Top 10 Tech Companies That Pay Engineers The Most

31 Comments

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 (s GOOG) 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 (s CSCO) and Intel (s INTC).

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

31 Comments

G.Rama chandrareddy

so many people are complainting that google is not paying good salaries, but i was shocked on seeing that google is paying more salaries

shaila

i glad to inform you..this is very technical company..
and demonstrate more and more software applications for peoples..

Ash Link

Totally wrong data from facts.

Its missing top paying companies in Bay Area like Adobe and Microsoft (yes they are here and they pay well).

Google is certainly not at top. I am a recruiter and know inside out of this business.

Abhay Antony

Thats interesting to hear, but how does a engineering graduating in india make the cut in these companies. Is there a “guide to silicon valley” anywhere?…does certifications and varied degrees like a BE+B.Com help?

manohar

This is the only thing companies need to consider that their employers are satisfied with the package and then they will give their 100% to the company………….

Mira

The list refers to software engineers, right? It’d be nice to list years of experience and education levels as well.

Vince

This is a really great top ten list, you can post this to our site http://www.toptentopten.com/ and then link back to your site. We are looking for top ten lists and our users can track back to your site. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.

Sri

I don’t think the figures reflect the current statistics. I have recently come across a similar article on Economic times where they covered perhaps the Top 25 firms. Though it was not specific to IT, I remember having seen Adobe, Yahoo, Cisco, NetApp as paymasters and Google was certainly not on the top.

In fact, the law firms were on the top of the list followed by Cisco or Adobe (vaguely recollect). The average salary in the top IT company was around 1.9 Lakh dollars (i.e. $190K)

AJ

@againseminoma @Allen

All types could be included (eg., software, hardware, etc.), however most of the engineers were either software or hardware engineers. If you look at the companies that rank the highest, you can see how some are predominantly software engineers, such as Yahoo. Whereas others are a mix of software and hardware engineers, such as Broadcom and Sun Microsystems. To get a sense of what the mix was, feel free to look at the salaries page for each company on glassdoor.com.

AJ
Community and Marketing Manager
Glassdoor.com

AJ

@John Boos This list represents the companies that pay the most; it’s not a list of highest paid relative to cost of living in the market. Great idea — maybe we’ll compare engineering pay vs. cost of living in the future.

Boston Engineering and Construction

It seems like each of the 10 companies above are remaining fairly competitive with one another. There doesn’t seem to be a huge discrepancy between lowest salary or the highest. I’m not surprised about Google being at the top, since they seem to be having a fairly good year.

Great article, some very useful information.

Timothy

CiscoBay

Cisco needs to get smart. Even in this economy, there’s only so much a qualified engineer will put up with.

Cisco relies too much on star power of their high-profile management and doesn’t pay attention to the front-line engineers.

broadband_fan

Completely agree with blognround. Not surprised at all that Cisco didn’t make the cut.

The Cisco compensation system is very outdated. Some folks have not received a raise in 3 or 4 years… yet the company keeps them. The only way to get ahead of the pack compensation-wise is to get another offer and threaten to leave.

Allen

I’m with againseminoma, it really depends on what you call an engineer. There are different specialities with different pay scales; but also some companies refer to their field staff as “engineers” while others dont use the title for anything less than someone with a couple of degrees behind them. My company doesnt use the term at all. Train drivers might still be referred to as engineers for all I know.

againseminoma

“Engineer” is a little broad, can you be more specific as to what type(s) of engineers? i.e. software, electrical, etc.

Some corporations on that list do both software and hardware.

Karthik

OM – What about experience? The data you have published should state the average years of experience as well else it is not really useful.

Gino

@John Boos: These average salary numbers may look high to those in places like North Carolina, but then keep in mind that the average cost for a 3br house in Palo Alto is $1,080,000, or in Mountain View, $850,000. So even with a $150,000 Google salary, the fundamental economics still make no sense when you bring home ownership into the picture. $150k a year isn’t even close to being enough money to own an average home in Silicon Valley.

RobDinsmore

I agree with John Boos. These numbers only apply to Si Valley, and hence not very meaningful. Intel has the bulk of their engineers working in Hillsboro OR where they pay nearly enough to make the list. The cost of living in OR is certainly less than almost anywhere in CA. Even the state income tax in CA is slightly higher than OR and NC. (9.3% for those making over 40.4K)

Also what exactly is the average salary? Is it average starting pay for recent college grads, PhDs MSs, and BSs? There are a lot of jobs that would qualify someone as an engineer and these companies seem to hire people from all levels of training and disciplines? It is very easy to generate a meaningless statistic when combining uncorrelated data sets.

Ashwin Desikan

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?

Jos

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.

blognround

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…

Om Malik

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

sdkrdk

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.

John Boos

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.

Om Malik

@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.

vijay gill

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.

Om Malik

@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.

Andy

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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