2022 top paying tech companies
Newsletter
February 12, 2022

2022 Top of Market Pay & Top Paying Companies

Welcome to the first edition of our compensation insights newsletter! With senior software engineering offers up 35% since last year and many other changes in the tech compensation space, we’ve decided it’s finally time to start our monthly newsletter. We will be sharing out insights based on our ongoing negotiations. I’ve included the first edition below, which covers 1) top of market engineering compensation in early 2022 and 2) the current set of highest paying companies. In future updates, we will be covering topics like: top paying startups, deep dive on crypto $1m+ offers, comp changes with the stock market selloff, and much more.

If you're considering a career move and want guidance from our negotiation team, book a call below.

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Top of Market Pay in 2022

Tech offers have soared in 2022 (in sharp contrast to stock prices). Amazon has led the charge on this for mid-level positions, which is where we've seen the largest increases. But we are seeing similar trends across many companies and all levels. For version 1 of this update, I will be focusing on software engineering specifically. Other roles have also seen large increases, and if you’d like us to potentially cover that in the future, please send us a note.

The data below is based on confirmed offers we have seen but excludes outlier situations (e.g. VP approval during negotiation). That said, these are still top of band numbers at the best paying companies in the industry (i.e. very hard to achieve). Lastly, companies have very inconsistent levelling scales, so bear with us on the terminology.

L4 - Intermediate Software Engineer ($410K/year up from $325K in 2021)

  • Amazon SDE II has taken the lead in 2022. Amazon’s offer numbers are influx with new base salary changes, but we have negotiated $175K base, $560K equity, $240K year 1 signing, $170K year 2 signing

L5 - Senior Software Engineer ($600K/year up from $445K in 2021)

  • This jump is tough to believe, and we are seeing a large variance in early 2022 offer negotiations, but $600K is now attainable at this level. Amazon’s senior SWE position (labeled L6 internally) can clear $600K
  • In 2022, a number of late-stage private companies (e.g. Databricks, Airtable, Instacart) have increased offers and can go above $550K, but with more than 60% in equity
  • Facebook offers are comparably lower at this level, sitting just below $500K (220K base, $800K equity, 100K signing, 15% performance bonus)

L6 - Staff Software Engineer / Manager ($710K/year up from $650K in 2021)

  • Facebook increased equity bands earlier this year and we’ve seen offers at $255K, $1.5M, 20% performance and $100K signing ($710K/yearly)
  • Instacart can clear $800K in 2022 if you can get L7 (equivalent to Google/FB L6 in scope)
  • Amazon L7 (comparable, but not a 1-to-1 mapping to Google/FB L6) is now nearly $150K higher than Facebook, if you can pull off the level arbitrage
  • We will update with Databricks 2022 numbers at this level as we get them. Expecting higher than $750K/year with ~70% equity

L7 - Senior Staff Software Engineer / Senior Manager ($1.12M/year up from $1.01M in 2021)

  • Facebook L7 is similar to L6 where we’re seeing early 2022 numbers above 2021 benchmarks. Top of band offers are coming in at 315K base, 2.8M equity, 25% performance bonus, $100K signing ($1.12M/yearly)
  • Instacart L8 can clear $1M per year in 2022 but the $40B private market valuation is a risk
  • We will update Roblox and Databricks 2022 numbers at this level as we get them. Roblox was outpaying Facebook at this level in 2021


Highest Paying Companies in 2022

Big tech

  • When it comes to top of market offers, Amazon is taking the intermediate and senior software engineer crown from Facebook in 2022. Though, Facebook is still certainly a strong contender and has also recently loosened its policy of never going above band (which isn’t factored into the numbers above)
  • Google always has a select few high offers (typically in ML/AI). It’s hard to make general statements about Google because we’ve seen 2021 L5 offers range from $210K to $480K for the exact same location. On average, they pay notably lower and are also tough to negotiate with
  • Netflix can pay top of market but has a unique comp and levelling structure, which makes it tough to compare fairly
  • Apple and Microsoft continue to lag significantly

Late stage private / recent IPOs

  • Roblox and Stripe have the ability to pay top of market
  • Databricks and Instacart give out some of the highest offers in the industry but skew heavily towards equity comp (often 60-70% equity)
  • Airtable is smaller than the companies listed above, but it has demonstrated the ability to give top tier offers in multiple of our negotiations

Startups

  • Startups have much higher variance between individual offers and many are not household names. We’re holding off providing detailed guidance here, but if it’s something you’re interested in, please let us know

That’s a wrap for update 1! If you have any feedback, we’d love to hear it. We’re also open to suggestions for other topics you’d like us to cover or other roles that would benefit from this type of breakdown. We also really appreciate it when you send this newsletter to friends or colleagues who would benefit. They can subscribe using this link. Thanks!

1:1 Salary Negotiation Support

We negotiated more than $350M in 2021 with multiple clients increasing their offers by $1M+.

Negotiation strategy

Step 1 is defining the strategy, which often starts by helping you create leverage for your negotiation (e.g. setting up conversations with FAANG recruiters).

Negotiation anchor number

Step 2 we decide on anchor numbers and target numbers with the goal of securing a top of band offer, based on our internal verified data sets.

Negotiation execution plan

Step 3 we create custom scripts for each of your calls, practice multiple 1:1 mock negotiations, and join your recruiter calls to guide you via chat.