So you’re building up to a career in software engineeringWhat Is It Like to Be a Remote Software Engineer?. Congrats! Now you want to know what you can aspire to. After all, who said that ambition was a bad thing? Here’s our list of the highest-paying companies for software engineers in 2024.
Top-paying companies for software engineers
For full transparency so you know where we’re coming from in this list of top companies, this is all sourced from Glassdoor. But we cleaned up the data a little bit. For example, companies that only had one reported salary were eliminated, and we stuck to “Software Engineer” as the job title because, well, that’s the title of this article. If we had included software developers as well, the list might look slightly different.
Likewise, we cut out repeat entries that were included in the table on Glassdoor (including one repeat entry that was listed twice because of a typo).
In addition, these figures should be considered average salaries. Due to how Glassdoor aggregates its data, these figures reflect an estimate that abstracts across all experience levels for software engineers — from entry-level to senior. If you want to dive into the data even further to explore how much different companies pay, check out the link above and fool with all the data modifiers offered.
- Stripe - $269,917
Starting a trend you won’t be surprised by, this company is based in California, as are many of the following highest-paying companies. It builds the software that lets businesses accept payments. While it focuses on online merchants, its software can also be used by brick and mortar shops.
- Cruise - $269,850
Guess what? Cruise, like Stripe, is based in San Francisco. This tech company is AI-adjacent: it is in the autonomous car game. If you’re curious about constructing the next generation of mobility (and also want to get a high-paying tech job), then this might be the company for you.
- Meta - $263,640
Another California company? Shocker! This is the first entry in our list that is unambiguously located in Silicon Valley. We could describe what Meta does, but in 2024, we assume it’s clear: they’re behind Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and much more. In terms of software companies, this is often the first that comes to people’s minds.
- Gigster - $258,884
Think of this (once again, San-Francisco-based) company as TaskRabbit, but for software engineers. With Gigster, people can source and hire tech specialists — web developersWeb Developer vs. Software Developer: Demystifying Two Great Tech Careers, full-stack engineersBecoming a Full-Stack Software Engineer, machine learningMachine Learning vs. Deep Learning: Unraveling the Differences experts, you name it. Naturally, as a place focused on software engineers, it would have to be one of the top-paying software companies.
- Chan Zuckerberg Initiative - $257,184
This foundation built by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, focuses on philanthropy. Software engineers who work here can find themselves applying their tech know-how to do good in the world by helping advance scientific breakthroughs, fight poverty, and increase the availability of affordable housing.
- Rockerbox - $252,214
And here we break out of the chain of Californian companies. Of the top paying companies for software engineers, this is the first in New York. In short, Rockerbox writes software that helps companies see how well their marketing is doing. Advertising is now complex, multi-pronged, and digital. Software engineers at Rockerbox write the code that lets people track all this.
- Google - $251,215
What more needs to be said about Google? Along with Meta, it is one of the most well-known companies for software engineers. As such, it’s highly likely you expected it to be included in this list of highest-paid software engineer companies. What do they do? Everything from search to cloud computing to AI. If you’re looking to put yourself on a prestigious software engineering career path, Google is a safe bet.
- Waymo - $249,391
Like Cruise, this company is focused on developing self-driving cars. It’s a subsidiary of Google, so that just underlines how far that company’s reach is. If you’re curious about self-driving cars and want to see them on the streets, this is a better bet than Cruise, as Waymo cars are still driving around both San Francisco, California, and Phoenix, Arizona.
- Tencent - $247,521
This Chinese-based company is behind WeChat, which has over a billion users. It’s a messaging app, but also a news aggregator, payment platform, delivery app, and more. But that’s not all — Tencent is also the world’s largest video games publisher and it has a music division. Naturally, they need a whole bunch of software engineers.
- Apple - $247,090
Another you-saw-this-coming entry. Apple is behind the innovations that have shaped our recent technological history. Software engineering jobs at Apple are highly coveted, and it’s easy to see why — people want to join the company behind the iPhone, MacBook, and iPod Shuffle (gone but not forgotten).
