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Google Offers Most Lucrative Salary to Software Engineers

By - Source: Wall Street Journal | B 22 comments

Search engine giant offers average base salary of $128,336 to software engineers.

With the myriad of competition in Silicon Valley attracting quality talent, Google has ensured it recruits the brightest software engineers by offering an above-average salary.

According to a new study conducted by job listings and information site Glassdoor, Google software engineers earn an average base salary of $128,336.

In comparison, Facebook offered $123,626, while Apple mustered up $114,413 this year. eBay, meanwhile, pays $108,809 and Zynga forks out a total of $105,568.

Last year, Google issued a 10 percent raise to every single employee working for the search engine giant. Facebook, however, is seemingly edging closer to reaching Google's above-average salary for engineers. Glassdoor says that the average salary difference between the two companies decreased this year to $4,710. Comparatively, it was $6,852 during 2011.

The majority of the major Silicon Valley firms listed in the Glassdoor report are well ahead of the national average for a software engineer’s base salary -- $92,648, which represents a 2.5 percent increase from last year's figure.

 

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  • 15 Hide
    house70 , October 22, 2012 5:46 PM
    Throw in the nice working conditions they have and you got a winner.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    house70 , October 22, 2012 5:46 PM
    Throw in the nice working conditions they have and you got a winner.
  • 0 Hide
    lathe26 , October 22, 2012 5:55 PM
    ... but what are these salaries at once cost of living is factored in? It's foolish to switch jobs to get a 25% raise if housing cost 2x as much.
  • 5 Hide
    richarduk , October 22, 2012 5:59 PM
    I've been a software engineer for 20 years and worked for many top companies and have never met someone who has received that kind of money. I expect they are factoring share options and other 'not real money' extras like free phones. Think about it, 1000 software engineers would draw 128 million, and I bet they have more than a 1000 software engineers!
  • -8 Hide
    rahulkadukar , October 22, 2012 6:13 PM
    Quote:
    I've been a software engineer for 20 years and worked for many top companies and have never met someone who has received that kind of money. I expect they are factoring share options and other 'not real money' extras like free phones. Think about it, 1000 software engineers would draw 128 million, and I bet they have more than a 1000 software engineers!


    You are a poor software engineer. Top companies (b**** please), if you really have worked for top companies then you are very poor. I have 3 years of work experience and in one more year I will be drawing close to 75% of what is advertised here
  • 2 Hide
    boiler1990 , October 22, 2012 6:18 PM
    richardukI've been a software engineer for 20 years and worked for many top companies and have never met someone who has received that kind of money. I expect they are factoring share options and other 'not real money' extras like free phones. Think about it, 1000 software engineers would draw 128 million, and I bet they have more than a 1000 software engineers!


    It always includes benefits. I'm betting true base salary is in the 50-70k range, depending on experience.
  • 1 Hide
    mesab66 , October 22, 2012 7:15 PM
    rahulkadukar: you do realise what a total #££$% you made of yourself there?...."you are a poor software engineer" -->unbelievable!
  • -2 Hide
    chillopedia , October 22, 2012 7:18 PM
    Is this figure for "per month" or per annum ?
  • 3 Hide
    Genny , October 22, 2012 7:27 PM
    boiler1990It always includes benefits. I'm betting true base salary is in the 50-70k range, depending on experience.


    Really doubt it. 50-70k would be pathetically low for a software engineer at one of these companies. 125k sounds a lot more reasonable.
  • 1 Hide
    cknobman , October 22, 2012 7:44 PM
    richardukI've been a software engineer for 20 years and worked for many top companies and have never met someone who has received that kind of money. I expect they are factoring share options and other 'not real money' extras like free phones. Think about it, 1000 software engineers would draw 128 million, and I bet they have more than a 1000 software engineers!


    Not sure where you have been working but I have.

    I live in Texas and am a .Net software engineer for a company that is nowhere near a "top" company and I make over $105,000 base salary per year. That does not include cost of benefits, company phone, bonuses (which I do get), laptop, etc.......

    I have been in the field since 2005 and here in my region I dont know anyone that would go work somewhere for less than 90k and even that is cutting it pretty close. Only exception to this would be the really sh!tty developers that are not work their salt.
  • 5 Hide
    djscribbles , October 22, 2012 7:48 PM
    rahulkadukarYou are a poor software engineer. Top companies (b**** please), if you really have worked for top companies then you are very poor. I have 3 years of work experience and in one more year I will be drawing close to 75% of what is advertised here


    Because compensation and ability are always well aligned. Also keep in mind that your first few years are often the largest growth, as you prove you are actually capable of contributing.

    As others have pointed out, cost of living is a big deal. You may make that much because you are in an expensive area, not because you are any better than anyone else.
    Job mobility is another big factor, Google pays more because it's engineers could jump to Facebook at the drop of a hat; the same can be true anywhere, if there is a lot of demand in a region, salaries are going to be higher, regardless of individual ability.

