engineers, software developers, and tech leads willing to grab positions at Amazon always wish to be a part of the headquarters because of its lucrative salary. 

The average system engineer salary at Amazon in the US is $139,499 per year. The range of salary earned by system engineers annually is between $114,628 to $159,340

The average Amazon system engineers salary in the United States earned by the top 10% earners is estimated to be around $185,484 per year,

Recommended reading:
Salary Negotiation Tips: What Not to Do During Salary Negotiation
How to Answer the Interview Question — "What Are Your Salary Expectations?"

System Engineer Amazon Salaries Based on Years of Experience

The total compensation packages offered to Amazon system engineers depend entirely on that individual's years of experience in the field. There are four groups, and the compensation package earned by each group is mentioned below:

  1. Early career system engineer: An individual with one to four years of experience falls into this category, and the salary earned by the Engineer is $94K per annum. 
  2. Mid-career system engineer: Anyone with experience of over five to nine years is a part of the mid-career group, and they receive an annual package of $98K
  3. Late career system engineer: A person who has been associated with the company for over 10 years and has a total experience of 10 to19 years is placed in the late-career category. The average salary earned by these engineers is $117K per year. 
  4. Experienced system engineer: An individual who has practically helped shape the company and has worked for over 20 years is an experienced system engineer. Only the top 10% of the employees acquire this position, and their salary is $123K per annum. 

System Engineer Stock Options at Amazon

All FAANG companies have a typical compensation package structure; this includes the base salary, bonus, and stock. The stock options provided by Amazon to its employees are restricted stock units that have a four-year vesting schedule. 

Amazon stocks begin to vest on the employee's first anniversary (5%). Subsequently, in the second year, 15% of the RSU will vest. Lastly, in the third and fourth years, 20% of stocks will vest every six months. So, the bottom line is that unless an employee has worked with Amazon for at least four years or more, the restricted stock benefits won’t be worth claiming. 

Benefits of Working at Amazon as a System Engineer

At FAANG companies, all employees, including software engineers, coding engineers, software developers, and tech leads, are provided with a wide range of benefits and bonuses. These benefits can be broadly classified into the following categories:

Health Benefits

Amazon provides numerous health benefits to its employees; some of the perks offered are:

  • Insurances: Amazon employees are conferred with a set of insurances like health, dental, disability, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. 
  • Maternity and paternity leave: Maternity leave of up to 10 weeks is allotted, and paternity leave of 6 weeks is allowed; however, one can avail of these only after completing one year of employment with Amazon.
  • Life insurance: A life insurance of almost two times the base salary and up to a maximum amount of $500K is provided by Amazon.
  • Paid time offs: All employees are allowed six days of personal leaves and five sick leaves every year.
  • Amazon also provides its employees with unique pet insurances.

Transport Benefits

The company usually has company shuttles. Employees traveling from faraway places can choose between regional transit systems or can request travel allowances. 

Home Benefits

Amazon provides wholesome assistance for the employee’s family. This covers adoption assistance, fertility assistance, relocation bonus ($700K), phone bill reimbursement ($70K), and an option to work remotely.

Post-retirement Perks

  • Mega Backdoor Roth IRA: Employees at Amazon contribute up to 10% of their base salary after every pay to the after-tax portion of the 401K pension plan and eventually convert it to Roth.  
  • 401K pension plan: This plan of Amazon vests only after three years of employment. 

Other On-site Company Perks

  • Amazon is a pet-friendly company, giving employees the liberty to bring their pets to work. 
  • The company provides free breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
  • The employees can even avail special gym discounts at Amazon.
  • Employees at Amazon are also eligible for $100 of employee credit every year. 

The benefits provided to Amazon system engineers are of an estimated total value of $5,400.

Comparison of Amazon System Engineer Salary With Other Companies

All the reputed FAANG companies are headquartered in the United States. This has led to employers offering competitive pay to hire the best software engineer, system development engineer, coding engineer, and engineering manager from the lot. 

Here’s a quick overview of what a system development engineer could earn per annum at Amazon, Facebook, and Apple: 

  1. Amazon: $139,499
  2. Facebook: $156,162
  3. Apple: $152,731

As you can see, system engineers receive high salaries at FAANG. If you’re looking for a great opportunity at any of these companies, acing the interview should be a priority. 

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Q. How do I prepare for the Amazon system engineer interview?

The Amazon system engineer interview has multiple rounds of coding, behavioral questions, and on-site interviews. You can refer to System Design Interview Preparation Tips for insights. 

Q. What is the highest salary earned by a system engineer at Amazon?

The highest salary earned on average by a system engineer at Amazon is $184,484 annually. 

Q. How difficult is it to crack the Amazon system engineer interview?

The entire interview process is very elaborate and tedious. You can check out Interview Kickstart for more details on how to crack FAANG company interviews. 

 Want to Crack System Engineer Interview at Amazon?

To get placed as a system engineer at one of the reputed FAANG companies, you’ll need a reliable guide and a well-planned schedule. Interview Kickstart is here to smoothen this rough path of achieving your dream job. 

Since 2014, Interview Kickstart has helped thousands of engineers achieve their dreams. With our courses, we empower you to get better acquainted with the intricacies of your domain and provide the right guidance to clear tech interviews at FAANG and tier-1 tech companies. 

Want to learn more? Sign up for our FREE webinar on how to nail your next tech interview!

Last updated on: 
August 10, 2021

Utkarsh Sahu

Director, Category Management @ Interview Kickstart || IIM Bangalore || NITW.

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