• Text Only
ilikebtmoney said: It's all relative in a single employee and owner s-corp. If I take $350K payroll, or $300K payroll and buy myself a new $50K car on the books it's still $350K. I just gave the number based on what I expect to be reported as income. Income in an s-corp is passed down to it's shareholders (me), regardless of whether I leave a big balance in the business, or just put it all in my personal checking account.
There is that issue of SS and Medicare tax difference between profit and payroll....just saying.

Oh I know, but I thought the point was wondering how much was truly earned, as profit, from the job. That was the number I provided, semantics aside. Look up the tax thread last year of how much net tax (percentage) I paid and you'll see just how aggressive I get with writeoff's. Last year was an unusual record though (less than 1% paid in taxes).

ilikebtmoney said: Oh I know, but I thought the point was wondering how much was truly earned, as profit, from the job. That was the number I provided, semantics aside. Look up the tax thread last year of how much net tax (percentage) I paid and you'll see just how aggressive I get with writeoff's. Last year was an unusual record though (less than 1% paid in taxes).
Would be helpful if you linked to that, I am in a similar boat.

I don't know where the link is, but I can tell you I did a ton of purchases last year, Section 179 was a huge help in reducing taxable income. Also keep in mind that each business can Section 179 some things that others can't, that are specific to your industry. For example, the "general" Section 179 list wouldn't permit something such as a $10,000 e-commerce website design to be allowable, but if your business IS the web, well, then your website is equipment just like for a brick and mortar that is purchasing office equipment. I did something similar in my business and my CPA cleared it without hesitation.

So think hard about your business, and come up with a list of things that you think may be "equipment" to Section 179. As I'm sure you know, Section 179 isn't just an accelerated writeoff, but it reduces your personal tax liability (profit sharing/aaa distributions) as well.

seattlesalaries said:
Age: 22
Location: Seattle
Occupation: Program Manager


I am very curious to know what work do you do as a Program Manager at MS. The reason I ask is that I am now at the same designation as you (albeit 5 years elder), and I am the youngest that my firm has ever hired at my designation - it generally takes people around 12 years to reach a Program Manager designation. I managed to reach it in 6, but you are putting me to shame if you are already there at 22!!

ilikebtmoney said: Gender: Male
Age 28
...
What's the job like?: I'm still in PA, so it's very cold, snowing right now, and not pleasant. Oh yeah, we're talking about the JOB. Well, it's actually very difficult. It took many years to build up to this (13 to be exact)


So.. 13 years to build this up and you are 28 - you started this business when you were 15 (i.e. in HS?)

Gender: Male
Age 23
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Occupation: Hardware Engineer I for Fortune 500 Tech company
Education: BS in Electrical Engineering
2009 Salary: $75k + $4k bonus + ESPP (10%) + few hundred in bonuses
Future Salary Projection: $85k-$90k whenever I get promoted in the next year or two and target bonus moved back to normal levels of 8%
Benefits:401k matching up to 4.5%, ESPP up to 10% of salary, random cash bonuses, medical, dental, vision, 22 days of PTO a year
What's the job like?: Strange thing is I don't really do any engineering but manage field trials of all our new products at pilot customer sites. Its interesting as I don't have any one product I spend all my time on but switch every few months to several new ones based on the release. Sorta of a jack of all trades job since I do customer interaction, troubleshooting, project management, and have to persuade product teams of fixes/changes to make based on customer feedback. I like it because a) I get to see the big picture of whats going on in my Business unit, b)pretty high visibility for my age as I work with people from all parts of the organization c) when things go wrong I get to manage the development engineers to fix it. Nothing quite like managing people twice your age . Main sucky thing about this job is the hours due to globalization I'm on meetings sometimes from 7:30 AM to 9 PM.

Would you recommend the career to others?:
Yes for a starter job. It gives you experience in a lot of different areas such as customer interaction, project management, some basic management and everything changes pretty much every 3 months. Long term though there isn't that much room for growth since its a niche job. You also hit the famed salary cap that all engineers face in their mid 30s. I'm pretty sure my 2 coworkers 40+ years old maxed out around $120k, which in the bay area is peanuts.

nik0 said: seattlesalaries said:
Age: 22
Location: Seattle
Occupation: Program Manager


I am very curious to know what work do you do as a Program Manager at MS. The reason I ask is that I am now at the same designation as you (albeit 5 years elder), and I am the youngest that my firm has ever hired at my designation - it generally takes people around 12 years to reach a Program Manager designation. I managed to reach it in 6, but you are putting me to shame if you are already there at 22!!


MS doesn't behave the same as many companies in that a PM is a senior role requiring at minimum a PMP and possibly a PgMP along with 10-12 years of experience. Instead, MS separates their project teams into 1 of 4 roles: PM, Software Engineer, Software Test Engineer, and Software Quality Assurance. The pay hierachy is generally SE at the top followed by PM / STE being around the middle and SQA rounding out the bottom. This is the reason you'll actually see quite a few junior level PMs at MS. In fact, if you go in for an interview as a recent grad PM, the interview basically consists of brain teasers and general logic questions not dissimilar to questions on the LSAT.

maca said: So.. 13 years to build this up and you are 28 - you started this business when you were 15 (i.e. in HS?)

Yes, was in a private school so had special permission to carry a cell phone. Parents signed all contracts on my behalf at the time, and yes, even drove me around.

ilikebtmoney said: I don't know where the link is, but I can tell you I did a ton of purchases last year, Section 179 was a huge help in reducing taxable income. Also keep in mind that each business can Section 179 some things that others can't, that are specific to your industry. For example, the "general" Section 179 list wouldn't permit something such as a $10,000 e-commerce website design to be allowable, but if your business IS the web, well, then your website is equipment just like for a brick and mortar that is purchasing office equipment. I did something similar in my business and my CPA cleared it without hesitation.

So think hard about your business, and come up with a list of things that you think may be "equipment" to Section 179. As I'm sure you know, Section 179 isn't just an accelerated writeoff, but it reduces your personal tax liability (profit sharing/aaa distributions) as well.

Hmmm... always thought 179 as tangible equipment and not 'websites'. Interesting.

Make sure your CPA is well versed in your industry, then they will know how to justify things that others wouldn't. If they don't truly understand the technologies or specifics of your industry they won't be able to get you the best writeoff's.

Gender: M
Age: 28
Location: PA (about 1 hr from Philadelphia)
Occupation: Computer Programmer (C++/Java Primarily)
Education: AA Internet/Network Engineering (whatever that means), and working towards BS Computer Science
2009 Salary: ~57,000
Future Salary Projection: typically 5-6% merit increase annual; plenty of opportunity to move into new positions which do not require openings; simply based on skill set. Next step would be an Analyst position which has a base salary of around $72,000
Benefits: Company match 401k (to 6%), Profit Sharing. Full Health, vision and dental with minimal ($100 for a family) employee contribution. 17 Personal/Vacation Days, 10 Holidays annually and extremely flexible work schedule

maca said: ilikebtmoney said: Gender: Male
Age 28
...
What's the job like?: I'm still in PA, so it's very cold, snowing right now, and not pleasant. Oh yeah, we're talking about the JOB. Well, it's actually very difficult. It took many years to build up to this (13 to be exact)


So.. 13 years to build this up and you are 28 - you started this business when you were 15 (i.e. in HS?)



I would believe it. I have a good friend from HS that did a similar thing, and is doing extremely well for himself at 28 in a very similar sort of business.

His business is not a "scalable" as ilikebtmoney is saying though, since, if you're running a service-type business as a sole-proprietor you eventually run out of hours in the day that you can get work done, naturally limiting how many customers you can support.

Sure it is, he just doesn't know how to delegate. All that customers care is that they're taken care of. He can make the initial sale, even be there to answer the phone and help people feel confident but behind the scene's he has a team of people doing the work. Entrepreneur's are plagued by the fear of delegation thinking they have to do everything themselves. I know, I too thought this way many many years. The only bottleneck in the business was me, it wasn't the fact that there are so many hours in a day. It can be done with any business. How else do you think those massive service providers that were built on one man's expertise exist? They find excellent people to delegate and uphold their standards. Your friend won't find a jack of all trades to do everything he needs as good as he does, but he may be able to split his jobs up to 2-5 people.

Bigmarley in 2008 said:
Gender: M
Age: 26
Location: DC-area
Occupation: Product Manager, Email Marketing
Education: BS-Business, BA-Spanish from top-30 university
2008 Salary: $67K+~$7-10K bonus
Future Salary Projection: Should be promoted, so ~$85K + 10-20% bonus in 2009.
Benefits: 401K w/match, dental, vision, 24 days PTO, work is 1.5 miles from home = GREAT commute. Young company with huge sales force = lots of young pretty women to date.
What's the job like? Its interesting. I'm enabling B2B marketers to email potential clients, so really, I'm helping to spam business professionals. The product management aspect is good, and the experience is good for prod mgmt positions elsewhere.
Would you recommend the career to others? Yes. At the end of the day though, I'm helping very large corporations to make more money, so I don't really get that "my work is good and meaningful" feeling that others do.


Gender: M
Age: 27
Location[b/]: Still DC-area
Occupation: Marketing Technology Consultant
Education: BS-Business, BA-Spanish from top-30 university
2009 Salary: ~120K (I'm an Indep Contractor and worked 1/2 yr as employee at former job so hard to say, but that's how its tracking right now)
Future Salary Projection: ~120K-150K, depending on how much business I bring in personally vs what is assigned to me.
Benefits: None (domestic partner with gf so use her healthcare).
What's the job like? Love it so far. Work from home, on the road, wherever. Can take "vacations" and work a few hours each day. Or can buckle down and rack up the hours to make a lot more. Projects are different, and you learn a TON. I think my job now is like how work should evolve to in the future -- work as much as you want when you want, and compensated based solely on performance. However it also means you are never really "off" completely. Just like last year, At the end of the day though, I'm helping very large corporations to make more money, so I don't really get that "my work is good and meaningful" feeling that others do.
Would you recommend the career to others? Yes, but there's no way to get into on purpose really. It takes a unique skillset between marketing professional, coder, designer, and project management.

Thanks everyone else for great responses once again!

^ Awesome increase in a year. Maybe you'll surprise yourself again this year and go way beyond your expectations.

ilikebtmoney said: Sure it is, he just doesn't know how to delegate. All that customers care is that they're taken care of. He can make the initial sale, even be there to answer the phone and help people feel confident but behind the scene's he has a team of people doing the work. Entrepreneur's are plagued by the fear of delegation thinking they have to do everything themselves. I know, I too thought this way many many years. The only bottleneck in the business was me, it wasn't the fact that there are so many hours in a day. It can be done with any business. How else do you think those massive service providers that were built on one man's expertise exist? They find excellent people to delegate and uphold their standards. Your friend won't find a jack of all trades to do everything he needs as good as he does, but he may be able to split his jobs up to 2-5 people.

I'm not familiar enough with his business to tell you what he's doing day-to-day, but I get the impression that in your (and his) line of work, that delegating to people good enough to do things well carries the major risk of eventually losing business to those same people.

I know you can deter that sort of thing with non-compete agreements, but from what I've read they're extremely difficult to actually enforce for all but the most egregious offenses.

You're right in traditional methods I've watched partner companies get business stolen from them time and time again. They fail to meet the two key points to prevent that.

1) As I mentioned, 2-5 people to just fill his one position. Give them all very small pieces of the pie so they simply cannot understand enough of the business to steal it.
2) For that potential 1 person who does have enough access and is in his "inner circle", they need to be very trustworthy, and compensated well. In my own case, I don't have this person. No one has enough access, control, or understanding to do much damage.

He should avoid finding a "jack of all trades" at all costs. Find precise help for very specific delegation of tasks. Think of everything as a project, not time. That will help. My name is ilikebtmoney, I am your friend, I am a SCORE counselor. lol

okwiater said: jmackdaddy said: ilikebtmoney said: profit, gross is a lot more. I use the job title terms loosely as I do many things, but primarily some Internet services.

"Internet services" is just as vague. Was hoping you could share a little more detail on what you do exactly, only because $300k profit in a young business for someone without a college degree is a rare exception and would probably be of interest to many of us on here.

