Whether or not you’re interested in banking and finance, you likely know the name Bloomberg. Michael Bloomberg founded his eponymous firm in 1981, and it’s now one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. It’s carved out that niche thanks to a focus on technology, particularly the evolution of the “Bloomberg Terminal,” which feeds news and financial data across a proprietary network.
Given the company’s reliance on technology, you might wonder how much it pays the software engineers who build its platforms and services. Much of the work is quite sophisticated; this is a company that once produced its own API (the Bloomberg Open API, or BLPAPI), after all. In light of that, you’d expect the salaries to be pretty good, right?
For a glimpse at how much Bloomberg pays its software engineers, we turned to levels.fyi, which crowdsources salary data. Here’s the full breakdown; as you can see, when it comes to total compensation, the company is very heavy on salary, and somewhat light on stock and bonuses (at least when compared to traditional tech firms).
As you would expect, bonus payouts creep up for senior software engineers. The levels.fyi numbers echo those of Glassdoor, which also crowdsources its salary data. According to Glassdoor’s anonymous respondents, the average Bloomberg software engineer salary is $134,649, with additional pay of $15,224; four respondents also reported a stock bonus averaging $17,638, which deviates from what engineers told levels.fyi.
Bloomberg remains a privately held company, despite its size, which offers precious little transparency into how it might parcel out equity to its employees. That aside, it seems like working for the company is a cash-and-bonuses sort of proposition, compensation-wise.
How does Bloomberg compare with “regular” technology firms, particularly giants such as Google and Microsoft? Let’s return to some levels.fyi data, and look at the salaries of starting-level software engineers at Apple, Microsoft, Google, and IBM:
What’s instantly clear is that these (publicly traded) companies are big on handing out stock as a big part of total compensation. While taking equity at a startup is often a risky proposition (the startup could collapse, your equity could end up diluted, or the stock could implode post-IPO), taking stock in a well-established, giant company is often a safe bet. It’s also a major factor in attracting top talent.
Presumably, Bloomberg also pays quite a bit more cash (and equity) for those engineers with highly specialized skills. That would keep the company on the same competitive level as Google and other tech firms willing to pay millions for the best talent. As technologies such as A.I. and machine learning become increasingly important to strategies in every industry, the need for sophisticated technologists is as powerful as ever.