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What’s the engineer salary in Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley has long been the epicenter of the global tech industry. Developers worldwide dream of the chance to work in top companies like Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, while others latch on to cutting-edge startups.

Given its thriving culture of creativity and innovation, it’s no wonder accomplished tech professionals from all over the world flock to this renowned tech hub. So, naturally, for businesses looking to hire skilled developers, it makes sense to connect with the abundant talent concentrated in the area.

In this article, we’ll explore how much it costs to hire software engineers in Silicon Valley, whether the hassle is worth it, and talk about emerging tech hubs where else you can find top specialists at a reasonable price.

What is the average Silicon Valley software engineer’s salary?

According to PayScale, the average software engineer salary in Silicon Valley ranges between \$94K and \$162K a year. The median pay is $128K which is almost 19% higher than the annual mean wage across all computer and mathematical occupations.

A survey conducted by SalaryExpert shows that entry-level software engineers in Silicon Valley earn slightly over 121K. As they advance in their careers and reach senior proficiency they can make up to 215K. The average compensation for a software engineer is \$173K annually, plus an additional bonus of \$7.7K.

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Stats provided by Indeed, indicate that the median annual pay of skilled tech professionals in Silicon Valley is \$151K. Average total pay can span from \$92K on the low end to \$248K at the high end. Location and experience are the major factors driving the salary differences for software engineers in the area. 

According to Glassdoor, the average software engineer salary in Silicon Valley is \$167K. The median pay ranges between \$145K and \$196K, depending on the experience:

  • less than 1 year – \$107K to \$161K;
  • 1-3 years – \$116K to \$176K:
  • 4-6 years – \$127K to 193K;
  • 7-9 years – \$133K to \$201K.
The average software engineer salary in Silicon Valley 

What is the average programmer salary in Silicon Valley by city?

The average engineer salary in Silicon Valley ranges between \$101,796 and \$224,737 per year (Indeed).

Silicon Valley Salary Comparison by City (Indeed)

Silicon Valley Salary Comparison by City

City in Silicon Valley

Entry-level engineer salary

Junior engineer salary Middle engineer salary

Senior engineer salary

Redwood City $138K $142K $162K $185K
Menlo Park $153K $158K $180K $207K
San Jose $130K $134K $153K $175K
Santa Clara $129K $133K $152K $174K
Mountain View $145K $149K $171K $195K
Palo Alto $142K $146K $167K $191K
Sunnyvale $146K $148K $169K $194K
Cupertino $148K $152K $174K $200K

Menlo Park takes the lead offering the highest compensation in Silicon Valley. The median income of software developers is around \$164K. Entry-level specialists earn \$153K, junior developers – \$158K, middle programmers – \$180K, and senior software engineers – \$207K. 

Cupertino comes second with salaries ranging from \$107K to \$135K and an average pay of \$159K. The top three are rounded out by Mountain View, where software engineers make 155K a year. Sunnyvale follows closely behind with an average offering of \$154K.

In Palo Alto developers can expect to earn \$152K, while in Redwood City they would get around \$147K. The lowest salaries are found in San Jose (\$140K) and Santa Clara (\$138K), yet it’s 17-18% higher than the national average base salary.


Cities with the highest average engineer salary in Silicon Valley

What are the highest paying companies in Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley is home to a number of global tech giants. The list includes Microsoft, Google, Apple, Uber, Facebook, Netflix, eBay, Cisco Systems, PayPal, Yahoo, and LinkedIn. 

These world-known companies fuel competition in the talent market by snatching up principal software engineers and offering them attractive salaries that are hard to beat for smaller tech firms and emerging startups. 

This has led to significant raises in the overall price of doing business. That’s why those looking to hire engineers in Silicon Valley should be ready to put extra effort into battling the competition by offering competitive salaries and compelling non-financial incentives and bonuses.

Highest-paying companies in Silicon Valley (Indeed)

Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley by Company


Software Engineer – \$150,858
Senior Engineering Manager – \$220,294
Senior Software Engineer -\$148,238

35% above national average
38% above national average
13% above national average


Senior Engineering Manager – \$259,295
Tech Lead – \$211,549
Software Architect – \$133,561

62% above national average
89% above national average
meets national average


Senior Software Engineer – \$190,322
Software Engineering Manager – \$201,755
Senior Application Engineer – \$190,499

45% above national average
33% above national average
58% above national average


Senior Software Engineer – \$200,924
Front-end Developer – \$173,743
Engineering Lead – \$224,000

53% above national average
66% above national average
72% above national average


Cloud Engineer – \$124,336
Senior Software Engineer -\$342,664
Full Stack Developer – \$148,756

meets national average
161% above national average
31% above national average


Software Engineer – \$138,621
Software Engineering Manager – \$191,818
Senior Product Manager – \$186,610

24% above national average
26% above national average
29% above national average


Software Engineer – \$171,648
Senior Product Manager – \$170,449
Front End Developer – \$170,449

54% above national average
18% above national average
26% above national average


Senior Software Engineer – \$171,566
Senior Product Manager – \$158,887
Software Engineering Manager – \$204,015

31% above national average
10% above national average
35% above national average

Five of the top-performing companies in Silicon Valley, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google – collectively known as the FAANG – take the lion’s share of the engineering talent. As the world’s most innovative and successful tech companies, these giants attract and recruit best-in-class IT specialists with some of the most competitive salaries and career-building opportunities in the industry. 

