Site Reliability Engineer Salary: Requirements and Skills


Site Reliability Engineer Salary



A Site Reliability Engineer’s average income in the United States is $124,467. A Site Reliability Engineer’s average supplemental cash compensation in the United States is $12,892. A Site Reliability Engineer’s total remuneration in the United States is $137,359. 

By taking on responsibilities traditionally performed by operations, a site reliability engineer (SRE) acts as a link between development and IT operations. These types of engineers, on the other hand, are tasked with using automation techniques to solve problems by developing scalable and reliable software systems. 

SREs specialize in standardization and automation, which is especially important as systems shift to the cloud. As a result, they frequently have a background in software or system engineering or system administration, as well as familiarity with IT operations. 

What is the role of a site reliability engineer? 

A site reliability engineer (SRE) is a person who works in the gap between development and operations. As a result, the SRE is a software developer with knowledge and experience in IT operations. 

Because a large part of this job entails writing and developing code to automate operations like analyzing logs, testing production settings, and responding to concerns, this engineer will be a coding expert. 

As a result of this automation, developers may concentrate solely on feature development, allowing them to bring new features to production as rapidly as feasible. 

The operations staff, on the other hand, will see a reduction in workload as an SRE automates solutions to any recurring issue. 

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As a result, he or she will shift between development and operations activities while maintaining a balance. 

Because an SRE engineer’s main focus is automation, he or she improves software development processes’ performance, efficiency, and monitoring. 

Set of skills required 

SREs devote their time to developing software that improves system reliability, resolving problems, and responding to occurrences and problems. As a result, they will require a variety of technical talents. 

They will need to be familiar with a variety of automation technologies because they are normally in charge of developing and integrating software tools to improve the dependability and scalability of an organizational system. 

Roles and responsibilities of an SRE Automation on a daily basis 

As previously said, SRE engineers provide automation solutions to manage IT processes. As a result, rather of conducting these tasks manually, they want to automate them. These are some of the functions: 

Continuous delivery and continuous integration 


Response to an incident 

Monitoring of Alerts 

SRE engineers are in charge of ensuring that the underlying infrastructure is up and operating, as well as that systems and tools are functioning properly. 

They also keep an eye on essential apps and services to ensure their availability and reduce downtime. 


These engineers communicate closely with developers, especially when difficulties arise, so they can assist with troubleshooting and provide advice when alarms are issued. 

If a developer encounters a problem, this engineer will investigate and then resolve the problem. 

Following the resolution of the incident, the engineer will revisit the problem and determine the root cause to ensure that it does not occur again. 

Collaboration between teams 

Based on the foregoing, SREs collaborate with a variety of teams, mostly operations and development. By creating dependable systems and providing support to these teams, they will have more time to focus on developing new features and delivering them to customers faster.

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What are the factors affecting the salary of Site Reliability Engineers?

There is no such thing as a universal salary figure. In certain areas, the low end of the spectrum will not attract any applications, while in others, it will appear generous. 

Some industries and businesses can afford to pay the top candidates, who are aware that their talents and experience are in high demand and expect to be compensated accordingly. 

Other industries are content to hire someone who can do the job and learn and improve, even if they are unable to pay top cash. 

Previous experience is also important: Someone coming into SRE from an Amazon-related role will have radically different pay scale opportunities than someone attempting to get out of a failed Wisconsin start-up. 

Each business will have its own pay strategy that works for them. Some may pay up to the 50th percentile, while others may pay up to the 75th percentile. It could differ for a variety of reasons, including business bonuses that balance base pay, corporations with a high equity stake, and so on. 

In this section, we go through some of the elements that impact how much a candidate should anticipate to be paid. 


When new junior developers are hired to join an established SRE team, they are not expected to know nearly as much as a senior SRE who is hired to design a program. Because the team will need to spend more time training and mentoring you, what you already know and bring to the team is taken into account. It is worthwhile for someone new to SRE to apply for one of these roles and learn from seasoned professionals. 

People with 10+ years of experience in SRE earn the most money, and they’re often in charge of leading a team, managing numerous teams, or even launching an SRE program from the ground up at a startup. To be successful in these professions, you must know what you’re doing, and you’ll be compensated accordingly. 

Salary offers also rise as a result of experience with specific technologies that are both covered and uncommon. Prior expertise with Golang, Java, Kubernetes, Linux, and DevOps will make you a stronger contender for a competitive position or a better-paid hiring for a role with a specific gap to fill at the moment. 

Furthermore, much is dependent on the company’s and the SRE team’s needs. It depends on whether your experience matches their immediate demands or their long-term growth goals. 

Are you a software engineer, a software developer, or a member of an operations team? People that have experience on both sides of the business, development and operations, are referred to as unicorns in the industry due to their rarity. They have the largest earning potential as well. 

Have you worked as a DevOps engineer in the reliability engineering field? Have you worked with service level objectives (SLOs) or error budgets before? You’ll be in high demand, and your experience may put you in the second tier of top earners, particularly if you have several years of experience. 

