Software Engineer Salaries Exceed $1 Million in Silicon Valley
Senior engineers in California can expect to earn more than $1 million a year, a new study of pay rates in the tech industry has found.
According to the data, top software engineers at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., can expect to earn more than $1 million after salary, stock and bonuses are taken into account, while d other positions in San Francisco at Stripe and Airbnb are worth $900,000 and $800,000. respectively.
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The majority of all high-paying roles in the results were based in California, with a few notable exceptions. Coinbase staff engineers earned $673,000 on an initial remote contract, while high-paying engineering positions also came from multiple cities, including Bozeman and Beijing.
Overall, California leads the list compiled by salary aggregation website Levels.fyi, with the median salary for tech workers in the San Francisco Bay Area at $234,000.
By comparison, the median salary for tech workers in London is just $116,000 – a figure well below the top ten rates in America, but second in Europe to Zurich, where the median salary reached $178,000.
Further east, the median salary was even lower, with Israel topping the list at $159,000 and the median for Bengaluru in India at just $37,000.
Jobs requiring higher levels of experience and education are better paid. The highest compensation listed for staff engineers, who typically have more than ten years of experience, was $688,000 (at Stripe) versus $443,000 (at Databricks) for engineers who only need a few years of experience.
However, even graduate jobs in industry have been shown to offer high earning potential. The results showed that junior engineers received $274,000 from Two Sigma, a New York hedge fund that uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML)and Data analysis to inform their investment decisions. However, all other companies listed in Levels.fyi’s top results for this position are based in California.
The report also revealed the changing landscape of high-paying jobs in the tech industry. In Levels.fyi’s 2021 results, the highest-paying engineering jobs were dominated by companies such as Roblox, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.
Of these companies, only Facebook and Apple remained in the top performers for 2022, with Stripe, Airbnb, Netflix, Twitter and Snap Inc. now representing the top paid offerings in the industry.
Aside from stocks the company has previously ranked, this year’s results also considered emerging stocks that offer high levels of compensation. These included positions for software engineering manager (up to $910,000), product designer (up to $400,000), and hardware engineer (up to $376,000).
Wage and job security in the tech sector has become increasingly uncertain as countries grapple with recession and issues such as energy crisis led to a reassessment of expenditure. In November 2022, Meta cut 11,000 employees citing inaccurate investment forecasts, and Microsoft would have slowed down its hiring.
The cuts were not limited to less experienced workers. Following its acquisition by Elon Musk, Twitter laid off 3,700 workers from across the company, including executives and entire teams such as engineers working on new features for the social media platform.
Despite these trends, Levels.fyi said “compensation still generally increased from last year at the highest companies and levels.” The data shows that depending on the region, workers can expect high levels of compensation and that opportunities continue to grow for those seeking increasingly in-demand positions.
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