But not of interest so much to ilikebtmoney, since we could very well end up as his competition!


Haha. Maybe, but that would imply that there are little to no barriers to entry, in which case the market would already be saturated. If it's a legitimate business that took 13 years to build to a decent level, then we're unlikely to become competition - again assuming it's an actual business and not some scheme.

^ Sure they all require some tact, but if you are one of the originals then it won't be saturated. Getting into my field now would be expensive, require a massive amount of technical expertise, and credentials, but look at some Saas models of known companies.

SaaS providers did not need to have substantial investments, big staffing, or much of anything "corporate fancy" to make their services. They still managed to make a killer amount of profit. It can be done. Just think of the big ones like social networking (myspace, facebook, twitter), old school file sharing (napster!), or online collaboration/tools (basecamp, huddle), and the list goes on and on and on.

ilikebtmoney said: ^ Sure they all require some tact, but if you are one of the originals then it won't be saturated. Getting into my field now would be expensive, require a massive amount of technical expertise, and credentials, but look at some Saas models of known companies.

SaaS providers did not need to have substantial investments, big staffing, or much of anything "corporate fancy" to make their services. They still managed to make a killer amount of profit. It can be done. Just think of the big ones like social networking (myspace, facebook, twitter), old school file sharing (napster!), or online collaboration/tools (basecamp, huddle), and the list goes on and on and on.


Are you the "real" Napster, or are you the roommate that stole it when he was napping at his computer?

Seriously though- which service is your site? Day to day, is you job primarily just sales then - calling on businesses and such to sell the site?

In an effort to keep the thread on-topic, all further inquiries please PM me directly. Thank you.

i don't believe it. i have friends that do similar line of work and make only 200K but had to have special designations and years of experience which required a college education. unless, you are in a super specialized field where you can control the rates.

^ typical of many people I've come across throughout the years. That attitude is exactly why you will never be where I am.

potatoehead said: have special designations and years of experience which required a college education
that is what might be holding them back.....

maxandsam said: Gender: M
Age: 29
Location: suburbia
Occupation: dentist
Education: dds
2009 Salary: 250k (80k in 08)
Future Salary Projection: 480k (b/c practice still not mature)
Benefits: free teeth cleanings
What's the job like? great. i love my job even more than last year. dentistry is a very rewarding and enjoying career if you can create the environment that you want. i love it b/c i love chatting with my patients about anything. i also love my high tech toys (e.g. cad cam crown machine). i am my own boss and can work whatever hours i want. rt now i work 36 hours. on-call is non-existent.
Would you recommend the career to others? my income is high b/c i have a very sucessful practice. it takes lots of business-sense and systems to create a highly sucessful practice. of course i also have debt near seven figures so you do the math of is it worth it. dental education + undergrad now runs up to 300k+ for certain schools now. that puts you really behind the curve. AVG salary of dentist is only 125k i believe too. while 125k seems a lot, tack on 300k educational loan + 300k (or whatever for house) and you're in the hole. not even counting practice debt that can run from 300-500k typically. i love my job and my career and i am damn good at what i do and how i run my business. my patients are very satisfied (hence large growth - bonus of not being a large sweat shop w/people coming in and out too) and i make good money. but i'd say i'm the exception to the rule. dentistry is a good career if you enjoy conversations w/patients, educating patients and challenges in your career. it is NOT a good career if you think you will make easy money (if you hate people/teeth/tedious things then his is the WORST career for that) or think it is an easy alternative to being an MD (hahahahhahahahahahah).


