From Apple to Google: Comparing FAANG Software Engineer Salaries

    skycentral.co.uk | From Apple to Google: Comparing FAANG Software Engineer Salaries


    Software engineers are in high demand, and some of the top technology companies like Apple and Google offer attractive compensation packages to attract and retain talent. The FAANG acronym, which stands for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google, represents some of the most prominent players in the tech industry. In this article, we will compare the salaries of software engineers at two FAANG giants, Apple and Google, to explore the potential differences and similarities in compensation.

    Understanding the Job Scope

    Before diving into the salary comparisons, it is essential to understand the job scope of software engineers at Apple and Google. Both companies hire software engineers with diverse skill sets and experience levels. These engineers work on various projects, including developing new software, improving existing systems, and ensuring the smooth operation of applications and platforms.

    At Apple, software engineers might work on developing operating systems like iOS or macOS, designing user interfaces, or enhancing the functionality of core Apple apps, such as Siri or FaceTime. On the other hand, at Google, software engineers may contribute to projects such as search algorithms, Android development, cloud computing, or artificial intelligence initiatives like Google Assistant.

    Location and Compensation Factors

    The location of employment significantly impacts a software engineer’s salary, even within the same company. In the case of Apple and Google, most of their engineering job opportunities are concentrated in major tech hubs such as Silicon Valley, Seattle, or New York City. The cost of living in these areas tends to be higher, which is often reflected in the compensation packages.

    Moreover, other factors that influence software engineer salaries are experience level, education, and specialization. More senior engineers or those with advanced degrees or specialized skills may command higher salaries compared to entry-level or less experienced engineers.

    Salaries at Apple

    Apple has a reputation for offering competitive salaries to its employees, including software engineers. According to research conducted by levels.fyi, an online platform that compiles salary data, the average annual pay for a software engineer at Apple ranges from $150,000 to $190,000. This figure includes both base salary and the value of additional compensation elements like stock options or bonuses.

    The specific pay scale at Apple may vary based on factors like the engineer’s level (ranging from IC1 to IC6), years of experience, location, and job specialization. For instance, a senior software engineer at Apple might earn more than a junior engineer or a software engineer specializing in machine learning. Additionally, employees in more expensive cities like San Francisco or New York tend to receive higher compensation packages compared to those in other locations due to the higher cost of living.

    Salaries at Google

    Similar to Apple, Google is known for providing generous compensation packages to its software engineers. According to levels.fyi data, the average annual salary for a software engineer at Google ranges from $150,000 to $200,000. This figure encompasses the base salary, bonuses, and stock options.

    Google’s pay scale also relies on factors like the engineer’s level and experience. Software engineers at Google are classified into levels such as L3, L4, L5, and so on, with higher levels corresponding to more senior roles. Therefore, a software engineer at L5 level would typically earn more than someone at L3. Additionally, like Apple, compensation varies based on location, with employees working in more expensive cities receiving higher pay.

    Differences and Similarities in Compensation

    When comparing the salaries of software engineers at Apple and Google, it becomes evident that both companies provide highly competitive compensation packages. However, a few differences exist. For example, while both companies offer similar salary ranges, Apple’s base salary for software engineers tends to be slightly higher on average. On the other hand, Google is often more generous with stock options, which can substantially contribute to an engineer’s overall compensation.

    Another difference lies in how each company structures its compensation packages. Apple is known for placing a heavier emphasis on base salaries, whereas Google’s compensation leans more towards bonuses and stock options. Therefore, an engineer’s preference for a higher base salary or potential long-term stock value may influence their decision.

    It’s noteworthy that both Apple and Google also provide additional perks and benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, tuition reimbursement, and generous vacation policies. These additional incentives further enhance the overall compensation package for software engineers.


    In conclusion, software engineers at both Apple and Google enjoy lucrative compensation packages, allowing them to not only financially thrive but also work on exciting and impactful projects. The average salary ranges for these engineers at both companies are similar, with Apple leaning towards higher base salaries and Google offering more stock options. Factors like experience, location, and specialization play a significant role in determining the exact compensation received within these ranges. Irrespective of the differences, both Apple and Google understand the value of attracting and retaining top software engineering talent through competitive salaries and additional benefits.