With their enormous profits and rapid growth, FAANG companies are able to offer software engineers annual compensation that is 20% to 94% higher than the national average. Furthermore, they incentivize top talent with lucrative stock options and bonuses in addition to base salaries.

Let’s take a look at the eye-popping average salaries commanded by software engineers at the most prominent Silicon Valley technology companies:


Just about everyone uses Facebook these days, from students to their grandparents. The social media monolith is kept running by experienced software engineers who earn around \$161,906 per year. 


The average salary of an Amazon software engineer is \$133,893 per year.


The world’s largest technology company pays its software engineers an average yearly salary of \$146,366. 


The highest-paid software engineers in Silicon Valley work at Netflix. Software engineers at the popular streaming service earn \$216,352 annually, which is almost twice as much as the national average.


The hiring process at the world-famous tech firm is notoriously tough, and only the best of the best work there. The top talent at Google earns on average \$146,734.

What is the cost of employing software developers in Silicon Valley?

But while it’s said that having an office in the Bay Area quadruples the chances of your company’s success, this comes with a hefty price tag. The average software engineer salary in Silicon Valley ranges between \$93K and \$248K. While this figure is already pretty impressive, it’s important to note that it is just the tip of the iceberg. On top of the base salary you have to pay office rent, taxes, shares, and non-financial benefits, so the costs can add up pretty quickly.

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The total compensation package compensation is comprised of five components:

  • The programmer’s base salary which is quoted every year.
  • Taxes.
  • Non-financial benefits such as healthcare insurance, car rental, commuter assistance, educational courses, gym membership, and food.
  • Cash bonuses that increase with each new level of experience. They can total up to anywhere between 50% and 200% of the base salary. This bonus category can include things like referral program, 401(k) and 401(k) matching, and a health savings account.
  • Stock units and stock options that can be cashed out over time.

Plus, if you want to have an office for your team, expect to shell out around \$5.7 per square foot. As a rule of thumb, to ensure a comfortable working environment it is recommended to allocate 150 square feet per employee. It means that a 50-person company with average space requirements would need 7,500 square feet of office space. This adds up to \$ 42,750 a month or \$513,000 a year in renting expenses. On top of that, you will have to furnish your office with hardware, computers, and other necessary items to create productive working conditions.

CEE: Best place for hiring first-class engineers outside Silicon Valley

Large tech giants like Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn are absorbing much of the available talent pool in Silicon Valley, leaving scraps for the lesser-known companies. As a result, SMEs and startups are often unable to source the robust technical teams they need to build competitive products and grow their business. This has created a bottleneck, which is pushing smaller players to look beyond Silicon Valley when staffing their engineering departments.

Hiring talent overseas not only helps to address talent scarcity but also allows IT companies to optimize development expenses. For example, tech hubs in Eastern Europe harbor skilled engineers at a fraction of Silicon Valley costs. The average hourly rate for a software developer there can be \$30-50, compared to \$83 in the Bay Area. This allows startups to assemble larger, more affordable teams for the same price as just a few local hires.

Key facts about top outsourcing destinations in Eastern Europe

Many companies with headquarters in Silicon Valley have extended their teams by hiring programmers from growing outsourcing destinations in Eastern Europe, such as Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, and Romania.

Why did they choose CEE? The region boasts a vast talent pool of 1.3 million tech specialists and an abundance of STEM graduates. Local software engineering specialists have a strong educational background and technical know-how making them well-equipped to take on complex development projects and quickly learn new programming languages and frameworks. The region thus offers a perfect blend of innovation, high-performing technology teams, and strategic geographic positioning within Europe.

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If you simply need to augment your existing engineering capacity we can provide you with tech specialists who have experience working with clients on the global tech market and can become an integral part of your product development team.

All you need to do is describe your business needs and technology stack requirements, and we will come up with a team of pre-screened engineers that perfectly fit your project specifications. Get in touch with us to learn more about building a remote development team.


What skills command the highest software engineer salaries in Silicon Valley?

Engineers with specialized skills in AI, machine learning, and data science can expect to get the highest salaries in Silicon Valley.

How do Silicon Valley tech salaries compare to other US cities?

Silicon Valley tech salaries are on average 17-20% higher than those in other US cities, reflecting the region’s status as a global tech hub.

Besides base pay, what other compensation do Silicon Valley engineers get?

Silicon Valley engineers often receive substantial additional benefits, including stock options, bonuses, health insurance, and perks like free meals and wellness programs, contributing to a comprehensive compensation package.

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