Amazon Web Services salaries revealed: These 12 cloud jobs fetch as much as $185,000 in base pay — and this is what it takes to get hired

  • Amazon's dominant cloud computing business Amazon Web Services pays as much as $185,000 in base pay, before bonuses and stock awards.
  • That's according to data the company disclosed when applying for H-1B visas on behalf of foreign workers.
  • We analyzed the data to find the highest-paying jobs within AWS and used job postings to find out more about the positions, including key responsibilities and how many years of experience they require.
  • Do you work at Amazon Web Services? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email ([email protected]).
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Employees within Amazon's massive cloud computing business can make as much as $185,000 before stock awards and bonuses with as little as one year of experience, according to a Business Insider analysis of Amazon Web Services salary disclosures and job postings.

American companies have to disclose salaries when they apply for H-1B visas on behalf of current or prospective foreign workers. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification publishes the salaries every year. We analyzed the data to find the highest-paying jobs within AWS and used job postings to find out more about the positions, including key responsibilities and how many years of experience they require.

While AWS base salaries don't seem to be as high as at Amazon overall — which listed salaries as high as $1.6 million for employees in Seattle — it's worth noting that the data doesn't include stock and bonuses, which as best as we can tell are a big part of compensation within AWS.

Levels.fyi, a website where engineers submit their pay and total compensation in their jobs, shows stock and bonuses can make up a majority of annual compensation for AWS engineers, especially at the higher levels.

The website lists the average salary for a principal software development engineer, for example, as $162,000, but average total compensation as $552,000 including $333,000 in stock per year and a $57,000 bonus.

Amazon has long since instituted its famous salary cap, which limits the base pay for most of its employees (though they can still make considerably more in stock and other bonuses). The salary cap, according to levels.fyi, is region-specific and ranges from $160,000 to $185,000. However, the visa filings show that outside of the AWS business, Amazon lists salaries as high as $1.6 million in base pay. Amazon declined to comment on the salary data.

We analyzed the cloud division's more than 860 active foreign-worker visas in 2020 to find the titles with the highest salaries and provided a salary range for each role. Of course, it's not a comprehensive look at salaries because it only includes foreign workers, but it provides a rare window into how much the cloud giant pays employees.

Here are 12 Amazon Web Services jobs that pay $185,000 at the high end of their salary ranges, and what it takes to get them:

Software development engineer III

Salaries: $146,300 to $185,000

Top responsibility: Software development engineer III is one of the highest engineering levels within AWS, below only "principal software development engineer." There was one $160,000 salary listed for a principal software development engineer in the federal data, but it's likely the position fetches a lot more in annual compensation through stocks awards and bonuses. 

Years of experience required: At least four years software development experience.

Salaries and required experience for other engineering levels:

  • Software development engineer I: $93,184 to $160,000 salary. Entry-level, but experience with at least one modern programming language.
  • Software development engineer II: $114,800 to $182,000 salary. At least two years of non-internship software development experience.
  • Principal software engineer: $160,000 (only one salary listed in federal data). At least 10 years of engineering experience.

Manager III, software development

Salary: $142,300 to $185,000

Top responsibility: "You will be responsible for leading a multi functional team to design, development, test, and deploy new features and products. You will also be responsible hiring and developing the best, and create the strategic vision for the team."

Years of experience required: At least 10 years in professional software development and engineering management.

Senior manager, enterprise account engineer

Salary: $185,000 (only one salary listed in federal data)

Similar job posting: Enterprise account engineer III.

Top responsibility: "Design, develop and support global and enterprise companies running cloud-based mission-critical applications, systems, services and features."

Years of experience required: Varies based on degree.

Principal, solutions architect

Salary: $185,000 (only one salary listed in federal data)

Top responsibility: "Build deep relationships with customers to become a trusted advisor for their most critical workloads that support their digital transformation and journey to the cloud."

Years of experience required: At least 10 years in a technical solutions architect role.

Solutions architect III: $185,000

Pay: $137,259 to $185,000

Top responsibility: "Act as a technical liaison between customers, AWS Sales and other AWS teams to craft highly scalable, flexible and resilient cloud architectures that address customer business problems and accelerate the adoption of AWS services."

Years of experience required: Varies based on degree.

Applied scientist II

Pay: $144,300 to $185,000

Top responsibility: "Design, implement, test, deploy and maintain innovative data and deep learning solutions to further the customer experience."

Years of experience required: "At least three years of practical machine learning experience and at least two years of hands-on programming, on top of a PhD in computer science or a related field."

Senior marketing and field enablement operations manager

Pay: $185,000 (only one salary listed in federal data)

Similar job posting: Senior program manager, field enablement

Top responsibility: "Identify, define, develop and maintain field engagement program plans, identify resource needs, and manage project schedule. Deliver high quality field engagement workshops."

Years of experience required: At least eight years of program management experience, preferably in marketing.

Principal tech business developer

Pay: $185,000 (only one salary listed in federal data)

Similar job posting: Principal, technology business development, emerging devices

Top responsibility: "Lead the identification, evaluation, negotiation and execution of strategic partnerships and marketing deals that drive competitive advantage and customer delight, and support strategic objectives on a global basis."

Years of experience required: A least 10 to 12 years, depending on business development experience.

 

Principal enterprise account engineer

Pay: $185,000 (only one salary listed in federal data)

Top responsibility: "Develop and execute on an operational support strategy that helps our customers continue to grow and be successful on the AWS platform."

Years of experience required: At least nine years technical engineering experience and at least three years "customer facing experience leading IT transformation."

Business development manager, cloud economics

Pay: $185,000

Top responsibility: "Cloud Economics accelerates value realization adoption by addressing economic friction or blockers in a customer's journey. We deliver financial insights, best practices, and advisory to businesses and financial leaders to address economic challenges," according to a recent job posting.

Years of experience required: 7 to 10 years of business development and IT management or management consulting experience.

Senior manager, solutions architecture

Pay: $185,000 (only one salary listed in federal data)

Top responsibility: "As a key member of the business development and sales management teams, ensure success in building and migrating applications, software and services onto the AWS platform."

Years of experience required: At least 10 in a variety technical, customer-facing roles.

Professional services II and III

Salaries: $145,000 to $185,000 for professional services III; $103,600 to $185,000 for professional services II

Top responsibility: "Gather customer requirements and deliver innovative solutions," according to a recent professional services II job posting.

Years of experience required: At least a Master's degree and three years of experience for starting at professional services II.

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