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- Business Insider analyzed salary data for more than 14,000 active foreign-worker visas in Washington state in 2020 to find the highest salaries among workers in the Seattle area
- Tech-industry salaries among non-executive employees in the Seattle are as high as $1.6 million.
- Facebook was the most prolific employer on the list while Amazon paid the highest salary.
- Are you a Seattle-area tech worker with insight to share? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Seattle area is among the country’s most prominent tech-industry hubs. Amazon and Microsoft – two of the three most valuable US companies – call the region home, and virtually every major technology company has a large presence there, including Apple, Google, and Facebook.
Tech-industry salaries among non-executive employees in the Seattle area are as high as $1.6 million, according to a Business Insider analysis.
American companies have to disclose salaries when they apply for visas on behalf of current or prospective foreign workers. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification publishes the salaries every year.
We analyzed the data for more than 14,000 active foreign-worker visas in Washington state in 2020 to find the highest salaries among workers in the Seattle area (notably, the data covers annual base salary not total compensation, which can include bonuses or stock awards).
While it’s not a comprehensive look at Seattle-area tech salaries because it only includes data for foreign workers, it gives rare insight into how much companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook pay. Companies generally doesn’t disclose or discuss employee compensation, except for regulatory requirements to disclose pay for top executives.
Here are the 21 highest-paid tech-industry positions in the Seattle area:
Facebook product designer: $250,000
Facebook, which has offices across the Seattle area (within the city itself as well as nearby suburbs Bellevue and Redmond), features prominently on the list of the regions highest-paid tech jobs.
Product designers — assigned to “take broad, conceptual ideas and turn them into something useful and valuable,” according to Facebook job postings — receive salaries in Washington state between $105,000 and $250,000.
OfferUp staff data engineer and senior staff software development engineer: $250,000
OfferUp, a $1.4 billion Craigslist and eBay competitor that allows users to sell second-hand goods, disclosed two engineering roles with $250,000 salaries: staff data engineer and senior staff software development engineer.
The salary range for those roles at the Bellevue, Washington-based startup is unclear because the firm listed only one salary for each title. However, engineering roles overall that OfferUp disclosed begin at $145,000.
Flexport principle engineer: $250,000.00
Flexport disclosed a $250,000 salary for a principle engineer.
The $3.2 billion, SoftBank-backed logistics software startup is based in San Francisco, but lists an address in the Seattle-area suburb of Kirkland, Washington, where Google has a large office.
Salary ranges for the engineering roles Flexport disclosed in the Seattle area start at $120,000.
Airbnb technical program manager: $250,000
Airbnb is based in San Francisco, but has hundreds of employees in Seattle, including some of its C-level executives.
Airbnb only disclosed one technical program manager salary of $250,000, but the engineering salaries it disclosed in Seattle start at $130,000.
Facebook research scientist: $255,000
A Facebook research scientist role brings in as much as $255,000 in the Seattle area.
The lowest salary disclosed for this position in Washington state is listed as a range of $130,000 to $190,000.
Microsoft principal PM manager: $255,368
Microsoft pays principal PM managers — who lead teams of program managers — salaries between $109,000 and $255,368 in the company’s home state.
We recently ranked the highest-paid roles within the company overall using the Office of Foreign Labor Certification data.
Facebook research lead: $260,000
Facebook has a large concentration of research roles in the Seattle area, including at a large office for its “Facebook Reality Labs” in Redmond, where Microsoft is headquartered.
Facebook only disclosed one $260,000 salary for a research lead in Washington, but research roles overall begin at a $111,000, according to the data.
Microsoft software engineering manager: $263,400
Microsoft disclosed salaries between $123,000 and $263,400 for software engineering managers.
The software engineering roles overall that Microsoft disclosed begin at $85,842.
Lyft engineering manager: $265,000
Lyft, which is based in San Francisco but has a Seattle office, disclosed a $265,000 salary for an engineering manager.
It’s the only salary the company listed for this role, but its disclosed salaries for software engineers, generally, starting at $170,000.
Tencent America lead engine developer: $270,000
Chinese tech giant Tencent disclosed a $270,000 salary for a lead engine developer.
Tencent, like many Chinese companies, has a Seattle-area presence and in 2017 said it was planning an artificial intelligence research lab in the region.
Tencent America disclosed engineering roles beginning at a $130,000 salary.
Nvidia principal research scientist: $271,500
Chip giant Nvidia disclosed a $271,500 salary for a principal research scientist.
The Santa Clara, California-based company disclosed salaries for a few roles in Washington, including software engineering salaries beginning at $101,546.
Facebook software engineer: $272,000
Facebook disclosed the highest “software engineer” salary in Washington state at $272,000. The lowest salary the company listed for this position was a range between $100,000 and $150,000.
For comparison, Microsoft’s disclosed range for the title “software engineer” was $85,842 to $235,787 and Google’s range was $108,000 to $221,000.
Facebook software engineering manager: $275,000
Facebook’s highest-paid title in Washington state was software engineer manager, which fetches as much as $275,000.
The low end of the range for this position is $183,150.
Avalara principal software engineer: $276,000
Seattle-based automated tax compliance software company Avalara disclosed a $276,000 salary for a principal software engineer.
The company disclosed salaries for engineering roles beginning at $121,275.12.
Microsoft distinguished scientist: $336,290
The highest-paid role Microsoft disclosed was $336,290 for a “distinguish scientist” position.
Salaries for other research roles that the company disclosed begin at $110,000.
Qualtrics principal software engineer: $350,000
SAP-owned Qualtrics disclosed a $350,000 salary for a principal software engineer.
Qualtrics, which parent company SAP plans to take public, is based in Provo, Utah but has hundreds of employees in Seattle, including its chief technology officer.
The company disclosed salaries for engineering roles beginning at $109,500.
Valve senior software engineer: $400,000 to $500,000
$10 billion game developer Valve disclosed a salary range for a senior software engineer of between $400,000 and $500,000.
Valve, which had early success with the Half-Life franchise and now with gaming platform Steam, was founded by Microsoft alum Gabe Newell.
The company disclosed ranges for all of its positions. The lowest range was between $77,000 and $345,000 for 3D graphic designers.
Amazon program manager III: $1,315,000
While Seattle-based Amazon isn’t as prolific as Facebook or Microsoft on this list, its highest salaries listed in the federal data are much higher than any other company that made the ranking.
The company disclosed a $1,315,000 for a “program manager III.” The lowest salary Amazon disclosed for this title was $106,400.
Amazon senior manager: $1.6 million
Amazon’s $1.6 million salary for one “senior manager program management” position tops the list of high-paid titles disclosed in Washington.
It’s the only instance of this title among the nearly 4,000 salaries Amazon disclosed in Washington state, beginning at $55.29-an-hour for a [data center infrastructure] engineer I” and a range of $55,744 to $91,800 for a “business analyst I.”