Cisco Software Engineer Salaries: Total Compensation and Benefits

Explore Cisco software engineer salaries by job level and location, and compare with Oracle. Learn more about company’s work culture, benefits, and perks.

Phil from 4 day week
8 min readJun 30, 2023

Cisco, a prominent technology giant, has been at the forefront of revolutionizing the networking and communication industry. With a vast global workforce of 79,500 individuals, the company owes its success to its talented employees.

Among Cisco’s diverse range of roles, software engineers play a pivotal role in driving the development of groundbreaking software solutions.

Let’s delve into Cisco software engineer salaries, exploring the total compensation and benefits offered to these talented professionals who help shape the future of technology.

Salaries by Level for Cisco Software Engineer

According to, the salary for a Cisco Software Engineer ranges from $124K to $232K. The salary varies based on the level of experience and expertise. The table below shows the salaries for each level.

| Level | Level name | Total | Base | Stock (/yr) | Bonus | | — — | — — | — — | — — | — — | — — | | 1 | Software Engineer 1 | $124K | $114K | $4K | $6K | | 2 | Software Engineer 2 | $126K | $120K | $2K | $4K | | 3 | Software Engineer III | $176K | $148K | $22K | $6K | | 4 | Software Engineer IV | $232K | $174K | $41K | $17K |

Cisco Software Engineer Salaries

Level 1: Software Engineer 1

Software Engineer 1 at Cisco is an entry-level position. At this level, individuals are responsible for developing and maintaining the software products. Their primary skills include programming and problem-solving.

They earn an average base salary of $114K per year and a total compensation of $124K per year. In addition, they receive a stock bonus of $4K per year and a cash bonus of $6K per year.

Level 2: Software Engineer 2

As a mid-level position at Cisco, Software Engineer 2 is responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining software products. This role requires strong programming skills and proficiency in problem-solving.

In addition, Software Engineer 2 earns an average base salary of $120K per year, with a total compensation of $126K per year. They are eligible for a stock bonus of $2K per year and a cash bonus of $4K per year

Level 3: Software Engineer III

Level 3 is a senior-level position. At this level, software engineers are responsible for complex software products’ architecture, design, and development. Furthermore, they also lead a team of software engineers.

Software Engineer III earns an average base salary of $148K per year, with a total compensation of $176K per year. Additionally, they receive a stock bonus of $22K per year and a cash bonus of $6K per year.

Level 4: Software Engineer IV

It is a principal-level position where professionals are responsible for designing, developing, and overseeing the overall technical strategy of software products. Also, they possess deep knowledge of programming languages and excel in problem-solving.

They earn an average base salary of $174K per year, and their total compensation is $232K per year. In addition, they receive a stock bonus of $41K per year and a cash bonus of $17K per year.

Career Progression at Cisco

Cisco Head Office

At Cisco, the career progression for Software Engineers is divided into four levels. The responsibilities and salary range increase with each level.

Here is a summary of what you can expect at each level:

Promotion to Software Engineer

Typically, Software Engineers move to Level 2 within two years of joining the company. You can expect a 2–3% salary increase at this level.

Moreover, the responsibilities include more complex coding, testing, and debugging and taking ownership of features or small projects.

Promotion to Software Engineer III

The promotion to Level III usually takes three to five years, and it’s a significant milestone for Cisco Employees. You can expect a salary increase of 25–30% at this level.

Furthermore, as a Software Engineer III, you will lead projects, mentor junior engineers, and contribute to technology choices.

Promotion to Software Engineer IV

Promotion to Level IV is rare and highly competitive. Software Engineers can expect to reach this level after five to ten years of experience, and it can lead to a 50% or higher salary increase.

At this level, you will be a technical leader, leading complex projects, and making significant contributions to the company’s technology direction.

Promotion Beyond Level IV

After reaching Level IV, there is still plenty of room for growth at Cisco. Software Engineers can move into management roles, such as Engineering Manager, or take on other technical leadership positions, such as Principal Engineer or Architect.

The salary range for these positions varies widely based on the job title, responsibilities, and experience level.

However, it’s important to note that salary progression at Cisco is not just tied to promotions. Employees can also receive merit-based raises and bonuses based on their performance and contributions to the company.