    Lastly, you probably couldn't be more of an _ _ _ if you tried. Way to jump to conclusions about someone you don't know anything about other than salary.
  • 2 Hide
    heisenberg01 , October 22, 2012 7:51 PM
    I have worked at Microsoft and currently at Amazon. I can tell you for a fact that ~90k base and ~15-20k bonus is normal for new hires. After 3-5 years (what I assume is close to the overall average pay) you can expect 110-130k base and 25k-40k bonus with the top 5-10% making much higher. Silicon Valley is at least 10% higher due to CA state taxes and cost of living.
  • 3 Hide
    djscribbles , October 22, 2012 7:52 PM
    It's worth adding that not all top companies pay their employees well, a bad company will sacrifice talented employees for it's bottom line.
  • 0 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , October 22, 2012 8:33 PM
    Imagine Shakira or Black Eyed Peas getting paid $120,000 for their songs lyrics. They make millions you say, so all these companies make billions of their programmers which means $120,000 is peanuts to them.

    Instead of selling your code (songs) why not retain the license to your code, create an organization that allows for fair trade of source code among developers/entrepreneurs, and then we will all have 7 figure salaries.

    Google is kind, but they are not paying those salaries out of the goodness of their heart. The people they hire are very talented and are the most likely people to know the software market is ripe for product ideas.

    I think people overestimate the effort to create your own company and sale innovative products ( customers are more forgiving to innovative products because they had to live without them previously ). And the sky is the limit in term of what you can make ($) if you do this.

    Not saying everybody should do this. But if more people did this, it would increase the salaries of every developer even more !

    We should be in a time of exponential growth in productivity... don't let all that growth go to rich people, your human capital is the precious commodity of this century.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 22, 2012 8:53 PM
    richarduk: You're obviously not Google or Facebook calibre or we wouldn't be having this conversation with you. 2nd, the companies you work for, the actual product you develop, and the city you live in will be a huge factor, and if you possessed a shred of genius to go with that 20 years of experience, nobody would have to tell you that.

    Back on topic, I'm shocked that the average for those companies is only $120-something-k a year. I already make that about that much, my plans were to eventually wind up at Google someday making $200k/yr. They only take the very best of the best, who I assumed all make way more than $120k/yr. I actually was recruited by them when I was a relative n00b, and basically petered out at step 3 (out of 8 or 10?) of the Google interview process, predictably so considering I was relatively inexperienced, have never written a book about Linux or Python, and don't have an Ivy League education...

  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , October 22, 2012 9:08 PM
    What was that one software company that mandated its employees, including senior programmers, to work way more than 12 hours a day without overtime pay?
  • 2 Hide
    koga73 , October 22, 2012 9:13 PM
    just wanted to point out that all of the cool things that google has like sleeping pods is because their employees never leave the office :p 
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , October 22, 2012 10:33 PM
    If only I could send this article to all my competitors company's software engineer's and see how many start looking for new jobs..
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 22, 2012 10:43 PM
    I make $125k/year + bonus. I live in Denver. I have a friend that lives in Austin that makes $160k/year. I am pretty sure that the software engineers at our customer make as much as I do. When I was a contractor I was making $220-300k/year depending on the year.
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , October 22, 2012 11:39 PM
    house70Throw in the nice working conditions they have and you got a winner.

    Nice living conditions are necessary when you are working 60+ hours a week. Seriously, the money is nice, but getting worked to the bone gets old. I left a job making close to those rates for one making ~$80k but 'only' ~45 hours a week. My previous job making ~$110k averaged around 55-60 hours per week. It was rare that I actually got 2 days off on the weekend. And most of the time you aren't allowed to take even 2 weeks of vacation per year. The problem is that there is so much demand that companies have trouble finding competent people.
  • 0 Hide
    mig754 , October 23, 2012 10:36 AM
    gm0n3yNice living conditions are necessary when you are working 60+ hours a week. Seriously, the money is nice, but getting worked to the bone gets old. I left a job making close to those rates for one making ~$80k but 'only' ~45 hours a week. My previous job making ~$110k averaged around 55-60 hours per week. It was rare that I actually got 2 days off on the weekend. And most of the time you aren't allowed to take even 2 weeks of vacation per year. The problem is that there is so much demand that companies have trouble finding competent people.


    If there's so much demand that companies like MS, Google or FB are forced to pay $100k (bonuses and stock options included, before taxes) to inexperienced college graduates (they are, I've turned down an offer from one of those companies), then how can anyone be forced to work overtime? If companies are willing to pay so much for good developers, then they should also be willing to allow them to 'only' work 40 hours a week, for fear of people quitting because of the unbearable working conditions.

    On another note, there's something SERIOUSLY wrong with the world if people like me can just go to the States and make upwards of $100k/year doing something that is, frankly, easy and pleasant, and at the same time (some of) my compatriots break their backs doing exhausing physical labor and only get about $4k/yr...
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