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Silicon Valley has long been the global tech industry’s epicenter. Developers worldwide aspire to work for companies like Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google, while others try their luck at innovative startups. So how much does an Engineer make there?

The average Silicon Valley engineer salary ranges from $85,948 to $174,459. 

Many tech companies, as practice shows, try to reduce development costs by hiring experienced engineers from other countries. And it’s logical for them to do so, given that tech startups and SMEs in Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia can hire several top IT professionals for the price of a Silicon Valley software engineer salary.

This article will examine whether the effort is worthwhile and where to find top talents for a reasonable salary outside of Silicon Valley.


How much money does an engineer make

How much does an Engineer make in Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley software engineer salary between $88,000 and $152,000. (according to PayScale).

The average software engineer’s salary in Silicon Valley by years of experience

Engineers’ years of experienceThe average salary of engineers
Less than 1 year$109,622
1-2 years$112,626
6-9 years $128,821
More than 10 years $147,585

How much do engineers make in California? (PayScale)

How much does an engineer make a year in Silicon Valley by City?

SalaryExpert reports that an entry-level software engineer in Silicon Valley salary starts at $87,896 and can reach $155,990 for a senior specialist.


How much do software engineers make an hour?

In comparison, the average engineer salary in the United States is $110,638 (SalaryExpert), with a junior engineer earning approximately $77,437 and a senior engineer earning roughly $137,429 per year. In Silicon Valley, the average Silicon Valley software engineer’s salary is around $60 per hour.


How much does a software engineer make in Silicon Valley

Cities with Highest Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley

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The average Silicon Valley software engineer’s salary ranges between $122,797 and $174,459 per year (SalaryExpert).

Silicon Valley Salary Comparison by City

City in Silicon ValleyAverage Engineer SalaryJunior Engineer SalarySenior 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
Solana Beach$122,797$85,948$152,533

Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and Cupertino have the highest average engineer salaries in Silicon Valley ($98,303-$174,459), while Solana Beach ($85,948-$152,533) and Alameda ($92,762-$164,625) have the lowest.

According to Indeed data, the highest engineer salaries in Silicon Valley are in San Jose ($146,071), Sunnyvale ($145,510), and Mountain View ($139,786).

Salary levels for software engineers in San Francisco are among the highest globally. In San Francisco, the average software engineer’s salary is around $145,851 per year. The hourly rate for engineers in Silicon Valley is $60 per hour.

What companies in Silicon Valley pay the highest engineer salary?

Silicon Valley is home to Microsoft, Google, Apple, Uber, Facebook, Netflix, eBay, Cisco Systems, PayPal, Yahoo, LinkedIn, SalesForce, and many other well-known technology companies.

These tech behemoths fuel competition by snatching up local tech talent and paying them well. In doing so, they significantly increase the overall cost of doing business.

Average Engineer Salary in Silicon Valley by Company (Indeed)

42% Above national average

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

32% Above national average

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

72% Above national average

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

54% Above national average

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

56% Above national average

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

186% Above national average

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

Meets national average

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

77% Above national average

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

77% Above national average

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

That is why those looking to hire engineers in Silicon Valley should be prepared to go above and beyond to compete by offering competitive salaries as well as compelling non-financial incentives and bonuses.

How much does an Engineer make in Silicon Valley Startups?

According to ZipRecruiter, a software engineer working in a Silicon Valley startup can earn between $70,240 and $111,799 per year. However, it is worth noting that some offer significantly lower or higher annual salaries.

Unsurprisingly, many startups poised to become unicorns in Silicon Valley are involved in the fintech sector.

For example, Abra, a “crypto bank” founded by a former Goldman Sachs executive, is currently valued at $86 million. The annual average salary of engineers at Abra is estimated to be $124,789 per year or $59 per hour.

Extra Costs of Hiring Engineers in Silicon Valley 

While hiring a programmer in Silicon Valley is expensive, keep in mind that their base salary is only the beginning.

Entry-level positions can earn an extra $8,800-$26,340 per year.

Total compensation is made up of five parts:

  • The base Silicon Valley programmer salary is paid monthly and is quoted each year.
  • Taxes
  • Non-monetary benefits such as healthcare insurance, car rental, commuter assistance, and educational lessons (if necessary).
  • Cash bonuses increase with each new level of experience and generate 50 percent to 200 percent of the base salary in additional revenue.
  • Stock units and stock options can be redeemed over time.

Maybe you want to read: How much do software engineers make by country? – Update 2022

Look outside Silicon Valley: Where to hire top talent at a reasonable price?

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have turned to outsourcing to meet their staffing requirements.

Working with remote teams has benefited many tech startups and SMEs.

Many Silicon Valley-based companies have expanded their teams by hiring developers from emerging Asian outsourcing destinations such as Vietnam.

Read more: How many Software Developers are in the World?


Why choose Vietnam?

senior software engineer salary vietnam

Senior software engineer salary Vietnam

The Vietnamese IT outsourcing market is still in its early stages, but it is rapidly expanding: Vietnam has already surpassed Japan as the country’s second-largest IT outsourcing partner. By 2020, TopDev, a famous IT recruitment platform in Vietnam, expects to have 300,000 developer profiles registered.

Vietnam ranks fifth in the GSLI due to its meager labor rates, which compete with India’s, and favorable IT tax regulations. English skills vary, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll find a vendor whose communication level corresponds to your requirements.

The average developer salaries in Vietnam are approximately 85% lower than those in the United States, resulting in significant savings on your part.


How much money do engineers make?

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I am Tam, Founder & CEO of InApps Technology, ranked 1st in Vietnam and 5th in Southeast Asia in Application Development and Custom Software Development. We build a team with a people-centered culture that serves our customers with the WOW experience. I have helped hundreds of startups and brands to succeed with our robust technology solution. Besides, I have 5,000+ connections with C-Levels on LinkedIn and 10,000+ other professionals in communities. I hope to bring BIG VALUES to our right partners and customers. What I can help: – World-class software development service. – Building a dedicated talent team for only 30% of your local vendors’ cost. – Consulting tech startup solutions comprehensively and systematically. – Growth-hacking marketing solution. If you read here, don’t hesitate to contact me for further advice.

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