Google Site Reliability Engineer Salary

The term “Site Reliability Engineering” originated at Google and was coined by Ben Treynor Sloss.

A Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) is responsible for how the code is configured, deployed, and monitored, as well as the availability, latency, change management, emergency response, and capacity management of services in production.

Google’s mission is to create, shield, and continue to progress all of its public services systems and software, like Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, App Engine, etc. As an SRE at Google, you would need to keep revenue-critical systems up and running despite bandwidth outages, storms, and configuration errors.

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

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Through this article, we will discuss:

  • What is Site Reliability Engineering?
  • Google Site Reliability Engineer salary
  • Google Site Reliability Engineer stock options
  • Site Reliability Engineer Salary — Google vs. Other Tech Companies
  • How to crack the Google Site Reliability Engineer interview
  • FAQs on Google Site Reliability Engineer

What Is Site Reliability Engineering?

Site Reliability Engineering is a process of defining reliability goals and continuously improving them as needed. This was started by Benjamin Treynor Sloss when he joined Google in 2003. 

“SRE is what happens when you ask a software engineer to design an operations team” — Ben Treynor

Read How Google Came Up With the Site Reliability Engineering Role to find the whole story of how Google came up with this role.

Google Site Reliability Engineer Salary

A Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) earns an average of $183,000 per year in the US.

The salary consists of the following components:

Google Site Reliability Engineer Stock Options

Google issues Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) to every engineer irrespective of the job level. This type of compensation consists of receiving company shares in exchange for your work. Most big tech companies issue RSUs to their employees. It’s a good way to get the employees invested in the long-term success of the company. 

At Google, RSUs are subject to a four-year vesting schedule, which means 25% of your stocks vest every year for four years. Until you’ve been in the company for at least a year, the stock will not be accessible. You need to wait until your stocks vest to sell them.

Google sometimes refers to their RSUs as Google Stock Units (GSUs). The vesting schedule for GSUs may vary depending on the number of shares you receive from the company. For instance, if you earn less than 32 GSUs, your stocks will vest annually. If you earn between 64 to 159 GSUs, your stocks will vest quarterly.

Site Reliability Engineer Salary — Google vs. Other Tech Companies

If you are planning to switch to a new company as an SRE, it’s a good idea to weigh your options. Here’s how Google matches up with other tech companies (average base salary per year as per Glassdoor):

As you can see, when it comes to SRE salaries, Google is among the highest-paying tech companies. It is only second to Twitter, by a small margin. This is no surprise, as Google is known for paying higher salaries in comparison to the industry average.

How to Crack the Google Site Reliability Engineer Interview

Here are a few tips to crack the Google SRE interview: 

  • Create a study plan and focus on a few topics each day.
  • Learn the fundamentals. 
  • Practice solving problems using pencil and blank paper or a whiteboard and markers.
  • Practice mock interviews. This is where your networking can help. Ask someone you know to be an interviewer and take your mock interview. 
  • Use a timer and practice coding questions.

Google Site Reliability Engineer Interview Questions

The list below are a few common interview questions that can help you prepare for your interview at Google:

  1. What is the function of inodes in a Linux FileSystem?
  2. Design a class with given specifications.
  3. How would you design a thumbnail service?
  4. Given an array, shuffle it and ensure that none of the elements are in the same position.
  5. Given two binary trees, find if both of them have the same structure.
  6. Given a Binary Search Tree, calculate the height of the tree.
  7. How many leave nodes would a binary tree with X nodes contain?
  8. Explain memory management in Python.
  9. How does a garbage collector work?
  10. How to terminate a running process?

Head over to Learn and problems for learning the fundamentals and practicing commonly asked coding problems at FAANG and other tier-1 tech companies.

FAQs on Google Site Reliability Engineer

Q. What does a Site Reliability Engineer do?

A. SRE focuses on finding a balance between releasing new features and ensuring that they are reliable for users.

Q. Who can become a Site Reliability Engineer?

A. You need to have strong foundations in both systems engineering as well as software engineering in order to apply for this role. 

Get Ready for Your SRE Interview

If you need help with your prep, join Interview Kickstart’s Site Reliability Engineering Interview Course — the first-of-its-kind, domain-specific tech interview prep program designed specifically for Site Reliability Engineers. Click here to learn more about the program. 

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. 

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