NEWS FLASH: Software engineers make good money

New salary survey finds that, among tech companies, Google engineers make the most

software_engineer_salaries_chart-600x450_0.jpgITworld/Phil Johnson
Mama, let your babies grow up to be software engineers

Are you an iPhone owner still cursing Apple for foisting Apple Maps on you and wondering why this brilliant company with a history of technological innovation couldn’t come up with something as good as Google Maps? Well, aside from things like Google having a big head start and lots more engineers working on it, we may now know another reason why: Apple isn’t paying its engineers enough.

Last week Glassdoor released a report on the average salaries paid to software engineers at  tech companies. As you can see from the chart above, Google engineers were paid the most, with an average annual base salary of $128,336, followed by those at Facebook ($123,626) and Apple ($114,413). 

So, you see, Apple engineers are making a full $14,000 less per year than their Google counterparts. How can they possibly be expected to match Google Maps when they’re missing out on the equivalent of a 2012 Toyota Yaris each year in salary? It’s a miracle that app even knows which way north is.

Looking at this list, a couple of other things jump out at me, such as:

  1. Zynga engineers make over 6 figures; one more reason to hate FarmVille
  2. Microsoft is middle of the pack in terms of what they pay their engineers; based on the new ad campaign for Windows 8, they can’t be paying top dollar for their marketing folks, either
  3. Hewlett-Packard is paying its engineers just a little more ($95,567) than the national average of $92,648 so, surprisingly, HP still has engineers. Who knew?

This list is based on survey data and Glassdoor doesn’t break down engineer salary by experience level, so the results are a mix of whoever chose to provide their information. Also, it’s only base salary and doesn’t include bonuses, benefits or perks. Can you really put a monetary value on unlimited, free Five Hour Energy drinks or NASCAR-themed employee lounges?

But, regardless, the bottom line here - and you may want to be sitting down for this one - is that software engineers in this country make a lot of money. Is the room spinning?

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that not everyone involved in making your awesome smartphone, tablet or Fart Cat! app is making this kind of money. The average annual base salary of workers in Foxconn factories - as we all know now, is a major Apple supplier - is only $4,800 per year. Heck, even IBM engineers make more than that. 

Who knew?

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