Here’s how much Silicon Valley tech workers actually make
By Madeline Wells, SFGATE Updated 1:12 pm PDT, Thursday, June 27, 2019
Photo: Jens Meyer, Associated Press
According to SEC filings, the median pay for Google employees last year was $246,804.
Surprise, surprise: people who work in tech are rich. But ever since a new law came into effect last year that requires publicly traded companies to report the median pay of their employees, we know exactly how rich.
Silicon Valley led the pack. As reported to the SEC, Google employees are the most made of money: their median annual pay in 2018 was $246,804. That's an increase of nearly $50,000 from what Google employees made in 2017.
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Facebook came in second place, with a median pay of $228,651 in 2018. However, this number fell by nearly $12,000 from 2017. A spokesperson told WIRED there was "no specific reason" for the decline, although Facebook suffered multiple crises last year, including a massive data breach that caused its stock prices to plummet.
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Meanwhile, it's not too rough to work at Twitter, Square, Workday, or Nvidia, either, where employees all made on average over $150,000 in 2018. That's more than enough to afford rent for the average San Francisco "modest two-bedroom" according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition's "Out of Reach" report (they reported you'd have to make at least a cool $127,000).
However, working at Amazon doesn't look so hot: the median salary in 2018 was only $28,836. But that's because the majority of its workforce doesn't consist of highly-paid software engineers — it's blue-collar workers managing inventory and filling warehouse orders. Conversely, Google's median pay was highest because it didn't include any of its many temporary or contract employees.
If it seems to you like Silicon Valley tech employees are especially loaded, you're not imagining things: the average wage for a software engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area last year was roughly $140,000, while the national average was $104,000. No wonder there are so many Bay Area transplants.
Madeline Wells is an SFGate editorial assistant. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @madwells22