Can you comment on orthodontia? A general dentists deals with invasive (and perhaps risky) procedures - cavities, crowns, root canals, etc. As far as I can tell from my two separate courses of treatment with two separate orthodontists, their procedures are not invasive (perhaps meaning they are very low risk). My last orthodontist is only open Monday - Thursday year round, has very little specialized equipment, no in-office x-rays (patients are referred to x-ray labs), and dental assistants to do all the work except placing the brackets on the teeth. While they seem to pull in comparable revenues to general dentists. The income:effort ratio seems quite good there.

seattlesalaries said: Gender: M
Age: 22
Location: Seattle
Occupation: Program Manager
Education: BS in Computer Science
2009 Salary: $80k base with $30k stock signing bonus vested over 5 years
Future Salary Projection: The target performance bonus is 10% a year. So I should be around $100k next year including the portion of my stock signing bonus that will vest.
Benefits: Excellent health, dental, 50% match on 401k up to 6%, ESPP (10%), gym membership, bus pass
What's the job like? The job can be high stress at times. The people I work with are all very high achievers and are some of the smartest people I've ever met. So it definitely keeps me on my toes. My role as a program manager changes with the product cycle so it's very dynamic. I feel very fortunate to be working on a product that literally reaches hundred of millions of users.
Would you recommend the career to others? Definitely.


Program manager at 22? Assuming graduation at 21, did you ever spend any time in a developer position? Or was your first job out of school a PM?

jcbrooks said: seattlesalaries said: Gender: M
Age: 22
Location: Seattle
Occupation: Program Manager
Education: BS in Computer Science
2009 Salary: $80k base with $30k stock signing bonus vested over 5 years
Future Salary Projection: The target performance bonus is 10% a year. So I should be around $100k next year including the portion of my stock signing bonus that will vest.
Benefits: Excellent health, dental, 50% match on 401k up to 6%, ESPP (10%), gym membership, bus pass
What's the job like? The job can be high stress at times. The people I work with are all very high achievers and are some of the smartest people I've ever met. So it definitely keeps me on my toes. My role as a program manager changes with the product cycle so it's very dynamic. I feel very fortunate to be working on a product that literally reaches hundred of millions of users.
Would you recommend the career to others? Definitely.


Program manager at 22? Assuming graduation at 21, did you ever spend any time in a developer position? Or was your first job out of school a PM?


I would have said that $80k (especially in Seattle) was really low for someone who's actual job title is "program manager"...

Maybe the term means something non-standard at his company. (or maybe he manages a tiny program, like Notepad )

arch8ngel said: maca said: ilikebtmoney said: Gender: Male
Age 28
...
What's the job like?: I'm still in PA, so it's very cold, snowing right now, and not pleasant. Oh yeah, we're talking about the JOB. Well, it's actually very difficult. It took many years to build up to this (13 to be exact)


So.. 13 years to build this up and you are 28 - you started this business when you were 15 (i.e. in HS?)



I would believe it. I have a good friend from HS that did a similar thing, and is doing extremely well for himself at 28 in a very similar sort of business.

His business is not a "scalable" as ilikebtmoney is saying though, since, if you're running a service-type business as a sole-proprietor you eventually run out of hours in the day that you can get work done, naturally limiting how many customers you can support.


Also have a friend that did similar, in a shorter time frame (<5 years), but in the same age-frame (mid 20s). Sold the company to one of the big players for 3-digit millions (split among multiple partners).

However, it wasn't something someone could just say "I want to do this" and jump in to. The key seemed to be that he had a new idea to provide a unique service at a unique angle. If that idea was not new, or the service/angle not unique, it might have made a few dollars, but nothing near as big as it did.

ilikebtmoney said: ^ typical of many people I've come across throughout the years. That attitude is exactly why you will never be where I am.

defensive aren't we? if true, who cares what i, some random internet person, thinks.

I didn't say it for me, I said it to challenge your way of thinking.

Anyways, as I already said let's try to keep this on topic. If you have further comments take it to PM.

arch8ngel said: jcbrooks said: seattlesalaries said: Gender: M
Age: 22
Location: Seattle
Occupation: Program Manager
Education: BS in Computer Science
2009 Salary: $80k base with $30k stock signing bonus vested over 5 years
Future Salary Projection: The target performance bonus is 10% a year. So I should be around $100k next year including the portion of my stock signing bonus that will vest.
Benefits: Excellent health, dental, 50% match on 401k up to 6%, ESPP (10%), gym membership, bus pass
What's the job like? The job can be high stress at times. The people I work with are all very high achievers and are some of the smartest people I've ever met. So it definitely keeps me on my toes. My role as a program manager changes with the product cycle so it's very dynamic. I feel very fortunate to be working on a product that literally reaches hundred of millions of users.
Would you recommend the career to others? Definitely.


