“The Technical Program Manager (TPM) Salary – Revised Analysis”. It is a revised analysis because 2 years ago I published a very detailed Senior PM / TPM Salary analysis. That was a pretty sticky post. Fortunately or unfortunately things have changed quite a lot over the last 2 years, hence this revised post. Technical Program Manager (TPM) Salary Analysis – Seattle, 2017
The first article published in 2015 came about when i was doing research and collecting data points to take to my manager as I wanted a raise. I was quite baffled of how under paid I was, but well the good thing was I did has a great work environment and the learning was fantastic. As I was doing my research I questioned myself on why queasy people get talking numbers. I might see the reason not to discuss pay with colleagues at the same company but not talking about it with your industry peers dopes put one at a disadvantage. Looking at Glassdoor, Paysacle, DOL or Paysa only gives you a slice of information. It is a very AVERAGE take on things. As you build out your core competencies and expertise in areas that are on high demand you will soon realize that the information provided on these sites are not extremely reliable.
Also comparing numbers have become rather complicated, over the last couple of years companies have made compensation very tricky with 4 sometimes 5 different components like Base + Sign on + Equity + Performance bonus, etc. Some of it vests in varying percentages over 4 years. What you take home at the end of the year could really vary with the stock prices fluctuating. Or if your company is Pre-IPO then even better you never know when its going IPO or how long you would need to wait.
Having said that, there I agree that the pay is not the beginning and end of things. We need to look at life as a whole. As in if we enjoy what we do, the work life balance, if you like and enjoy working with your manager and your team. The impact you deliver and all that jazz :P. As long as we keep in mind that for most of us pay is an important factor that we need to pay attention to. It is one part of the package and depending on your outlook towards life may or may not be the yardstick you use to measure how your career is progresing.
When I compared the numbers from the old blog post to what those numbers are today you can see a huge difference. Most of the jobs at least have a 30k increase. New data from Paysa and my research shows that Glassdoor data is quite off. I think the primary reason for this is the way Glassdoor calculate their average figures. If you calculate or an average for the last 10 years it’s going to be very different from calculating the average for the last 2 years. Because of the recent surges in the demand for talent has impacted the talent market here in Seattle. Both Paysa and Glassdoor data needs to be taken with a pinch of salt but here is the rundown.
Average Technical Program Manager (TPM) Salaries – Seattle
So a TPM Senior/ Lead / Principal can make anywhere from $250k to 360k. I understand that those roles are at varied levels but since each company has different salary ranges I am grouping them all together. Think about it this way, if you consider yourself a mid level TPM then this is what you should be aiming or negotiating for.
On the other hand you will find below that I have taken amazon as an example to show it by role.
Senior Technical Program Manager Salaries (TPM) at Amazon in Seattle –
Principal Technical Program Manager (TPM) Salaries at Amazon in Seattle –
Senior Technical Program Manager (TPM) Salaries at Microsoft in Seattle –
Principal Technical Program Manager (TPM) Salaries at Microsoft in Seattle –
That’s a huge difference from a couple of years ago. Also you can see there os quite difference in salaries for a principal role a MSFT vs AMZN. This should serve as a general guidance not as absolute values.
|Title||Total Compensation||Link To Paysa|
|Senior TPM General||$270,000||Link|
|Senior Amazon TPM||$278,000||Link|
This brings us back to a couple of things I discussed previously. To get paid something that is close to this range you have got to be pretty good with a wide breadth of skills and knowledge and have at least 2+ areas of in-depth specialization. From talking to quite a few folks here in Seattle I can confirm that the above numbers are pretty accurate.
Another interesting aspect is that though employers like Amazon or Microsoft are currently paying new hires these high salaries, it’s obviously a lot harder to ask your current manager for a 30 % + increase in your pay cheque. The only option then is to move 🙂 And if you are looking to move you might want to read “Interview Questions for Technical Program Managers”