It’s a good time to be a highly-skilled engineer looking for a job in tech. And one of the best places to go as a newbie tech worker  — at least when it comes to pure salary — is Microsoft.

That’s the latest from PayScale, which just released a report looking at starting pay and mid-career pay for 21 top technology companies. Microsoft ranked second for median starting salaries just behind Nvidia Corp, which led the ranking at $99,400. Those Microsoft employees with 0 to five years experience, meanwhile, raked in a cool $91,500 — just ahead of rivals such as Google ($87,500); Oracle ($78,100); and ($88,900). — which has been hiring hundreds of people in the Seattle area and currently has job openings for more than 1,000 — was in the middle of the bucket at $73,300.

Over time, Google actually paid the best with mid-career professionals earning $158,000.  That was followed by at $150,000 and Yahoo at $141,000.

Of course, there’s more to a job than what you take home at the end of the day. And some of the companies on the list — like Facebook which has a starting pay rate of $67,900 — have been able to reward workers with lucrative stock.

The study also explored job satisfaction, finding that just 68 percent of workers at Microsoft are satisfied with their jobs. That compares to Facebook where 88 percent are happy. Apple, AOL,, Nvidia, Sony, Google and also ranked at 75 percent or above, while 100 percent of LinkedIn employees say they are happy with what they do.

Here’s a look at the PayScale infographic summarizing some of the study’s results:

Battle Over the Geeks

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  • Guest

    Congratulations to Seattle’s tech titans on showering their workers with lucre! This helps to keep the local economy strong.

  • guest

    The analysis is really meaningless without taking into account the stock comp as well. Every engineer weighing multiple offers is going to try and quantify that as part of the overall value of what’s being offered. And in MS’s case, that’s now been a negative number over thirteen years, as proposterous as that sounds.

    • guestToo

      MS stock bonuses are delivered as full shares, not options.

      • guest

        And since the full shares have been going down for more than a decade, the first thing most do with them is sell them to capture any value at all. Trust me, MS grants don’t hold a candle to virtually any other competitor’s options.

        • Guest

          MSFT is up 17.44% over the past decade. Sure, they’re down since the NASDAQ bubble burst, but who isn’t?

          • Guest

            Actually, sorry. It’s up about 40% over the last decade when you consider dividends (cash payments to reward investors). Not too shabby considering the stock market crash four years ago!

  • Pete Rock

    Apple and Amazon salaries are skewed downward by retail store and warehouse workers.

  • Guest

    John, the next time someone gives you a vapid “infographic,” please do two things with it:

    1. Capture and post the text so that we don’t have to squint to read the ridiculously small text in goofy fonts.

    2. Fact-check it. Apple’s starting salary is skewed by $25,000-a-year sales “specialists” who are basically disposable and who do not produce innovation (to the extent that Apple innovates anymore). Additionally, the “stress level” planet size is insultingly out of scale: look how huge eBay’s 71% is compared with Amazon’s 70%!

    John, these infographics are fun to have as a poster on one’s wall, but we need more information and fewer graphics.

  • MarVelous Adsense-clicker

    its is on monthly basis or yearly.

    • Stefan

      month i am an microsft development engineer

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