Program manager at 22? Assuming graduation at 21, did you ever spend any time in a developer position? Or was your first job out of school a PM?


I would have said that $80k (especially in Seattle) was really low for someone who's actual job title is "program manager"...

Maybe the term means something non-standard at his company. (or maybe he manages a tiny program, like Notepad )


http://www.glassdoor.com/GD/Salary/jobSummary.htm?employerId=165...

total pay for MS PM is 71k to 118k

jcbrooks said:
Also have a friend that did similar, in a shorter time frame (<5 years), but in the same age-frame (mid 20s). Sold the company to one of the big players for 3-digit millions (split among multiple partners).

However, it wasn't something someone could just say "I want to do this" and jump in to. The key seemed to be that he had a new idea to provide a unique service at a unique angle. If that idea was not new, or the service/angle not unique, it might have made a few dollars, but nothing near as big as it did.


These stories of making millions in a few short years would be more believable if they weren't so vague in their descriptions. What was the company and what "big player" bought them?

potatoehead said: arch8ngel said:

I would have said that $80k (especially in Seattle) was really low for someone who's actual job title is "program manager"...

Maybe the term means something non-standard at his company. (or maybe he manages a tiny program, like Notepad )


http://www.glassdoor.com/GD/Salary/jobSummary.htm?employerId=165...

total pay for MS PM is 71k to 118k



So I guess PM must mean something significantly different in the software industry than it does in the defense industry

Gender: Male
Age: Early 30s
Location: SF bay area
Occupation: Sales Engineer -- networking/security start-up
Education: BS Computer Science
2008 Salary: $120K base + ~$219K commission (insane year)
2009 Salary: $120K base + ~$80K commission

Future Salary Projection: Probably no increase in base this year. Commission will depend on a lot of things, including how the 2010 comp plan is set up, sales volume, etc. Future looks very bright though for my company's products and the industry as a whole.

Benefits: Stock options, awesome health/dental, 401k (no match though), 4 weeks PTO + 10 company holidays

What's the job like? My role involves both pre-sales (product demos, design, responding to RFPs) and post-sales (implementation and support). I'm paired with a sales guy, and together we cover the west coast. The company is headquartered on the east coast, so we both work from home. Lots of time on the phone, e-mail, WebEx, etc. Some travel (maybe 30%?) to see customers up and down the west coast, but often just as a day trip, so not too bad. Working from home has its benefits: no commute, huge flexibility of schedule to take care of personal stuff, more time with family/kids. But also has its drawbacks: isolation, last to hear news/rumors from HQ, little opportunity to develop friendships /w coworkers, distraction from family/kids HQ generally leaves us alone to take care of our customers.

Would you recommend the career to others? Absolutely. So much better than previous jobs I've had in network engineering/operations. More engaging, better money, less stress. No middle-of-the-night maintenance windows A lot of the financial upside of a sales role (commission) with less risk due to a bad quarter (generous base salary). Good SEs have a super-solid technical background, great interpersonal skills to be with customers, and the tolerance/guts that goes along with a sales-related role. Some of our customers' engineers who use our products have been hired into SE roles with my company. So if you are in IT/neworking/operations and have particular experience with certain companies/products, keep your ears open for SE opportunities with those companies -- it can be a great career move.

xarien said:

MS doesn't behave the same as many companies in that a PM is a senior role requiring at minimum a PMP and possibly a PgMP along with 10-12 years of experience. Instead, MS separates their project teams into 1 of 4 roles: PM, Software Engineer, Software Test Engineer, and Software Quality Assurance. The pay hierachy is generally SE at the top followed by PM / STE being around the middle and SQA rounding out the bottom. This is the reason you'll actually see quite a few junior level PMs at MS. In fact, if you go in for an interview as a recent grad PM, the interview basically consists of brain teasers and general logic questions not dissimilar to questions on the LSAT.


