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Summary:

Before I left for India, I asked folks at Glassdoor.com, a Sausalito, Calif.-based company that that tracks employee satisfaction, to run a custom query for me. I wanted to find out which 10 publicly traded companies had the best pay packages for their engineers. Whenever we […]

engineerspayBefore I left for India, I asked folks at Glassdoor.com, a Sausalito, Calif.-based company that that tracks employee satisfaction, to run a custom query for me. I wanted to find out which 10 publicly traded companies had the best pay packages for their engineers. Whenever we have a slump here in Silicon Valley, there is an exodus from startups to more established players. Opportunities are almost always there for engineers. Sure, hiring is going to slow down — even at large companies — but engineers are almost always in demand.

It’s hardly a surprise that Google is leading the pack, but the composition of the top 10 is pretty interesting. It’s good to see the old stalwarts, especially chipmakers (who are facing some seriously tough times), are staying competitive. Too bad their stocks aren’t doing so well — but then, what do they say about buying low? :-) I am surprised, however, by the absence of Cisco Systems and Intel.

Rank Employer Avg Salary Avg Bonus Avg Total Pay
1 Google $106,666 $42,759 $149,425
2 Synopsys $118,908 $15,189 $134,096
3 Broadcom $115,093 $15,023 $130,116
4 Xilinx $114,996 $11,779 $126,775
5 Yahoo $114,280 $12,441 $126,721
6 KLA-Tencor $110,227 $15,611 $125,838
7 Sun Microsystems $118,358 $7,356 $125,714
8 Intuit $107,740 $16,349 $124,089
9 Vmware $100,817 $19,768 $120,585
10 NVIDIA $112,291 $8,095 $120,386
  1. Actually I am surprised that Google came out as the top paying employer.

    The general perception is the Google pays below average compensations, depending on their aura to lure people. I’ve heard many people complaining about their Google offers and ended up taking jobs elsewhere

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  2. @andy

    Well this clearly puts things in perspective. :-) I think Google might be less competitive these days when compared to say some start up such as Twitter or Facebook, even though they are pretty richly valued and don’t show that much of an upside.

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  3. Google is a big pay for performance shop. If you don’t perform, you are not going to be paid as much as other companies that are heavier on base and lower on performance based pay. Surprisingly there are very few complaints from the best engineers there about low pay. I wonder why that is.

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  4. @Vijay

    Oh how well we know that :-) I think that is reflected in the “bonus” component of the compensation. I think that really bolsters your point.

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  5. There is a heavy bias in this survey as I can see a lot of companies being based in the Silicon Valley where the cost of living is high. I have known companies in North Carolina or Maryland that pay lot of money, but the absolute number is not that high, because it is cheaper to live there. This survey says Google is clearly the top paying employer in the Bay area.

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    1. I think that might be the case. broadcom is the only non bay area example.

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  6. A bit surprised to see that there is rank for Dell. Being a mechanical engineer, it is hard to believe that such a huge production company does not pay that much to its engineers. However, I understand that Dell suffered around 48% dis-growth in the last quarter.

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  7. Om
    the remark about CSCO compensation is sarcasm right.
    CSCO hasn’t revised their compensation packages for nearly half a decade,
    thinking that their stock growth and splits we’re reason enough, like the old days
    we’re CSCO after all …. it’s a weird, outdated, and marginally productive culture…
    certainly mediocre compensation. the internal mantra..’frugality’ keeps thousands of talented
    engineers away…

    also the bonus compensation is generally used for tax savings reasons… keeping
    base lower saves companies money…

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    1. @blognround actually for once i wasn’t been snarky or sarcastic. somehow it came across like that :-)

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  8. Curious to know what the average experience for these engineers is. 4-5 years or perhaps higher (7+)? I’m also surprised to see that Apple didn’t make the cut.

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  9. Ashwin Desikan Sunday, March 1, 2009

    surprised to see Microsoft and Amazon not listed in the top ten. Is there a website which provides the average compensation by publicly listed companies?

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