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What’s the Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley and Where to Hire Programmers for Lower Rates?

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    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.

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    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
    Average Salary for People in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States (PayScale)

    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.

    Image title: The Average Software Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley (SalaryExpert)

    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)

    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 (Indeed)
    Silicon Valley Salary Comparison by City
    City in Silicon ValleyAverage Engineer SalaryAverage Junior Engineer SalaryAverage 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
    Alameda$132,533$92,762$164,625
    Solana Beach$122,797$85,948$152,533

    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 Solana, California?

    How much does a Software Engineer make in Cupertino, 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.

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    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

    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)
    Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley by Company (Indeed)

    eBay

    42% Above national average

    • Software Engineer - $145,849
    • Senior Software Engineer - $172,458
    • Senior Product Manager - $144,157

    Google

    32% Above national average

    • Software Engineer - $130,659
    • Software Developer - $134,458
    • Senior Software Engineer - $163,107

    Apple

    72% Above national average

    • Software Engineer - $176,268
    • Senior Software Engineer - $183,707
    • Software Engineering Manager - $204,155

    Uber

    54% Above national average

    • Software Engineer - $157,995
    • Senior Software Engineer - $178,905
    • Software Engineering Manager - $188,072

    Facebook

    56% Above national average

    • Software Engineer - $159,920
    • Engineering Lead - $207,782
    • Software Engineering Manager - $246,221

    Netflix

    186% Above national average

    • Senior Software Engineer - $357,213
    • Front End Developer - $336,354
    • Full Stack Developer - $155,259

    PayPal

    Meets national average

    • Senior Software Engineer - $125,782
    • Software Engineering Manager - $170,240
    • Senior Product Manager - $164,722

    LinkedIn

    77% Above national average

    • Software Engineer - $181,569
    • Senior Product Manager - $200,218
    • Front End Developer - $139,476

    Amazon

    77% Above national average

    • Software Engineer - $126,1732
    • Senior Product Manager - $100,083
    • Software Engineering Manager - $184,448

    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
    • Taxes
    • 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.

    Software Development in CEE: Closing the Tech Gap for Western Europe and the USA

    Why Central and Eastern European countries are a sweet spot for global companies seeking high-end tech at a sensible price.

    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 Daxx 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
    Comparison of the Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley and Ukraine
     Silicon ValleyUkraine
    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.

    Average Engineer Salary in Ukraine vs Average Engineer Salary in San Francisco

    The Average Engineer Salary in Ukraine vs Average Engineer Salary in San Francisco

    Why Build Remote Teams in Ukraine?

    • Moderate developer rates $25 - $46/hour
    • Large pool of engineers who use trending technologies (JavaScript, Python, PHP, Java, etc.)
    • IT outsourcing companies offer flexible cooperation model
    • 68% of Ukrainian engineers have an intermediate and higher level of English
    • 47% of developers in Ukraine speak fluent English

    Build a Remote Team of Engineers with Daxx

    Daxx helps tech companies around the world fight talent shortages by recruiting and retaining talented software engineers in Ukraine who work as an integral part of the client’s product development team and report to them directly. 

    Now that Daxx is a part of Grid Dynamics, headquartered in Silicon Valley, our company offers a wider service selection. We have the resources to cater to the needs of companies at any size.

    Get in touch with us today!

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    Kateryna Kachkovska

    Content Marketing Manager

    Kateryna is a Content Marketing Manager at Daxx driven to help business owners make data-based decisions. Feel free to contact her with offers on content promotion and collaboration.

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