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 try their luck at innovative startups like Uniphore, Weee!, and Slintel.
It has been said that having an office in Silicon Valley quadruples the chances of your company’s success, but this comes with a hefty price tag.
The average engineer salary in Silicon Valley ranges between $85,948 and $174,459. When you consider the cost of an office rental, taxes, shares, and non-financial benefits, the full cost of doing business in Silicon Valley adds up pretty quickly.
As practice shows, many tech companies try to optimize development costs by hiring experienced engineers overseas. And it’s only logical that they do so because tech startups and SMEs can hire several top IT professionals in Eastern Europe for the price of one engineer's salary in Silicon Valley.
In this article, we’ll explore whether the hassle is worth it and learn where to hire top specialists for a reasonable salary outside of Silicon Valley.
What Is the Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley?
The average engineer salary income in Silicon Valley ranges between $88,000 and $152,000 (according to PayScale).
The average engineer salary in Silicon Valley by years of experience:
- Less than 1 year — $109,622
- 1-2 years — $112,626
- 6-9 years — $128,821
- More than 10 years — $147,585
The Average Salary for People in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States (PayScale)
According to SalaryExpert, an entry-level software engineer salary in Silicon Valley starts with $87,896 and can be as high as $155,990 for a senior specialist.
The Average Software Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley (SalaryExpert)
To compare, the average engineer salary in the US is $110,638 (SalaryExpert) with a junior engineer earning around $77,437 and a senior engineer getting around $137,429 per year. The average engineer rate in Silicon Valley is around $60 per hour.
The Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley vs Average Engineer Salary in the US (SalaryExpert)
What’s Average Programmer Salary in Silicon Valley by City?
The average engineer salary in Silicon Valley ranges between $122,797 and $174,459 per year (SalaryExpert).
|Silicon Valley Salary Comparison by City|
|City in Silicon Valley||Average Engineer Salary||Average Junior Engineer Salary||Average Senior Engineer Salary|
|Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Cupertino||$140,449||$98,303||$174,459|
|San Francisco, San Mateo, Sunnyvale, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Belmont||$137,792||$96,443||$171,159|
The highest average engineer salary in Silicon Valley is seen in Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and Cupertino ($98,303-$174,459) and the lowest has been found in Solana Beach ($85,948-$152,533) and Alameda ($92,762-$164,625).
How much does a Software Engineer make in Solana, California?
How much does a Software Engineer make in Cupertino, California?
The highest average engineer salaries in Silicon Valley are in Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and Cupertino ($98,303-$174,459), while the lowest can be found in Solana Beach ($85,948-$152,533) and Alameda ($92,762-$164,625).
According to stats provided by Indeed, San Jose ($146,071), Sunnyvale ($145,510), and Mountain View ($139,786) offer the highest engineer salaries in Silicon Valley.
Software engineers’ salaries in San Francisco are among the most competitive in the world. On average, the software engineer salary in San Francisco is around $145,851 per year. The average hourly rate for Silicon Valley engineers is $60 per hour.
What Are the Cities with the Highest Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley (Indeed)?
- San Jose, California — $146,071
- San Francisco, California — $145,851
- Sunnyvale, California — $145,510
- Mountain View, California — $139,786
- Palo Alto, California — $137,662
- Redwood City, California — $127,551
- Los Angeles, California — $112,976
- San Diego, California — $111,819
Cities with Highest Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley
What Companies Pay the Highest Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley?
Microsoft, Google, Apple, Uber, Facebook, Netflix, eBay, Cisco Systems, PayPal, Yahoo, LinkedIn, SalesForce, and many other world-known tech companies have offices in Silicon Valley.
These tech giants fuel competition by snatching up local tech talent, offering them attractive salaries. By doing this, they also significantly raise the overall price of doing business.
|Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley by Company (Indeed)|
42% Above national average
32% Above national average
72% Above national average
54% Above national average
56% Above national average
186% Above national average
Meets national average
77% Above national average
77% Above national average
That’s why those looking to hire engineers in Silicon Valley should be ready to put extra effort to battle the competition by offering competitive salaries and compelling non-financial incentives and bonuses.
What Are the Major Extra Costs of Employing Software Developers in San Francisco?
While the cost of hiring a software engineer in Silicon Valley is pretty steep, keep in mind that their base salary is just the tip of the iceberg.
Entry-level positions can generate $8,800-$26,340 of additional income.
Total compensation is comprised of five components:
- Silicon Valley programmer’s base salary paid on monthly basis and quoted each year
- Non-financial benefits such as healthcare insurance, car rental, commuter assistance, educational lessons (if necessary)
- Cash bonuses get higher with each new level of experience and can generate from 50% to 200% additional revenue of the base salary
- Stock units and stock options that can be cashed out over time.
What other Benefits Employers Cover in Silicon Valley (Indeed)?
