Working for a social-media giant might not have the luster it once did, thanks to a series of escalating crises, including fake news and harmful content. Nonetheless, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snap remain massive—and the software engineers who work on them can impact products and features that serve hundreds of millions of people. For that reason alone, many professionals might apply for an engineering position at one of these companies.
With all that in mind, let’s look at what junior software engineers can earn at Facebook, Twitter, and Snap. Fortunately, levels.fyi has crowdsourced data from a variety of tech companies. The following chart compares Twitter’s SWE II with Snap’s L2 and Facebook’s E4 (the roles you’d land after graduation and perhaps a few years of experience):
First, it’s clear that Snap’s refusal to pay cash bonuses to employees in 2017 and 2018 is harming the company in the overall compensation wars. In terms of salary and stock, all three companies roughly match (with Facebook and Twitter leading Snap slightly); but zero bonuses set engineers at Snap noticeably behind their competition. (Business Insider reported that some high-performing Snap employees received stock options in place of a cash bonus, but it’s impossible to tell whether that’s somehow baked into levels.fyi’s data.)
Despite that lack of bonuses, it’s clear that all social-media firms are more than willing to pay market rates for talent, which make sense—any company paying below market-rate simply can’t secure talent. And with the tech industry’s unemployment rate at 1.3 percent (as of May), even freshly graduated tech professionals with relatively little experience can field offers from prominent companies; there’s a thirst for talent out there.
How do salaries at Facebook, Snap, and Twitter compare those within the broader tech industry? Entry-level Amazon engineering recruits pull down an average salary of $108,000, combined with a bonus of $51,142 and stock options of $70,000. Then you have Google, which pays entry-level engineers an average of $115,000, combined with a $44,000 signing bonus, stock options worth $139,000, and an annual bonus of $22,000.
Over at Apple, the ICT2 roles (i.e., the lowest rung of the software engineering ladder) pay an average of $118,810 in base salary, along with annual stock options worth roughly $27,119, and a bonus of $14,619. Check out this chart (with data from levels.fyi) for a full breakdown; it’s clear that Snap, Facebook, and Twitter match up well: