How does VMware pay?

VMware is a leading provider of cloud computing and virtualization software and services. As a large technology company, VMware must determine compensation structures that attract and retain top talent in a competitive market. This article will examine VMware’s pay philosophy, compensation components, and analyzes how VMware pay compares to the industry.

How does VMware pay?

VMware’s Pay Philosophy

VMware aims to pay top talent competitively to market rates. As a global company, VMware designs pay to comply with regulations in over 40 countries. VMware emphasizes pay equity and transparent pay ranges based on level, function, and geography. Performance drives pay, with rewards tied to individual, team, and company success.

In line with its pay philosophy, VMware structures compensation with these core elements:

  • Base salary – Fixed pay that reflects role, experience, and location
  • Bonuses – Rewards for strong individual and company performance
  • Equity – Restricted stock units to share in VMware’s growth
  • Benefits – Comprehensive health, financial, and lifestyle benefits

VMware Pay Components

VMware utilizes these main pay components:

Base Salary

Base salary provides fixed pay to employees based on their role, skills, experience and location. VMware determines base pay ranges for each job level and geography. New hires are offered base pay within competitive market ranges. With strong performance, employees move through defined pay ranges via merit increases. Geographic pay differentials adjust base pay for cost of labor in locations.


VMware awards bonuses to incentivize employees to achieve key business goals. All employees participate in bonus plans tied to company performance. Additionally, select individuals have bonuses linked to personal goals and results. VMware offers these main bonus programs:

  • Company bonus – All employees receive a bonus based on VMware results
  • MBO bonus – For managers and executives related to goals
  • Sales commission – For sales employees based on sales targets

Bonuses are paid annually based on VMware’s fiscal year end in January. The total bonus payout varies from year to year based on business results.

Equity Compensation

VMware grants equity to employees in the form of restricted stock units (RSUs). RSUs give employees shares of VMware stock that vest over 3-4 years. Equity provides ownership and allows employees to share in VMware’s growth and success.

New hires receive equity grants priced at fair market value. The size of grants depends on job level, skills, experience and equity at prior employers. Ongoing employees get periodic equity refresh grants.


VMware offers market-competitive benefits including:

  • Health insurance – Medical, dental, vision plans
  • Retirement – 401k plan with employer match
  • Time-off – Vacation, sick time, holidays
  • Lifestyle benefits – Wellness, employee assistance, discounts

Benefits account for an additional 15-20% on top of base salary. VMware regularly benchmarks benefits to ensure they meet employee needs.

How VMware Pay Compares to the Industry

VMware aims to lead the industry in pay and benefits. Here’s how VMware pay stacks up against technology peers:

  • Base pay – VMware base salaries are competitive for talent at technology companies
  • Bonuses – VMware bonus ranges are in line with industry averages
  • Equity – VMware equity grants are a core part of pay and in line with tech competitors
  • Benefits – VMware’s comprehensive benefits plan matches industry norms

In benchmarking, VMware analyzes pay at technology companies known for strong pay like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Cisco and others. For critical talent, VMware is willing to pay at the top end of the market. This strategy ensures VMware can recruit and retain the talent needed for growth.

Key Takeaways on How VMware Pays Employees

  • VMware pays competitively compared to peers to attract and retain top talent
  • Compensation includes base pay, bonuses, equity and benefits
  • Performance and company results drive variation in pay
  • Pay is structured to be equitable and encourage retention
  • Strong pay and benefits makes VMware an attractive career choice for technology professionals


VMware designs competitive pay programs to support growth and leadership in providing virtualization and cloud software. Pay varies based on role, performance and location, but VMware benchmarks to technology peers across compensation elements. With strong base pay, bonus incentives, equity ownership and excellent benefits, VMware offers a compelling rewards package. The ability to attract and retain skilled employees through leading pay practices enables VMware to innovate and better serve customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How are VMware salaries determined?
A: VMware salaries are based on job level, role, experience, geography and performance. VMware benchmarks pay to be competitive with technology industry peers.

Q: How frequently are salaries reviewed at VMware?
A: Salaries are reviewed annually and adjusted based on individual performance and changes to pay ranges for each job level and geography.

Q: What is the bonus structure at VMware?
A: All employees get a bonus tied to VMware’s business results. Managers and executives also have bonuses linked to individual goals. Sales employees have commission.

Q: How much equity do VMware employees get?
A: Equity grants vary based on job level and tenure. New hires may get $100k – $300k in RSUs.refresh grants are periodic.

Q: What benefits does VMware offer?
A: Benefits include health insurance, 401k match, wellness programs, life insurance, employee stock purchase plan, and more.

Q: How does VMware pay compare to other tech companies?
A: VMware pay is competitive with industry peers like Microsoft, Google, Cisco and others. VMware benchmarks pay to attract top talent.

Q: Does VMware pay higher for specialized technical skills?
A: Yes, VMware will pay higher salaries for in-demand skills like cloud, security, AI/ML, etc based on market rates.

Q: How can you progress into higher salary ranges at VMware?
A: Developing skills and experience, strong performance reviews and expanded responsibilities allow progression into higher VMware job levels.

Q: Do all VMware employees receive bonuses?
A: Yes, all regular employees participate in the company bonus plan tied to VMware performance. Larger bonuses go to executives and sales.

Q: How frequently do VMware employees receive raises?
A: Employees are eligible for merit raises annually based on performance. Promotions also boost pay to the higher range.

Q: Does VMware pay time-and-a-half for overtime?
A: VMware salaried employees are not eligible for overtime. Hourly employees get overtime based on local regulations.

Q: Does VMware offer remote work or location flexibility?
A: Yes, VMware has remote work options and location flexibility for roles that allow. Pay is still aligned to employee geography.

Q: Does VMware offer good career advancement opportunities?
A: Yes, VMware encourages internal mobility and growth. Many senior leaders were promoted from within the company.

Q: What is VMware’s policy on pay transparency?
A: VMware has transparent pay ranges for each level but does not disclose individual salaries. Employees can discuss pay with HR.

Q: How long do you need to stay to vest your equity grants fully?
A: RSUs vest over 3-4 years. Typical vesting is 25% after 1 year, then quarterly vesting.

Q: What types of bonuses can VMware employees receive?
A: In addition to company performance bonuses, VMware offers spot bonuses for significant contributions and patent bonuses for innovations.

Q: Does VMware offer a 401k matching program?
A: Yes, VMware matches employee 401k contributions up to 6% of pay, with an additional discretionary match sometimes.

Q: How does VMware pay compare to startups and smaller tech firms?
A: VMware pay tends to be lower than startups but offers more stability, equity, and benefits.

Q: Can VMware employees work remotely full-time?
A: Some roles allow full-time remote work. Pay is still based on employee location rather than work location.

Q: What percentage of compensation is base pay vs. bonus/equity for executives?
A: Approximately 75% of executive pay is base salary, with 25% in performance-based bonus and equity.

Q: Does VMware adjust compensation for a high cost of living area?
A: Yes, VMware uses geographic pay differentials to adjust base pay by local cost of living.

Q: How often does VMware grant equity refresh awards?
A: Equity refreshes are granted every 2-3 years based on performance. The size depends on job level.

Q: What types of lifestyle benefits does VMware offer?
A: Lifestyle benefits include wellness programs, employee assistance, discounts, and more.

Q: Can VMware employees cash out unused vacation time?
A: No, VMware does not allow employees to cash out unused vacation time. Time can be carried over per policy.

Q: What performance rating do you need to get a merit increase at VMware?
A: To be eligible for a merit increase, employees must receive an overall “Achieves” performance rating.

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