Tech Industry Salaries
Tech Companies Compared
Salaries, Tenure and Corporate Culture
Tech. Tech. Tech.
Once the domain of nerdy, pallid programmers locked in their basement, tech has become one of the flashiest, most stylish and most visible industries in America. Apple, Facebook, Google and dozens – if not hundreds – of other tech company names are now permanently engrained in public and pop-culture consciousness. Heck, some of the executives at these companies are even bonafide celebrities: Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Bill Gates, to name just a few.
Along with designing and building coveted products – hardware and software – many tech companies are also highly desirable places to work, often paying high salaries, providing incredible benefits and perks and even dangling the carrot of high-value stock options … “high-value” should the company succeed, that is.
But tech companies usually aren’t making sure they’re great places to work out of the goodness of their heart, whatever they may claim. They’re doing it because they need to attract the best software developers, engineers, product managers and other employees in order to beat the competition.
Which companies are the best of the best for their employees? Which employees have the highest salaries, the lowest job stress, and the most comfortable nap pods? (Just kidding – we didn’t really rank the nap pods.)
PayScale ran the numbers so that you can see how companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple compare.
Spot Check: How Do Top Tech Companies Compare?
Want to know what it’s like to work at a top tech firm like Google, Facebook or Amazon? PayScale compared 52 tech employers on aspects like salary, job stress, employer satisfaction and more. Which employer looks like the right fit for you?
Early Career Median Pay: $81,900
|% High Job Meaning|
|% High Job Stress|
|% Intending to Leave|
Tweets, Likes and Shares
Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook top the list among all tech companies when it comes to early-career median pay, coming in at $112,000, $110,000 and $110,000 respectively. When employees reach mid-career, however, these social media giants become somewhat less attractive; only Twitter makes it into the top-10 of the 52 companies we surveyed, sneaking in at number 10 with mid-career median salary of $157,000.
If you take job stress into account, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook still look like attractive places to work, with a relatively low – for the tech industry – 50 percent of Twitter employees reporting high job stress, the highest of the three.
Mobility Companies Race to Be Number One
Ride-share companies Lyft and Uber are competitors on the road and in the office. Neither pays particularly well when it comes to early-career employees, with both falling into the bottom half of our surveyed companies. That changes significantly by the time employees reach mid-career status, with Lyft paying the fourth-highest mid-career median salary of the companies we surveyed at $170,000. Uber comes in at number 15 for mid-career median pay at $149,000.
What’s that, Musk?
Employees at Elon Musk’s companies – SpaceX and Tesla – largely reported that their job is meaningful – 90 percent and 77 percent respectfully – and that they are satisfied with their employer – 65 percent and 71 percent, respectively. This, despite the fact they report being among the lowest paid and most stressed-out employees in the tech industry.
Tenure – Tech’s Dirty Word
In some industries, comparing employee tenure may be a comment on how loyal employees are to a company, but that’s hard to say in tech. We see that companies with the shortest typical employee tenure are often also the ones that are hiring most aggressively. All those fresh faces mean they haven’t had a chance to spend much time with companies like Facebook (1 year), Uber (1 year) and even Amazon (2 years). Twelve companies on our list have an average employee tenure of one year, and 33 of the companies on our list – more than half – have an average employee tenure of two years or less.
Welcome to the Jungle
In recent years, Amazon has seen some negative press coverage assailing the company as a stressful place to work. Our employee experience data – employer satisfaction, job meaning and job stress – suggest that this reputation accurately represents the culture experienced by most employees. Amazon employees report low levels of employer satisfaction compared to the tech industry average – 45 percent versus 51 percent – and job meaning – 46 percent versus 51 percent. They also report high levels of stress compared to the industry average: 64 percent versus 58 percent.
Overall, when compared to many other industries, you could do a lot worse than tech. Generally high salaries, and relatively high job meaning and job satisfaction levels are nothing to sneeze at. Plus, if you land a job in tech, you’ll finally understand all the inside jokes on Silicon Valley.
The methodology used to create this report is detailed here.