Site Reliability Engineer Salary Guide 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Site reliability engineering (SRE) is an in-demand field that companies rely on to keep their infrastructure moving so their workflow can operate smoothly.

[Featured Image] A site reliability engineer is sitting in front of their desktop in their office.

SREs are valuable to businesses because they keep systems operational and updated. As an SRE, you’ll keep workflow moving by determining what new features can be launched. To do so you’ll be examining request latency, availability, error rates, system throughput, and reliability. 

You'll work on automation as a site reliability engineer and minimise service interruptions. You’ll also oversee systems performance, incidents, and outages and work with front-end and back-end systems.

How much does the average site reliability engineer make?

According to Indeed, the average annual salary for a site reliability engineer in the UK is £73,423 [1]. 

Factors that may affect your salary

An SRE’s salary can vary for many reasons, including experience, location, skills, and education. If you’ve worked as an SRE for several years, look for senior-level SRE positions.

Level of experience 

Your years of experience can have a significant impact on your earning potential. Entry-level SREs can generally expect to earn less than those with more experience. As you work in this profession, your earning potential also increases.


An SRE’s salary can also vary by location because each city has a different cost of living. The areas that typically offer higher wages are major cities with more expensive living expenses. Some cities, such as London and Glasgow, pay well above the average annual wage, whilst other cities’ salaries align with Indeed’s average. Here are some of the average base salary variations by city:

*All UK salary data is sourced from Indeed as of April 2023

  • London, England: £81,748

  • Cardiff, Wales: £64,361

  • Glasgow, Scotland: £86,759

  • Bristol, England: £62,207

  • Manchester, England: £66,795

  • Birmingham, England: £72,859

  • Newcastle, England: £61,803

  • Sheffield, England: £72,214

  • Leeds, England: £73,096

  • Liverpool: £90,786  

Skill set 

The skills you need for an SRE career include programming and computer languages, as well as communication and problem-solving skills. You may work as part of a team, so you’ll need to work well with others.

Technical skills include using version control and monitoring tools, distributed computing, strong operating systems knowledge, and coding. 


Many employers seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. Knowledge of programming languages and operating systems are attractive skills to include on your CV.

Whilst pursuing your bachelor’s degree, you may also earn an internship to help you gain experience for an entry-level position. You can enhance your education by attending bootcamps and earning certificates related to SRE work. 

Where can a site reliability engineer work? 

SREs can work in-house or remotely, offering you the flexibility to earn more working for a large company in a busy city from a lower-cost city. 

You can typically find SRE positions all over Great Britain, and many large corporations hire onsite and remote SREs. Some of the companies that hire site reliability engineers are:

  • Google

  • Apple

  • Oracle

  • Cisco Systems

  • Sky

  • IBM

  • ServiceNow

  • Amazon

  • Vonage

Career advancements

Pursuing a postgraduate degree or certification is a good start when seeking to advance your SRE career. You can also transition into closely related fields, including software engineering or DevOps engineering. 

Once you have at least two years of professional experience, you can advance to a senior site reliability engineer. With five to seven years of experience, you can become a lead site reliability engineer. Although a postgraduate degree will mean more than years of experience, SREs with higher qualifications and more experience often earn double their starting salary. 

*All salary data pertains to the UK and is sourced from Indeed as of April 2023

Career outlook

Experts expect the SRE field to grow in tandem with the growth of digital businesses. Although the exact growth rate is unknown, Computer Weekly notes that more than 700 listings for software developers in the UK were added daily on Indeed in 2022 [1]. Software development and SRE are closely aligned fields. 

Tips for negotiating your salary as a site reliability engineer

When a company offers you an SRE job, the next step is to negotiate your salary. Typically, the company will give you a contract listing your job responsibilities and compensation. 

You’ll want your potential employer to make the first offer. From there, you can negotiate based on the positive attributes you bring to the table and your worth as an employee. You may also explore negotiation points beyond your salary. For example, if you want employer-paid parking or other similar perks, you can negotiate these benefits into your compensation package.

When negotiating, point out your skills and experience and how you can help the company meet its goals. 

Next steps

If you’re interested in becoming an SRE, consider getting a bachelor’s degree and expanding your knowledge with certificate programmes for your next steps. Consider taking Google Cloud's Site Reliability Engineering: Measuring and Managing Reliability course on Coursera. This programme helps you explore more about the field or build upon your existing knowledge and skills. You might also explore Developing a Google SRE Culture offered by Google Cloud, which you can complete remotely in about eight hours. This 

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