Levels.fyi Community
antisocialplatypus in  
Full-Stack Software Engineer a year ago

Should EMs make more than their reports?

Do you think Engineering Managers should make more than their reports? Do you think there is a conflict if their reports make more than them? Does the level of the engineer matter?

19g6ukzgjuupwSoftware Engineering Manager a year ago
Answers to your questions: Not per se, no, yes very much. Some more details: A line-manager EM can have a staff level engineer in their team and manage them successfully. Line managers usually compare to the senior IC level. So a staff-level IC could earn more. There’s no shame in that. On another note, scope does matter a lot: A skip-level difference usually creates a gap where the (for example principal) IC can work on projects that go (way) beyond the scope of the EM. This could create a conflict of interest. Then it would make more sense to have the IC report to a higher level EM, in some cases the CTO office. An EM with just staff-plus-level IC’s is super rare and usually operates in the CTO office. For example as a VP of Engineering, Head of X Engineering or similar roles. But they then usually manage managers, not IC’s.
antisocialplatypusFull-Stack Software Engineer a year ago
Awesome, thanks for the detailed response!