- Pinterest - $245,731
Pinterest is a site that allows people to discover new inspiration in fashion, cooking, DIY, and more. It even has an integrated shopping capability. Software engineers are behind all that, and the company knows how valuable they are, so this is a fitting entry in our list of top-paying companies for software engineers.
- SmugMug - $245,537
You might not have heard of SmugMug itself, but you have probably heard of its subsidiary, Flickr. Both are online platforms where people can upload and share photos and videos. As it’s an online platform, it needs people with skills in tech.
- X - $245,317
The website formerly known as Twitter. You can share short thoughts, videos, photos, and more. Most likely, you already knew all that. But there’s more to the software engineer salary at X than you might think — stock options are on the table. We get into that more in a section down below.
- Dropbox - $245,186
In this digital age, people need to share files back and forth. In comes Dropbox. Software engineers are the lifeblood of this company. They build the file-sharing solutions that make this company tick. Because they’re so vital to operations, the salary for a software engineer here is quite good.
- Wish - $244,797
This is an ecommerce platform, and more specifically, it’s a shopping discovery app. Similar to how TikTok surfaces short videos its algorithms think you might like, Wish surfaces products. Because of this, web developers, data scientists, and software engineers are all crucial team members.
- Mercari - $239,823
Another ecommerce company following hot on the heels of Wish. Originally from Japan, this site lets users buy and sell their used stuff. This includes collectibles, clothing, and even electronics. Like with many of these companies, people with tech know-how are the architects of the company’s main product, so they earn a good salary.
- Clover Sport (formerly Bypass) - $239,634
When you pay for something in-person (maybe even with a fancy phone made by another company in this list), you often use a point of sale system. Those systems are exactly what Clover Sport develops, specifically for sports venues. There is a rich underpinning of tech in all the company does, so software engineers can expect robust compensation.
- Solvvy - $239,574
This is a unique entry on our list. While other companies here are indeed working on AI, that is not their core focus. For Solvvy, it is. They’re developing chatbots that can automate customer support. If you want to take your software engineering chops and apply them to an up-and-coming AI application, this might be the place for you.
Which companies pay software engineers more than $1 million a year?
Short answer: not many. The best place to find these salaries is usually in the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley. Think Google, Apple, and Meta. However, the reason these positions don’t show up in our data is that they are unique and rare outliers.
Often, seven-figure jobs require extensive experience in an incredibly specialized field within tech. And that field can change. For example, during the pandemic, COBOL was suddenly in demand, and programmers who knew this language could ask for a considerable compensation package.
And that brings us to one more topic: notice that we did not say salary. We said compensation.
Understanding the distinction: salary vs. compensation
Here’s where we come back to what we briefly mentioned in our little blurb about X. Total compensation doesn’t necessarily equate to salary. And this is how those specialized seven-figure-earners in tech rake in that sizable figure.
In short, salary is the money you are promised every year. It represents a fixed sum that you can rely on showing up every two weeks. This is in comparison to compensation, which indeed does include salary, but can also include much more..
Compensation structure: base salary, variable pay, and stocks
We’ll start with what we’ve already explored: base salary. This is what it sounds like, so we won’t spend too much time explaining it. In short, it’s the money you are guaranteed in exchange for the work you do.
But now we get to the additional compensation that companies offer. First: variable pay. This is also sometimes known as commission or incentive pay. It can be attached to personal performance. For example, a person can earn a percentage off the sales they bring in. Alternatively, this additional compensation can be based on company performance as a whole, as with an annual bonus payment that’s tied to a company’s growth.
But now we get to what a lot of people in Silicon Valley truly aim for: stocks. As part of some companies’ policies, X’s, for example, workers can earn stock in their company. For some people who earned million-dollar salaries working for Facebook (as the company was then known), this was how they did it. After a certain amount of time, or as a bonus, employees were given stocks in their company. That stock’s value then increased, giving their compensation totals a massive boost.
So if you’re looking at work as a software engineer, don’t just examine the salaries. Check out the compensation offered as a whole — you might just get some sweet perks.
Craving a tech career?
If you want to land one of these jobs, the first thing to do is master tech skills. TripleTen’s Software Engineering bootcamp can help you master everything you need to know to launch a career in tech. And if you want to find out more, check out our in-depth post all about how to become a software engineer.