H-1B Salaries at JPMorgan Show What Banking Tech Pays for Visa Hires

For years, companies attempted to obfuscate how many H-1B visa workers joined their ranks—and how much those workers earned. After all, H-1B is a politically and morally fraught issue, as companies from Disney to IBM can attest.

However, there’s more transparency into H-1B salaries these days, thanks in large part to the Trump administration’s stricter reporting policies. Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a dataset of H-1B visa applications for FY2019, displaying everything from sponsoring companies and targeted roles to projected salaries. (We invite you to download the dataset yourself if you have a powerful workstation, but be forewarned: it’s massive.)

Critics of the H-1B system complain that companies use the visa to import workers who are ultimately paid less than their American counterparts, undercutting U.S. citizens’ ability to gain and maintain employment. Outsourcing and consulting agencies, for example, are routinely accused of farming out H-1B subcontractors to other companies for a fraction of the salary that a full-time employee would otherwise pull down.

In some cases, however, it’s clear that H-1B holders are actually earning quite a bit—especially when it comes to technologists working within the banking and finance industry. Case in point: eFinancialCareers (Dice’s sister site) recently scanned a dataset of H-1B applications (courtesy of the H1B Salary Database) and discovered how much JPMorgan is paying the H-1B holders in its technology-executive ranks. The answer is… a lot. Check out the chart below:

What’s interesting is that JPMorgan isn’t shy about outright stating its H-1B workers’ positions; although the visa is designed for “specialty occupations,” most companies use generic “software developer” and “software engineer” titles to describe the roles of their H-1B candidates. (It’s also worth comparing these JPMorgan salaries to H-1B software engineer salaries at Google, Apple, and Microsoft.)

JPMorgan is also paying these workers a generous but not outsized salary, at least by tech-industry standards. The Dice Salary Survey shows the average income for software engineers is $110,989, which is somewhat below what JPMorgan is paying here—but not much. For instance, the associate software engineering category on this list pulls down a salary of $125,000, which an okay-but-not-fantastic salary for New York City.

For more context, let’s look at what major tech companies pay their mid-level software engineers; these salaries are pretty much in the same range as many of the JPMorgan positions:

If there’s one anomaly on the JPMorgan list, it’s the $110,000 paid out to an associate machine learning data scientist, which seems extremely low given the relative “hotness” of machine learning and data science at the moment; the just-released IEEE-USA Salary & Benefits Salary suggests that engineers with machine-learning knowledge are making an average of $185,000 per year. Maybe JPMorgan managed to find highly specialized talent from overseas for substantially cheaper than you’d expect—or maybe there’s a quirk to that specific role that justifies the salary.

40 Responses to “H-1B Salaries at JPMorgan Show What Banking Tech Pays for Visa Hires”

  1. H1B salaries must be approved by DOL, when petitioners present their Permanent Labor Certification and must be market based. Even the average H1B salaries are over the national average, as explained in other Dice articles.

    • Hadji Suchabanana

      DOL are a bunch of crooks who rubber-stamp all of the applications.
      Haven’t you heard?

      The recent Secretary of Labor was the same Federal Prosecutor who “decided” to not throw Jeffrey Epstein in jail on statutory rape charges. If some rich pervert can buy his way out of a federal indictment, why do you think that DOL runs an honest show?

  2. 125K in NY sounds like low pay to me. I make more than that and I live in Wisconsin. Also are they actually getting the full salary or is a consulting agency skimming off the top.

    The other problems not mentioned;
    H1B positions are replacing Americans, that is a know fact.
    Salaries are stagnate, that is a know fact. With the demand on programming, salaries should be going up, they are not.
    I make up to 40% more than my H1B counterparts, I checked the database. They should be forced to pay15-20% more than any American.
    I was let go from a State Position, and the H1B positions stayed. I’m and American and a Veteran.
    Also this makes no mention of the skill level or years experience.
    The truth is, all of these companies and govt. Orgs are outsourcing and in-sourcing American jobs at the cost of Americans.
    H1B people are on a leash, they have a difficult time changing jobs or asking for more pay. I say make them Citizens on day 1 after proving a skill, lets see what they really earn. If we can’t stop it from happening, at least we would all be competing fairly.

    • My experience is now a days a lot of IT group are managed by Indian manager and they like to hire Indians instead of Americans or people from other countries. That makes Americans difficult to get the IT jobs. H1B system has been abused and it has nothing to do with salary any more.

        • It’s cultural – Indians prefer the people they understand. They are considered racist within their own country, they are also racist here. They don’t want to be challenged in the workplace so they hire people who will not challenge their decisions. They don’t care to treat women on an equal basis and won’t hire women in technical positions. Some people report that they also get an extra cash ‘bonus’ on payday from other Indians – but with apps like venmo these days it’s just sent electronically.

    • I’m sorry that you lost your job because of pay discrimination. I hope you’ve found a better one.

