Is there really a software application engineer at Google make $3 million a year? Maybe, however it would certainly be unusual


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Last week organization Insider ran a story around a Google engineer who “blew off” the offer of a $500,000 value from a startup since he was currently making $3 million a year, in salary and stock awards, at Google. The story came from an unnamed source, so who knows if it’s really true. But, because I’m always interested in developers making really huge bucks, this one recorded my eye and made me wonder, exactly how realistic is it that a Google engineer is making the much?

Software developer making a million dollars or much more per year are, certainly, unusual. Former wall Street programmer Sergey Aleynikov famously make a million dollar salary as a true in-the-weeds code-writing developer, yet a salary the high because that a programmer is particularly unusual. According to the U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics, in 2012, the mean salary because that an application software application developer was $93,000, with only 10 percent the such developers making an ext than $139,000 in salary.

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Clearly, then, any type of Google engineer making $3 million every year is obtaining most of the in bonuses and/or stock. But how lot in non-salary compensation carry out Google engineers really make?


According come Glassdoor, a website which collects self-reported compensation data from workers, here’s how the pay for Google software designers breaks down (based on 4,440 respondents):

Average total compensation: $144,652 (ranging from $78,000 come $550,000)Average salary: $118,958 (ranging indigenous $78,000 come $215,000)Average cash bonus: $20,946 (ranging indigenous $20 come $100,000)Average stock bonus: $30,933 (ranging indigenous $125 come $200,000)

Assuming this numbers are accurate and also representative the Google designers in general (a leap that faith, because that sure, but it’s the best data I can find), your median lower-level software application engineer there renders $145,000 every year, including stocks and also bonuses. The high finish was a $550,000 salary, $100,000 in cash bonus and $200,000 in stocks, so about $850,000 every year.

Glassdoor likewise has compensation data from senior software designers at Google (246 respondents). Here’s exactly how the numbers break down for them:

Average complete compensation: $210,865 (ranging indigenous $80,000 come $630,000)Average salary: $149,740 (ranging indigenous $80,000 come $222,000)Average cash bonus: $32,008 (ranging native $25 come $80,000)Average share bonus: $49,315 (ranging native $50 to $300,000)

Senior software engineers at Google do an average complete compensation the $210,000. In ~ the greatest end, they make $630,000, v $80,000 in cash bonus and also $300,000 precious of stock grants, just over $1 million every year.


Based on all this, $3 million every year is about three times the highest reported annual compensation because that a Google engineer. Does that mean the BI story no true and also that no engineers at Google are really making that much? no necessarily. It can that the human being in the article is really executive in engineering or a “10X engineer” (or, in ~ least, a 3x engineer); the is, somebody with superior talents, an abilities and credentials who essentially does the work-related of ten engineers.

Commenters on the story on BI and Reddit have actually posited the the $3 million Google technician in question is Jeff Dean, a senior Fellow in the Knowledge group who, SFGate.com wrote, is “widely credited by Googlers because that the blazing rate of the company’s well known search engine.” It would make a many sense that, if any kind of engineer at Google is making $3 million—and is a 10X engineer—it would certainly be Jeff Dean, who is clearly exceptional.

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The takeaway from every this? Google engineers make an excellent money, but even because that Google engineers, $3 million a year is a whole lot that money. 


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