Tech workers are often paid more than the general population. It’s not unheard of for employees to receive a $10,000 signing bonus and it’s not unusual for engineering interns to make $50 per hour. With numbers like these, we were curious to know what tech workers think about their compensation. Are today’s software engineers and products managers happy with their pay?
To find out, we ran another survey on the Blind app from July 16, 2018 through July 20, 2018. Roughly 6,000 tech workers responded to the following statement: “I am compensated fairly at my current company.” Participants were able to choose an answer from the following options:
B) No, I am underpaid
C) No, I am overpaid
The majority of survey participants (61 percent) claimed that they are underpaid. Only 5 percent responded that they are overpaid and 34 percent claimed that they are compensated fairly.
Here’s a look at the results for the 20 tech companies with the most survey responses: Cisco tops the list for the highest percentage of employees who feel underpaid, with 80 percent. Next is Intel with 79 percent, followed by Expedia with 76 percent. Facebook has the highest percentage of employees who feel overpaid, with 13.83 percent.Though tech employees often make far more than workers in other industries, many of these employees live and work in the Bay Area, the most expensive region in the United States. The cost of living in Silicon Valley or San Francisco has become so high that even tech employees making six figure salaries at the most desirable companies claim that they are struggling to afford a home and raise a family. The high cost of living in the industry’s hub may be one explanation why so many survey participants claimed that they are underpaid.
There’s another reason why the 61 percent may feel that they aren’t receiving enough money, and it’s due to pay transparency. Salaries and other compensation benefits are shared on Blind on a daily basis. Some users have reported that engineers can make a total compensation of $400K-$500K at Netflix. That range is high but according to many users, $300K is achievable at the other big tech companies: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google. Many engineers outside the Bay Area will make significantly less. The same goes for Bay Area engineers employed at early-stage startups or companies outside of FAANG. When these engineers see how much their peers make at the big tech companies, even with the same years of experience and equivalent level, they often grow unhappy. It’s often the case that employees don’t know if they are being paid fairly until they discover how much other workers make.