      These days if H1b petition is rejected most likely if the salary is in quartile 1 or 2. Which means that if an employer isn’t paying above median salary, then there’s a good chance that that petition will be rejected. I believe that’s how it should be and not a tool to depress salaries.
      The biggest advantage of H1b over work permits from other countries is that it allows workers to change jobs. Being on H1b I’ve increased my salary many fold by job hopping. I hope in doing so, I’ve done opposite of depressing local wages 😉
      It’s very kind of you to suggest that temporary workers like me must be granted citizenship. And that’s where the problem lies in. My priority date is in 2016 , but given current backlog I might never see my green card. This puts shackles on job mobility, since the green card process is very expensive. S386 addresses that, but there’s little likelihood that it will pass.

    • Peter Brewmaker

      The companies are required to pay them the same so that they cannot hire foreign workers and underpay them to replace US workers.
      What do you expect ? Companies hire younger lower paid engineers to replace the more expensive senior engineers. Sometimes it is the technology but mostly it is displacing older workers. Lot of H1B staffing companies commit fraud as well.
      FInally with the current sentiment of going after higher education and making it very difficult for US students to get an education more H1Bs are going to be hired.

  3. What a joke. Several articles came out recent at how hard it was to be middle class in NYC and how a salary of $300K was middle class. LOL. NYTimes also said that. I’ll add that the salaries shown here are 2003 numbers for IT staff. JP Morgan is getting off cheap and they know it.

  4. Random Guy

    Lol . U guys realize that this is just the base package and the total compensation is way more than this( in terms of stock, bonus, etc..). Pretty sure a VP of engineering makes at least in the range of 1 million USD>

          • Funny Pirate

            I will bark and snap too soon, if you put falsified information here to spread hatred. H1B workers get everything – salaries, bonuses, stock options, 401k, IRA etc etc. My income is well over $250k, and that excludes insurance benefits. If that is low income for you, so be it. Only those H1B visa holders who are in contract positions in companies dont get stock options and bonuses, but that is true for American workers as well. So go somewhere else with your “cheap labor” rant !!

      • Not ill eagle

        Please don’t get your “facts” from fox-news/Breitbart. H1B workers get paid, get stocks/bonuses, set up 401Ks/529 accounts, pay all taxes etc. There is a clear market demand, that is not filled by American talent pool. Average time-to-hire on technology jobs has been growing steadily since 2010. It is specially hard to recruit in newer skill areas, and in companies that are located away from major metros.

        That is why the “low-wage” H1B workers routinely command respectable 6-figure incomes.

    • I’m a VP of software engineering and definitely do NOT make a million dollars. I’ve seen a lot of cases where H1s are hired in for higher than Americans in the same position but that’s an entirely different problem at Chase. It’s a known fact Chase doesn’t properly adjust compensation as a part of transfers and mobility. I don’t think h1 vs not really makes a difference.

      We have to basically leave and get rehired to get what we’re worth. On that same note, I can definitely attest to there being a lack of good applicants across the board making it extremely difficult to staff software engineering. Everywhere I’ve worked in IT at Chase is mostly Indian to the point where I feel like I work in India it’s so bad. However, when I’m looking through applicants and there aren’t even any Americans to even screen through it puts you in a difficult position when you need bodies to keep up with the work demand.

      I have recently found this very suspicious. Are there seriously no non-Indian applicants or is there some other higher power at work here pushing them to the bottom of the list or disqualifying them altogether? Adding more preference to h1s based on back office deals? It’s a conspiracy!

      • A lot of Americans get pushed into non-technical roles. I have friends that are barely above 35 and cannot find any technical job anymore. It is possible that you get fewer American resumes than normal because of that.

        It is possible that the American resumes are removed as well. It is very likely that low level Indian hiring managers or recruiters remove resumes from the stack in order to increase the chances of their own friends.

  5. I have seen abused in H1 B Visa programs. Many companies are hiring H1 B employees to lower their payroll expense (one of major part of bottom lines). Many companies easily find American workers for the same jobs. It is true we are capitalists country and Capitalists believe in cost cutting to improve the bottom line (profit), at the same time american companies should be good corporate citizens. American corporations have a civic duty to give first preference to its own citizens (American citizen). Once I was watching a Shark Tank TV show, one of the shark invested money in one of the company after that person agreed to make product in China only. All Sharks should invest in America not in China. I see many American companies are making very quality products right in the United States of America. For example weathertech is making good products for cars and trucks. Trump gave tham a very big discounts (Tax benefits) to corporate America, so they can invest in America not in China. But American companies are still greedy, they still make product in China. I think American Citizen should boycott those companies who are make product out side the country. God bless America.

