Between software engineers and product managers, who generally gets paid more?

To begin with, Product Managers are rarely paid more than Software Engineers at the same “level.” Product managers earn about 5–10% less on average in companies like Google and Amazon for the same level roles. PMs are rarely paid more than senior engineers in startups.

Engineers have numerous opportunities for advancement, including SWE I/II/III, Senior, Staff, Sr. Staff, Dir, Sr Dir, VPE, and so on. I’m not sure why some others said PMs have better growth prospects. I agree that becoming CEO is not always an option, but how many PMs become CEOs?

I may be biased, but the world has far too many mediocre product managers, and engineers often have far better insights into what the product should do next.


  1. Granted, Engineers do not have as much time to research users and the market, so they make poor decisions and gravitate toward their personal preferences, but they usually have a better intuition for product evolution. It’s because they consider the problem space at a much deeper level than PMs.

  2. Furthermore, far too many project managers used buzzwords that were popular in the industry at the time, demonstrating completely unoriginal thinking.