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Software Engineering Salaries at Lyft: A Guide

James Gallagher - January 04, 2021

Lyft has a bold ambition: to revolutionize transportation. While the company started in San Francisco, it’s since spread across the world. Everyday, people depend on Lyft to travel to work, school, the grocery store or anywhere else they need to go.

Compensation is a major factor to consider when you’re evaluating where to work. If you’re working for a big technology company, you likely won’t have trouble paying your bills. But some tech companies pay more than others, so what salary can you expect to earn as a software engineer at Lyft?

In this guide, we’re going to discuss software engineering salaries at Lyft. We’ll reveal how much Lyft pays its engineers, what benefits they receive and how compensation scales depending on experience.

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Lyft Software Engineering Salary Levels

While Lyft only had its IPO in 2019, the company functions like a massive tech business. It’s no longer a small startup looking for its big break. As a result, the company compensates its engineers using a standard tier-based structure.

This means employees earn roughly the same salary dependent on what level they reach within the company. For instance, both a software engineer and API designer may be paid the same if their work is deemed to be of a similar level.

Before we discuss Lyft salaries, you’ll need to know the different salary levels at Lyft. There are at least four job titles for software engineers at Lyft, which include:

  1. Software Engineer Level 3 (T3)
  2. Software Engineer Level 4 (T4)
  3. Software Engineer Level 5 (T5)
  4. Software Engineer Level 6 (T6)

Jobs above T6 are scarce and only awarded to the most effective workers. Detailed compensation information for those who reach these levels is not readily available. However, most software engineers at Lyft are compensated using the above four tiers.

How Much do Lyft Software Engineers Earn?

As a Lyft software engineer, the compensation you receive will depend on your years of experience and what tier you are placed within. You may see some engineers with different salaries despite being at the same level, which is because Lyft’s salary bands are not hard. This means there may be an opportunity for you to negotiate for higher pay.

Although Lyft was only founded in 2012, it’s grown to become a massive business. As a result, compensation for their workers is high across the board, even if you work in an entry-level position. Here are the average salaries you can expect to earn at Lyft by level:

Level Name Total Base Bonus Stock (/yr)
T3 $239,000 $134,000 $26,000 $78,000
T4 $298,000 $171,000 $10,000 $117,000
T5 $391,000 $194,000 $10,000 $185,000
T6 $470,000 $222,000 $3,000 $244,000

Data points sourced from .

In this table, base refers to the base compensation you’ll earn. It’s commonly known as a “salary” or “wage”. Bonuses are offered to employees at Lyft based on merit. These bonuses are available on an annual basis and can vary between employees.

Lyft engineers are also issued stock options. These three methods of compensation make up the total compensation package offered by Lyft.

Lyft Software Engineer Stock Options

At Lyft, software engineers are issued Restricted Stock Units (RSUs). This is a method of compensation used by many technology companies through which employees can earn company shares based on how long they’ve worked for the business.

The term “restricted” is important because stock options are not available as soon as you work at Lyft. When you join Lyft, you’ll be subjected to a four-year vesting schedule over which your options will gradually become available. This is standard among tech companies and is the same structure that companies like Microsoft and Google use.

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At Lyft, 25 percent of your stock vests at the end of each working year. This means after working at Lyft for two years, you will have earned 50 percent of your stock, which you can then cash in.

Benefits of Working at Lyft

There’s more to Lyft’s compensation package than the salary, bonus and stock options. You’ll receive a range of employee benefits while working at the company.

Most of the benefits offered to Lyft employees are fairly standard across the technology industry. This includes a reasonable retirement package as well as an employee discount. Let’s break down the main benefits offered to Lyft’s software engineers.

Insurance and Wellness Benefits

Benefit Description
Health and Dental Insurance
Free Lunch 5 days a week
Free Dinner 4 days a week
Free Drinks and Snacks
Paid Time Off Unlimited vacation and personal days
On-Site Mother’s Room
Life Insurance
Maternity Leave 18 weeks
Gender-Neutral Bathrooms

Transportation, Financial and Other Benefits

Benefit Description
Transport Allowance
Employee Discount 15 percent off all rides
Pet Friendly Workplace
Phone Bill Reimbursement
Employee Stock Purchase Program Allows contributions up to 10 percent of your base salary. Provides a 15 percent discount on the purchase price of Lyft stock.

Lyft vs Other Technology Companies

How does Lyft compare to the likes of Google and Facebook? Only by knowing what the competition offers will you be able to negotiate a fair compensation package.

The below table makes comparisons between Google and Facebook’s compensation packages and that offered by Lyft. This table should help you determine which company can offer you the most favorable salary at various levels:

Comparison Level Lyft Comparison Company
Lyft vs Google Entry-level $239,000 $180,000
Lyft vs Google Second level $298,000 $257,000
Lyft vs Google Third level $391,000 $343,000
Lyft vs Facebook Entry-level $239,000 $184,000
Lyft vs Facebook Second level $298,000 $245,000
Lyft vs Facebook Third level $391,000 $365,000


Lyft’s ambitious mission may be enough to convince you to join their team, but that’s not the only factor you should consider. As an entry-level engineer, you’ll earn a salary that’s even higher than those offered at Google and Facebook.

You’ll also receive benefits such as a favorable maternity leave program and free lunch and dinner. If you’re thinking about working for a big tech company, Lyft’s a good option for you to consider.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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James Gallagher

About the author: James Gallagher is a self-taught programmer and the technical content manager at Career Karma. He has experience in range of programming languages and extensive expertise in Python, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. James has written hundreds of programming tutorials, and he frequently contributes to publications like Codecademy, Treehouse,, Afrotech, and others.

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