  6. It’s always somebody else’s fault

    If I’m unemployed, it’s H1B’s fault
    If unemployment rates are low, it’s the Bureau of labor statistics fault.
    If wages are low or high, it’s DOL’s fault.
    If laws are unfair, it’s the politics you didn’t vote fault.
    For anything else blame China, India, Canada, Mexico, Europe

  7. H1B is BAD, and is scammed by lot of Indian and US companies so this must be regulated! BUT, some right wing idiots think every indian looking dude is here on a H1B. NO- lots of them are born here, may not even be indian, came and educated here, and are CITIZENs here!

    So at the same time you protest H1B (which is fine!),don’t be an idiot to think that every indian looking guy you see on the road is stealing your job!!!

  8. Tech Companies are abusing H1b visa/Green card policy by hiring specifically Tamil/Telugu South Indian people, thereby favouring them in return of commissions and abuse by making them work overtime discriminating against all other Americans. This is prevalent in Software/Tech companies and Consulting firms, they have massive clans of South Indian running them, as if the only skilled IT professionals on planet Earth are South Indians and neither American, African, Chinese etc. not even North Indians from same country India have no skills as per their claim. They also are indulged in outsourcing of cheap labor with big commissions to Companies like Infosys in India, it’s a modern age of Human Trafficking, abusing people to work overtime for peanuts and take away American jobs. It must not be a coincidence that entire US Software/Tech industry has South Indian people running it, especially in a way of favouring each other to make mutual benefits hurting other hard working professionals.

  9. It’s not all about the H1B visa. Everyone on this thread is forgetting about foreign graduate students in the United States. If you’re an international student and come to the USA to obtain a graduate degree in STEM, then you are able to work here for up to 3 years. And here’s the kicker. The companies and students don’t have to pay payroll taxes on these workers. It’s called an F1 visa with Optional Practical Training.

    Nonresidents in F status are not required to pay Social Security or Medicare taxes for employment that falls within their status, including both on-campus employment and employment through Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training. Another reason to hire younger and cheaper. :-/

    • Former F1 NonSTEM PhD

      Whoever thinks that people on F1 or OPT/CPT don’t pay taxes is misinformed. Not only do we pay the same taxes like everyone else, we have to pay a hefty fee in order to apply for and maintain an OPT. So get your facts straight.
      I was briefly subscribed to Dice, till I realize it’s a forum where disgruntled tech employees gripe against non-citizens and spread hate speech through misinformation. The other more recent article by Kolakowski on H1B also presents muddled data sets that don’t support his pre-determined interpretation and conclusion, as many in the comments point out.

      • Amirali Abdullah

        Speaking as an immigrant myself. We do pay federal and state taxes, but it is actually true Medicare and Social Security are exempted to OPT students (initially), because the expectation is that we aren’t here long term to receive the benefits. That’s not a misconception. If you’ve been in the US for 5 years though, or otherwise a resident (as the IRS defines it, not immigration wise), then you do have to start paying Medicare and SS. In either case, we’re certainly not getting any loopholes or favorable treatment; you’re right on that.

        But what hefty fee are you talking about for OPT? I don’t recall anything of the sort. Maybe there was a small SEVIS fee when we joined our programs?

  10. CurrentH1B

    I am a H1B worker and I want to describe some less known facts about the job.

    1) H1b worker gets paid less than what actual job has to offer. Companies knows that H1b employee is at a mercy of an employer due to VISA issues. Employers uses this to their advantage and exploit employee. H1B worker is expected to work longer hours and sometime weekends. You can earn twice by being independent contractor/consultant, which requires green card or citizen ship.
    2) Its hard to get promotion while on H1b. Many H1b employee usually has GC in process and changing their job title messes up the GC process. There are ways to take promotion but many employees defers it/ don’t take. Again employers uses this opportunity to not increase their pay.
    3) H1B can not do business or open a startup. Some have immense potential and knowledge but VISA issues gets in a way.
    4) H1b cannot change careers. One cannot become Marine scientist if he gets bored with software job.
    3) H1b do not buys properties in US market due to VISA uncertainties and stays in rented house. This is not a smart long term investment but they do not have other choice. H1B are under constant pressure of ever changing visa policies and prefer not to invest in US market.
    4) H1B has to travel to their home country to get VISA stamps every 3 years. Things get expensive once they have families.

    These are just some of the challenges I faced while on H1B, there might be more.

    Atlas, Though H1B life is treacherous and tough, I would do it all over again. H1Bs are just blue collar hard worker who expects nothing but good life and respect in society. So please don’t look down on us.

  11. Will Johnston

    I am a staff software engineer at IBM and make over $200k per year, way more than the $117k mentioned here. Regardless of this rhetoric, H-1B lowers salaries, work conditions, and standard of living for everyone.

  12. Former F1 NonSTEM PhD

    I was here for 9 years on F1, so I pay taxes and SS. I don’t have medicare so not sure how that works. As a non-stem PhD with no job and was seeking employment on the academic market, the $400 or so fee to apply for the OPT status felt hefty. It’s all worthwhile in order to live and work for a country that value and appreciate its immigrants. But judging by many of the comments here, immigrants students should all go to Canada if they have the option.