Was it possible that you worked as a quality engineer in quality assurance (QA), a systems engineer, or a solutions architect? Any of them can aid your candidacy because you already know how important it is to test your system in order to understand how it functions. While some of your talents will transfer, you will have a lot to learn in SRE. It follows a completely different logic than others who utilize these job designations. You’ll have to demonstrate how your skills are transferable. You’ll be ahead of the game if you can draw a clear line from previous work to SRE requirements. Unless you have some DevOps or SRE experience, even if it’s minimal, you’ll most likely be looking at an entry-level SRE position, which could still imply a wage raise and isn’t something to overlook. 

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Are you based in or near San Francisco? To account for how much an engineer must pay to live in the area, incomes there and in other high-cost-of-living locales start with 17-18 percent higher salaries across the experience range. Furthermore, in places like these, there is more rivalry for SRE positions because there are more qualified applicants vying for open positions. Candidates will go elsewhere if a job listing’s remuneration package appears to be too low. 

Salary levels are lower in places with a lower cost of living. This usually works out well because workers require less to maintain a reasonable level of life in the area, so lesser pay offers have little impact on the applicant pool, unless they are excessively low. 


Some industries have greater resources, more robust programs, and more strict requirements than others. Others are limited in their options and are either able or ready to wait for a good individual willing to accept a job that pays less than in other industries. While SRE work is common across industries, it is not always the same. What a potential employer does, wants, or requires in a candidate is influenced by the technological stack in use, the governance style, and even legislative limits. This has an impact on how much they are willing or able to spend. 

Because they are going after enormous valuations and seek to attract the best staff, tech companies with high potential market caps tend to pay hefty compensation. This is particularly true in locations like Silicon Valley, New York, and Seattle. 

The biggest total compensation packages come from one of the major five tech businesses (FAANG, which stands for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google), followed by traditional financial companies and hedge funds, banks, robotics and self-driving car companies, and retail sales. A video game company’s compensation are directly linked to the company’s profitability; a successful game can result in bonuses of $100k or more on top of a $200k salary! 

When evaluating proposals, pay close attention to the small print. You may not yet have the necessary experience for the highest-paying jobs, but that should not deter you. It’s fine to apply for jobs that seem challenging if you think you’ll be able to handle them, because you never know! On the other hand, perhaps you don’t want to be a part of that business or the companies that make up that industry in the first place. You may have a stronger interest in the technologies used by a particular company and accept a lower-paying position (but still within the range of what you know you are worth) on the grounds that you will be doing more interesting work or learning technologies that you believe are important to your career. 


When a job offer is made, the total pay package is considered, not only the wage amount. Pay particular attention to the included benefits, like bonuses, time off, and other perks. Everything in the proposal is negotiable. If you prefer to work remotely, for example, you can negotiate other components of the offer that are less important to you. 

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Are there any annual or even quarterly bonuses to be had? What size do they come in, and how do they get them? According to our findings, organizations with bonus systems pay slightly lower base salary, but if bonus criteria are met, overall compensation may end up being higher at the end of the year. 

Some businesses do not provide bonuses. Some firms award bonuses based on specific performance criteria, such as meeting or exceeding personal goals and KPIs (KPIs). 

Some companies award bonuses based on profit sharing, using criteria such as meeting or exceeding sales targets or a link to stock price increase. Some businesses use data like these to compute the total amount of money available for employee incentives, then utilize KPIs and other metrics to determine how much each employee should get. 

Before you get too thrilled or upset, read and comprehend the details of any bonus-type remuneration being provided. If it sounds plausible, inquire about the frequency with which bonuses are actually paid out. Was there a bonus last year for the interviewer? Is it the fourth quarter yet? What percentage of the team members get one? Are you working for a company? 

Equity and/or performance bonuses are usually what allows companies that start with a lower base compensation stay competitive. Some of these annual performance bonuses might be as high as $60,000. 

Stock option

Because there are so many possible variables, this is a difficult one. Is the company already publicly traded or planning an IPO? 

What is the current share price and employee discount if it is publicly traded? When will shares be available for purchase? How long do they have to be kept before they can be sold? What exactly are the guidelines? 

Is there a timeline for going public if the company isn’t already public? Is there a strategy? Is there a plan in place for alternative scenarios, such as the company being acquired? So, what happens to the choices? How many possibilities are available? What is the total number of stocks/options available? When do those choices become vested? When can they be used and when must they be used? Pre-IPO stock is usually sold with a four-year vesting schedule, with a 25% cliff in the first year, meaning that 25% of the options vest after one year, and the balance vests month by month for the next three years. For well-known startups, this has been worth roughly $200-300,000. 

Company stock and stock options can be a fantastic way for employees to directly profit from company growth in some situations. They are useless in the eyes of others. Examine the firm closely and examine it to decide what you believe the company’s growth potential is. Then you may evaluate if the options are a compelling component of the package, particularly if the salary is below average for your experience level and area. 

Remember that a vesting schedule is intended to purchase your long-term loyalty. You might be perfectly content to stay regardless of the vesting timeline if you like the job and the options have the potential to increase in value. When hiring a skilled senior SRE, some companies would buy out leftover stock options as a sign-on incentive. For example, if an engineer doesn’t want to leave a business because they have $175k in unvested options, the new company may give you in cash to convince you to join. It’s unusual, but it does happen.

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