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These companies have the highest starting salaries in tech

A new study compares compensation and more at Facebook, Google and 16 more of the biggest employers in the tech industry.

These companies have the highest starting salaries in tech

We all know the names of the most sought-after companies in tech. They’re the Apples, Googles and Adobes of the world—but how do tech’s biggest brands really stack up against one another in terms of salary and employee retention? Do employees at Microsoft or Intel have higher job satisfaction? Does working at Oracle or Tesla provide a better salary in the early stages of your career? Payscale released a new study last week that looks at the salary and employee retention data 18 of the biggest companies in tech, and the results offer some telling details for job seekers looking to apply.

Of the 18 companies, Facebook was ranked the most desirable place to work, netting the highest median early career salary ($116,800), a high rate of employee job satisfaction (96%) and the second lowest amount of employees reporting high job stress (44%). Google also performed well, with a high early career median pay ($110,900), a high mid-career median pay ($151,600), high job satisfaction (89%) and a low amount of employees reporting high job stress (53%).

High starting salaries were also reported at LinkedIn ($110,800), Microsoft ($102,500) and Qualcomm ($94,400). For mid-career salaries, LinkedIn ($159,600), Salesforce ($154,600) and Facebook ($149,300) were the heaviest hitters.

Reviews were somewhat more mixed for SpaceX and Tesla, where a high percentage of workers reported finding their jobs meaningful (92% at SpaceX and 89% at Tesla), but also reported the highest amount of job stress (88% at SpaceX and 70% at Tesla). Their starting salaries were also lower, the median being $78,500 at SpaceX and $81,400 at Tesla.

The lowest starting salaries overall were reported at HP ($65,400) and Samsung ($65,900). HP’s mid-career salaries were also the second-lowest after SpaceX, with a median of $104,200.

Some tech employees had a short median tenure with their companies, with Facebook reporting an average of 1.1 years, Tesla an average of 1.6 years and Salesforce an average of 1.8 years. This doesn’t necessarily mean those companies have high turnover or low company loyalty—although tech companies in the Fortune 500 have the highest turnover out of any industry, according to another Payscale study. Rather, these firms are the ones hiring most aggressively, meaning that the average might skew toward new employees who haven’t yet had much time with the company.

Not surprisingly, the median age for these tech companies is young—the lowest median age was 29 at Facebook, SpaceX, and LinkedIn the highest median age only 38 at HP.

They’re also highly male. Facebook and Google have spoken out about the need to diversify and recruit more women, but the numbers suggest that tech employers still have a long way to go. SpaceX was only 14% female, Qualcomm was 20% female and Cisco was 23% female. Only one-third of the companies in the study had more than 30% female employees and none reported even half.

Click here for the full results of the study.

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