Actually, if you take a look at the Glassdoor salary surveys the rank (pay-wise) goes PM, SDE, then SDET.

jcbrooks said: seattlesalaries said: Gender: M
Age: 22
Location: Seattle
Occupation: Program Manager
Education: BS in Computer Science
2009 Salary: $80k base with $30k stock signing bonus vested over 5 years
Future Salary Projection: The target performance bonus is 10% a year. So I should be around $100k next year including the portion of my stock signing bonus that will vest.
Benefits: Excellent health, dental, 50% match on 401k up to 6%, ESPP (10%), gym membership, bus pass
What's the job like? The job can be high stress at times. The people I work with are all very high achievers and are some of the smartest people I've ever met. So it definitely keeps me on my toes. My role as a program manager changes with the product cycle so it's very dynamic. I feel very fortunate to be working on a product that literally reaches hundred of millions of users.
Would you recommend the career to others? Definitely.


Program manager at 22? Assuming graduation at 21, did you ever spend any time in a developer position? Or was your first job out of school a PM?


Yes, I had numerous development internships in college mostly doing C#/ASP.NET.

Gender: Yes

Age: 30s

Location: TX

Occupation: Online Operations

Education: B.S. - MIS

2009 Salary: $80s + OT

Future Salary Projection: 3% increase in the spring. It's been 3% each year on my annual review the past 3 years I've been with this company.

Benefits: Full medical & dental. Better than average pension. Average 401k matching. Average vacation, sick time, personal time. Not a lot of employee turnover unless you really f*ed up or leave voluntarily for greener pastures (which isn't often).

What's the job like?

I sit in a cubicle next to some other people in my department. I have all of the accountability but really no control. Hours are not rigid. I can come in anytime btwn 7 - 9:30 am, leave about 8 hours later. It does require an on-call rotation btwn however many people are in the dept. This is where the OT comes from. I monitor a bunch of stuff and take care of issues that arise. Plan stuff that is happening in the future. Sometimes I present a timeline for future projects and est. finish dates and junk like that. My department works on projects for other departments. My job is somewhat secure.

seattlesalaries said: xarien said:

MS doesn't behave the same as many companies in that a PM is a senior role requiring at minimum a PMP and possibly a PgMP along with 10-12 years of experience. Instead, MS separates their project teams into 1 of 4 roles: PM, Software Engineer, Software Test Engineer, and Software Quality Assurance. The pay hierachy is generally SE at the top followed by PM / STE being around the middle and SQA rounding out the bottom. This is the reason you'll actually see quite a few junior level PMs at MS. In fact, if you go in for an interview as a recent grad PM, the interview basically consists of brain teasers and general logic questions not dissimilar to questions on the LSAT.


Actually, if you take a look at the Glassdoor salary surveys the rank (pay-wise) goes PM, SDE, then SDET.

jcbrooks said: seattlesalaries said: Gender: M
Age: 22
Location: Seattle
Occupation: Program Manager
Education: BS in Computer Science
2009 Salary: $80k base with $30k stock signing bonus vested over 5 years
Future Salary Projection: The target performance bonus is 10% a year. So I should be around $100k next year including the portion of my stock signing bonus that will vest.
Benefits: Excellent health, dental, 50% match on 401k up to 6%, ESPP (10%), gym membership, bus pass
What's the job like? The job can be high stress at times. The people I work with are all very high achievers and are some of the smartest people I've ever met. So it definitely keeps me on my toes. My role as a program manager changes with the product cycle so it's very dynamic. I feel very fortunate to be working on a product that literally reaches hundred of millions of users.
Would you recommend the career to others? Definitely.


Program manager at 22? Assuming graduation at 21, did you ever spend any time in a developer position? Or was your first job out of school a PM?


Yes, I had numerous development internships in college mostly doing C#/ASP.NET.


Glass door isn't always accurate . Trust me on this one when I say SDE is paid the most.

All we need is relationship status and start FWF personals.

Tzeentch99 said:
You also hit the famed salary cap that all engineers face in their mid 30s. I'm pretty sure my 2 coworkers 40+ years old maxed out around $120k, which in the bay area is peanuts.


Could you elaborate on this? What is the "famed salary cap"? Do the engineers reach the highest ranking non-management position at that point, or what? If so, do they just stay at that same position until they retire at age 65+, or what? What options are available to advance beyond that point? Not everyone can be a manager.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014