Site reliability engineers are the bridge between IT and Development teams who are tasked with problem-solving and automating tools to create reliable and scalable systems.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job growth for a site reliability engineer is projected to increase 21% by 2028, which is significantly faster than other jobs.
According to Glassdoor, a site reliability engineer’s salary in the United States has a national average of $122,023. Salary depends on many factors, and looking at a standard doesn’t tell much information. Let’s look at origins, company size, location, and experience level.
Site Reliability Engineer Origins
In 2003, Google first introduced the concept of site reliability engineering to make their already large-scale sites more reliable, efficient, and scalable.
The practices they developed responded so well to Google’s needs that other big tech companies, such as Amazon and Netflix, also adopted them and brought more new approaches.
Site Reliability Engineer Salary Based on Company Size
Company size can make a big difference when it comes to salary. However, one important thing to keep in mind while looking at these salaries is that they do not include other compensation like cash bonuses, equity or benefits.
Here are the average salaries, based on Glassdoor, you can expect based on company size:
- 11-50 employees: $124,200
- 51-200 employees: $118,328
- 201-500 employees: $126,049
- 501+ employees: $130,902
Are you wondering why the reported salaries dipped between a few hundred employees and over 500? There were over 1,000 salaries reported for the 500+ company size range, while the 200-500 range had only a few hundred reports.
This discrepancy could also be because companies in the 200-500 employee range are often competing for their place in the market and might offer higher salaries to attract top talent.
Site Reliability Engineer Salary Based on Location
According to Indeed, here are the highest paying cities for site reliability engineer salaries in the United States:
- Sunnyvale, CA: $145,384
- Wilmington, DE: $140,280
- New York: $133,698
- San Antonio, TX: $131,167
- Seattle, WA: $133,715
- Atlanta, GA 129,503
- Remote: $116,171
While the salary for remote site reliability engineers is lower than workers in tech hubs, it’s important to keep in mind that working remotely can mean a lower cost of living and no commute to an office.
Salaries tend to vary a lot based on location because of job availability and cost of living. The San Francisco Bay Area is not only the original tech hub, but also has an extraordinarily high cost of living, so it typically has the highest salaries.
Over the last few years, more cities around the US are becoming secondary tech hubs as well, like Austin, TX and New York City.
Site Reliability Engineer Employer Desired Skills
As a site reliability engineer, it’s best to have a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain competitive.
Site Reliability Engineer Salary Based on Experience
Bigger companies hire more people into specialized roles. Here are the average salaries you can expect based on years of experience:
- Entry-level: $122,068
- Mid-level: $141,114
- Senior-level: $130,936
Site reliability engineer jobs are mostly available at smaller startups that are looking to attract top talent, so they pay a little more. There is also a chance that the demand for site reliability engineers is so high, companies are willing to pay more to attract new talent.
Your Journey to Site Reliability Engineer
With flexible and affordable online learning programs like Udacity, there’s never been a better time to start learning how to become a site reliability engineer.
Check out Udacity’s Site Reliability Engineer Nanodegree program to get started today.