- Stock options
- Commuter assistance
- Visa sponsorship
- Health insurance
- Gym membership
- Food provided
- 401 (K) and 401 (K) matching
- Referral program
- Relocation assistance
- Health savings account
- Vision insurance
If you want to have an office for your team, expect to spend around $80/square foot and 150 square feet per person in San Francisco. The yearly cost of renting an office comes out to $12,000 per employee, depending on the size of your company.
Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn have devoured a lot of real estate in Silicon Valley, driving the prices up and pushing small tech companies to city outskirts.
Don’t forget that you also have to furnish your office with hardware, computers, and other necessary items to make it comfortable for your employees. You also need to step up HR, recruitment, and accounting departments, not to mention hiring legal staff.
Average Salary for Software Engineers in FAANG Companies
FAANG is an acronym which refers to 5 of the most popular and top performing companies in Silicon Valley: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google.
It goes without saying that working in any of the FAANG companies is a developer’s dream job, thanks to their highly competitive salaries and career-building opportunities.
Average Salary of Facebook Software Engineers
Just about everyone uses Facebook these days, from students to their grandparents. The social media monolith is kept running by experienced software engineers that earn around $148,640 per year, according to Comparably.
Average Salary of Amazon Software Engineers
The average salary of an Amazon software engineer is $149,485 per year, according to Comparably.
Average Salary of Apple Software Engineers
The world’s largest technology company pays its software engineers an average yearly salary of $132,640.
Average Salary of Netflix Software Engineers
According to Comparably, software engineers at the popular streaming service earn $138,643 annually.
Average Salary of Google Software Engineers
The highest paid software engineers in Silicon Valley work at Google. It comes as no surprise -- the hiring process at the world famous tech firm is notoriously tough, and only the best of the best work there.
According to Comparably, the average yearly salary for a Google software engineer is $156,806.
Silicon Valley Startups
According to ZipRecruiter, the annual salary for a software engineer working in a Silicon Valley startup can range between $70,240 and $111,799 per year. However it is worth noting that some offer much lower or higher annual salaries.
That being said, ZipRecruiter estimates that a software engineer working in a Silicon Valley startup earns around $95,856 per year on average, or $46.08 per hour.
While working in a startup can sometimes be just as arduous as working in any of the FAANG companies, there’s a big payoff for those who succeed. Everyone is working toward the goal of becoming the next unicorn, that is, a startup valued at $1 billion.
Unsurprisingly, many of the Silicon Valley startups poised to become unicorns are involved in the fintech sector.
Abra was founded by a former Goldman Sachs executive and is a self-described “crypto bank”, currently valued at $86 million. Comparably estimates the annual average salary at Abra is $124,789 per year, or $59 per hour.
Consider Hiring Engineers for Reasonable Cost Outside Silicon Valley
In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have turned to outsourcing to fulfill their staffing needs.
Many tech startups and SMEs have benefited from working with remote teams.
Many companies with headquarters in Silicon Valley like SizeUp Inc. have extended their teams by hiring programmers from growing outsourcing destinations in Eastern European countries, such as Ukraine, Hungary, Belarus, and Croatia.
Why did they choose CEE? The region has 1.3 million tech specialists with strong educational backgrounds.
There are more than 200,000 tech specialists in Ukraine alone, and 450 higher educational institutions that generate 30,000 prospect entry-level specialists each year.
For the price of hiring an experienced software engineer in Silicon Valley, you can build a dedicated team of developers or even extend your existing team with tech specialists who have already been working with clients on the global tech market for years now.
There are innumerate cases that prove successful experiences of building remote teams and Here’s one of the reviews left on Clutch by a CTO at a large cybersecurity product company who worked with Grid Dynamics developers based in Ukraine
“All of the work that they deliver for us is well built and functions very smoothly, so we have been able to entrust them with just as much of our portfolio as our in-house team. Technically, they are the best remote team I have ever worked with in 20 years of experience.”
|Comparison of the Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley and Ukraine|
|Entry-level Engineer||$85,948 - $98,303||$15,600 - $22,800|
|Middle Level Engineer||$122,797 - $140,449||$23,000 - $43,200|
|Senior Engineer||$152,533 - $174,459||$44,000 - $60,000|
The average engineer salary in Ukraine is around $1300 and $4600 per month, which amounts to $15,600 and $60,000 per year. This is three times less than a senior software engineer’s average salary in Silicon Valley.
The Average Engineer Salary in Ukraine vs Average Engineer Salary in San Francisco
Why Build Remote Teams?
- Moderate developer rates
- IT outsourcing companies offer flexible cooperation model
Build a Remote Team of Engineers with Grid Dynamics
Grid Dynamics helps tech companies around the world fight talent shortages by recruiting and retaining talented software engineers in Eastern Europe, Central Europe and Latin America who work as an integral part of the client’s product development team and report to them directly.
Get in touch with us today!