Salary Variation by Location

Cisco Office

The Cisco Software Engineer’s salary varies depending on the location. According to the data provided by Interview Kickstart; here are a few examples:

| Locations | Average Base Salaries | | — — | — — | | Chicago, IL | $172K | | Los Angeles, CA | 152K | | New York | $151K | | San Francisco, CA | $150K | | San Diego, CA | $138K | | Seattle, WA | $137K | | Austin, TX | $126K | | Dallas, TX | $119K | | Atlanta, GA | $101K |

Note that the salary ranges for each location can vary based on various factors such as the demand for software engineers in that area, the cost of living, and the talent competition.

Top Benefits Offered by Cisco

Cisco Office

Based on the data from, the following are the top benefits offered by Cisco:

  1. Health Savings Account (HSA): Cisco contributes $800 per year to an employee’s HSA account
  2. Employee Stock Purchase Program (ESPP): Employees can contribute up to 10% of their base salary with a 15% discount on the purchase price of the stock
  3. Maternity and Paternity Leave: Up to 13 weeks of fully paid leave for new mothers and fathers
  4. Learning and Development: Cisco offers a learning platform annual membership with all major courses and development programs covered
  5. 401k Matching: Cisco matches 100% of the first 4.5% of base salary and bonus+base up to $19,500
  6. Flexible Spending Account (FSA): Cisco offers an FSA account to employees
  7. Health Insurance: Comprehensive health insurance offered to employees
  8. Tuition Reimbursement: Employees are eligible for tuition reimbursement
  9. Free Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks: Cisco offers free breakfast once a week, free lunch five days a week, and a wide variety of snacks in the office
  10. Remote Work: Cisco offers remote work opportunities to its employees

These benefits make Cisco an attractive employer and help them retain their top talent.

Working Culture at Cisco

Cisco is known for its excellent work-life balance, with opportunities for growth and a strong focus on employee well-being.

Cisco Work Life Balance

According to Comparably, Cisco’s work-life balance score is impressive, with an overall rating of B+. The company culture also scored well, with an A- rating for Design and a B rating for Marketing.

However, employees in Sales may find the work-life balance less favorable, with a score of C+. Operations and Culture also scored lower, with a C rating. These scores could be attributed to the fast-paced nature of the industry and the high expectations for these roles.

Despite the lower scores in some departments, Cisco is still praised for its culture and work-life balance. This is evident in the company’s commitment to employee benefits, which include flexible schedules, remote work opportunities, generous vacation time, and comprehensive healthcare options.

Here is the table of Comparably data on work-life balance, happiness, and culture score at Cisco:

Cisco Work-Life Balance By Deparment

Cisco vs Oracle Software Engineer’s Salary Comparison

Here’s a brief comparison of software engineers’ salaries at Cisco and Oracle.

According to data provided by Cisco, the total compensation range for a software engineer at the company is between $124,000 and $232,000. This includes base salary, stock, and bonus components.

In comparison, based on data from, the total compensation range for a software engineer at Oracle is reported to be between $137,000 and $297,000. These figures also include base salary, stock, and bonus.

It’s worth noting that while Oracle’s compensation ranges are higher than Cisco’s, it’s important to take into account that factors such as location, skills, and experience can greatly impact these numbers.

Moreover, it’s crucial to consider other factors, such as benefits, work culture, and job satisfaction, when evaluating potential employers.


Q. How much do Software Engineers make at Cisco?

Total Pay Estimate & Range

A: Software Engineers at Cisco can expect to earn a total compensation ranging from $124K to $232K. The base salary for Software Engineer I is $114K, and the base salary for Software Engineer IV is $174K.

Q. What is the average salary of a Software Engineer at Cisco?

Cisco Total Pay Breakdown

A: The average salary of a Software Engineer at Cisco is $164K.

Q. What is the highest salary offered as a Software Engineer at Cisco?

A: The highest salary offered as a Software Engineer at Cisco is $232K.

Q. What are the most common skills required as a Software Engineer at Cisco?

A: To become a Software Engineer at Cisco, you need to be proficient in programming languages such as Java, C++, Python, and Shell. You should also know network protocols, data structures, algorithms, and operating systems.

Q. How much does an entry-level Software Engineer make at Cisco?

A: An entry-level Software Engineer, or Software Engineer I, makes a total compensation of $124K at Cisco. The base salary for this position is $114K.

Summing Up

Cisco offers competitive salaries for software engineers, along with outstanding benefits, perks, and opportunities to promote work-life balance.

If you’re a software engineer seeking a company that values its employees and provides exceptional compensation and benefits, Cisco is an excellent choice to consider.

So, take the first step towards a successful career by exploring 4 Day Week’s latest job openings for software engineers today.

This article was originally posted on 4 day week — jobs with a four day workweek. Get a job with a better work-life balance.