Main image of article How Much Does Big Tech Pay?

For many tech professionals, it’s a lifelong goal to work for some of the biggest names in tech. But how much do companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google actually pay, and how does that compensation rise with experience?

Blind, which surveys anonymous (but verified) tech professionals about a variety of issues, including their pay, recently broke down average compensation at Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft. Here are the results; check out the website itself to see those compensation amounts visualized in a graph:

These companies’ respective cultures have a sizable impact on pay, Blind found. “Promotions might take longer at Amazon. Amazon also has wide pay bands for engineers, so total compensation can vary heavily,” added the note accompanying the data. “Apple's total compensation might be less competitive than its peers, but their job levels and pay bands are consistent and fair.” (It’s also worth noting that Amazon has made significant adjustments to its tech pro compensation over the past few years, including a reduction in restricted stock units (RSUs) in favor of more cash.)

Meanwhile, Google’s compensation was relatively “balanced or consistent” compared to its peers. If you want to move up quickly through the ranks (and earn exponentially more cash in the process), Meta is the company for you.

As you can see from the website’s visualization, Microsoft’s ranking and pay tiers are oddly stacked upon one another (our bare-bones graph above doesn’t really do it justice). “Microsoft has many job levels for software engineers, which might give the company more flexibility to hand out more promotions,” Blind explained. “However, their total compensation is lower than their peers across the board up until staff software engineer.”

Many of the biggest names in tech unleashed massive layoffs in late 2022 and early 2023, collectively slashing tens of thousands of jobs. However, these companies must keep hiring to fulfill their long-term strategies and stay ahead of the competition, particularly in “hot” arenas such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning. If your goal is to work for a tech giant like Google or Amazon, keep an eye on their job postings—sooner or later, a position that aligns with your skills could open up.