As an Engineering recruitment firm, we care a lot about developer salary benchmarks. Although we have our own proprietary data, we decided to do a targeted analysis of salary averages in SF and NYC of the top developer job titles.
Most public salary databases like Glassdoor, Indeed, or Payscale show developer salary broad averages, which unfortunately do not represent the competitive salaries technology companies offer. We compiled public salary data from 5+ sources and created an aggregate report focused on software companies. This provides a better picture of how venture-backed startups compensate engineering talent.
*What you see below are merely base salaries. Many software engineer compensation plans also include equity and bonuses, which we’ll share data on in another post.
Base Salary Vs. Company Size
The first set of data we looked at is base salaries compared to company size. Since we primarily work with early-stage startups, we focused on companies ranging from 1 to 500 employees.
In New York City and San Francisco, engineer salaries at companies with fewer than 50 employees are on average $12K lower than at larger companies ( 500 employees).
Base Salary Vs. Years of Experience
In both locations, software engineers with fewer than one year of experience make an average of $32k less than developers with at least 7 years of experience. This shows a trend of a $4K increase in base salaries annually for each year of experience.
Unsurprisingly, the bigger the company, the bigger the paycheck. In base salary alone, larger companies win against smaller ones in attracting top talent.
But that’s why many early-stage startups offer generous equity packages, which can be substantial longer-term compensation tied to the performance of the company. Ultimately, cash vs. equity is a tradeoff that is highly personal.
Stay tuned for our benchmark report on Software Engineer equity.